Circles for Change: Surviving Sexual Violence

Before I get started, I want to give a shout out to all the girlfriends out there that always make sure to save us a seat at the table. For me, this person is Kandace Harris. She recently accepted the position of Branch Manager at Studio Bank, but she has been kicking ass and taking names since the day I met her. The YWCA Junior Board Committee is just one of many rooms she’s helped me get into. As a freelancer, building corporate relationships like this has paid off in ways I could have never predicted.

I’ve been a member of the YWCA Junior Board for about a year and a half now. At the end of my first year with the board, I was asked if I would be interested in being the Chairwoman of the Circles for Change committee; meaning I would be in charge of booking, orchestrating and promoting these events. Without hesitation and with limited experience, my response was YES! Let me tell you why…

The Circles for Change subcommittee was formed to further the YWCA’s mission towards eliminating racism, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. C4C events are intended to facilitate productive, open minded discussions about important social and political issues that impact our communities. Our goal is not to change minds but to open them by hosting thought provoking discussions and offering valuable takeaways.

Basically, I said yes because I feel it’s important to be the change we wish to see. I’ve had some very deep, thought provoking conversations that have changed me, and my hope is that I would be able to use C4C to recreate this experience for others.

So I’m happy to report that my first C4C event was a huge success! 🙂

Yet another mission accomplished! 😉

On Monday, Jan 28, we hosted a conversation about the #MeToo Movement where we discussed Surviving Sexual Violence. We had a little dumb luck when the Surviving R. Kelley docuseries was released a couple weeks before the event. So luckily, the topic was already fresh on everyone’s mind.

Over 30 people showed up, in the rain, to listen and share their input on the thought provoking questions we presented. For one hour and fifteen minutes, 30 strangers engaged in an honest, respectful, open-minded and productive dialogue. We discussed everything from toxic masculinity, how to educate our sons and daughters about the topic, effects of “unhealthy” pornography on sexual violence and ways to help someone that has been abused. Some people shared their own stories, while others just listened and offered support.

I can’t even talk about how great this event was without saying how proud I am of a good friend of mine who shared her own story about Surviving Sexual Violence. This was her first time bravely sharing her story publicly and she did an incredible job!

The next C4C Event will be hosted in May. We haven’t picked a topic yet, but I’d love to know what topic you’d like us to discuss next? Comment below with your topic suggestions. Who knows, maybe we’ll pick your topic! 😀

Either way I hope to see you at the next Circles for Change event!


Event Feedback:

Thank you for having such a great event!

I LOVED it! When is the next one?

I’m so glad I came. I learned so much that I didn’t expect. Of course I came to support my friend and gained so much more. As a mother, this experience has given me more insight on how I need to guide my son and protect him and other children in our village. Thank you for helping to create this space. I needed this.

Thank you for sharing your space and platform. I appreciate that. You helped me face my fear!