Erin Levitas was poised to join the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law community and bring her many talents to the legal profession. She hoped her education at the law school would enable her to pursue her passion for education and women’s rights by working to help all women feel welcome and thrive. Although Erin left us before she could pursue her law school degree to help others, we aim to create a new and ambitious program focused primarily on prevention and support to empower survivors of sexual assault.
A personal experience made Erin passionate about this cause. After her attack, she explored what programs existed to provide support and education. She was shocked at the epidemic occurring in schools and communities across the country. Many individuals had similar experiences, but did not have the outlet or the skills to move past the assault.
The Erin Levitas Initiative for Sexual Assault Prevention will focus on education as a means of prevention, but it will also work to clear stigmas and give individuals the tools to speak openly and move past their assault. Two programs at Maryland Carey Law are coming together to make this initiative a reality. The Gender Violence Clinic explores the ways in which gender and violence intersect. The Center for Dispute Resolution (C-DRUM) promotes the effective resolution of conflict to empower and transform.
The Erin Levitas Initiative for Sexual Assault Prevention will engage young men and women in educational activities designed to help them identify, question, and reject the destructive ideas that give rise to sexual violence and may help us to undo the damage such attitudes cause, from middle school through high school.
We will address this problem by hiring an expert in the field to work within and alongside the Gender Violence Clinic and C-DRUM. This expert will develop and articulate a new curriculum that will introduce students to the concept of addressing conflict through open dialogue. Our goal is to facilitate a safe conversation around sexual violence in an attempt to change the current culture.
To make a gift online, please visit www.law.umaryland.edu/ErinLevitasInitiative. All check donations must be made out to the University of Maryland Baltimore Foundation with “Levitas” noted in the memo, and should be sent to the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, c/o Sarah Jackson, 500 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. You may contact Sarah Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-706-5458 with any questions regarding your gift.
For more information on the Erin Levitas Foundation, please visit www.erinlevitas.org.