A Message from the Senior Prevention Strategy Officer

August 5, 2021

By Christi Hurt, Senior Prevention Strategy Officer

I’m excited to be back at Carolina in the role of the Senior Prevention Strategy Officer, a role developed as part of the Chancellor’s financial and institutional commitment to sexual assault prevention, intervention and support. In this role, I will focus on facilitating collaborations that focus on interpersonal and gender-based violence prevention, including sexual assault and harassment, dating and domestic violence and stalking.  Additionally, I am supporting the Student Wellness Department, and am honored to be working with the staff in that space. This combination of violence prevention and student wellness will help us take a holistic view regarding wellness, violence prevention and student success across the institution. 

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with many of our department directors, staff, students, and allies across the University and am eager to move forward with the recommendations set forth by the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Advisory Group, led by L.B. Klein, in their Fall 2020 Report.

To get started, one of our first priorities is to start the hiring process for the two open Violence Prevention Coordinator positions.  We are hoping to move forward with these searches early this fall and are eager to bring these folks on board.  Additionally, we will move forward with a wide range of prevention programming, focused on the primary prevention of violence (preventing violence before it starts) and will center the voices of students, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ students, in identifying strategies that will best serve UNC’s student body. Specifically, we will look at how to best implement bystander intervention programs, community-wide social norm campaigns, hot spot mapping, and other evidence-based practices that meet the needs of the campus community.

Although the violence prevention team will start out small, we are optimistic that our impact can be mighty.  In our conversations with our campus partners, it is clear that all of our departments are already working to promote student wellbeing, leadership development, student success, and a sense of belonging at Carolina in ways that we know help protect our student body from harm.  Bringing these efforts together – and facilitating critical collaborations – will help us be successful as we strive to create a campus environment that is safe, healthy, and well for all of our students, staff and faculty.  To that end, we are eager to work with all of you throughout the year.

I firmly believe that fostering student wellness and eliminating interpersonal violence is everyone’s responsibility.  Working together to create an environment in which our students can thrive and be successful is a core part of everything we do as student affairs professionals and it’s exciting to think about how we can all work together.  If you’re interested in finding ways to get involved in this important work, please email me.

I’m looking forward to working with all of you.    

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