When tackling college applications, Imani Lindberg, ’20, wasn’t sure what she wanted out of a university. As a first-generation student who is Black and queer, there wasn’t a path carved out by previous family members to follow. After sending out applications, Lindberg was accepted to UNC and chose to enroll.
Lindberg worked at several locations across campus as an undergraduate before she began volunteering with the Assault Survivors Advocacy Program (ASAP) in the fall of 2017.
The decision to support survivors through working with ASAP was very intentional on Lindberg’s part.
Having watched the Hunting Ground documentary, which talks about the prevalence of sexual violence that occurs on college campuses and how universities respond to students reporting their experiences of sexual assault and other related gender-based violence issues, Lindberg felt compelled to support survivors should the opportunity arise.
“If I ever have an opportunity to support folks that are experiencing this, then I need to do it,” Lindberg said to herself after watching the documentary.
When Lindberg received an email advertising different internship opportunities on campus where ASAP was highlighted, she knew she had to keep her promise and pursue the opportunity.
Fast forward to September of 2022, Lindberg earned her master's of Public Administration a few months earlier and was moving back to Greeley with her partner, a fellow UNC alumna, to become the assistant director of Advocacy Services at UNC. She would now oversee the very program that she promised herself she would get involved with years earlier.
“I think ASAP is just so unique in the way that [it] operates because we use undergraduate students as our advocates versus a lot of other universities, institutions, et cetera, which use professional staff or their counseling staff as their advocates,” said Lindberg.
This year, ASAP is celebrating 30 years of providing vital resources to UNC students.
“I'm super happy that I'm the assistant director during this time of celebrating our 30th anniversary. ASAP is one of the longest running campus-based advocacy programs in the nation,” said Lindberg.
Lindberg emphasizes how important the student advocates and her graduate assistant are to the operation and dynamics present within ASAP. Without the students who volunteer and intern with the program every semester, the work would not be possible.
“You can talk to us about your experience... You can talk about how what you experienced is impacting your classes, and that's something that student advocates can more relate to because they are taking classes as well,” said Lindberg.
All the work ASAP does fits into the larger goal of cultivating a culture of consent on campus. Lindberg notes that whether someone is a survivor, an ASAP advocate, both or neither, everyone can play a role in ensuring that survivors are met where they are and supported.
Join the UNC community in celebrating 30 years of providing survivor-centered, trauma-informed support to survivors of gender-based violence on UNC's campus at ASAP’s 30th Anniversary Celebration on Nov. 18, in the Pikes Peak Ballroom from 5:30-8 p.m. The event is open to the public and will provide snacks and beverages for those who attend.