Kate Sim is a junior at Harvard (‘14), with a joint-concentration in Social Studies and Studies of Women, Gender & Sexuality.
She was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. In her early teens, her family moved to the US. Growing up in an immigrant household, Kate observed how expectations for gender roles differed between what she was used to in Korea and what she was introduced to in the US. Over the years, Kate wrestled with how these conflicting expectations often complemented and challenged each other. During high school, she began to grapple with how gender intersects with housing poverty and access to education through her involvement with Habitat for Humanity and Global Citizen Corps.
At Harvard, she founded the Our Harvard Can Do Better campaign to combat rape culture on campus through Title IX compliance and cultural awareness. She conducted interviews with representatives from over 30 student groups to identify specific challenges survivors face on campus. The campaign received 85% of student votes from the Undergraduate Council in support of its motion for affirmative consent-based policy on sexual misconduct. Kate is also organizing with Know Your IX, a youth and survivor-led organization to empower young people to end intimate partner violence in their schools, for Title IX enforcement at the Department of Education. Prior to Title IX, Kate has worked at the Domestic Violence Project in Los Angeles and Jane Doe Inc.
With the help of Kate’s work, the issue of sexual assault has garnered national attention and Harvard is revisiting its sexual assault polices. Kate hopes that the campaign can not only make the campus safer, but also encourage the Harvard community to have meaningful interactions uninhibited by gendered expectations.
Today, Kate remains committed to the mission of Our Harvard Can Do Better and plans to spend the summer working on grassroots organizing for reproductive justice. Kate eventually plans to pursue a law degree.