On Saturday, our St. Clement’s Board of Governors and Senior Administrative Team gathered for a facilitated retreat about our strategic direction. As noted to our community, we are seeking to develop an ongoing vision that incorporates our current goals of an inspired and balanced program, local, national and global partnerships and an engaged community. This process endeavours to identify clear and focused objectives and, in particular, articulate our School’s unique value to our internal and external community. The thought-provoking day led to the development of excellent next steps and reinforced that, in all that we do for our constituents, clarity is fundamental to success.
It was with this thought in the back of my mind, that I read an article by Elizabeth Renzetti in the Globe and Mail entitled Sexual Assault Cases Are Distressing But the Forces of Opposition are Heroic. I feel troubled that the rulings in these recent sexual assault cases will make girls and women feel unsafe–particularly with those in power–and will cloud the notion of consent. As Renzetti says, “We better get used to having these discussions about consent. We’d better get used to having them early- and often- with girls and boys and teenagers….”
It is this idea of clarity- the importance of messaging- and the link to consent that reminds me of a terrific example being played out by one of our intellectually curious, courageous and compassionate alumnae.
Rachel Verner ’11, left SCS to do her Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour at Wesleyan University. She and several others created Let’s Be Clear, a start up, with the purpose of normalizing sexual consent. The notion of clarity is fundamental to what they are doing. As Renzetti advocates, they are working to effect change through education and through what they call ‘conscious apparel,’ a line of clothing with slogans that normalize consent and promote clarity and safety.
Regardless of one’s work, clarity in purpose and process creates a much stronger impact. For me, it was wonderful to be reminded of this not only for SCS but by one of our alumnae.