Not Just Sex Project

Meet Courtenay Spalding

She graduated in 2017 from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. Courtenay is one of Breakthrough’s 2016-17 Fellows. She majored in Psychology and minored in Cognitive Science, and served on the Executive Board of the Marist College Black Student Union.

Courtenay, along with our other five Fellows, worked with Breakthrough during the 2016-17 school year to challenge the culture of gender-based violence on her campus.

Want to recreate Courtenay’s action on your campus? We can show you how!

Courtenay’s Action

At Marist, Courtenay found that hookup culture was common – but that didn’t mean that its impact was the same on everyone. She began to notice that Black women, in particular, were more expected to participate in hooking up and also judged more harshly for it. It also didn’t seem clear that people were actually happy with hookup culture and how it impacted their general well-being.

Courtenay launched the Not Just Sex Project, a digital storytelling campaign, to examine hookup culture and its impact on students at Marist and beyond. By reaching out to her peers with a range of questions, she was able to gather a whole range of thoughts, comments, and opinions around hookup culture. She turned those responses into graphics and other digital works that challenge the expectations and uplift the liberations around hookup culture & well-being through storytelling, social media, and art. You can follow the Not Just Sex Project on Facebook and Instagram.

Courtenay hopes this project will create broader discussions around what hooking up means, how it impacts those who participate, and how that culture can change to make hooking up a better, healthier experience for everyone.

Courtenay is still taking responses to her survey, and you can follow the project throughout the month of April on Facebook and Instagram.

Does Courtenay’s action inspire you to do more? Check out Breakthrough’s Action Hotline to get support from our experts as you take action.