Preventing Gender Based Violence:Our Silence will not protect us
Throughout history, women, restricted from participating in public discourse created secretive methods for liberation, for example, during the transatlantic slave trade, quilts embroidered with intricately woven clues guided enslaved Africans to freedom. In Latin America, music and storytelling were used to escape the harsh realities of war and became a key component of freedom fighting.
There are reasons why silence in the face of violence exists in communities of color. First, marginalized people fear the often-unforgiving scrutiny of dominant cultures. Second, the genetic memory of oppression still haunts those for whom discretion was paramount.
In the U.S., we are encouraged to discuss our personal experiences publicly, which can contradict values of certain ethnic groups. In some cases, advocates of color are shunned and physically harmed when they become “truth tellers” in communities where silence is rewarded.
As women of color, we recognize that transformation also occurs in silence. This conversation will use spoken word and the arts as a source for healing, transformation and imparting sacred wisdom.
Þ The culture of silence and its impact on marginalized communities
Þ Historical and contemporary modalities used by women to share their stories