By Breckan Erdman Winters, NRCDV Program Specialist
“Despite the fear, despair, paranoia and uncertainty our communities are experiencing, there is also an abundance of connectedness, support, courage, hope and gratitude.” – Arlene Vassell, Redefining WE: Building Beloved Communities
As the COVID-19 pandemic highlights existing social inequities and amplifies isolation and safety concerns for many survivors, it remains critically important for those of us working to end gender-based violence in all of its forms to root our efforts in the values of community care, health equity, and racial justice. Throughout the month of April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) offers us an opportunity to work toward building beloved community. Now more than ever, activities that foster relationship building and connectedness while maintaining a safe physical distance play a key role in our work to build safe and healthy communities for all. There are many creative ways to engage communities and foster online activism for SAAM throughout the month of April, such as:
- Start a fundraiser for your local program.
- Selfie time! Snap a photo of yourself wearing teal on SAAM Day of Action on April 7th or wearing denim on Denim Day on April 29th and share your selfies on social media.
- Encourage your friends and family to participate in NSVRC’s #30DaysofSAAM Instagram challenge to share your favorite self-care strategies, messages of resilience, and more.
- Host a community Twitter chat or other social media event or group Zoom session to talk with your friends and followers about consent and the importance of communication, boundaries, and healthy relationship skills.
- Access online prevention education and activism resources from the PreventIPV Tools Inventory.
- Phone banking, attending webinar trainings, virtual town halls, and writing to legislators are all tried and true organizing strategies that maintain safe physical distance.
For more ideas for engaging your community for SAAM, check out NSVRC’s Get Engaged Online in Sexual Assault Awareness Month page and download shareable social media graphics, a media outreach guide, and more from the Sexual Assault Awareness Month resources page.
What #1Thing will you do to engage your community for #SAAM2020?