MIT to donate $850,000 to nonprofits supporting sexual abuse survivors
MIT will donate to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, the EVA Center, My Life My Choice, and the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts
MIT will donate $850,000, the amount MIT received from Jeffrey Epstein between 2002 and 2017, to four nonprofits supporting survivors of sexual abuse. MIT will donate to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), the EVA Center, My Life My Choice, and the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts.
The nonprofits were selected by the Committee on Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response.
Committee chair Leslie Kolodziejski, professor of electrical engineering, wrote in an email to The Tech that the organizations were chosen because they “directly impact victims of Epstein or sexual abuse survivors.” The organizations also address the original intent of MIT’s donation “to support victims of sexual assault by offering support services and addressing sex trafficking,” Kolodziejski wrote.
Kolodziejski wrote that the committee considered both well-established organizations and “smaller burgeoning organizations” as long as the organization “considers both prevention and response.”
Gina Scaramella, BARCC executive director, wrote in an email to The Tech that BARCC’s mission is to “end sexual violence through healing and social change,” “provide survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse with the support they need and deserve to heal,” and “advocate for systems change to prevent sexual violence.”
Kolodziejski wrote that the committee believes MIT’s $850,000 donation will have “significant impact” to support the organizations’ “joint mission to affect sex trafficking and to support victims and survivors of sexual assault.” The committee considers the donation “a large sum of money and strives to make wise decisions on the disbursement of the funds,” Kolodziejski wrote.
Scaramella wrote that although the donation “does not right Epstein’s crimes or change MIT’s past actions in relation to Epstein,” it will “have an impact in providing vital support to survivors.” In addition, that the donation comes “at the recommendation of MIT community members invested in addressing sexual violence is also very meaningful to us,” Scaramella wrote.
Kolodziejski wrote that the nonprofits “are local to MIT and work collaboratively, and in partnership with each other, to serve their communities.”