Howard University and the Department of the Navy Host National Discussion on Building Healthy Environments

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WASHINGTON – Howard University and the Department of the Navy Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment & Suicide Prevention and Response Office will co-host a National Discussion on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at America’s Colleges, Universities and Service Academies virtually on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. The discussion reflects a shared recognition of sexual harassment and sexual assault as persistent challenges that require ongoing and proactive prevention approaches.

Leading experts from across the nation will join Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs Donald Remy; Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.); Lynn Rosenthal, chair of the Independent Review Commission on Sexual Assault in the Military; and Rosie Hidalgo, senior adviser on gender-based violence and special assistant to the President Biden, to discuss how to set institutional climate and culture to reduce the prevalence of sexual assault, sexual harassment and related undesirable behavior.

This event builds upon prior discussions about the need to address these challenges at the first signs of disrespect to ultimately help leaders develop the skills needed to prevent violence and  build healthy climates.

“One of my guiding principles for the department is to build a culture of warfighting excellence built on leadership, dignity and respect,” said Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro. “Preventing and effectively addressing sexual assault and sexual harassment require systematic changes to climate and culture. This event is a catalyst for institutional conversations on leadership development, shaping culture and enforcing standards to ensure the safety of those entrusted to our care – whether in the military or places of higher education.”

Institutional climate plays a role in facilitating and enabling harassment. Research shows that sexual assault and sexual harassment often take place in environments where other unacceptable behaviors are tolerated. The national discussion will promote prevention efforts aimed at building critical prevention skills, fostering healthy climates, and developing and selecting proactive leaders.

“A thriving institution is one that prioritizes diversity, respect and accountability,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick. “The urgency to address sexual assault and sexual harassment is felt by both academia and the military. Together, we can increase innovation, share solutions and engage on a national level to build better leaders.”

These ongoing conversations support information exchange on the future of violence prevention, the intersection between diversity, inclusion and innovation, and the critical skills students and service members need to create healthy climates within their institutions.

This national discussion builds upon the success of both regional and national discussions held over the last four years. For more information, visit

About Howard University 

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit

Media contact: Sholnn Freeman, Howard University,