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Please welcome Jes Barnes as the new host of Engage by Uplift! It's the same show you know and love, but with new topics, new goals, and a new host.

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Hello and welcome.  I'm your host, Jes, and this is Engage by Uplift.  

(Intro)

Welcome to season two!  To kick off this new season, I wanted to introduce myself and give you an idea of what to expect moving forward.  

First off, I'm Jes, or Jesika.  I'm 30 years old and I'm currently living in the south of France as an au pair.  This means my time zones are a little wonky compared to the rest of the crew, but hopefully this will also allow us to engage with more content creators around the world.  We're going international.

Uplift's mission is to combat sexual abuse in online communities through educations and advocacy.  We're working to ensure that these online communities are safe for the millions of people who connect through them.  This channel, this series, is just one of the tools we have to do that.  To be effective in this mission, we want to ensure that we're engaging as many people as possible, so we'll be creating different content for different audiences.  For example, we'll be making videos for new and veteran content creators alike to help them navigate through their online communities, as well as videos that are geared to providing support for a younger or less experienced audience.  

To help us with that, throughout our videos there will be different terminology that comes up periodically, so just to make sure that we're all on the same page, I'm going to define a few of those for you.  Let's start with the big one: sexual abuse.  It's in the mission statement, but what do we mean when we say it?  For our purposes, this is a blanket term for all negative or unwanted sexual behavior.  This includes, but is not limited to, unwanted advances, catcalling, written threats or suggested violence, physical assault, stalking, situations where consent is not given or not possible, and any circumstances where words or actions of a sexual nature are unsolicited and/or result in a negative experience for the recipient.

Sexual harassment: this is a form of sexual abuse that is very common in online spaces.  It involves bullying, coercion, and unwanted attention of a sexual nature.  This can be presented through many different mediums, including online comments, fan mail, verbal commentary, and body language, including eye contact.  

Sexual assault is the physical manifestation of everything we're talking about and it happens when physical boundaries are crossed and consent is not present.

Consent: this is a word that gets a lot of traction but what do we mean when we use it?  When we talk about consent, we need all individuals involved in an encounter to initially and continually agree to move forward together.  This means that they must be in a frame of mind and legally able to do so.  I'm going to borrow from California law for a minute: "Lack of protest or resistance does NOT mean consent.  Nor does silence mean consent.  Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time."  

Sex positive: we here at Uplift would like to consider ourselves sex positive, which by definition means having or promoting an open, tolerant, or progressive attitude towards sex and sexuality.  It is very important that this includes a lack of sexuality, too.  It is impossible to be truly sex positive if you can't recognize and respect when sexuality is nonexistent for certain individuals.   There's a large spectrum of sexual needs and desires, which is perfectly okay.  In fact, I should kind of say it's pretty great.  

Right now, we have lots of ideas for future episodes.  For example, coming soon, an episode on consent and dividing in to see what it is and how to know you have it, and another geared toward that younger and less experienced audience that I mentioned, I want to give them a few tools to use to have those important conversations that we tell them to go do when they're developing those fuzzy feelings for someone, and while I'm really excited to share these ideas for you, the series is called Engage, which means that your input and participation is absolutely crucial.  I want to hear from you!  So if you have a question, comment, concern, or idea for a future video, leave a comment down below or you can email me directly at jes@uplifttogether.org.  

Let's work together to make our online communities even better.  

If you're interested in getting involved with Uplift, make sure you check out our website, uplifttogether.org, and while you're here, make sure to check out our other videos on YouTube.  Maybe you an start with this one or this one.  

Make sure you hit that like button and if you're not already, make sure to subscribe for future videos.  See you next time.  Bye-bye.