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Freedom from Sexual Violence

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Empowerment at the National Sex Assault Conference

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.

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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.)

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