March, 2012

Crystal Ogar: Badass Activist Friday

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means! Interviews with your favorite badass feminists and activists. Whether social media queens and kings, creative artists, sex educators, or just kick-ass personalities, these people harness righteous anger, instigate movements and inspire cultural change. We’re here to honor them and their work, but more importantly, to highlight how we can all get up, plug in, and Just Start Doing.

Our interview partner this week is Crystal Ogar. Crystal is studying Women’s Studies and Film at Howard Community College and she is a blogger for SPARK Summit, a site dedicated to giving young women a change to connect and speak out against the sexualization of women in the media. She is also active in her community as a facilitator for the LGBT youth group Rainbow Youth and Allies.

Without further ado, here’s Crystal!

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Circle of 6: One (Mobile) Piece of the Anti-Violence Puzzle

Going into the creation of Circle of 6, we knew we had to tread carefully. Too much sexual assault “awareness” is focused on telling women and girls what to do and what not to do: don’t drink too much, don’t leave without a buddy, don’t wear that skirt, don’t flirt, don’t laugh, don’t smile. We didn’t want to replicate those messages.

But what we did need to do was meet people where they were: we know people party and get separated from each other and that friends leave bars alone and stumble home late. Often, someone is stuck making the hard choice of how to get home safely, especially if they have no idea how to tell their friend where they are. In an ideal world, this wouldn’t be a problem—we would all be safe everywhere, at any time. But we don’t live in an ideal world, so Circle of 6’s MMS and GPS location tools let users quickly and easily contact six trusted friends to come pick them up.

Another thing we can all relate to is being cornered – someone is not reading your cues that you’d like to leave, your friends don’t see you making faces that plead with them to get you out of this corner. Two taps – and your phone rings, and you’re out of there. In other words, the Circle of 6 App is designed to be a tool to leverage tight knit social networks and harnesses mobile tech in helpful ways.

We were very careful in the video we produced to make sure that no one could say “well, why would a young girl find herself alone at a party, that’s bad judgement” – or “why would a girl let herself get separated from her friends?” We’re not telling people not to go to parties alone, or not to drink, or not to talk to strangers. We know that most sexual violence is perpetrated by someone the victim knows. What we care about is giving young people a tool to help them get out of a situation that makes them uncomfortable and that might escalate into something dangerous, regardless of whether they are alone, among strangers, or with their partner.

The bottom line is, many, many students who come up to us after screenings of The Line and share their rape stories have several things in common – they could have used the help of their friends to get them out of situations that a perpetrator was exploiting. In our work, and ISIS’s work with dating violence, we know that people suffer in isolation, so providing resources and embedding the information into the app itself can break that silence. Circle of 6 seeks to address this need–connectivity, communication, technology are just one way to prevent future assaults.

No one tool—be it an app, an anti-violence training, or a conversation about consent—will end sexual assault. The solution to sexual violence is a complicated puzzle, and Circle of 6 is just a single piece addressing a particular context of violence. It will not single-handedly end assault, nor is it meant to. We need many more tools–and many more puzzle pieces–before we can begin to talk about the end of sexual violence as we know it.

We welcome your feedback and partnership in building those tools and creating a world without sexual violence.

Yolo Akili: Badass Activist Friday

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means! Interviews with your favorite badass feminists and activists. Whether social media queens and kings, creative artists, sex educators, or just kick-ass personalities, these people harness righteous anger, instigate movements and inspire cultural change. We’re here to honor them and their work, but more importantly, to highlight how we can all get up, plug in, and Just Start Doing.

This week’s badass is Yolo Akili. Yolo is a writer, astrologer, yoga instructor and social justice advocate. He has a B.A. in Women’s and African American Studies from Georgia State University and is the author of the poetry collection “Poems in the Key of Green” and the spoken word album “Purple Galaxy”. You can learn more about him and his work on his website.

Let’s hear what he had to say!

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Bullying and Fantasy Love: Nancy Schwartzman interviews Fernanda Rossi on short Clara Como El Agua

Many of you may have caught the name Fernanda Rossi in the credits of The Line as our story consultant. She’s also a filmmaker in her own right, and her new short Clara como el Agua (Clara like Water) delves into bullying, fantasy love and defining ourselves on our own terms. Here is Fernanda Rossi answering some questions on these topics.

Tell us a bit about the film.

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Circle of 6 iPhone App Launches Today!

“Thanks to the creativity of these developers, young people now have a new line of defense against violence in their lives.” – Vice President Joe Biden

We’re so excited to announce that Circle of 6, the free anti-violence app  is launching TODAY, March 20th!

Dating violence and sexual assault are widespread problems among young women, with nearly 1 in 5 reporting assault while in college. With only two taps, Circle of 6 connects users threatened with possible sexual assault and abuse to a network of trusted friends, using GPS technology, anti-violence online resources, and a commitment to support each other: “I won’t let violence happen in my circle.”

We are thrilled by the great press we’ve received so far from: Cosmopolitan, MTV Act, The Christian Science Monitor, The NY Daily News, Cult of Mac and more!

We’re incredibly proud of this all volunteer, 100% DIY, feminist project! Our team includes me, Nancy Schwartzman, Deb Levine of ISIS-Inc., Thomas Cabus our designer and Christine Corbett-Moran, our developer. Check out our anti-violence resources, Circle of 6 video, and iPhone download at circleof6app.com.

Please help us spread the word! On Twitter, use the hashtag #C6, or use one of these pre-written tweets:

Prevent sexual violence with @circleof6app, the free, award-winning app from @thelinecampaign & @ISISorg #c6 www.circleof6app.com

Apps Against #Abuse contest winner @Circleof6app has launched! Pledge to never let violence happen in yr circle: www.circleof6app.com #C6

.@VP Biden says @Circleof6app is “a new line of defense against violence” for young people. Get it free at www.circleof6app.com #c6 #fem2

On a date that just won’t end with someone who’s giving you the creeps? Use @Circleof6app to get out safely: www.circleof6app.com #C6 #fem2

Never get separated from your friends on a night out: @Circleof6app uses GPS 2 help u find each other & stay safe. www.circleof6app.com #C6

.@Circleof6app puts your friends at your fingertips, helping you stay close & prevent violence b4 it happens circleof6app.com #C6

 

Jean Kilbourne: Badass Activist Friday

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means! Interviews with your favorite badass feminists and activists. Whether social media queens and kings, creative artists, sex educators, or just kick-ass personalities, these people harness righteous anger, instigate movements and inspire cultural change. We’re here to honor them and their work, but more importantly, to highlight how we can all get up, plug in, and Just Start Doing.

This week’s badass activist is Jean Kilbourne. Jean is a feminist author and filmmaker who is known for her work on the images of women in advertizing, as well as the images of alcohol and tobacco advertising. She is the author of Can’t Buy My Love: How Advertising Changes the Way We Think and Feel  (1999) and  So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids (2008, with Diane E. Levin), and she has produced several films on advertising strategies and how they affect us.

Let’s hear what she had to say!

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Fernanda Rossi: Clara Como El Agua

Fellow filmmaker Therese Shechter posted an interview with Fernanda Rossi about her film Clara Como El Agua. Fernanda helped us design the structure of The Line, and we’re excited to share her new project with you!

You can watch the movie here, and check out the interview on Therese’s blog!

Joseph Samalin: Badass Activist Friday

It’s Friday, and we all know what that means! Interviews with your favorite badass feminists and activists. Whether social media queens and kings, creative artists, sex educators, or just kick-ass personalities, these people harness righteous anger, instigate movements and inspire cultural change. We’re here to honor them and their work, but more importantly, to highlight how we can all get up, plug in, and Just Start Doing.

Today’s Badass is Joseph Samalin.  Joseph is the Training & Technical Assistance Coordinator at the organization Men Can Stop Rape, where he has been working since 2009. He has an MA from Columbia University in Contemporary Japanese Feminism, and he has been working in community organizing and the struggle to end gender-based violence since his time at Columbia.

So let’s hear what he had to say!

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DSK, Consent and Drawing Vaginas in the Snow

I came to The Line Campaign in September of 2011. Politically, it was a crazy time—it was right after the summer of rape cops and DSK, and the feminist community (and really anyone with sense or empathy or compassion whatsoever) was still reeling from the conclusion that the case wouldn’t even so much as be heard in court.

I was personally sick of everything—I was sick of the heartless smears, sick of the detached discussions, and sick of the rules surrounding dissecting a rape case—isn’t the point that one major rule was broken, that a woman’s sovereignty over her body was hideously violated?

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“The Invisible War” Seeks New York-Based Intern to Start Immediately

“The Invisible War” is a groundbreaking investigative documentary film about one of our country’s most shameful secrets: the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military. The film won the 2012 Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival, and is directed by Kirby Dick (“This Film is Not Yet Rated”, “Outrage”) and Amy Ziering (“Derrida”). www.invisiblewarmovie.com.

We are seeking a motivated and detail-oriented intern to help us connect with audiences, build buzz, and fill seats at film festival screenings of “The Invisible War” in April and May 2012. Interns will work from the offices of the film’s grassroots and community outreach firm, Film Sprout (www.filmsprout.org), located in the Flatiron/Gramercy neighborhood.

Tasks will include:

  • Outreach to and correspondence with nonprofit, advocacy and activist organizations in the areas of sexual violence prevention and awareness; women’s and reproductive rights; and veterans’ issues.
  • Ongoing research and database management
  • Social media promotion and management of online social media platforms
  • Weekly mailings of promotional film materials

Time Commitment
10 hours/week (1 full day, or 2 half days)

Location
Film Sprout
25 E. 21st Street 7th Floor
New York, NY 10010

Duration
10 Weeks;
Start Date: March 19, 2012
End Date: May 25, 2012
Note: Opportunities for ongoing summer internships are also available)

Compensation
A stipend of $250, to be paid upon completion of the 10-week internship.
Letter of reference upon completion of internship.
Participation in a career development workshop.

Qualifications

  • Enthusiasm and passion for sexual education and violence prevention
  • Commitment to human rights and gender equality
  • Interest in social media and online engagement
  • Interest in public interest advocacy and campaigns
  • Strong communication skills, both written and spoken
  • Excellent computer skills, including proficiency in:
    • Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word)
    • Google Docs Suite (Spreadsheets, Documents)
    • Contact Databases (e.g. MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.)
    • Internet Research
    • Social Media Platforms (Facebook Twitter, tumblr, WordPress, etc.
  • Enthusiasm for juggling multiple tasks under deadline
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a small, efficient team

Please send a cover letter, resume, two references, and a one-page writing sample to both:
Nancy Schwartzman: nancy at invisiblewarmovie dot com
Rosie DuPont: rosie at filmsprout dot org

 

All Posts from March, 2012