Press Release

Discussion in Chicago Explores Rape Culture, Media’s Depiction of Violence Against Women

CHICAGO, IL- December 3, 2013— An upcoming discussion in Chicago will focus on how the media has responded to and depicted male violence, masculinity, and the national epidemic of violence against women.   

Interrupting a Culture of Violence Against Women will take place Thursday, December 12, 2013 at Experimental Station in Chicago. Dr. Salamishah Tillet, a rape survivor, writer, and associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, will present “How Ending Violence Against Women Will Save the World.” Following her talk, local advocates will join Dr. Tillet in exploring what rape culture is, and how the widespread use of social networks has fueled its growth. 

Local advocates will include UIC Professor Beth Elaine Richie, WBEZ’s Natalie Yvonne Moore, Rape Victim Advocates’ Sharmili Majmudar, and Claudia Garcia Rojas of the Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Young Women.   

The event is part of Media Matters, a series of public conversations hosted by The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, that seek to illuminate the power of media today and empower the public towards greater media literacy. Featuring journalists, community leaders, media scholars and activists, the series explores the role of media in shaping informed communities and civic engagement. 

As part of the event, the Illinois Humanities Council is officially launching a new online version of the Café Society Toolkit, a guide for individuals to have similar style discussions on their own, along with tips to integrate media literacy into the conversation. 

Dr. Salamishah Tillet is associate professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania and has faculty appointments in the Department of Africana Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. A rape survivor, scholar, and writer, Tillet has been nominated by Glamour magazine as a “Women of the Year” and named America’s “Top Leaders Under 30” by Ebony.  This year, she will publish Gloria Steinem: The Kindle Singles Interview and is currently working on a book on Nina Simone. 

The program is presented in partnership with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and Gender and Women’s Studies and Social Justice Initiative, the University of Chicago’s Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture and Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, and Chicago Public Media. 

The series is made possible in part by the McCormick Foundation’s Why News Matters Initiative, a new grant making program designed to enhance news literacy skills and programs in Chicago. 

Interrupting a Culture of Violence Against Women will take place Thursday, December 12, 2013, 6-8pm at Experimental Station (6100 South Blackstone Avenue) in Chicago. The event is free to the public, though reservations are required and can be made by emailing to, or visiting the IHC website, For more information, please contact the Illinois Humanities Council at (312) 422-5580. 

About the Illinois Humanities Council 

The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. The IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds. 

Media Contact:
Carlos Velázquez
(312) 422-5580, x233