April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I’m making a list of my favorite activists speaking out against sexual violence. Some are old-school activists working on the ground in non-profit organizations; some are artists; some are writers – all are committed. I’ve been speaking out against sexual violence for the last 15 years – beginning slightly more than a year after I survived an experience of rape. The people I mention this month are friends and comrades.
The Chicago-based non-profit A Long Walk Home founded by sisters Scheherazade and Salamishah Tillet. They have a ton of important programs, but I have two favorites. Story of a Rape Survivor (SOARS) is an award-winning multimedia performance that can go on the road and come to a campus or organization or church near you. I also love the Girl/Friends Leadership Institute that empowers teenage girls to become youth leaders speaking out against sexual violence in their high schools and communities. Art and young people!
I’ve never met Scheherzade or Salamishah Tillet – although we have many friends and colleagues in common. But when I make my list of where my charitable giving goes, they are on the list. Amazing work!