The Alliance has compiled a number of resources available for survivors, their friends and families, and professionals assisting survivors in New York City.
Newsletter: Summer 2006: Until the Violence Stops in NYCEve Ensler's V-Day organization landed in New York City in June to launch the first Until the Violence Stops awareness-raising festival. Given its theatrical roots, V-Day offered star-studded "marquee" shows that headlined two weeks of grassroots events throughout the city.
The rape crisis community came out in full force to make sure that sexual violence was not the "silent crime" of violence against women. Among the many events, SAVI kicked off the effort with its silent auction and performance benefit, "The Art of Surviving," at the Grant Gallery in SoHo. NOW-NYC held the panel discussion, "Rapists Being Let Out of Jail: Three Days Left to Change this Law" about the statute of limitations for rape.
A Call to Men and Safe Horizon presented a lecture and workshops on the root causes of domestic violence and sexual assault. Find Your Light and RightRides for Women's Safety hosted the "Brooklyn Take Action! Block Party" in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The Alliance's rape crisis organizing project, Not In Our City, produced an exciting night of spoken word performance and solidarity for rape crisis advocates at Joe's Pub. "Toni Blackman: Rockin the Mic Against Rape" was hosted by Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X's daughter. Ilyasah, a survivor herself, opened up the evening with a call to arms to end sexual violence in our community. She then introduced Alliance Executive Director Harriet Lessel and Not in Our City Organizer Christine St. John who reminded the audience that the violence will never "stop" without a cultural change in our society.
After that, it was time to party with a performance by the Freestyle Union, the NYCbased grassroots activist group that empowers young women to speak out through hip hop. At one point, the performers deftly improvised on a sexual violence theme created by words thrown at them by the audience..
Then Toni Blackman took the stage with a creative force that left the audience empowered for activism. Backed by her tight R&B band, Blackman mixed mediums between song and poetry, adding anger, humor and compassion to create an evening of healing and celebration. You really had to be there, and if you weren't, make sure you come to the next Not In Our City event.
We are all so bogged down in our work, driven by our passion to serve victims of sexual violence, that we sometimes forget to replenish our creativity with community events, such as this performance, just for us.
Not In Our City is carving out a creative space for rape crisis advocates and for our community as a whole. Check out its page on the Alliance website from time to time to see what else is brewing.
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Deesha Narichania looks on during the 2011 Celebration of Excellence Presentation and Awards Ceremony