Annie Clark and Andrea Pino

We believe you.

This week’s #changemakers finally got justice after a five-year federal investigation into their former university's compliance with Title IX, which requires that colleges and universities provide safe learning environments for women and men alike. After experience sexual assault themselves, Annie Clark and Andrea Pino filed complaints with their university, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, back in 2013. Their complaints asserted that the university was not protecting its students from instances of sexual assault and had done nothing to prevent those assaults. In response to their complaint, Annie and Andrea were told to “protect themselves” with very few resources or information to do so. These women were just two among the many that believed their school was not complying with the requirements of Title IX.

While it took five years for the federal investigation to reach a conclusion, Annie Clark and Andrea Pino did not sit idly by.  Instead, they've done everything in their power to end sexual assault on college campuses. In 2014, they worked with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Claire McCaskill to reform how the government treats sexual assault cases.  They co-founded the organization, End Rape On Campus (or EROC) which has established chapters on college campuses throughout the country, they co-wrote “We Believe You," a book to provide support for survivors of sexual assault, and their stories and work were featured in a compelling documentary, “The Hunting Ground.” 

Now, after five years of waiting, the Federal Office for Civil Rights ruled in Annie and Andrea's favor, determining that UNC was not following the correct procedures when complaints of discrimination based on sex were filed. UNC is now required to respond to Title IX complaints faster and more appropriately. 

Along the way, Annie and Andrea have teamed up with and worked alongside scores of other women and university systems.  We commend them both and the many others who have worked to ensure that campus communities are safe places to learn.