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While many of the sessions at the TWS Annual Conference tackle wildlife-specific topics, others hope to address issues that span across all professions.
One such symposium at this year’s conference is “Moving Forward Together from #MeToo,” which will explore the implications of the recent social movement on the wildlife profession.
“The wildlife profession is not immune to occurrences such as those revealed by #MeToo, and all professionals have a responsibility to be aware of and improve conditions in their respective working environments,” reads the symposium abstract. “Some call the women and men behind the movement ‘The Silence Breakers’ but others call it a ‘witch-hunt’ with allegations of misconduct needing fact checking and due process. This international movement highlights the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault, especially in the workplace. [This symposium will] set the stage and ground rules for a discussion of a sensitive topic.”
The symposium will consider a variety of perspectives, with opportunities for panel and audience discussion, and will emphasize mechanisms for improving the atmosphere in the workplace in moving forward from the #MeToo movement. The issues in this session, organizers say, apply to students and professionals of all genders and backgrounds, and thus have broad applicability across conference attendees.
Starting with an overview of the movement, the 10-talk session attempts to teach attendees how to identify inappropriate behavior and evidence of harassment in the workplace, and present actions that can be taken by both men and women to end these behaviors. It will also consider perspectives of possible victims of the movement itself, specifically those who may have been wrongly accused. Organizers are prepared for a potentially emotional session, and will have an experienced moderator.
This session is organized by Kathy Granillo (USFWS), Ginny Seamster, (New Mexico Game and Fish Department), Carol Chambers (Northern Arizona University), John Koprowski, University of Arizona) Lori Walton (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation), Misty Sumner, (Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, retired), Marikay Ramsey (BLM), and Erin Considine (USFS). It is supported by the Women of Wildlife Organizational Committee, TWS Ethnic & Gender Diversity Working Group, Southwest Section of TWS, and TWS Native Peoples’ Wildlife Management Working Group.
Talks and presenters include:
Why #MeToo? – Carol Chambers
Wave of awareness – Bob Lanka
How to break the silence – Kathy Granillo
Student perspectives on #MeToo – Kristi Alexis Confortin
What has #MeToo meant to you – Alan Hamilton
The role of men in changing the culture: How do we avoid #MeToo in the future? – John Koprowski
Role of women in changing the culture – Wini Kessler
How cultural differences play into #MeToo – Serra Hoagland
Moving forward together – Alan Hamilton
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