The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has selected CU’s Dr. Revi Sterling as one of the sixteen individuals to be recognized in their “Sixteen Days: Proﬁles for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign.” This campaign is designed to honor survivors of gender-based violence and those who advocate on their behalf.
You can read Dr. Sterling’s USAID “Sixteen Days” profile here (The link takes you to the “Sixteen Days” home page. You’ll need to click on the arrow and scroll through the alphabetical list of names to access her profile). Dr. Sterling is the Director of the Information and Communication Technology for Development Program at the ATLAS Institute here at CU Boulder.
Dr. Sterling was chosen for this honor because of her leading edge work at the intersection of technology and gender issues as well as her innovative approach to these topics. Her work in this field began when, as a graduate student, she established the Advancement through Interactive Radio (AIR) project in rural Kenya where community radio was the dominant mass media. The AIR program enabled women to engage with each other through radio programming — writing plays, songs, and debate programs — that dealt with topics of significance to them as women: issues like HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, and women’s health and roles in the community. The most common topics were domestic violence and gender-inequitable practices to “cure” HIV/AIDS or to punish women accused of adultery. The women would not have been able to participate in the AIR project without Dr. Sterling’s invention of a simple, portable device that records, stores and replays feedback, allowing women to interact with the radio programs they hear even though they are far away. (Find more information on the AIR project here).
In recent years, Dr. Sterling has focused more specifically on issues of gender-based violence and safety, researching anti-rape and safety technologies that are marketed towards women. In addition, she is studying the aftereffects of gender-based violence, including health, status and economic impacts. She is particularly interested in the cultural context of violence, and rejects the idea of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to the issue of gender-based violence.
USAID calls Dr. Sterling a “peerless educator” and we agree. Congratulations to Dr. Sterling on this honor!