Thank you all for being here for this important moment. These men from all over the world have decided1 to make gender2 equality a priority in their lives and in their universities. Thank you for making this commitment.
I graduated from university four years ago. I had always dreamed of going, and I know how fortunate I am to have had the opportunity to do so.
Brown became my home, my community, and I took the ideas and the experiences I had there into all of my social interactions, into my work place, into my politics, into all aspects of my life. I know that my university experience shaped who I am. And of course it does for many people.
But what if our experience in university shows us that women don't belong in leadership? What if it shows us that, yes, women can study, but they shouldn't lead a seminar? What if, as still in many places around the world, it tells us that women don't belong there at all? What if, as is the case in far too many universities, we are given the message that sexual violence isn't actually a form of violence?
But, we know that if you change students' experiences so that they have different expectations of the world around them, expectations of equality, society will change.
As we leave home for the first time to study at the places that we have worked so hard to get, we must not see or experience double standards. We need to see equal respect, leadership and pay.
The university experience must tell women that their brain power is valued, and not just that, but that they belong within the leadership of the university itself.
And so importantly right now, the experience must make it clear, that the safety of women, minorities, and anyone who may be vulnerable is a right, not a privilege.
A right that will be respected by a community that believes and supports survivors3, and that recognizes that when one person's safety is violated, everyone feels their own safety is violated.
A university should be a place of refuge that takes action against all forms of violence. That's why we believe that students should leave university believing in, striving for and expecting societies of true equality. Society of true equality in every sense. And universities have the power to be a vital catalyst4 for that change.
Our ten impact champions have made this commitment and with their work, we know that they will inspire students, and other universities and schools across the world to do better.
I am delighted to introduce this report on our progress, and I am eager to hear what's next. Thank you so much.
Thank you so much!
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