News & Media

Justine Finn, Ed.M. talks Promoting Healthy Relationships at Harvard

“Widespread sexual harassment, bullying, and relationship violence in schools is a reflection of unhealthy assumptions and beliefs about gender, consent, power, and relationships,”Finn says.

“Due to shifting attitudes and greater access to media at much younger ages, there is a greater need to develop effort”s to empower youth to gain the tools to develop self-knowledge, build positive identities, and make healthy relationship choices.”

Social media, media and sex: Justine finn

Mobile devices of all types have put screens in reach of many kids for over a decade, and changed the nature of relationships. Instant access to peers, social media sites and media of all types has brought out the dark side of communication.

Justine Finn works to stem it. She’s the director of Relation-Shift, a project that was founded at the Harvard Innovation Lab to work with middle and high schools students.

 NBC Educationnation #Toolkittalk Twitter

NBC Educationnation #Toolkittalk Twitter

How to talk consent with young adults

As uncomfortable as it may be, a conversation about sexual relationships coming from a trusted adult is a great way to open the door for positive communication with your young adult, whether you’re starting fresh or reinforcing behavior you’ve addressed from a young age.

It’s also important because sexual violence affects young people more than other age groups. It’s a scary statistic and no one wants to believe their kid could be a victim – or an aggressor.

Good Athlete Podcast:

Episode 45 - Justine Finn: The Relationship Conversation

For today’s episode we sat down with Justine Finn, Founder of Relation-Shift. Relation-Shift’s mission is to help make schools places where every student can thrive; teachers are empowered to prevent and respond to sexual bullying and harassment; and administrators are successful in their implementation of policies to create safe, healthy environments for their students.

Safe in Schools:

Sexual Harassment (and worse) is rampant, and there’s still too much silence in our classrooms

The 2011 AAUW report found that among the more than 50 percent of high school girls who have been sexually harassed, only 1 in 8 told a teacher or other school staff member. The study reports that boys are also being sexually harassed (40 percent experience sexual harassment), and even fewer (1 in 20) told a teacher.

… In the same report by the AAUW, researchers found that student survivors of sexual harassment were more likely to: have trouble sleeping and concentrating in class; develop depression; drop out of school activities and sports; or skip school entirely or even move schools.

The Family Brain Podcast:

Episode #24 - Shifting Relationship Conversations with Relation-Shift Founder Justine Finn, Ed.M

Megan talks today with Justine Finn, who founded Relation-Shift at the Harvard Innovation Lab in order to end sexual violence, promote healthier relationships and create safer schools. 1 in 3 girls in relationships experience some level of abuse and 40% of sexual assaults are experienced before the age of 18. Relation-Shift aspires to help those in the K-12 space establish expectations and responses to violence or bullying to send the message that this behavior is harmful and deserves to be addressed.

THe harvard crimson:

harvard ed school symposium aims to combat sexual violence in schools

At the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s “Name It, Face It, End It” symposium, speakers and attendees discussed the issue of sexual violence in schools and strategies to prevent it. (…) The symposium, held on Friday, consisted of a day-long conference divided into two interactive workshop tracks, one for those working within the K-12 education system and one for those working in higher education.

After the conclusion of workshops, attendees reconvened for a keynote address from Jackson Katz, an educator, social theorist, and Ed School alum. Katz is the founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention program, which provides sexual harassment and gender violence prevention training to organizations. 

Reaffirming overlake’s mission
in changing times

In February of 2017, Relation-Shift visited the Overlake School in Redmond, WA, where Justine Finn led students through conversation about gender equality…[and] developing the capacity of young people to engage in healthy relationships, particularly in school.

Finn believes that we all win when we achieve it. “We’ve got to get guys involved in this conversation. There is no space and place where people are not going to be engaging in intimate romantic relationships or close relationships,” says Finn. She adds that many young men feel the pressure from male peers. “The risk for them is if they’re too much like a girl, they’re not enough like a man,” says Finn. “A lot of it isn’t trying to get girls to like them, but rather getting the respect of other guys in their sphere.”

Hawai’i preparatory academic Hosts Free Parent Workshop With Justine Finn, February 8, on Social Media, Media, and Relationships

"Teens in the United States spend an average of nine hours a day on a screen, not including for school or homework," says Finn. "Socializing, exploring identity, and dating often occur between texts and social media, raising new challenges and positive opportunities."

As young people begin engaging in romantic and intimate relationships, many experience violence, abuse, and harassment. How can parents guide, empower and mentor their children to engage in healthy media and relationship behaviors? Finnʻs workshop will reveal what children are learning about sex, gender, and relationships from social and traditional media.

Even if they [teens] look like they are not listening, if they know that an adult in their life cares, that has an impact (...) Even if parents [mess] it up and they forget everything they wanted to say, they’ve already opened the door.
— Justine Finn, Ed.M. Relation-Shift Founder & Director