Undergraduate students from historically oppressed and systematically minoritized identities (e.g., racial, ethnic, sex/gender, sexual orientation, and intersectional minoritized identities) have significant barriers to social belonging and connection on higher education campuses that are predominantly White, cisgender, and heterosexual. Additionally, these students often experience sexualized and identity-based violence that can further exacerbate belonging and connection and disparities in health and wellness. The Also Our Campus project is a community-engaged program of research that centers the voices and lived experiences of individuals of minoritized identities on the CU Boulder campus. We use mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative approaches) to investigate how social belonging and connection are involved in pathways of risk and resilience for sexualized and identity-based violence and associated health and wellness outcomes (e.g., mental health, substance use, relationships, and academic success). Additionally, in collaboration with our student advisory board, campus partners, and community stakeholders we are using the findings from our investigations to lead us in the co-design of a web-based intervention program to promote belonging and prevent sexualized and identity-based violence on higher education campuses that is both accessible and sustainable.
The project team consists of interdisciplinary faculty and students from psychology and neuroscience, theatre and dance, gender studies, and ethnic studies. The campus partners include individuals from the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, the Center for Inclusion and Social Change, and the Office of Victim Assistance. The community stakeholders include Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA; Boulder, CO), Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN; Boulder, CO), The Blue Bench (Denver, CO), The Trevor Project (National), and Dr. Myeshia Price (Los Angeles, CA). The student advisory board consists of minoritized-identity undergraduate students who are dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion, social change, and violence prevention.