Public Speaking

Dawn Atkins' presentations fit the topic, audience and setting. She has presented lectures for large audiences, intensive workshops for small groups and speeches for rallies. Her speaking style is dynamic and personable regardless of the size of the audience.

Since 1990, Ms. Atkins has presented over 100 workshops to universities, high schools, feminist groups, sexual assault survivors, social service and health care providers, and at national and regional conferences. She has appeared national and local television and radio programs including Larry King Live, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and the Bradshaw Difference to discuss the issues such as the pros and cons of beauty pageants and size discrimination based on weight.

Types of possible presentations, expanded on your right:

To view a list of previous presentations see Curriculum Vitae.
Some Reviews of previous presentations are also available.

Lectures: Dawn Atkins' presentations combine scholarship with an engaging style of presentation. Recommended length 1-3 hours. Some topics she has spoken on include:

  • Are Looks Important? Body Image and Diversity -- a introductory multi-dimensional view of body image and how it intersects with issues such as sex, race, class, age, disability, and sexuality.
  • Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay & Transgender Body Image - specific issues around body image faced by both queer individuals and queer communities. (Can also focus more directly on lesbian/bi women, gay/bi men, or transgender issues.)
  • Dieting and Medical Misinformation - a presentation of the medical and social issues around dieting and "obesity treatment" in the U.S.
  • Transgender Identity - paper presentations of work in progress on transgender and/or transsexual identity, body and medical systems in San Francisco and Amsterdam.
  • Polyamory and Community -- workshops and presentations on different aspects of non-monogamous relationship styles. 

Workshops: For audiences of less than 30, Ms. Atkins can design an interactive workshop where participants can explore some of their body image issues and possibilities for change through exercises and discussion. These workshops may be topical or group focused. Recommended length 2-5 hours. Some examples:

  • Understanding Body Image - introductory workshop for general audiences.
  • Body Image Healing for Sexual Abuse Survivors - for survivors and/or partners of survivors.
  • Looking Queer: LGBT Body Image - for lesbian, bisexual, gay and/or transgendered people.
  • If It Weren't for My Body: Women's Body Image - for women.

Training: For professionals in various fields. Length and format will vary with topic and number of participants. Some examples:

  • Body Image Advising - for teachers, residence hall advisors and other professionals working with young people. How to recognize, teach about and advise students with body image issues.
  • Special Issues for Counseling Professionals - addressing specific diversity issues around body image and eating disorders with "non-traditional" backgrounds such as people with disabilities, older people, people of color, and lesbian, bisexual, gay and/or transgendered people.
  • Teaching Diversity - techniques for helping teach body image and diversity issues including strategies for dealing with hostile audiences, minimizing fear and dispelling misunderstandings.
  • Consensus and Conflict Resolution - incorporating diversity in ideas can be difficult, yet training in consensus decision making and conflict resolution can prevent/heal divisions and strengthen organizations.

Rallies: With an energetic style and committed progressive politics, Ms. Atkins has spoken at many rallies and demonstrations including "Take Back the Night" marches, Pride Celebrations and feminist demonstrations.

Reviews of some of Dawn Atkins' previous presentations:

From Erin Ramsen, Women Center, University of California, Santa Cruz:

Dawn, I just wanted to thank you again for giving your talk "Killing Us For Our Own Good: Dieting and Medical Misinformation" at UCSC in October. I am still getting wonderful feedback from the students and staff who attended the program. Many have told me how eye opening the information you presented was and that they were thinking in new ( & positive!) ways about their (and other people's) bodies. In addition, they have reflected a lot on the incredibly negative impact that the dieting industry has had on their health and happiness. Your talk really inspired me to put together a resource guide on body image, eating disorders & fat acceptance which has been distributed throughout the campus. We are also committed to doing a lot more programming on these issues every quarter. We would love to bring you back again to talk about your new books so I'll be contacting you again soon. Thank you again for coming to UCSC. Your work is so important to all of us.

From Robin Garret, Women's Center, West Chester University:

We recently brought on campus Dawn Atkins who has done a lot of speaking and research on dieting, weight and body image issues. .... We contacted her directly, and she spoke for a very reasonable fee. She was good - energetic, bright, generous with her time, really opened up students' thinking, very approachable. Did a good job of gearing her presentation to two very different audiences.

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