Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts (BCLA) was proud to play a significant role in the Alliance of Women Philanthropists’ Inaugural Speaker Series event with former Fox News anchor-turned-activist, Gretchen Carlson. The event was framed as an intimate discussion between Carlson, who filed and won a landmark sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes back in 2016, and one of LMU’s respected female leaders, Robbin D. Crabtree, dean of BCLA. In addition to her work as an administrator, scholar, and teacher, Dean Crabtree also brought her extensive professional experience as a sexual assault educator and victim’s advocate to the conversation.
The event was well-attended by the LMU community, including students, faculty, and staff members from BCLA. Evelyn McDonnell, associate professor of journalism and new media and director of the journalism program at LMU, was in the audience and commented, “It is never easy to confront one’s tormentor. Gretchen Carlson took on an extraordinarily powerful man well before a movement to reclaim the workplace had really begun – she was among the first to say ‘time’s up.’ It was important she shared her story with LMU students who are getting ready to head out into the work world themselves, and Robbin Crabtree guided the conversation to include issues of privilege and power.”
Carlson and Dean Crabtree’s dialogue was inspired, but also intentional. The audience left with concrete takeaways of what must be done to truly end this epidemic including making space for all women to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault, not just women of privilege. And, almost more importantly, educating our sons, husbands, brothers and fathers on how they must use their voices and power to become allies in the movement.
LMU’s Alliance of Woman Philanthropists is a newly formed group of influential women including BCLA Advisory Board Member, Stephanie Younger, and other friends of BCLA: Karen Knott, Co-Chair; Julie Rollofson Teel, Co-Chair; Carol Costello, Honorary Chair; Kathy Desmond, Chair Emeriti; Ginni Dreier, Chair Emeriti; Michelle Dean; Kathy Nielsen; Wendy Walker; Delia Roges; and Kathy Smith. The group plans to host the Speaker Series each year as a way to elevate, empower, and engage the LMU Community in Women’s HERstory Month.
Please find the complete event story, originally published by LMU News, here.