On Saturday, November 13, from 11 am to 1 pm, six survivors of U‑M sexual misconduct and advocates come together to describe the failures of the university in protecting victims, in their own words. The event, Stop Protecting Predators: Survivors Speak Up Against U‑M’s Pattern of Enabling Abuse, is supported by the Stamps DEI Initiative and features panelists Chuck Christian (Stamps BFA ’82), Maya Crosman (Stamps BFA ’16), and Stamps professor Rebekah Modrak as panelists. Stamps alum Cassie McQuater (BFA ’09) co-organized the event.
The event takes place in the The Michigan League’s Vandenberg Room (911 N. University Ave., 2nd Floor). It will also be live-streamed on YouTube.
Stop Protecting Predators: Survivors Speak Up Against U‑M’s Pattern of Enabling Abuse
University of Michigan lecturer Bruce Conforth was permitted to continue teaching after a student filed a sexual harassment report in 2008. Eight years and seven victims later, the University encouraged Conforth to retire, pre-empting a full review into several new reports against him. Another sexual misconduct case on U‑M’s campus, involving Dr. Robert Anderson, may be the largest sexual violence case in America’s history with a reported 2100+ victims; the University knew of the U‑M athletic doctor’s sexual misconduct since the 1970s, but allowed Anderson to work and abuse students until his retirement in 2003. There are additional stories of abuse beyond those of Conforth and Anderson. For, despite the University hailing themselves as radically improving sexual misconduct policies, the administration continues to fail to provide actionable procedures to protect victims, prosecute predators, and prevent future misconduct at U‑M.
We invite you to join University of Michigan sexual assault survivors and other community stakeholders for a grassroots forum on Saturday November 13, 2021, 11a.m. to 1p.m., at the Michigan League at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. To-go lunches will be provided after the event.
Speakers will address U- M’s failures in preventing and responding to sexual misconduct on campus. Survivors and policy-advocates will share their stories and/or speak about U‑M’s current sexual misconduct policies and procedures and what changes should be made to protect the U‑M community, and to support and center the healing and voices of survivors at U‑M.
Panel 1: SURVIVORS SPEAK [40 minutes]
Isabelle Brourman, U‑M alum 2015; advocate and organizer for sexual misconduct reform; survivor of assault by Lecturer Bruce Conforth.
Maya Crosman, U‑M alum Stamps School of Art & Design 2016; survivor of harassment and assault by Lecturer Bruce Conforth.
Tad DeLuca, U‑M alum 1976; survivor of assault by Dr. Bob Anderson; Mr. DeLuca wrote a nine-page letter to then-coach Bill Johannesen in 1975 reporting the Anderson examinations as inappropriate.
Katherine McMahan, U‑M alum 2008; survivor of harassment and assault by Lecturer Bruch Conforth; Ms. McMahan’s 2008 report of Conforth’s sexual misconduct and assault was ignored by the University.
Jon Vaughn, U‑M student 1988 – 1990; survivor of assault by Dr. Bob Anderson. Mr. Vaughn is currently in his third week sleeping in front of President Schlissel’s house to create a safer campus and bring attention to the thousands of Anderson victims.
Panel 2: POLICY FAILURES & SOLUTIONS [40 minutes]
Sarah Prescott, founding partner of Salvatore, Prescott, Porter & Porter and attorney for
eight survivors of former Provost Martin Philbert.
Rebekah Modrak, U‑M Professor, Member of the Senate Assembly and AAAC, and the sponsor of the recently approved Faculty Senate Motion 4, calling for accountability during searches and other measures to prevent sexual misconduct.
Kentaro Toyama, W. K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information, member of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (the executive committee of the U‑M Faculty Senate).
Kelly McClintock, Attorney for Survivors at Grewal Law PLLC, proudly representing the seven survivors of former Professor Bruce Conforth.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
Attendees will be required to mask, sign in, and adhere to U‑M’s COVID-19 safety requirements. Attendance will be capped at 70.
RSVP is encouraged, though not required. Reservations will be honored before general seating. To RSVP, email your name and affiliation to SurvivorsSpeak@umich.edu by November 11, 2021.
For additional information: Isabelle Brourman // email@example.com
About the Stamps community members involved in this event:
- Chuck Christian is a survivor of assault by U‑M athletic doctor Bob Anderson and will be a panelist at the Stop Protecting Predators forum. Christian was an art major and a tight end for the U‑M football team, graduating with a BFA from the School of Art & Design in 1982. He works as a decorative painter in Boston, creating murals and trompe l’oeils, and treating “a whole house as a canvas.”
- Maya Crosman is a survivor of harassment and assault by Lecturer Bruce Conforth and will be a panelist at the Stop Protecting Predators forum. She graduated with a BFA from Stamps in 2016, and has since moved back to Los Angeles where she is a freelance artist and co-founder of Space Party LLC, a sci-fi themed music and event company.
- Cassie McQuater is a survivor and co-organizer of the Stop Protecting Predators forum. McQuater is a new media and video game artist living and working in Los Angeles. Grounded in the practice of net art, investigating networked systems of digital power, her work often deals with themes of cyberfeminism while critiquing and seeking to subvert sexist tropes in video games and media. She received her BFA in painting from the University of Michigan School of Art & Design in 2009, taught herself to code and started working in interactive media and video games in 2013. Recently, her work has been shown and featured as part of the Smithsonian American Art Arcade, with New Museum’s First Look: New Art Online and has won awards including the 2019 Independent Games Festival Nuovo Award.
- Rebekah Modrak is an artist, professor, and member of the Senate Assembly and Academic Affairs Advisory Committee (AAAC). She sponsored the recently approved Faculty Senate Motion 4, calling for accountability during searches and other measures to prevent sexual misconduct.