rcasa

Tuesday’s with Prevention: International Women’s Day

In Sexual Assault Awareness on March 8, 2011 at 7:00 am

Today is International Women’s Day. A day to celebrate women’s achievement and to raise awareness about the undeniable oppression women experience.

Today I want to thank all of the women I admire, who inspire me and are the reason I do what I do.

To my Mom,

What can I say? You raised me, by yourself, for 27 years (and counting!). You worked long days (driving to Fredericksburg from Fairfax every day…hey…that sounds familiar!). You were strong even in the face of layoff after layoff. You broke with convention and did what was right for you and your child (me!). I love your laugh, laughing with you,  and your overall goofiness, yo inspire me and I would not be where I am without you (and your support!). You are a great example of a strong woman. Thank you.

To my Grandmother,

You are such an inspiration to me. Your political activism, standing up to the racism and sexism in the South is plenty enough by itself. But you also are (still!) an activist in your community in regards to peace and nonviolence. It if hadn’t been for your gentle nature and always stressing understanding and compassion for others, I don’t know where I would be today. I am so proud to call myself your grandson.

To my Sister,

One day you decided to show me a book that you were reading. It changed my life completely. Something so simple as a book suggestion profoundly changed the path that I was on and has given me the purpose I had been searching for. Your acceptance of me, the way that I am, a shy, quiet, introvert, always endeared me to you, I could never thank you enough. When I see you with your son I can’t help but feel proud of you and I know that you’re going to be a great mother (and you’re going to raise an awesome FEMINIST son!). Thank you.

To LR,

You always took care of me when my mom was out of town and have been a great friend to her. You were the first example I ever had of a survivor. The fact that you have raised two beautiful sons in spite of the hardships you’ve faced, and they’ve faced (and will always face) is remarkable. You are tough, and you should be proud. Thank you.

To TM, GC, KJ, KM, LH, AW-M, DC, MNJ, LC, SR, JW, AW,

There are no words to express how much you all have inspired me. I will never forget you all. I came into this ‘movement’ scared and unsure of myself and my place. You all welcomed and accepted me when it would’ve been so easy to dismiss me. I think about all of those experiences every day. I still cannot believe my luck to have met you all and to be able to call you ‘friend.’ I grew profoundly in those four short years, and I continue to grow and reflect and mature from that time. I can’t wait to hear about all of your accomplishments in the future. I know that you are going to change the world. Thank you.

To RCASA,

I know I have only been here for six months, but seriously, I love you all. You’re all so different and unique and special, it’s incredible to see. Day in and day out you all come to work, knowing what we know and seeing what we see (daily), it is difficult for anyone. However, doing so with all of the speed bumps that we’ve encountered, even since I’ve been here, it is inspirational to never see that passion die. Who could ever truly forget their first full-time job? I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to be a part of RCASA and feel so blessed to have gotten to know you all. You inspire me and I hope to continue to learn from all of your experiences and wisdom. Thank you.

We celebrate International Women’s Day to show our admiration for women and to raise awareness about the issues that women face. Every two minutes a man rapes a woman. This is not freedom. This is not equality. This needs to stop. For so long women have been told to just ‘wait their turn’ in the ‘oppression cast-off relay.’ Why should anyone wait to be free from violence?

Today begins as all others do, the sun rises and everyone starts their day. We come home and go to sleep, expecting tomorrow to be the same. Perhaps today we should work to make tomorrow different. Time is made up of yesterday’s and tomorrows, but today we have the opportunity to change things. Today we must changes things. There is a reason we call ‘now’ the ‘present,’ let our gift today (and all days to follow) be a ‘present’ to truly enjoy, for all.

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