The LSU Women’s Center Esprit de Femme Student Leadership Award honors students who have made great efforts toward advancing women in both the University and Baton Rouge, whether it be through art, education or civic engagement.

In honor of Women’s History Month, the LSU Women’s Center will award sociology graduate student Dominique Dillard Dunbar and mass communication sophomore Sydni Prather.

“We are thrilled to honor these two outstanding student leaders at this year’s Esprit de Femme Sunrise Celebration,” said LSU Women’s Center Director Summer Steib. “These women exemplify the impacts that student leaders can have on making our campus and community better.”

Dunbar is the Community Education Director for Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response of Baton Rouge and works with University students to raise awareness about sexual assault on college campuses. She has been involved with STAR for over three years.

Dunbar has also worked as Social Change Coordinator and Youth Development Coordinator for STAR. She works both on campus and within Baton Rouge to elevate the city’s community of women.

Prather serves as assistant director for We’re Committed at LSU, a University campaign to prevent sexual assault and share resources with students. She works with the LSU Health Center and The Lighthouse Program to provide students with information online and in free speech plaza.

Prather also serves as Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator for the annual Louisiana Sexual Assault Student Activist Conference. She is also a part of LSU Ambassadors, Phi Sigma Theta National Honors Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

With the help of The Lighthouse Program, on-campus forcible sexual offense crimes have gone down 75 percent and dating violence has decreased 67 percent since 2016, according to the 2018 Annual Security and Fire Report.

“It’s really hard for these victims to feel like they have a space where they can speak out when the women who speak out on that movement aren’t always understood,” Prather said. “I think it’s important to advocate for them even if you’re not a victim yourself. I make it my job to reach out to people who have experienced this and see what I can do to help.”

Esprit de Femme Student Leadership Award winners will receive a $500 academic scholarship. The 7th annual Esprit de Femme Sunrise Celebration will take place at 8 a.m. on March 27 at the Renaissance Baton Rouge Hotel.

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