Title IX. Adjudication. Due Process. Survivor. Perpetrator. As different college campuses wrestle with the issue of sexual assault, it is more important than ever that young people learn about and embrace opportunities to understand consent.
To stay grounded amidst the confusion and inconsistency that can be real at our nation’s universities, teenagers need information and support on how to navigate the sexual landscape of hookup culture, the elements of legal, pleasurable and consensual sexual activity, as well as how to establish meaningful and joyful relationships.
Teaching students to educate others on how to treat them and listen for how others want to be treated is the foundation of this work. To understand the value of authentic connection through empathy, mutual respect, effective communication, self-awareness, values and healthy, age appropriate, medically accurate sex information is essential.
And what about pleasure? Students need to understand how caring and communicative relationships can enrich their lives and lead to greater success and happiness. Each young person has a sense of individual readiness when it comes to intimacy and developmentally appropriate sexual exploration. It is important for teens and young adults to connect with this internal compass and listen to how it may guide them towards legal, consensual and pleasurable sex, as well as authentic connection, and caring and loving relationships.
Shafia has received national attention for her consent curricula in publications such as The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and The Washington Post. Most recently, she was the keynote speaker on consent education in K-12 schools for the NAIS Annual Conference, Schools and Sexuality Symposium.
From educational professional development conferences and workshops, to the guest teaching of consent related sex education, Shafia presents in various capacities on the topic to a range of audiences.
“Shafia’s engaged approach to working with students and adults to better understand the importance of consent and healthy relationships between teens is vital to our schools and students today. She fully understands the nuances that students are grappling with as they try to come of age in this time when messages from peers, parents, and the media confound the norms, Shafia helps teens give healthy thought to what truly works for them and gives them a voice and the words to express those needs and boundaries.”
- Debra Wilson, Legal and Government Relations, General Counsel, National Association of Independent Schools, Washington D.C.
Shafia Zaloom is a thoughtful educator, advocate, and leader, designing dynamic lessons and presentations for students and adults. Her earnest commitment to comprehensively engage in the work of health and wellness as well as her accompanying depth of knowledge in these areas are immense. More specifically, Shafia expertly provides a healthy frame for communicating and learning about consent, sexuality, and sexual assault, thoroughly navigating these complex topics with integrity. Our students, faculty/staff, and parent body have all benefited greatly from in-depth connections with Shafia. We are looking forward to an on-going relationship with Shafia in the years ahead, and we passionately recommend her for school environments ready to engage in a rich landscape of learning, reflection, and action.
- Crissy Cáceres, Assistant Head of School, Georgetown Day School, Washington D.C.