In July 2017 and March 2018, in partnership with New York University and the University of North Carolina, Breakthrough piloted an on-the-ground campus initiative called the Action Lab. A total of 37 students from 24 colleges in 9 states came together with renowned media experts to design iconic disruptive actions that challenged gender-based violence on their campuses and in their communities. Students are the experts on their campus culture, student body, and what their college or university needs to be a safer space for all.

We just helped make action happen.

College students casually meeting in study area

An entirely free program thanks to the generous support of The Oak Foundation, Breakthrough’s Action Lab:

    • Trained students to recognize and dismantle the harmful cultural norms that lead to gender-based violence
    • Incubated student-led action to create a world in which all can live with dignity and respect
    • Sharpened participants’ expertise in the media representation of gender
    • Connected like-minded students with experts and resources 

For more information, or to bring a custom Action Lab to your campus or community, please contact us at

A special thanks to our partners and contributors:

The Oak Foundation; New York University’s Department of Media, Culture, and Communication; The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill; The Carolina Union; Jimmie Briggs; Candis Cox; Jaclyn Friedman; Shruti Ganguly; Jamilah King