Kamaria B. Porter

Kamaria B. Porter is a doctoral candidate in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education and the Lab Manager for the University Responses to Sexual Assault (URSA) Project in the Department of Sociology. She is a Rackham Merit Fellow and a 2019 member of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender Community of Scholars program. Before graduate school, she worked as a community organizer in Chicago, focusing on expanding health care access and affordable housing. While earning her Masters in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago, she trained to be a rape survivor crisis counselor, assisting survivors and their families in ERs as they navigated complex medical and legal decisions. As part of the URSA Project, Kamaria has trained and supervised nearly 100 undergraduate students coding sexual misconduct policies for adjudication procedures, consent definitions, and prohibited conduct. Designing and overseeing data collection on several coding instruments, Kamaria has an in depth knowledge of how colleges and universities responded to sexual violence. In our project’s effort to educate our community amidst legal and political changes, Kamaria led several workshops about the (then) proposed Title IX Regulations, educating students, faculty and staff about the changes to submit letters for the Notice and Comment period. Kamaria has also presented on the project at academic meetings on sexual and gender based violence at Stanford University and the University of Kentucky. Her dissertation examines Black women’s perspectives of the legal system in weighing whether to report sexual violence to their university. Using her background as a counselor to survivors, Kamaria adapted her research design to include trauma informed practice. This study aims to understand how race, gender, and class influence Black women’s decision making around reporting sexual harm, how Black women evaluate sources of support offered by their schools, and whether the avenues available serve the recovery needs of Black women college and graduate students.

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