Gender-based abuse and the outrage against it is not new, but it seems like an especially fitting time to re-examine the conversation given the rise of the #MeToo movement.
The #MeToo movement has been a national reckoning on sexual assault and harassment in all its forms: ranging from workplace harassment to sexual assault and rape, as well as the nuances around consent in dating. The movement is taking place on a vast scale, even globally, thanks to the amplifying power of social media, and has allowed men and women all over the world to share their stories of sexual abuse and hold their perpetrators accountable.
Time’s Up, started by high profile celebrity organizers, Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, and Ava DuVernay, is an offshoot of the #MeToo movement that was started with the intention of shaking up decades of sexual harassment, pay disparity and discrimination in Hollywood, but also help women in all fields who are struggling with the same problems. Time’s Up consists of a legal defense fund (TULDF) that offers to help defray legal and public relations costs in select cases.
[Read Related: #MeToo in Bollywood: More Survivors Find Their Voices About Powerful Industry Insiders]
TULDF recently announced a new grant program in May 2018, awarding up to $50,000 per grantee, to support nonprofit organizations serving low-income workers who have experienced sexual misconduct or related backlash in the workplace. One of the recipients of this grant money is DVRP (Domestic Violence Resource Project) which provides services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia area with a focus on supporting Asian and Pacific Islander survivors.
DVRP’s grant is being used to fund a project called #UsToo through which DVRP aims to build the leadership capacity of women in the community and encourage especially low wage immigrant and refugee A/PI community members to speak out about their experiences.
A key aspect of this project is the recruitment and training of “Peer Champions.” DVRP defines Peer Champions as “individuals who want to educate and share with their peers and community information about their rights in the workplace, especially around sexual harassment.” DVRP states that peer champions don’t need to be experts about the issue in order to be part of the project, just need to have a community that they are part of and the desire to make a difference.
[Read Related: #MeToo — Workplace Harassment Isn’t Just a Hollywood Thing]
Interested? Here are the three items that Peer Champions are responsible for if they are selected:
1) Attend four trainings with DVRP (4 hours/training)
2) Do outreach in your community on workplace sexual harassment and to recruit future peer champions
3) Hold your own training/discussions with peers in your community to share what you have learned.
Peer champions will receive monetary support from DVRP ($1000) and in-person and ongoing training from DVRP in order to plan their own workshops.
Currently, DVRP is looking for four Peer Champions: one from the Japanese community, one from the South Asian community, one from the Chinese community and one from the Vietnamese community. Peer Champions must be in low-wage or shift work and should speak an A/PI language but have some fluency in English.
Applicants who meet the above-mentioned eligibility criteria are encouraged to access the application here.
Brown Girl Magazine is taking part a long-term collaboration with DVRP so follow along with our coverage of this two-year project.