Terry Crews at the 34th Stellar Awards held at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas on March 29, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nev. Credit: Courtesy of TNS

When people think of the name Terry Crews, most are reminded of his career as an actor or former professional football player. But Monday, he’ll be taking down stigmas around sexual assault and toxic masculinity.

Rebecca Slavik, collaborative events director for OUAB, said “Taking Charge With Terry Crews” was chosen in conjunction with HeForShe for its ability to help break down stigmas around the topic and allow Ohio State students to feel heard in the discussion.

“The reality is that we must talk about sexual assault and people’s individual experiences with it in order to begin not only a collective healing process, but to also begin working towards concrete goals to end it,” Slavik said.

HeForShe is a campaign created by United Nations Women to advocate for solidarity and equality among genders.

Slavik, a fourth-year in international studies, said the work between OUAB and HeForShe made the event possible.

Slavik and Elizabeth Howald, president of HeForShe at Ohio State and third-year in arts management and studio art, both emphasized the importance of starting the conversation around sexual assault and toxic masculinity.

Howald said that Ohio State has been in need of a support system for survivors of sexual assault since the shutdown of the Sexual Civility and Empowerment unit last June.

“This event is not going to fix those problems, but we hope that it will help bring these issues to the forefront,” Howald said.

Ohio State announced details for a new Title IX office — tentatively named the Office of Institutional Equity — at the end of February that will act as a centralized reporting center for all forms of discrimination.

Slavik said the event with Crews isn’t just for people who have experienced sexual assault. It is for those who know someone affected by sexual assault and also those who have no connection to the topic; the event is an opportunity to be introduced to another individual’s “lived experience.”

“We are bringing one voice into a very big room and recognize that this is just one person’s story,” Slavik said. “But these stories are nonetheless important to hear and even more important to view as conversation starters.”

OUAB and HeForShe hopes that students attending this event will walk away with a greater understanding of these important topics, as well as information on how to move forward with those affected by sexual assault.

Crews will be in the Archie Griffin Grand Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Tickets are sold out, but there will be a standby line the day of the event.