From CTZNWELL <[email protected]>
Subject 📣 Bless the Silence Breakers.
Date February 27, 2020 1:14 PM
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#MeToo healing, gearing up for #SuperTuesday, remembering #TrayvonMartin, and antiracism as practice. This is #WELLREAD. 

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In our latest Patreon ([link removed]) meet-up, we broke down how primary elections work (what even are delegates?!) and rounded up resources for a deeper understanding of the most high-stakes election year of our lives.
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Bless the Silence Breakers.
(Note: Hi friends. Lauren here. Kerri will be back next week, and so I'm sharing from my own experience.)

As a survivor of multiple sexual assaults, the fall of 2017 was pretty fucking messy for me.

It was just a few months earlier, on the heels of a rapist president's election, that I'd finally broken my silence around the sexual abuse that happened to me at 9 years old. I'd also started the painful process of trying to report other abusers I'd encountered in the 20 years since then - a former boss, a yoga studio owner, an ex-fling - with devastatingly incompetent and negligent responses from both law enforcement and professional organizations.

So when Tarana Burke's #MeToo movement went viral that October, I remember feeling immense gratitude to the Silence Breakers and survivors - many of them well-known people like Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, and Rosanna Arquette - who were telling their stories.

But I was also falling apart inside. It shattered me to read about the people who protected the abusers, the people who didn't make an arrest when someone had reported years earlier, and the people who refused to believe the brave survivors who were coming forward. Versions of this were what I was encountering in my own pursuit of justice for my younger self, and are what I still fear today every time I speak out about what happened to me.

Monday's verdict is by no means the end of the road for this movement or for those survivors, but it does feel like a sign that something is shifting in the way the culture treats our stories. Maybe we're no longer screaming into an abyss. Maybe people are finally listening, even if the ultimate results of speaking out aren't what we hope for.

(P.S. That former boss is still a mayor's chief of staff, that studio owner is still in business, and that ex-fling is still a U.S. senator's top advisor.)

We need to keep fighting for everyone to be safe and treated with respect and dignity, especially the people most impacted by injustice and who risk far more than I did if they choose to report (the ICE raids last summer, for example, targeted workplaces where workers had gotten a massive sexual harassment settlement ([link removed]) ).

I hope we keep centering survivors' healing instead of clicks on headlines about perpetrators. And I hope that the stories and resources and voices I've pulled together for this issue of WELLREAD support you in staying loud, resilient, and on the path of healing - whatever that looks like - for yourself and all of us.


Lauren Roberts (she/her)
CTZNWELL Community Manager

With the incomplete yet meaningful ([link removed]) conviction of serial predator Harvey Weinstein, our hearts are with the 90 Silence Breakers ([link removed]) and brave witnesses ([link removed]) who did the retraumatizing work to hold him accountable. But the fight to end sexual violence and the culture of complicity is far from over ([link removed]) (see: Mike Bloomberg ([link removed]) , Russell Simmons
([link removed]) , etc.). In 2018, Kerri interviewed #MeToo movement founder Tarana Burke, and her words are both healing and activating: "#MeToo is about healing. Period." Check it out ([link removed]) . (Art: @ashlukadraws ([link removed]) )

This primary is getting real, y’all. Nevada chose Bernie ([link removed]) last weekend, thanks in large part to POC-led organizing by our friends at CPD and Make the Road; South Carolina votes Saturday ([link removed]) ; and 14 states are up on Super Tuesday ([link removed]) ! Now’s the time to head to your candidate’s website and volunteer however you can (did you know you can make campaign calls from home?). Most importantly, be sure to check your registration, polling place, sample ballot, and everything else you’ll need to be vote ready at ([link removed]) , and don’t forget about the amazing #VOTEPROCHOICE guide ([link removed]) ! Feeling ready? Text five friends in upcoming states and share these resources. To learn more about how primaries work (like, what even are
delegates?), check out our latest Patreon meet-up replay ([link removed]) . (Photo: @rallyandrise ([link removed]) )

Yesterday was eight years since 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was murdered. His family and friends describe him as "quiet and funny" and a "standout athlete." Trayvon's death sparked the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, which has grown into the movement we know today. (P.S. One of the BLM founders just endorsed ([link removed]) both Bernie and Warren. #ProgressiveUnity.) We're sending extra love to Trayvon's family right now, particularly as his unjustly acquitted murderer is suing ([link removed]) them for $100 million. Meanwhile, his amazing mother, Sybrina Fulton, is running for County Commissioner in Miami ([link removed]) .

As Black History Month comes to a close, I'm reflecting on something powerful that Layla Saad said in the latest episode of CTZN Podcast ([link removed]) : "Anti-racism is a practice." For white folx, we need to stay in this practice every single day - confronting our own racism, showing up in solidarity with Black and Brown people, and going to get our people ([link removed]) . Here are some ways to practice today: 1. Buy Layla's book ([link removed]) , #dothework, and connect her with media decision-makers ([link removed]) you know. 2. Support CTZNWELL community member Kennae Miller's Charleston yoga studio ([link removed]) by gifting her something off this list ([link removed]) . 3. Donate to Black women who are running for office ([link removed]) .
And don't miss this interview with Kimberlé Crenshaw ([link removed]) , who coined the term "intersectionality," about how different forms of inequality exacerbate each other - highlighting that things have to change for equality to be real. (Art: @gammykillz ([link removed]) )

Art: @sarah.epperson ([link removed])

Shout-out to our amazing community of Patreon ([link removed]) members who make it possible for us to produce WELLREAD every week.

Join us for a little as $2/month to get behind-the-scenes access to our work and bonus content that we don't share anywhere else. Plus, we share guided meditations, host online meet-ups, and create monthly toolkits for you to take the work to the next level!

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WELLREAD is produced by CTZNWELL, a community that's dismantling the systemic barriers in the way of wellbeing and creating the conditions for everyone to thrive on their terms.

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