Wanda Swan hails from the “Hospitality State” of Mississippi and has been embedded within the Violence Prevention movement in Higher Education for over nine years. She began her career in this field while still a graduate student at Mississippi State University (MSU). Her work with the university's Sexual Assault Services department eventually led to extensive collaborations with the Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The mentorship she received from the coalition and the former director of the university's department solidified her passion for engaging student populations in violence prevention strategies. Before leaving MSU, Wanda gained experience securing and managing federally-funded grants and serving as a prevention educator, community collaborator, and co-creator the university's Sexual Assault Response Team.
Wanda began work at Vanderbilt University shortly after MSU and served as a Program Coordinator and Advocate within the Margaret Cuninggim Women's Center. In this capacity she served as the university's sole 24-hour on-call advocate and provided direct support and accompaniment to university students, faculty, staff, and Medical Center employees as well as a lead facilitator for the Green Dot Bystander Strategy. Before leaving Vanderbilt, Wanda served as a Prevention Educator & Victim Resource Specialist and dedicated her time and expertise to the creation, staff expansion, and branding of the Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention & Response, the university's first free-standing center dedicated to campus violence prevention and advocacy.
Wanda is currently employed at Emory University’s Respect Program and serves as the program's inaugural Director. The Respect Program is an anti-oppression office where staff serve as advocates and change-agent trainers to activate the campus community to serve as ambassadors with the message that oppression is a disease and violence, in any form, is a symptom of this larger illness. They encourage students to develop an intersectional approach when understanding the root causes of and working to end violence. Furthermore, they engage the community to sustain trauma-informed spaces that speak to the lived experiences and identities of those impacted by violence. The Respect Program aims to create global citizens poised to continue the mission of this larger movement to end violence within various communities and systems across their life span.