Love & Honor Story Project Honors Josie Carter

Josie Carter“Empowering others and disrupting norms” is the goal of the February Love & Honor Story Project recipient, Josie Carter. Carter founded the student organization Sexual Assault Survivor Support (SASS) last year after participating in a winter term trip with the Advancing Women in Entrepreneurship program (AWE). The trip spurred a newfound passion of education, advocacy, and prevention of sexual and interpersonal violence. Nearly a year later, Carter’s impact on campus is now widely known and celebrated.

Carter’s commitment to this cause stems from her personal experience as a survivor after she struggled to find relief to support what she had been through. After reflecting on these experiences during the AWE trip, she proposed the idea to create a community of support for survivors. The idea was enthusiastically received by her peers. 

Farmer School of Business faculty member Beth Troy led the trip. "[It was clear that Josie] would translate her personal experience to empathize with others and take action to create positive good for a greater community,” said Troy.

With support from her peers, Carter decided to bring this vision to Miami’s campus.

She was discouraged at first by low attendance and a lack of investment from her peers about sexual and interpersonal violence. Only three people attended her first meeting. Carter kept pushing. She took on various responsibilities including marketing, finances, advocacy, and education, to make her dream a reality. 

Sexual Assault Survivor Support at their Domestic Violence Awareness Walk with other students"You can step forward in an idea and see that idea through," said Troy, referecing what she learned from Carter's leadership. "Even if you are unsure as to how it will work."

Carter's determination and hard work eventually paid off as SASS gained more recognition in the Miami community. The organization went from a fledgling group of four people to a Miami-affiliated organization with over 60 members. SASS now serves as a resource on campus to uplift voices of sexual assault survivors and provide an intimate community for their healing journey. They strive to educate and impact the Oxford community by advocating for awareness and SIV training through Miami's It’s On Us program. SASS welcomes and embraces all students, highlighting that this movement does not have just one face or one voice.

Carter’s vision has grown beyond her wildest expectations. Last semester, SASS obtained a $5,000 grant from Bumble to expand support services to survivors. Carter has also worked with several SIV prevention groups on campus to advance prevention, education, and response procedures at Miami. SASS works closely with fraternity and sorority life on campus, as well the Black Student Action Association and Hillel, to increase outreach and discuss how sexual and interpersonal violence impacts their communities.

Carter’s leadership embodies the deep care, support, and investment in the community that the Code of Love and Honor asks of Miami students. Her nominator, Lauren Doepke, summarized her impact on Miami. “She is a beacon of hope and stability for those who have had their autonomy taken away from them, and her strength has shown others that they are not alone in their healing process.”

The Love and Honor Story Project is a platform for students to recognize and honor students enacting the values articulated in the Code of Love and Honor. If you know someone who exemplifies the Code of Love and Honor through their extraordinary care for their community, nominate them to be recognized!

To nominate someone, visit the Office of the Dean of Students' website and complete the brief nomination form.