In fall 2017, the MeToo hashtag shook the planet, sparking an unprecedented wave of sexual assault accusations in the Western world. Now a storm of virulent misogyny rages on, flooding our screens with harassment, defamation, lynching, sextortion, the sharing of intimate photographs, rape and deaths threats… According to the UN, 73% of women are abused online.
The feature-length documentary Backlash: Misogyny in the Digital Age follows four women and one man whose lives have been particularly affected by online violence: Laura Boldrini, the most harassed female politician in Italy; Kiah Morris, an African-American politician in the state of Vermont who resigned following severe harassment and threats from right-wing extremists; Marion Séclin, a French YouTuber who received more than 40,000 sexist messages, including rape and death threats; Laurence Gratton, a young teacher in Quebec who was harassed for more than five years by a former colleague; and Glen Canning, the father of Rehtaeh Parsons, a young girl who took her life after photos of her rape were spread online.
Join Vermont Humanities at the Marquis Theater in Middlebury for a special, free screening of the film followed by a panel discussion on the topics and ways Vermont can move forward in the face of these challenges. This program is presented with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities: United We Stand initiative to combat extremism and hate speech across the country. Seating is limited, so please register to receive your free ticket.
About the Panelists
Xusana Davis serves as the State of Vermont’s Executive Director of Racial Equity. She was appointed to the position in June 2019 by Governor Phil Scott. She works with state agencies to identify and address systemic racial disparities, ensure that equity goals and objectives are incorporated throughout the State’s operations, and provide strategic and policy guidance on equity issues. Prior to joining the State of Vermont, she served as Director of Health & Housing Strategic Initiatives at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and as the Director of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus of the New York City Council. She holds a Juris Doctor with a concentration in International Human Rights Law from New York Law School, where she also directed a civil liberties education program for low-income youth and youth of color.
Sarah George is the Chittenden County State’s Attorney, located in Burlington Vermont. She has a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology from the University of Connecticut, a Masters Degree in Forensic Psychology from Castleton State College, and a Law Degree from Vermont Law School (class of 2010). For over six years, Sarah was a Deputy State’s Attorney in the Chittenden County State’s Attorney’s Office, and in January 2017, Sarah was appointed by Governor Phil Scott to be the Chittenden County State’s Attorney, eventually formally elected in November 2018. Since being State’s Attorney, Sarah has focused on ways to overhaul the criminal legal system by finding innovative ways to serve her community.
Alanna Ojibway is the Assistant Director of Education and Outreach for the National Center on Restorative Justice at Vermont Law School. Alanna received her BA in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz with a focus on international human rights and sustainable development. Alanna also studied in Morocco, Vietnam, and Bolivia through the School of International Training in a comparative-study program focusing on the politics of food, water, and energy.
Malachi Raymond is a current senior at Middlebury College where he is finishing a double major in Economics and Education. Prior to college, Malachi sat on the Saint Paul Public Schools’s Board of Education as a student representative in aims of amplifying student voice across the district. While serving he proposed and advocated for the implementation of Ethnic Studies across the state and continues to work for the district now as a curriculum developer. He also currently holds the role of a STEM Justice Coordinator for the Science Museum of Minnesota where he designs, develops and conducts trainings for clients across the country.