WNWR The Word 1540AM Philadelphia 9-16-2023

Brenda Tracy, the founder of Set the Expectation

Brenda Tracy, founder of Set The Expectation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organizationToday, we are honored to introduce Brenda Tracy, the founder of Set The Expectation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. What began as Brenda’s personal journey has evolved into a mission-driven initiative supported by a dedicated team committed to making a meaningful impact.

Over the years, Brenda’s story has resonated with thousands of athletes across over 100 college campuses. As a nonprofit, we have collaborated with our campus partners to raise over $142,000 for community agencies that assist survivors of sexual violence. We have hosted over 500 Set The Expectation events, with over 54,000 pledges signed. Our influence has extended beyond the realm of sports, reaching campus Greek Life and the corporate sector. Notably, we played a pivotal role in advocating for the NCAA’s adoption of a Campus Sexual Violence Policy.

Brenda Tracy’s courageous story has reverberated through team meeting rooms, newspaper articles, and television segments since she came forward in 2014. During this time, she has educated, engaged, and inspired thousands of athletes, coaches, and sports enthusiasts to join the fight against sexual and interpersonal violence.

In 1998, Brenda survived a brutal gang rape perpetrated by four college football players, two of whom were from Oregon State. She took immediate steps, including seeking medical attention and filing a police report, hoping for justice. Unfortunately, as is often the case with such incidents, justice remained elusive.

Preserverence after life-altering trauma

Brenda persevered, dealing with the life-altering trauma in solitude while her assailants faced minimal consequences. However, in 2014, she connected with a local reporter and decided to share her story publicly. This marked a turning point in Brenda’s life, as her story resonated with countless individuals nationwide.

By 2016, Brenda embarked on a journey across the country, meeting with various college football programs. She shared her personal experience and her vision for ending the cycle of violence she had endured years earlier. While it’s common to attribute sexual and interpersonal violence to men, Brenda believed it was time to address them as part of the solution.

“I believe if women alone could stop sexual violence, we would have already done it,” Brenda stated. “Violence against women and marginalized communities is a men’s issue, and it’s time for men to get involved.” With this belief, she began working with young men to help them understand their role in preventing sexual violence.

As Brenda shared her story and mission, it became evident that some programs and coaches were setting clear expectations that sexual assault and interpersonal violence would not be tolerated, while others were not taking such action. Shockingly, some coaches were actively recruiting and retaining individuals with a history of violence on their teams.

#SetTheExpectation campaign

In 2017, Brenda took a significant step by launching the “SetTheExpectation” campaign. It started with a simple pledge, accompanied by a hashtag, urging coaches to establish expectations with their players regarding harmful behaviors such as rape and stalking. Stanford Football and Penn State Men’s Basketball were among the first to endorse the pledge, igniting a grassroots movement. For more information go to: https://www.settheexpectation.org.


Listen Now