Ethan Levin '20

In September, Levin was named to the 2018 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.

Ethan Levin ’20 (St. Paul) experienced his first turning point at Macalester before he’d even started his first college class. During football preseason that August, some of the team’s seniors organized a three-hour Green Dot training on consent, sexual violence prevention, and what it means to be a bystander.

“That just changed my outlook on everything for the rest of my college career,” Levin told President Brian Rosenberg in a “Big Questions” interview earlier this year. “I thought, ‘Why didn’t I know this in high school? As a football player, shouldn’t standing up to sexual violence and being an active bystander be essential to my identity?’”

In the two years since that preseason training, the religious studies major launched Athletes Against Sexual Violence, a peer-learning program that sends college athletes into high schools to teach consent and sexual violence prevention techniques. Levin and two other football players piloted the program last fall at nearby St. Paul Central, his alma mater, then expanded to Fridley High School last spring. Over the summer, 15 of Levin’s Mac football teammates volunteered with AASV to get ready to work with high school athletes.

In September, Levin was named to the 2018 Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, which honors student-athletes for extraordinary commitments to making an impact off the field. Levin is one of just 22 students across all divisions of football to be included.

With two trainings at area high schools already complete this fall, Levin plans to partner with at least four more high schools and three colleges before semester’s end. He’s also committed to talking more about healthy masculinity: After Title IX coordinator Timothy Dunn led a training for the Mac football team, Levin tested out a similar program at St. Paul Central.

“I’m trying to flip the script of the stereotype of football players as perpetrators of sexual violence,” Levin says. “I’ve never felt more hope in humanity than when I have seen the light in a high schooler’s eyes when they understand an aspect of consent or when college teammates become empowered to prevent sexual violence.”

September 20 2018

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