The Rosemary Pledge
Growing a Healthy Community Starts with Small Steps for Big Results
by KiloMarie Granda, Unspoken Voices Founder & Executive Director
Recently I had the pleasure of co-hosting a workshop with Ethan Klee, a member of our Board of Directors. We presented workshops on the "Intersectionality between Marginalized Communities and Sexual Assault” at the University of Minnesota, Duluth Summit on Equity, Race, & Ethnicity.
This workshop explored the intersectionality between sexual violence and marginalized communities. We discussed and highlighted various reasons that marginalized communities and individuals are at greater risk of power based violence, particularly sexual assault.
Communities discussed included people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals with disabilities. We also discussed how socio-economic status, culture, and media and societal stereotyping affect survivors and the barriers that they experience in the aftermath of sexual assault. Obstacles to receiving support services and reporting were also discussed.
Both Ethan and I shared historical background on how systemic racism and prejudice has further cemented oppression through research, survey data, and personal stories from survivors. Both Ethan and I identify as part of one or more marginalized communities. For example, I am a person of color that comes from a lower socioeconomic class. I am also part of the LGBTQ+ community and have a physical disability. Sharing how these marginalized identities and sexual assault have affected us allowed for us to show that its not just numbers or stats. Sexual violence can affect each of us.
The intersectionality between Marginalized Communities and Sexual Assault workshop was presented in a lecture format with interactive activities and discussions. When we presented at the UMD Summit on Equity, Race, and Ethnicity, surveys showed that 99% of all participants gained a greater understanding of the intersectionality between marginalized communities/individuals and sexual assault. 99% of participants agreed that the tools gained will be applied in their work as faculty, advocates, and allies. When we concluded the workshop we asked individuals to watch the Rosemary Pledge video.
The Rosemary Pledge was created by the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault. You can join the sexual violence prevention movement today by taking the Rosemary Pledge.
Prevention does not always need to be a huge action or major changes, and the Rosemary Pledge is your agreement to begin taking small, actionable steps towards prevention.
Community-level change is similar to starting a garden. Both can feel overwhelming, confusing, challenging, expensive, and even impossible. For instance, how do you know whether to buy seeds or a potted plant? What tools do you need? Is your soil right? How often do you water it? You might ask similar questions when thinking about sexual violence prevention. Is prevention work already happening in my community, or should I start something? Are there prevention tools available? Is my community ready for making and sustaining change?
Just like a garden, you can start small with prevention. You can grow and nourish your one rosemary plant. Together, we can create communities where everyone can thrive and grow.plant or take one step to prevent sexual violence.
We asked workshop participants to take the pledge and most did so. Check out the attached pictures to see how excited individuals were to take this step towards preventing sexual assault.