“I realize that the confidence that was stolen from me has finally been restored. I may not be the author of my experiences but I am the author of my own recovery. I am not alone, I remind myself. And in the course of sharing this story and hoping to spark more awareness and dialogue, I hope that you, too, can realize that you are never alone either.” ~Anonymous Fellow
For our most recent ethical citizenship mission*, House of Bhutto and House of Suu Kyi teamed up to spread awareness about sexual assault and ending sexual violence. We realized that this is a topic that isn’t heavily discussed amongst high schoolers, not necessarily because it isn't an important issue but because many people are afraid to speak out about it. We decided that the best way to bring attention to the issue was to approach the young audience at our own school by making an information/photo booth and a “twibbon” that people could use on twitter. Flyers were handed out to remind people to do their part if they ever found themselves in a difficult situation involving the potential for sexual assault. Whether ensuring consent or being an ally for someone who experienced the trauma of sexual violence, we wanted to encourage our classmates not to be afraid to communicate openly, seek help if needed, or simply just to bring attention to a serious problem.
Members from both houses worked together to spread awareness in various forms. Maria, the mentor of House of Bhutto, made the flyers and created the twibbon. Adrianna from the House of Bhutto and Camila from House of Suu Kyi took the pictures at the photo booth. Kyle made the blue ribbon with which people could take pictures. Daniel, Maria, Camila, and Ariana helped design the poster. Everyone else participated in helping inform people what our project was all about. It became something fun -– the dancers at our school dressed up in teal body suits to match our theme and people were posting their pictures on different social media platforms. There was music playing and we were able to get plenty of pledges from both boys and girls.
Ending sexual violence will not be easy. But we can't change a culture until we communicate with each other and collaborate to amplify our voices...even if we're sure at first no one is listening.
~Kelly Ostruszka, House of Suu Kyi
*Editor's Note: For a look at Kelly's campaign as well as the campaigns created and implemented by the other houses, please check out our above photoblog documenting an incredible week of activism, social change, and civic leadership.