Empowerment at the National Sex Assault Conference
By Nancy Fryer, CCASA Guest Blogger
After listening to Shamita Das Dasgupta’s presentation, “Remembering our Roots, Questioning our Path,” I visited the gardens outside the nearby public library in downtown LA. There, I saw this fountain with a message that could easily have come from Shamita’s mouth earlier that afternoon. “Wow!” I thought.
But wait, it gets even better. . .
I turned around and who did I see but Shamita herself standing with her co-presenter, Diane Docis of Praxis. I rushed over to them to see if they had come to see the fountain and its inscription. No, they didn’t even know about it. I brought them over and Shamita said, “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”
I heartily agreed. Diane graciously offered to take my photo with the quote. Shamita instructed me to make a power fist. I was so excited I forgot to look solemn instead of smiling!
The next morning, Jackson Katz got me all riled up again as he reminded all 1500 of us: “Recognition of reality is NOT anti-male. . . You can’t have a conversation about violence against women without talking about gender!” Yes!
To paraphrase self-styled “angry black woman,” Kamilah Willingham: Yes, I’m angry and yes, it’s justified!
What an inspiring conference!
(Nancy Fryer is a Court Advocate for Archuleta County Victim Assistance who has been in the field for 15 years. She participates in her local SART and also CCASA’s Public Policy Committee.)