The beginning of this summer has been filled with celebrations honoring Juneteenth, LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and our nation’s Declaration of Independence. Ironically as these summer celebrations followed one another, we also took steps backward as harmful news from the Supreme Court came to light. Historically and internationally, support for affirmative action has sought to achieve goals such as bridging inequalities in employment and pay, increasing access to education, promoting diversity, and redressing past harm. Similarly, protections around discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity have worked toward bridging inequality, increasing access, and condemning hate.
These are concepts and values foundational in addressing the disparities that allow sexual violence to exist and are deeply intertwined in our work at Resilience. Oppressive systems like sexism and racism create power imbalances. The harmful outcomes of power imbalances are social inequality and in turn social injustice.
Intentional efforts to redress the harms of social inequality and social injustice are work centered in equity. Simply put, in some circumstances, people have been so harmed by systems and face such extraordinary barriers to access they need to be treated differently to provide meaningful equality of opportunity.
We confront this concept frequently in the work to end sexual violence and advocate for the rights of survivors. Systems that do not intentionally work to level the playing field for survivors will never adequately address sexual violence. Systems that do not intentionally work to create access and opportunity for women and minorities will never adequately address sexism or racism.
Fueling the fire of these systemic power imbalances is the casting of stereotypes, bigotry, and discrimination. While efforts to provide equality of opportunity to minorities and women have been chipped away, protections have also been chipped away from LGBTQ+ communities which only act to embolden hate. When people are emboldened in hate, harm and violence occur. When systems are not made equally accessible for certain groups, whether it be in accountability for harm or healing from it, people suffer in silence. Herein lies the ecosystem ripe for sexual violence.
Resilience strongly believes transformative practices and healing depend on diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences. As we reflect on this, we recommit ourselves to these core values in addressing sexual violence.
The communities and survivors we serve as well as the individuals and groups that have served our mission are deeply impacted by the recent decisions in our nation’s highest court. We hope the unintended impact of these decisions is a call to action to strengthen inclusion, equity, and diversity work efforts by condemning hate and the harm that comes from it
Resilience is here to stand in solidarity with those that need it the most right now. We are here for you and will always work to be a safer space for you.