Advocacy Through Experience

Katie Williams found her place at Mizzou in advocating for people who have experienced relationship and sexual violence

Katie Williams headshotPost by Katie Williams
Photo by Ryan Gavin

I think that the biggest lesson I’ve learned at Mizzou​ is to never say never. I said I would never go to Mizzou and now I’m graduating and it’s been my home for four years.

Once upon a time, I was a journalism major, but then I realized it wasn’t remotely close to what I wanted to do with my life. Then I changed to Psychology and got into Women’s and Gender Studies. As I became more involved with the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center, I realized social work is where my heart’s really at.

I decided to switch majors because I became aware of everything happening around me, even if it didn’t directly involve me. I come from a very small town where nobody really talks about these types of issues. Being able to be a part of conversations about marginalized folks, privilege and oppression — and eventually leading those discussions as a Diversity Peer Educator — it really drove be down this path of social justice and trying to make society a little bit better.

I joined Diversity Peer Educators in the fall of 2015, which turned out to be *the moment* to be involved with DPE because then all the protests started happening and it really sparked my learning. I was learning at my own pace, but then it rocketed up, which was a very cool thing to have happened. I’m very privileged to have witnessed the activism of Concerned Student 1950 as a part of Mizzou because I definitely learned a lot during that year and from the conversations I led through DPE afterwards.

Working with people who have experienced relationship and sexual violence is where my heart’s really at. That’s why I never say never — if I never had these experiences at Mizzou, I wouldn’t be on this path and I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today.

Katie Williams​
Home: Rolla, Mo.
Majors: Mizzou Department of Psychological Sciences​ and MU Wgst​
Involvement: student staff at the MU Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center​: social media for the center, RSVP Peer Educator, Green Dot program; Stronger Together Against Relationship and Sexual Violence (STARS); Diversity Peer Educators​ through MU Multicultural Center​; Feminist Student Union​ — co-president for about two years; LSV secret society.