Guatu 2018 was a Success!
Thank you for your continued support. For more information, recap, and appreciation, please read the below letter from Ignacio.
If you are a community organizer, please consider sharing this letter (it's copy-paste-able!) and resources included with your constituents and community members.
This fall, I led a 14-site tour of the United States, in 10 weeks, as part of The Guatu Tour. The mission: connect with guardians, families, young people, survivors and organizations working to prevent, survive, and end child sexual abuse (CSA) and sexual violence as a whole. We did this via workshops, keynote addressed, panel discussions, roundtables, day-long conferences and performances. We collaborated with over 25 individuals, groups and or organizations, which included survivor advocates from The Just Beginnings Collaborative, of which I am a fellow. The tour began in August in Baltimore and ended in October in Los Angeles. You can view the full schedule of events as well as pictures from the tour here.
Many people played an integral part in making this tour a success and we want to thank them! With their determination and generosity, the conversation on preventing and ending CSA has moved forward. Our special gratitude goes to the following point people and organizations that helped each site-event happen:
FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, Lucane Lafortune (Baltimore Mayor’s Office on Criminal Justice), Marla Stewart (Sex Down South Conference), Sheila Reid and Ben DeGuzman (DC Mayor's Office on LGBTQ Affairs), Arli Christian, Indira Henard (DC Rape Crisis Center), Tarana Burke and Sasha Ahuja (Girls for Gender Equality), Tashmica Torok (Firecracker Foundation), Luz Marquez (Black Latinidad), Meg Stone (IMPACT Boston), Mia Mingus (Living Bridges and Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective), Sujatha Baliga and Nuri Nusrat (Impact Justice), Strong Oak Lefebvre (Visioning B.E.A.R Circle Intertribal Coalition), Erin Esposito (Ignite), Aishah Shahidah Simmons (Love With Accountability), Ahmad Greene-Hayes (Children of Combahee), Amita Swadhin (Mirror Memoirs), Kimber Nicoletti and Skyler Kantola (Multicultural Efforts to End Sexual Assault), Klarissa Ling Oh and Kerry Naughton (Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service (OAASIS), Eb Brown (Care Strategies and Just Beginnings Collaborative) and the folks over at Michigan State University Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen).
The tour accomplished what it set out to -- broadening the scope of anti-violence work, reproductive rights, and the movement to end sexual violence to include children and young people; broadening the scope of sex and sexuality as integral to fighting the child sexual abuse epidemic; creating spaces for guardians and families to obtain information about Holistic Sexuality Information (HSI) as a tool to prevent CSA; understanding HSI as education and relationship builder for families, and a life skill; creating community healing spaces; using sexuality as a healing tool for survivors; talking openly and honestly about sexuality without fear; and finally, understanding that prevention and healing are lifelong work and journeys that we don’t have to do in silence or secrecy.
The work to prevent and end child sexual abuse, and to heal from sexual trauma and interrogate sexual violence as an epidemic, is difficult and life-saving work. As a survivor of CSA, rape, and domestic violence, doing this work, however depleting, keeps me alive. The tour challenged me on my sense of self-care and gave me hope as I received the community care I needed. I am blessed to be able to do this work and to be held by so many. Thank you all.
To continue this important journey, I have included some information that you can share with your community members:
I am still looking for participants to take less than 5 minutes and fill out this anonymous Caregiver Survey and/or submit to The Toolkit. Please read more about why your contribution matters here.
I am also currently actively looking for collaborative opportunities in academia, activist groups, and non-profit institutions. If you would like to bring me to your campus or organization, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Please read more about what I am looking for and can offer here.
Would you like to join my Advisory Board for The HEAL Project or know someone who might be interested? Please apply here by January 16, 2019.
Finally, I am looking for feedback and testimonials from anyone who would like to share their thoughts, comments, and concerns. You can write me through the contact form , email email@example.com, follow my work by subscribing to the website, or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. I hope to hear from you soon!
Ignacio G Rivera