Large P design with acronym Peer Advocate and Community Education

Welcome to Peer Advocacy and Community Education!

Peer Advocacy and Community Education (PACE) is a collective of student leaders who are specially trained, peer educators that provide training and dialogue in classrooms, residence halls, and other campus spaces to facilitate meaningful learning through discussion, instruction, and/or mentor-ship to their peers, individually or as part of a group.

PACE also brings events, campaigns, trainings, and programs to PLU and the surrounding community that place an emphasis on gender equity, sexuality, health, and violence prevention work.

Our Mission: Peer Advocacy and Community Education, (PACE) seeks to train student leaders to empower and engage the campus community. Through education and advocacy, peer educators help to make PLU a safe and healthy environment for all students.

Our Vision: We visualize creating a gender-justice and safe campus climate by facilitating meaningful learning through discussion, instruction, and mentorship throughout our community.

We Value: 

Empowerment: To empower peers to make informed decisions about their own health behaviors and lifestyles

Action: To take action as an active bystander and model this behavior as leaders on campus

Knowledge: To gain the knowledge required to create evidence-based, high quality and responsible programs, events, and initiatives, and to share this knowledge with others

Promotion: To promote health and wellness as a way of life and the services that support a culture of wellness on campus

Our Workshops Include:

The purpose of the Consent Workshop is to inform and provide students with the tools to understand what consent is, how it is obtained, and what it looks like for them in a sex positive light. Consent will be defined through the lens of the PLU Code of Conduct, and the topic of enthusiastic consent will be introduced and discussed. Participants will be asked to consider and reflect on the complexities of consent and the variety of contexts in which consent is relative.

This workshop examines how relationships seen in the media and personal experience shape our idea of intimacy. Participants will consider the values, strengths, and weaknesses they bring to interpersonal relationships. Unhealthy and abusive relationship red flags will also be discussed.

What is the difference between sex and gender? Aren’t there just two genders? What does it mean to be trans and is that a common experience? This presentation addresses these and other questions related to gender and sexuality.

Though often forgotten, men do have a gender, and the masculinities they present are often limited by social expectations. This presentation unpacks what it means to be male, explores the impact of hegemonic masculinity on our society, and the privileges and limitations inherent in being male in a patriarchal society.

This training prepares each member of the PLU community to be active bystanders and look out for one another in order to create a safer community for all. We care about our friends – this presentation provides an overview of warning signs and skills for response when they are at risk.

We’re happy to tailor existing workshops to better fit your needs and to work with you to develop new trainings and dialogues for your particular audience. Email pace@plu.edu for more information!

Why Peer Education?

The Center for Gender Equity continues to witness student need for Peer Education and Advocacy related to sexual health, mental health and wellness, gender and critically: consent.

Peer education typically involves the use of members of a given group to effect change among other members of the same group. Peer education is used to affect change at the individual level by attempting to modify a person’s knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors. Peer educators (change agents) can increase the credibility and effectiveness of the message being presented as they convey information too often hard-to-reach populations. Peer education may also affect change at the group or societal level by modifying norms and stimulating collective action that leads to changes in programs and policies. Current research on the topic of peer education states that campuses should create healthy communities that involve an integration of advocacy, peer education, service, community building, and research. (Soleimanpour, Brindis, Geierstanger, Kandawalla,& Kurlaender, 2008).

Like many U.S. universities, PLU seeks to provide its students with comprehensive and robust peer advocacy and educational programming designed to reach a variety of campus audiences. The Center for Gender Equity has unique programs to address these wellness topics, Gender-Based Violence Awareness programming, Men’s engagement programming, Bystander Intervention programming, LGBTQ+ programming, and Women’s Leadership programming. This programming includes awareness events, campaigns, and trainings, for our campus and the surrounding community that place an emphasis on gender equity, sexuality, health, and violence prevention work.

PACE also provides leadership development and volunteer opportunities for PLU students with the goal of cultivating a new campus culture of inclusive leadership, care and service for and by students. Our student leaders want to build a world that is more trauma informed and supports survivors, which beyond anything will help us cultivate a new campus culture.

Our History!

For the past eighteen years, SAPET has been on the frontlines of conversations about gender-based violence at PLU, facilitating presentations and events to promote consent and debunk myths about rape culture and sexual assault. Over the last ten years, the Men’s Project has developed bystander programming, marketing campaigns, and programs to unpack toxic masculinity and men’s role in gender justice. When SAPET was created, the club structure and programming efforts were at the forefront of peer education work at the time. However, it is clear to both the Men’s Project and SAPET that our education and prevention efforts need to be revamped to match the contemporary needs of our campus culture.

Thus came the vision for Peer Advocacy and Community Education (PACE)

We are moving to integrate Men’s Project, SAPET, and other CGE student intern lead programs into one overarching program to create more comprehensive peer education and advocacy opportunities on campus. The formation of PACE will create a joint vision for the multiple branches of the student leadership within the CGE.