Welcome Back to Campus!
"There will, no doubt, be a period of transition as we all get accustomed to once again being in a communal space after a long chapter of relative isolation. But as we adjust, we must ensure that respect for one another remains our paramount consideration and guides our interactions. The issue of domestic violence and sexual harassment is a very real concern for institutions of higher education. As we return to campus, we must rededicate ourselves to cultivating and maintaining a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning and working environment free from sex and gender-based discrimination, harassment and violence. In accordance with Title IX, our University must provide all students with an equal opportunity to pursue their passions and their interests in full. To fulfill that component of our mission requires buy-in and commitment from every person on our campus to treat each person they encounter with the dignity and respect to which we are all entitled."
Wayne A. I. Frederick
Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery
(Excerpt from Welcome Back to Campus Message, 8/23/21)
About the Title IX Office
Howard University is committed to providing a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning and working environment free from sex and gender-based discrimination, harassment, and violence. The Title IX Office responds to all reports of sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination and harassment, sexual exploitation, dating and domestic violence, stalking, retaliation, and complicity (the act of encouraging another person to commit any of the above). The Title IX Office also educates the University community about their rights, resources, and responsibilities under the University’s Policy Prohibiting Sex and Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation (aka, the Title IX Policy) and under Title IX law.
Members of the Howard University community have the right to make a report to the Title IX Office and/or to the Howard University Department of Public Safety or local law enforcement; as well as seek any health, counseling, or other support services you may need from a confidential resource, on or off campus. Note that these options are not mutually exclusive. A person who has experienced any form of sex or gender-based discrimination, harassment, or violence may choose any or all of the above options in response to what they have experienced. A Howard University employee who, as a third party, receives a report or otherwise becomes aware of an incident of sex or gender-based discrimination, harassment, or violence is obligated to report it to the Title IX Office as soon as possible, regardless of how they learn of it.
Please explore the Howard University Title IX Office web site for more information and access to a variety of resources for reporting and support.
TITLE IX UPDATE - Next Steps in OCR’s Comprehensive Review of Title IX Actions: A New Q&A and the Public Hearing Transcript (July 20, 2021)
The following is an update from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR is the federal agency that administers and enforces the Title IX law and related guidance.
As the Office for Civil Rights continues our comprehensive review of the U.S. Department of Education’s actions under Title IX, the landmark law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in our nation’s schools, we are pleased to share several recent steps—including two taken today.
With each new step, we are guided by a commitment to proceeding with thoughtful urgency on two Title IX priorities set out in President Biden’s executive orders on guaranteeing all students an educational environment free from sex discrimination, including sexual violence, and preventing and combating discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
That is, we recognize that we must both move quickly to protect the rights of all students to be free from sex discrimination and take time to listen to and learn from those most impacted by the law.
Last month, OCR convened the first-ever virtual national public hearing focused on strengthening the Department’s enforcement of Title IX, with live comments from over 280 students, teachers, professors, school administrators and leaders, advocates, parents, and other members of the public from throughout the United States, in addition to many written comments. We are grateful for all who participated. Thank you for sharing your insights, expertise, and deeply personal experiences.
Today, OCR took these additional steps:
- Q&A on Title IX. OCR released a Questions and Answers resource explaining how OCR interprets schools’ obligations under the 2020 amendments to the Title IX regulation.
- Title IX Public Hearing transcript. We are also pleased to share the transcript of OCR’s public hearing, which captures in detail the invaluable and often moving testimony provided by participants from June 7 – 11, 2021.
Today’s actions continue OCR’s efforts to ensure that schools are providing students with educational environments free from sex discrimination, including sexual violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We are also glad to highlight here the Biden-Harris Administration’s important steps to advance equality for transgender Americans, including a new White House Toolkit on Transgender Equality that includes a resource sheet from the Department of Education on Supporting Transgender Youth in Schools, along with resources from several other agencies. We also want to highlight OCR’s page on Resources for LGBTQI+ Students, where these resources, as well as others, can be found.
Howard University Celebrates Pride Month - June 2021
As Howard University celebrates Pride Month, the Title IX Office both celebrates our LGBTQ+ Bison community and reaffirms the University’s commitment to protecting all members of our community from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Meeting the needs and protecting the rights of all members of our community will always remain at the forefront of our approach. Learn more about the rights and protections provided by Howard University’s Title IX Policy and the related resources available to you here.
This Pride Month, the Division of Student Affairs invites you to attend and participate in an array of virtual Pride Month activities. Visit HU Student Affairs on Twitter and Instagram for more information and to compete for prizes throughout the month.
- Division of Student Affairs (@HUStudentAffair): Twitter | Instagram
- Student Health Center (@HUstudenthealth): Twitter | Instagram
- Student Life & Activities (@Howard_SLA): Twitter | Instagram
U.S. Department of Education Confirms Title IX Protects Students from Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
During this Pride Month, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which administers and enforces the federal Title IX law, issued a Notice of Interpretation confirming that it will enforce Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex to include (1) discrimination based on sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination based on gender identity.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving federal funding. The Department's interpretation stems from the landmark 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, in which the Supreme Court recognized that it is impossible to discriminate against a person based on their sexual orientation or gender identity without discriminating against that person based on sex.
"The Supreme Court has upheld the right for LGBTQ+ people to live and work without fear of harassment, exclusion, and discrimination – and our LGBTQ+ students have the same rights and deserve the same protections. I'm proud to have directed the Office for Civil Rights to enforce Title IX to protect all students from all forms of sex discrimination," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "Today, the Department makes clear that all students—including LGBTQ+ students—deserve the opportunity to learn and thrive in schools that are free from discrimination."
Note that Howard University's Policy Prohibiting Sex and Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation (also referred to as our Title IX Policy) prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, non-conformance with gender stereotypes, or sexual orientation. This includes any intentional or unintentional act that results in someone being excluded from, denied benefits of, or subjected to acts of aggression, intimidation, or hostility in any academic, extracurricular, research, occupational training, or other education program or activity of the University.
Read more about the Department of Education's Notice of Interpretation on Title IX:
Title IX Public Hearing: June 7 - 11, 2021
The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) wants your input on Title IX! The Department is holding a virtual public hearing on improving Title IX enforcement from June 7 to June 11, 2021.
The hearing will give members of the public the opportunity to comment on (1) steps the Department can take to ensure that schools are providing students with educational environments free from discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence; (2) how the Department can continue to ensure that schools have grievance procedures that provide for the fair, prompt, and equitable resolution of reports of sexual harassment and other sex discrimination, cognizant of the sensitive issues that are often involved; and (3) the Department’s role in addressing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in educational environments.
Title IX Public Hearing Schedule:
June 7, 2021 (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET)
June 8, 2021 (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET)
June 9, 2021 (11:00 AM - 7:00 PM ET)
June 10, 2021 (11:00 AM - 7:00 PM ET)
June 11, 2021 (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET)
There are two ways to participate:
(1) To provide a live comment, Register for a Specific Date and Time.
(2) To watch/listen only, visit the Title IX Public Hearing Web Page and click the Watch Live link.
For more information, visit the Title IX Public Hearing Web Page.
APRIL IS SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH (SAAM)
Every April, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), along with other organizations, coordinates the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign to educate and engage the public in addressing the issue of sexual assault. Sexual Assault Awareness Month (also referred to as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month/SAAPM) offers an opportunity to reaffirm Howard University’s ongoing commitment to creating and maintaining a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning and working environment, free from all forms of sex and gender-based discrimination, harassment, and violence, including sexual assault. The University’s year-round initiatives in support of this commitment include educating the community in sexual assault prevention; the University’s Policy Prohibiting Sex and Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation (the Title IX Policy); and the related rights, resources, and responsibilities of all members of the Howard University community. Remember that survivors of sexual assault have the right to make a report to the Title IX Office and/or to law enforcement, as well as seek support services from confidential resources on or off campus, including the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program (IVPP), the University Counseling Service, the Office of the Chaplains, and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
This year’s SAAM theme is We Can Build Safe Online Spaces, because sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse can happen anywhere, including online. As we connect online, we can learn how to practice digital consent, intervene when we see harmful content or behaviors, and ensure that online spaces (including work spaces, online classrooms, and social media platforms) are respectful and safe.
Visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center online to learn more and scroll down for a list of events, activities, and opportunities for members of the Howard University community to get involved during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
In the meantime, read the White House’s Proclamation on National Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Month, 2021.
You can also visit the following organizations online to learn about what they are doing to educate and engage communities across the country on the issue of sexual violence, and how you can get involved:
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
- No More
- DC Coalition to End Sexual Violence
- Men Can Stop Rape
Excellence in Truth and Service,
The Title IX Office
SEXUAL ASSAULT AWARENESS MONTH 2021 EVENTS
Check here regularly throughout the month of April for updates.
NVRDC Law School Forum on Crime Victims' Rights
Presented by Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC) for students of DC law schools
DC LAW STUDENTS: Join NVRDC attorneys on April 7 for a FREE 1-hour discussion where they will share real-life examples of how they assist crime victims, including survivors of sexual assault, in asserting their rights. NVRDC's Kristin Eliason, Director of Legal & Strategic Advocacy, and Heba Estafanous, Staff Attorney & Legal Clinic Coordinator, will be talking about the role of a Crime Victims' Rights attorney, career paths to becoming a CVR attorney, and how to spot common CVR issues that victims/survivors may face.
Register for one of three time slots at the following links:
Network for Victim Recovery of DC (NVRDC) provides free, holistic, and comprehensive advocacy, case management and legal services to survivors of all types of crime regardless of income. Learn more at https://www.nvrdc.org/.
RAINN Day Consent Conversations: Survivors Share
Presented by the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)
RAINN Clinical Director Ebonique Bethea hosts a discussion with Maya, Tasha, and Lorward, RAINN Speakers Bureau members who experienced sexual violence in college. In this moving, powerful conversation, survivors will share how family and friends can be supportive, what colleges and universities need to change to create safer spaces, and how speaking out affected their lives.
You can join the conversation on Facebook Live or on RAINN's YouTube channel at 12pm ET on April 8.
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org y rainn.org/es) and has helped more than 3 million people since 1994. Learn more at https://www.rainn.org/.
April 14 & 27
Presented by Men Can Stop Rape
In honor of both Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month, the organization Men Can Stop Rape will be presenting digital screenings of their documentary, Nameless. This film is a resource and awareness-raising tool that explores the issue of commercial sexual exploitation in the DMV, identifies who is impacted, and offers prevention and intervention strategies.
There will be two screenings:
- Wednesday, April 14 at 12pm ET
- Tuesday, April 27 at 1pm ET
Register to attend one of the online screenings at https://mcsr.org/saam-digital
Men Can Stop Rape is a DC-based organization whose mission is to mobilize men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence, especially men's violence against women. Learn more at https://mcsr.org/.
Title IX, Advocacy, and Support Panel Discussion
Presented by Georgetown University
We invite you to join the Title IX, Advocacy, and Support Panel Discussion on Monday, April 19, at 4pm ET, including the University of Michigan, Howard University, and Georgetown University. The Panel will be made up of representatives from each institution's Title IX office and the confidential counseling and advocacy office.
Please RSVP and submit any questions you have for the Panel at: SAAM Panel Discussion RSVP
Community Conversation: The Awareness and Prevention of Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, and Sexual Abuse
Presented by the United States Attorney’s Office & Men Can Stop Rape
Join in a Community Conversation with Guest Speakers Neil Irvin, Executive Director of Men Can Stop Rape, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenechukwu Okocha, Domestic Violence and Sex Offense Section, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. They will have a candid discussion on the awareness and prevention of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexual abuse. This event is being held in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Join us online at the following link:
Event Number: 199 414 3793
Event Password: yQBSwWxe792
Or join via audio conference at US Toll: +1-415-527-5035
For special accommodations contact Donice Adams at email@example.com | 202-815-8732
Coordinated by Peace Over Violence (and various other organizations)
On April 28, 2021, millions of people across the world will participate in Denim Day to show support to survivors and educate themselves and others about all forms of sexual violence. Learn how you can participate (and how denim has come to be adopted as a symbol of support for survivors since 1999) at: https://www.denimdayinfo.org/
The Denim Day sexual violence prevention and education campaign is coordinated by the Los Angeles-based organization Peace Over Violence. Learn more at https://www.denimdayinfo.org/letter-from-the-founder.
Online Reporting Form
In addition to calling or emailing the Title IX Office, you may submit a Title IX report via the ONLINE REPORTING FORM.
Review brief definitions of the forms of prohibited conduct that can be reported to the Title IX Office, as defined in the Howard University Policy Prohibiting Sex and Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation.
Note that the online reporting form may also be used to submit a report to the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Office, related to a potential violation of the Howard University EEO Policy or the Code of Student Conduct, respectively.
Howard University Implements New Title IX Regulations, Revises Its Policy and Procedures (August 2020)
Howard University’s Title IX Office has primary responsibility for compliance and education related to sex discrimination, sexual misconduct and Title IX policies and procedures. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits all forms of sex discrimination and sexual harassment, including sexual violence. All students, faculty and staff have rights under Title IX.
Pursuant to requirements mandated by the Department of Education, on Friday, August 14, 2020, the University issued a new policy: Policy Prohibiting Sex and Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation. This new policy complies with new Title IX regulations that were issued by the U.S. Department of Education in May 2020. The new policy is considered an interim policy, so that over the next several months, we can seek feedback from the various stakeholder groups across the campus, and update and strengthen the policy, as appropriate.
While the new Title IX regulations required changes to our policy and procedures, we have worked dilligently to ensure that the new policy continues to align with our commitment to creating and maintaining a community that is free from sex discrimination of any type. The Title IX Office remains committed to addressing and remedying all gender discrimination and sexual misconduct, and providing the highest standard of care and support to our community members. With this in mind, the new policy both complies with the new Title IX regulations, and also includes broader protections against sex discrimination and sexual misconduct.
We are aware that there have already been legal challenges to the new federal Title IX regulations and there may be additional legal challenges on the horizon. Further, the U.S. Department of Education is issuing guidance regarding the implementation of the new regulations almost every day. The outcome of legal challenges to the regulations as well as guidance from the Department of Education may require us to make modifications to the new interim policy. If this must occur, the Title IX Office will work to update the policy and promptly inform the community about any changes.
Throughout the COVID-19 period, the Title IX Office has remained (and will continue to remain) open and fully operational, with staff working remotely. Please visit the Title IX Office website for additional information and resources. If you have questions about the Title IX process or wish to talk to someone about your options to report or seek support, you can contact us easily via email at TitleIX@howard.edu. Thank you.
Excellence In Truth and Service,
Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph.D., R.Ph.
Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Interim Title IX Coordinator
Title IX Investigator
A Message About Title IX and Online/Remote Instruction
Dear Howard University Community -
Now that classes and other academic programs are being provided online by the University, the Title IX Office wanted to take this opportunity to remind members of our community that maintaining an academic program free from sex/gender discrimination remains a high priority for the university. Members of the community should be aware of the following three important points:
- The Title IX Office remains open and is functioning remotely at this time. Anyone impacted by sex/gender discrimination, including sexual harassment or violence, is encouraged to contact the Title IX office to make a report. You may contact us by emailing TitleIX@howard.edu or emailing one of the Title IX Officers directly. Our contact information can be found here on the Title IX website (on the "Officers" page). Investigations are ongoing and will be conducted remotely, and remedies provided, to ensure that any conduct prohibited by the University’s Title IX Policy is addressed promptly. The Title IX Office will continue to provide interim measures, as appropriate, and connect individuals with resources.
- The University's Title IX Policy applies to conduct that occurs online, virtually and/or in the context of remote learning and work. Any conduct that is prohibited by the Title IX Policy is also likely prohibited in cyber-forms, such as cyber-harassment and cyber-stalking that is sex-based. Members of the community are expected to maintain a tone of civility and respect in online classes just as they would if they were in class physically.
- Faculty and staff members are reminded that they are Responsible Employees under the Title IX Policy. Reports of alleged violations of the Title IX Policy are expected when faculty and staff become aware of incidents involving members of the campus community, whether they learn of the potential misconduct in person, in writing, or online. Only those employees designated as Confidential are not required to make a report to the Title IX Office.
We hope that everyone is taking good care of themselves during this time. The Title IX Officers remain ready to assist you, as needed.
The Title IX Office
Mental Health and Emotional Support Resources
We realize that the past several weeks have been stressful to our students, faculty and staff. If you would like to access mental health services, the following resources are available to you:
University Counseling Service (no walk-ins at this time) - Daytime/Weekdays: 202-806-6870; Crisis Line (After Hours & Weekends): 202-345-6709, Monday-Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. and 24/7 on weekends.
"Healthiest You" - the student telehealth mental health provider. Contact them at telehealth4students.com, or via phone at 855-870-5858
Optum - Optum has opened its Emotional-Support Help Line, providing access to specially trained mental health specialists to support people who may be experiencing anxiety or stress following the recent developments around COVID-19. Optum’s toll-free help line number, 866-342-6892, will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for as long as necessary. The service is free of charge and open to anyone.
- BetterHelp - 24/7 counseling
- National Alliance on Mental Illness – NAMI Updates on the Coronavirus
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America - Coronavirus Anxiety - Helpful Expert Tips and Resources
About the Title IX Office
Howard University is committed to providing students with educational opportunities free from sexual harassment and discrimination based upon gender, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status. The University strives to maintain an environment in which all members of the University Community are: (a) judged and rewarded solely on the basis of ability, experience, effort, and performance; and (b) provided conditions for educational and employment pursuits that are free from sexual and gender-based harassment and violence, other forms of interpersonal violence, stalking, and retaliation.
The Title IX Office exists to ensure the University adheres to that commitment.
This includes educating the University Community on the rights and protections that are provided by the law, and ensuring that those rights and protections are provided to all members of the University community who participate in the Title IX process. This also includes directing individuals who are impacted to the support and resources available.
Contact the Title IX Office:
Interim Title IX Coordinator
Title IX Investigator
Location: Johnson Administration Building, Suite G06
Street Address: 2400 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20059