Allison Havey ’88

Allison Havey '88While at Sarah Lawrence, Allison Havey ’88 studied Russian, French, and history. She is a journalist and producer who has worked for NBC News, Associated Press, and ABC News. Havey co-founded The Rap Project, or Raising Awareness and Prevention Project, a program which aims to raise awareness about sexual assault and promote personal safety to teenage girls and boys, with Deana Puccio. Havey and Puccio co-wrote the book Sex, Likes & Social Media: Talking to our teens in the digital age.

What brought you to Sarah Lawrence?
I wanted to attend Sarah Lawrence for its liberal arts heritage, fine teaching, don program, its proximity to New York City, and the highly creative energy on campus.

What was your favorite spot on campus?
I loved the library Bates dining hall, and, of course, the outdoor spaces during the warmer weather.

What was your favorite class?
I would have to say either Frank Randall's Russian history class or Nicolaus Mills’ nonfiction writing class. They were both inspiring professors, with memorable reading lists that I devoured.

How did The RAP Project come to be?
The RAP Project's co-founder Deana Puccio is a former sex crimes prosecutor from Brooklyn, and I had worked as a TV news producer and writer for 25 years. Between us, we had five teenagers and Deana was concerned about her teenaged girls meeting romantic interests online. Using our different professional backgrounds and skills, we decided to launch our organization in schools and speak to both teenage boys and girls. Within a couple of years, our RAP presentations spread to thousands of teenagers throughout the UK. School teachers, parents, and teenagers are responding to our messages on the law, case studies, healthy relationships, erotica as opposed to hard core pornography, and looking at how social media and porn influence attitudes, expectations, and behaviors. Writing a book seemed to be a natural extension of our work, so we published Sex, Likes & Social Media: Talking to our teens in the digital age with Vermilion/Random House in September 2016. The whole project continues to be an amazing journey.

How do you find yourself using your Sarah Lawrence education in your life/work now?
There is no doubt that my Sarah Lawrence experience, in particular my year abroad in Paris, taught me a great deal. The time on campus and in Paris taught me to be more resourceful, independent, flexible, creative, and, dare I say, courageous.