CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — About 70 students, faculty and staff attended a panel discussion, titled “From a Perspective of Healing: Art and Social Service in Dialogue,” on Nov. 14 at the Lehigh Valley campus. The panelists discussed the healing power of art and media related to the issue of sexual assault.
Panelists were asked to weigh in on what people can do to help survivors:
“Be aware and ask the questions. Don’t look away. Look at people with greater compassion," said Teri Haddad, filmmaker, "Close To Home: Human Trafficking, The Survivor Story."
“Get out and vote and if I may, vote democratic!” said Martha Posner, artist, “A #Me Too Project."
Emily Rieser, of the Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley, said “Talk to your social circles. Talk with your family. Learn about the resources available to help connect people because odds are you will know someone who will need them.”
Catherine Hernandez, outreach coordinator, Turning Point, said, “It starts with education in the schools and it starts at home.”
Tammy Yocum, campus counselor, served as moderator. Related to the panel topic, the Community Gallery at Penn State Lehigh Valley is featuring an exhibit “What Where Your Wearing? Survivor Art Installation” until Dec. 14.
The “What Were You Wearing?” Survivor Art Installation originated at the University of Arkansas in 2013. Created by Jen Brockman and Mary Wyandt-Hiebert, the project was inspired by Mary Simmerling’s poem, “What I Was Wearing.”
Anonymous survivor stories are displayed along with clothing the story describes. Penn State Lehigh Valley students from RISE and Art Clubs assisted with the acquiring and installation of the clothing. Brockman and Wyandt-Hiebert offer all resources for this exhibition with the condition that the organization partner with an agency who supports victims of sexual abuse.
This exhibition and panel event are supported through partnerships with the:
- Crime Victim’s Council of the Lehigh Valley
- Turning Point
- Penn State Lehigh Valley Office of Student Affairs Marissa Ketcham
- Students in RISE and Art Clubs
The Ronald K. De Long Gallery is also featuring a companion exhibit titled “A #MeToo Project: Amy Arbus and Martha Posner” until Dec. 14.