Meet Molly Sandstrom
She’s studying at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Molly is one of Breakthrough’s 2016-17 Fellows. She has a double concentration in History and Education Studies, and developed a new curriculum for Brown’s Sexual Assault Peer Education group that focuses on accountability and dismantling rape culture.
Molly, along with our other five Fellows, has been working with Breakthrough since September to challenge the culture of gender-based violence on his campus. As part of her leadership, she’s taking this action in late April 2017.
Spring Weekend is Brown University’s huge annual concert, and it’s a really big deal in campus social life. It’s expected that everyone will have a good time that weekend, but over her time on campus Molly saw how that expectation of fun could lead to violations of consent. Molly wanted to push back on those cultural narratives that expect a “yes” to everything during Spring Weekend, and to turn Spring Weekend into a space where everyone can have a good time – even if they skip the drinking and hooking up.
Molly created the Positive Change campaign to address these issues and ensure that everyone had access to the resources they needed to support consent, respect, and bodily autonomy during Spring Weekend. She’s distributing temporary tattoos, stickers, and other swag to give students at the concerts the opportunity to label themselves as supporters. Thanks to her partnership with the Brown Concert Agency, which runs Spring Weekend, she and her volunteers will have a tent inside the concert gates where people can get help if they experience sexual harassment or other consent violations.
Molly’s campaign was been covered by the Brown Daily Herald and the Blognonian. The Brown Concert Agency, Office of Health Promotion, Office of Residential Life, and Student Activities Office, and others signed on as official partners. And Molly’s done so much!
- She’s trained 20 volunteers to prepare them for shifts at the Positive Change tent.
- She’s gotten donations to cover orders for 5,000 temporary tattoos, 5,000 stickers, and 5,000 condoms with the positive change symbol.
- She’s printed 5,000 business cards with resources for help and safety at Brown.
- She’s trained 100 Resident Peer Leaders on consent ahead of their shifts on duty during Spring Weekend.
Spring Weekend kicked off on Wednesday, April 24, and Molly and her team created important conversations about consent, bodily autonomy, and respect at Brown’s biggest concert of the year.