Women's issues have always been close to my heart. Whether through community service as a youth, student activism against sexual assault, or community organizing with immigrant and low wage workers, I've always been passionate about ending violence against women.
Several years ago in Chicago, a group of women and I wanted to raise awareness of women's issues in the workplace - specifically how sexual harassment and violence is a little recognized and understood workplace justice issue. We held meetings and trainings with workers and colleagues. We started important conversations about community care and safety. We were met with some pushback: Are you talking about domestic violence? How is this a labor issue? This isn't a priority for our organization. We had hard conversations, but we were building momentum, building relationships, and speaking truth.
Two of those women, Sheerine and Karla, would go on to found Healing to Action to continue this important work of ending gender based violence. The name Healing to Action recognizes how healing from trauma, leadership development, and organizing are inseprable strategies for ending gender based violence. Shortly after starting the organization, #MeToo became a nationally recognized movement. Dozens of new workers, mothers, and neighbors were joining up with the organization, telling their stories, and organizing together for change. I was honored to serve as a board member and volunteer during this time.
COVID-19 has dramatically affected the organizaton's community and work. Their members are essential workers, mothers, and grandmothers who were already struggling to make ends meet before the pandemic. Many are caregivers for children, elders, and sick family members without affordable healthcare or an economic safety net tasked with safeguarding the health and economic survival of entire communities.
And yet, generosity, fierceness, and self-determination abounds. Leaders have been virtually meeting with decision-makers and building deep alliances with youth, other caregivers, and educators to achieve victories for Healing to Action's first grassroots campaign, SexEd Works. They have welcomed 16 new survivor-leaders through their leadership program, Healing Generations, who will use their tools and skills to transform the root causes of gender-based violence in their communities.
This resiliance is cause for celebration. It is also cuase for our support. In honor of Healing to Action's annual fundraising event Brewing Hope, I've set a goal for trying to raise $1,000. Will you join me in making a donation to this powerful organization serving essential workers and women?
I know this is a difficult time for many. If you are in a position to give - whether it's $5, $50, or $500 - any amount makes a difference. You can also join their free virutal event on Thursday Sep 17th at 7pm CST to learn more about the organization and the difference they're making in people's lives.
Please join me in making a donation to Healing to Action to support their important work. Thank you for standing with survivors organizing for a world free of violence during this difficult time!