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Peers Building Justice
Back to School 2014 Newsletter

Join PBJ as a Campus Organizer!
Now Accepting Applications

Campus Organizers are high school students who are interested in challenging the cultural norms that promote and encourage dating violence and sexual violence. They work to raise awareness about interpersonal violence and oppression in their schools and their communities through a variety of advocacy events and arts-based initiatives.

PBJ Campus Organizers complete a Training Institute that provides and empowers them with knowledge about interpersonal violence and with skills to plan events, use social media to effectively advocate for social change, and develop art as part of an awareness campaign. Campus Organizers meet twice a month and commit to participating in PBJ for a full school year.

Meetings will be:

-On the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 5-7PM
-At OUT Boulder’s Pridehouse (2132 14th Street, Boulder, CO 80302)
-Free dinner will be provided & transportation can be arranged!

Apply now!

Last year’s Campus Organizers had an amazing year together. After bonding at the free overnight retreat at YMCA of the Rockies in early November, they developed their “I Love Myself Because…” photo campaign, put on a radical self love Valentine’s Day event with BMoCA’s Studio Project, made lots of original art, and led their own showcase event in April (pretty awesome)! And we think this year will be even BETTER!

PBJ welcomes ALL high school-aged youth to apply. Please for more information. 

Boulder Youth Violence Prevention Committee

PBJ has a new branch for busy teens and adults
The Boulder Youth Violence Prevention Committee meets monthly to identify ways to promote interpersonal violence prevention among youth and support existing initiatives.  Moving beyond the individual knowledge and skill-building covered by PBJ’s curriculum, the PBJ BYVPC works on a community and societal level to promote change on a larger scale. The committee’s primary purpose is to identify areas in which to develop or support existing policy initiatives related to comprehensive sex education that promote interpersonal violence prevention among youth. Since Peers Building Justice is a youth-led organization that simultaneously appreciates a rich diversity of perspectives, BYVPC invites youth members as young as 12 alongside adults from BVSD and the community.

The first meeting will be on a Monday September 22nd at 6:00 at the OUT Boulder Pridehouse on 14th and Spruce.

Email for more information.

Schedule PBJ Curriculum Presentations

Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN) and Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) have come together to enhance our long-standing Peers Building Justice (PBJ) program.
We invite you to meet with us to discuss this exciting opportunity for your students to be involved in our violence prevention work by allowing us to provide 6-8 educational sessions in your classroom. Our curriculum was developed using two evidence-based curricula, 
Safe Dates and Expect Respect, the Colorado Department of Education’s academic standards for high school students, and arts-based interventions used for violence prevention.
See the outline here.

Last year Peers Building Justice educators visited 6 BVSD high schools and served over 1,500 youth! This year, we’d like to continue developing supportive relationships with even more middle and high school teachers and community partners.
Please if you’d like us to provide your curriculum to your or your youth’s class this year.

“Great presentations and valuable information! I loved the whole thing.” – BVSD Health Teacher

“I wish that everyone could see this!” – BVSD Health and P.E. Teacher

Did you know?

Why we do what we do…

44% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18

There is a sexual assault every 2 minutes in the U.S.

1/3 teens will experience dating violence

Stay connected with PBJ

Stay updated on PBJ events and opportunities as well as information, news, and inspiration by following us on social media!


“I Love Myself Because…” A Peers Building Justice Showcase


 Join the Peers Building Justice Campus Organizers on Friday April 18th, as we celebrate their awesome accomplishments this year!
6:00-7:30 PM
Alfalfa’s Market Community Room … (Once you get to Alfalfa’s find their guest services desk and ask for directions to the community room)
•Interactive art installation
•Slam poetry
•Photography exhibit
•Multimedia art
•Youth-created “zines” (self-published magazines)
•Photo booth
•Free food
•FUN! =)



A Call for Submissions from Youth Artists and Activists


Artists age 12-25 are invited to showcase their art and voices alongside PBJ Campus Organizers who will be sharing poems, presentations, video, photo projects at their showcase event on Friday 4/18 from 6-7:30 in the Alfalfa’s Community Room.

Please submit your ideas and art by Wednesday 4/16!


Email to submit or for more information!

Call for Submissions

Sexist Ad Critique














By Alethea Tyler

This ad is absolutely ridiculous. First of all, I have no idea what they are advertising.  I had to look it up.  Redtape is a store for men’s apparel, footwear, and accessories. What do those women have to do with any of those things? Second of all, the women in this picture have become an object, one hundred percent. Not only are they in a vending machine looking like dolls, but they are being bought.  By a male.  This shows who is dominant in the situation.  Who do you think? The women stuck in glass boxes or the man with the ability to free one of them by purchasing her based off of looks? There is no point in objectifying women in this way, yes sex sells, but only because we let it.  And if we protest against these kind of ads then we will begin to see a change, but only then.

The relationship between sexist advertising and sexual assault and relationship abuse may not be extremely obvious, but the thing is, they have much more to do with one another than one may think. This picture displays the male being in control. What we don’t realize is that on a daily basis we are bombarded with up to 5,000 ads.  That means that we are seeing messages similar to that 5,000 times a day and 1,825,000 a year. It is guaranteed to have some effect on us.  This is guaranteed to have some effect on us. 84% of spouse abuse victims are female. Could this have some correlation with what is presented in the media? If we are seeing 730,000 ads a day and to be fair and have some faith in humanity, 600,000 of them are sexist, than we are repeatedly having the idea of one gender being dominant over the other 600,000 times a year.

This sets up expectations of what a typical heterosexual relationship will be like.  It also is disrespectful to women. Nobody forced them to do that right? In most cases yes, they are hired actresses.  But it is the norm for women to have no power in these ads, or be hyper sexualized. Here are some more examples:


“Love, Me” Valentines event at BMoCA TONIGHT

image002Join the PBJ Campus Organizers and the BMoCA Studio Project Interns for a teen-led radical Valentine’s event!

This free event for teens is open to all ages. There will be food, live music, an artist workshop and activity stations set up around the room.

The PBJ Campus Organizers will be running a photo booth to continue their “I Love Myself Because…” campaign and a new project called “Love Is…” Here’s a description of the installation created by Campus Organizer Jen Jun:Love Is and Love Because exhibit descriptions-page-001

PBJ’s Annual Campus Organizer Retreat


The words above are some of the adjectives that Campus Organizers used to describe this year’s Annual PBJ Campus Organizer Retreat. Surrounded by the incredible beauty that YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby has to offer, the Campus Organizers had a blast!

At the retreat, the Campus Organizers developed their critical media analysis skills, culminating in collages addressing media representations of relationships and sexuality. The Campus Organizers also used the time to make a yearlong strategic plan. Overall, the goals of the retreat were to create a space and time for group bonding, brainstorming and making plans for the year. Mission accomplished!

Check out this short video recapping some highlights from the retreat.

 Video made by Campus Organizer, Diego Guttierez!


End the Gray Areas–Silence Isn’t Sexy

The Power of ‘Yes’ and Enthusiastic Affirmative Consent 

by Jennifer Jun


Trigger Warning: This post contains graphic description of sexual assault.

        Anyone who’s been through a high school health curriculum knows that sex education focuses on asking for consent and that no means no (or, you know, “don’t have sex. You will get pregnant, and die,” as the Mean Girls’ coach puts it).  No means no. It’s simple.

        Yet it seems that people can’t get their head around an idea that’s just as simple: that yes means yes. Yes means yes and that’s the only thing that means yes. Being drunk isn’t consent, flirting isn’t consent, and wearing revealing clothing certainly isn’t consent. Unfortunately, a rape trial in Steubenville, OH last year raised another serious concern: people assume silence is a form of consent for sex.

        The victim, a completely intoxicated 16-year-old girl at a house party, was witnessed by several to not even be able to lift her head, nonetheless walk. Two high school boys took the unresponsive girl by her ankles and hands, raped her in a car, then took her back to the house where people started to urinate on the shirtless girl on the ground as a joke. If Jane Doe were sober enough to give consent for sex, she would’ve been able to react to the “joke,” which, of course, she couldn’t. That was the whole point of the joke. Concurrently, her silence during the rape didn’t mean that she consented to it, it meant that she was so intoxicated to articulate a clear refusal.

        The boys’ lawyer argued that silence is consent; that “she didn’t affirmatively say no.” Not only is this against the law that going out with someone is not equivalent to consent for sex but it also implies that lack of refusal means yes; that the default in a sexual situation is yes. Newsflash: there is no default. Yes is the only thing that means yes.

Let me make this clear: silence does not imply consent.


        The only form of consent should be enthusiastic affirmation, not an enthusiastic negation. There should be a verbally affirmative consent before any sexual activity. The affirmative consent standard is defined as a clear, unambiguous and voluntary agreement between participants to engage in specific sexual activity.


   Unfortunately, the current culture depicts sex as a quiet activity, leading to ambiguous ‘gray’ sex. This model lies on two major faulty assumptions. First, one person’s pleasure takes priority over another. Second, that people inherently want to get laid, well pronounced by Robin Thicke’s hit song Blurred Lines: “I know you want it/ You’re a good girl/ The way you grab me/ Must wanna get nasty.” Admittedly a catchy song but not so catchy when it comes out of rapists’ mouths.

        The popular objection to enthusiastic affirmation is that ‘it will ruin the mood.’ Objectors claim that speaking out loud and asking if the other is comfortable with whatever you’re doing would just break the spontaneous beauty of it all. Who needs permission when you’ve got a magical sixth sense that you just know what the other people want? Sad to break it to you, but people are not gifted with this supernatural power. We need verbatim communication.

        What’s more, just saying no is not enough. If a person is not sure what he or she wants, it’s harder to put the brakes on, ultimately going too far beyond his or her comfort zone. Wait a second, this situation sounds awfully familiar: rape. The “silence is sexy” script is vulnerable to rape culture. This social pressure into thinking that silence is romantic is a weak argument that will “fall apart under even casual scrutiny,” as this blog post puts it.

        The oh-so-fragile mood our “silent is sexy” script has built is not a single person’s fault. Our culture is to blame. As a participant in today’s culture, I can’t say I’m not guilty of accepting this script as a norm. However, affirmative consent isn’t a radical or novel idea. Societal change comes from individual changes, and it’s about time we take a step away from the commonly accepted view and reevaluate the convention.


In researching for this post, I have come across several campaigns (links below) that are helping others become conscious of the inevitable need for affirmative consent. My charge to you is this: take a look at these campaigns and think about how you can contribute to this movement for awareness.

Where is Your Line? (

Yes Means Yes (

Project Unbreakable (

Consent is Sexy (


Join us and apply to be a Campus Organizer!

When asked by PBJ Campus Organizers why this community member loves themselves, this person wrote, “I love myself because… I do everything I do with passion.”

Want to be a part of this project? Teens can apply to be Campus Organizers and get involved with this campaign and other PBJ awesome-ness here: PBJ Campus Organizer Application 2013-2014!

Applications are due by January 22, 2014 at 5PM.

Other community members can support this project by liking/sharing our photos or inviting us to attend an event with you!