Elizabeth Smart to speak

Mount Holyoke’s Kijua Sanders-McMurtry will be joining child-safety activist Elizabeth Smart in a special dialogue for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

By Keely Sexton

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Elizabeth Smart will join in dialogue with Kijua Sanders-McMurtry, vice president for equity and inclusion, in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month at Mount Holyoke College

Smart rocketed to the nation’s attention when she was abducted in 2002 and held for nine months. Nearly 20 years later, abductions and sexual assaults still affect hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. As a women’s college that is gender diverse, Mount Holyoke recognizes the unique and particular ways that women are often subjected to gender-based violence.

Smart will speak about survival after trauma in encouragement of survivors everywhere on Thursday, April 29, at 4:30 p.m. ET. The event will be held online. It is free and open to the public. 

Smart has authored several works aimed at sharing her story and helping victims of abduction recover. She has chosen to be visible in her activism and work to amplify the voices of those who are not able to speak up for themselves or whose stories are erased from national discourses.

This conversation is sponsored by AccessAbility Services, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Residential Life and the Weissman Center for Leadership.

The ongoing targeting of women across all racial groups has not abated. Mount Holyoke believes deeply that we must be vigilant in speaking up against these injustices. Survivors must be able to tell their stories in ways that support their emotional, psychological, spiritual and physical safety whenever possible. 

To register for the talk, visit Mount Holyoke College’s events calendar.