photo of sexual citizens book cover on desk

RespectCon: Sexual Citizens Edition

October 12 - 13, 2023
Atlanta, GA


RespectCon seeks to enhance institutional public health perspectives of sexual and relationship-based harm as well as support student understanding of caring for self and others from an inclusive, trauma-informed prevention and accountability lens.

The program for this year’s event includes a keynote address from the authors of Sexual Citizens, Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan, followed by a student-focused day of workshops.

All students (Atlanta and Oxford), faculty and staff are invited to attend the keynote on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 10 - 11:15 a.m. and participate in the workshops on Friday, Oct. 13.

This event occurs approximately two weeks after university leadership met with researchers Dr. Frazier Benya and Dr. Ashley Bear of the National Academies to discuss their work on addressing and preventing sexual harassment in higher education.RespectCon centers students and the issue of sexual assault from a public health perspective. Combined, these discussions are part of on-going efforts to engage our campus community in thoughtful conversations around how we can support one another, expand resources for this work, and co-create empowering environments for student flourishing.


Thursday, October 12

10  - 11:15 a.m.
Keynote Address by Authors of Sexual Citizens
Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan
Emory Student Center - MPR
Student Moderators: 
Amanda Wendler 25C, Divya Pereira 24C, Jean Qian 25

Friday, October 13

8:30 - 9:15 a.m.
Welcome and Grounding Practices
Grace Hubby, Bethany Miller, Louise Turner
AMUC 235
9:30 - 10:20 a.m.
Understanding Sexual and Relationship Harm and Title IX
Dan DeLuca and Emily Palmieri
AMUC 235
10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
Harassment and Navigating Power Differentials
Christine Ristaino
ESC N302
Sexual Projects and Consent
Laura Calvert and Bethany Miller
AMUC 225
12 - 1 p.m. Lunch
AMUC 235
1 - 2 p.m.
Barriers to Reporting and Cultural Conversations around Sexual Assault
Louise Turner and Kimberly McNeal
ESC N302
Trauma-Informed Care and Survivor Support
Grace Hubby, Divya Pereira, and Michelle Dai
AMUC 225
2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
Why Do I Feel This Way: Understanding Trauma Responses
Irene Dominguez, Taylor John, and Emily Palmieri
ESC N302
Bystander Intervention: Creating Safer Parties and Events
Elizabeth Peeler
AMUC 225
3:45 - 4:30 p.m. Closing: Being a Sexual Citizen
Remain in the room from previous session 
RespectCon is hosted by the Office of Respect in Campus Life in partnership with numerous university departments including the Center for Women, Emory Police Department, Laney Graduate School, the Office of Health Promotion, Office of the Provost, Office of Undergraduate Education, Residence, Sorority & Fraternity Life, Student Case Management and Intervention Services, Student Centers and Events, the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, Student Government Association, and Student Health Services.




Frequently Asked Questions


As the campus community seeks clarity and skills in prevention and response processes related to sexual misconduct, we have the opportunity to enhance our collective knowledge and create safer communities of care. Sexual Citizens offers a unique approach to sexual misconduct prevention that is a community public health approach versus an individual intervention or bystander training approach. The authors originally spoke with Emory University in 2020 during the pandemic, and we felt it appropriate to have them return in person as their population-based findings land differently in 2023 in a more residentially-based landscape than what the pandemic allowed.

Mid-semester is identified in college health as the “red zone” due to the highest rates of sexual misconduct reports. This is also during a time of re-alignment of strategic resources, creating greater synergies between the Office of Respect, the Office of Health Promotion, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Student Health Services to increase collaboration as the university works towards a strategic goal of student flourishing. This creates a prime opportunity for fresh thinking with the ability for meaningful change to be implemented.

October 12 features the authors of Sexual Citizens having a moderated discussion of their research and writing from 10-11:15 a.m. Support spaces will be available for students as well as space for faculty and staff after the speaking event. The authors have a private meeting with university executives in the afternoon to discuss possibilities and aspirations.

On October 13, RespectCon will host a series of workshops presented by professional staff in areas of expertise on topics requested by the Sexual Assault Peer Advocates and students on the planning committee.

The Sexual Citizens speaker event is October 12 from 10-11:15 a.m. in ESC N10 Multipurpose Room, and the RespectCon workshops take place October 13 from 9-4 p.m. in Emory Student Center and AMUC.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made by October 6 to the Office of Respect at

This is intended for everyone. There are dedicated survivor spaces throughout the event by the Office of Respect Counselor/Advocates, who are confidential resources.

From a prevention standpoint, Emory has a long history of teaching about consent and bystander intervention at orientation and refreshers by request. By engaging with the Sexual Citizens research, we seek to broaden our approach and increase understanding of new and meaningful strategies that our community can utilize.

Drs Jennifer Hirsch and Shamus Khan offer an approach that doesn’t solely rely on students protecting themselves and each other. Their research gives infrastructure to the underlying issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion that allow some students to navigate sex on campus safely, and others less so. They also provide access to understanding sexual harm that does not fit definitions used in reporting processes and is helpful to all, including those who have unintentionally caused harm based on harmful social messaging.

Sexual Citizens offers considerations for space, economics, identity, substances, and power differentials on college campuses. This includes how we think of safe parties, institutional resource gaps, and gender dynamics as students learn of their own sexual projects (what is sex for?), institutions consider sexual geographies (how are we setting students up for safety?), and sexual citizenship (how are we caring for self and others?).


We are planning this event with support for survivors in mind. At the event, we will have dedicated support spaces and personnel available, timely trigger warnings, and content that is trauma informed. You may absolutely leave at any time without question or attention being brought to you from presenters.


Office of Respect Counselor/Advocates are available throughout the entirety of the events. Additionally, the following campus support resources are available.

Office of Respect Survivor Lounge: AMUC 110

Confidential Student Resources:

Office of Respect: 404-727-1514
Counseling & Psychological Services: 404-727-7450
Student Health Services: 404-727-7551

Confidential Faculty and Staff Resources:

Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP): 404-727-9355
Ombuds Office: 404-727-1531

Off-campus/National Hotline:

RAINN National Hotline: 800-656-HOPE


Our events are open to the Emory community, and we cannot guarantee who will be at these events. There will be support available to you if you need to process.


Information on reporting to Title IX will be available as well as reporting for criminal processes through Emory Police Department.


Sexual Citizens offers considerations for space, economics, identity, substances, and power differentials on college campuses. This includes how we think of parties, institutional resource gaps, and gender dynamics as students learn of their own sexual projects (what is sex for?), sexual geographies (how are we setting students up for safety?), and sexual citizenship (how are we caring for self and others?).