Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

Tatsushi Arai

Second Advisor

Ryland White


Sexual violence is a public health crisis in the United States and globally, that has devastating interpersonal, social, psychological, spiritual and economic impacts. The root causes of sexual violence are tied to all forms of oppression. The normalization and perpetuation of sexual violence is buttressed by cultural paradigms used by media, religion, education and other systems that maintain rigid gender roles and power dynamics. There are promising initiatives for preventing sexual violence before it occurs. This paper explores one of those initiatives called Backpacking Brothers. The purpose of Backpacking Brothers is to engage middle school boys in an adventure education program aimed to address attitudes, beliefs and actions that uphold and perpetuate sexual violence. Through experiential, liberatory education the program strives to transform rape culture, a form of cultural violence that creates an environment that allows sexual violence to thrive. The paper explores the newly created programming through the lens of a trainer, highlighting important learnings about principles and theories of primary prevention, experiential and social justice education, innovative training design, and evaluation of programming. It offers practical examples, resources, lessons learned and guideposts for social justice educators and trainers to understand and dismantle rape culture and prevent sexual violence.


Domestic and Intimate Partner Violence | Educational Leadership | Educational Methods | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Health and Physical Education | Human Ecology | Other Education


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