Four activists speak about rape culture on college campuses

Shanly Dixon

Eileen Kerwin-Jones

Carrie Rentschler

Kim Simard

By Wendy Allen, December 2020

The videos posted here are from interviews with four women, all involved in Atwater Library’s Rape Culture on College Campuses Project.   The interviews were done in 2020, two of them on Zoom during the COVID lockdown.  

Listening to these women I learned about issues around sexual violence in today’s world and the changes that activists are trying to bring about on and off college campuses.  I also learned that the situation is very different from when I was in my late teens and early twenties, that my opinions came from another era.

These impressive women from different institutions, different disciplines, and in different roles all work in innovative ways to support students and bring about change.  

At the end of each interview, the interviewees were each asked,  “What has happened in the last year that you can’t let go of?” (inspired by NPR Politics Podcast)    Their answers will introduce them to you. 

VIDEO:   One Thing You Can’t Let Go Of   (7:15)


Shanly Dixon, PhD

Lead Researcher and Knowledge Mobilizer, Rape Culture on College Campuses Project, Atwater Library and Computer Centre. 

Dr. Dixon is “a digital culture scholar and educator who employs ethnographic and arts based methodologies to investigate people’s engagement with digital culture.”  “Her work examines the interplay between online gender-based violence and offline misogyny and sexual violence. “  (From

She has a PhD from Concordia in Interdisciplinary Humanities PhD (Sociology, Communications and Education) from Concordia University.

VIDEO:   The Internet: Positive Visions, Negative Realities  (1:38)

VIDEO:  From Academia to Activism  (5:39)


Eileen Kerwin-Jones, PhD 

Coordinator, Women’s Studies and Gender relations  (WSGR) John Abbott College, Montreal, Quebec .

Dr. Kerwin-Jones has a background in public health and midwifery, and international work and holds a BSc in Nursing and a PhD in Ethics.  She is a co-founder of PACT (People Against the Crime of Human Trafficking).  She teaches Philosophy in the Humanities program at John Abbott.

VIDEO:  Women’s Rights and Climate Change (4:50)

VIDEO: Gender-based violence   (3:45)

VIDEO: This is not about male bashing  (3:24)

VIDEO: Power and Gender-Based Violence  (3:37)


Carrie Rentschler, PhD

Associate Professor, William Dawson Scholar of Feminist Media Studies. McGill University Montreal Quebec 

“Her research includes gender and racial violence, victimization and social trauma, and feminist organizing online and via social media”.   (Taken and modified from McGill bio

She testified in a recent Registry of Motor Vehicles case in Nova Scotia against the renewal of a custom license plate that read GRABHER and the implications of this “message” in relation to safety of women and girls,particularly in light of President Trump’s remarks.  

VIDEO:  Feminist, Academic, Activist: Her Story  (11:12)

VIDEO:  Why I use the term rape culture  (3:48)

VIDEO:  The role of humour in activism  (2:01)


Kim Simard, MA

Coordinator,  Women’s/Gender Studies, Dawson College, Montreal QC 

Simard teaches Cinema-Communications at Dawson and is a filmmaker, artist and activist. She has a Master’s Degree in Film Production from Concordia University. 

 With her colleague, Pat Romano, she created a course called “Resist Violence”, an approach that uses the classroom to develop resilience and resistance with tools to deal with violence in different forms from micro-aggressions to sexual violence. 

They also created a community of practice at Dawson College bringing together faculty from other programs to address this issue in their courses and assignments.

VIDEO:     It Happens Here   (4:42)

VIDEO:     Resist Violence  (7:03)

VIDEO:    Artistic Activism (3:18)


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