Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer
Dr. Gail Stern is the co-founder of Catharsis Productions and co-author of the non-stranger rape prevention program Sex Signals, and the co-creator of the Force of Awesome Institute, an innovative train-the-trainer and curriculum design program focusing on interpersonal violence and diversity, inclusion, and equity. She is a nationally-sought-after speaker on issues related to rape culture, violence prevention education, and building educator capacity and effectiveness. She has served as a subject matter expert and curriculum designer for each branch of the U.S. Military, DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, and the USDA Forest Service, and has volunteered for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office for 11 years, training new sex crimes prosecutors on how to counter victim blaming arguments during trials. Dr. Stern served as the National Law Enforcement Training Coordinator for the Anti-Defamation League from 1999-2003 and was a member of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Hate/Bias Crime Training Cadre (U.S. Department of the Treasury); the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training Program; and the U.S. Department of Justice Hate Crime Training Cadres. Dr. Stern was the founding director of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Campus Advocacy Network, serving from 1991-1998, providing crisis counseling and court advocacy to victims of interpersonal violence and hate crime. She has a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was the recipient of End Violence Against Women International’s (EVAWI) 2018 Award for Excellence in Media, for her strategic use of humor to design and deliver violence prevention programming. Her research in this area was featured in the 2019 Handbook of Sexual Assault and Sexual Assault Prevention.