BLACK WOMEN IN MOTION — CONSENT CAMPAIGN 2019
Updated: Oct 1, 2020
HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH!
CONTENT WARNING: This post will mention issues pertaining to sexual assault, I will leave it to your discretion to continue reading.
I know it is late to be writing about experiences that happened last year, I really was not going to do it. However, considering BHM and black people making history, I would like to share with everyone an event I participated in last year, as it is a memory that I hold dear to my heart. Last October, I was blessed with the opportunity to take part in a campaign created and executed by black woman to spread awareness on the ongoing concerns of consent and rape culture within the black community.
Now for those that follow me on Instagram or any of my other socials (links down below), you have probably seen me advertise and share my experience participating in a campaign last October. With that though, I want to go more in depth with the event and what I have taken from it. I really do not know where to start—there’s so much to pack, but here we go!
Let’s start by naming the organization that I have come to know personally and respect their contribution for the black community. They are also the ones that created this experience for me and other black women. Black Women in Motion — BWIM for short, is an organization based in Toronto curated for young black women in the city. Black Women in Motion explores and educates young black women on a plethora of topics such as: sexual health, consent, rape culture, health, wellness etc. Their organization is a safe and welcoming space that supports black women and black women ONLY. Throughout the year, Black Women in Motionoffers workshops and events for black women. Personally, these events offer a dominant voice for black women, when in most cases our voices are reduced to nothing but silent cries. To learn more about BWIM, visit their website!
When I first heard about Black Women in Motion, I was on Instagram watching the story of a mutual of mine. They reposted their upcoming events; one of them being their Consent Campaign Photoshoot. At the time, I was looking for events specifically for black people where we can support and meet one another. After I read the description, I believed it was exactly what I was looking for. Once I looked over all the details, I immediately filled out the application. A few weeks later, I received confirmation that I was selected to be a part of this movement.
The day of the photoshoot came and went by so quickly; nonetheless it was a memorable day. There was food (YUM! I cannot remember which place it was, but it was DELICIOUS), treats, goodies and, heart to heart conversations between us black women. The afternoon commenced with us, the participants, separating into small groups. In our groups, we discussed our concerns, thoughts and, personal stories surrounding sexual consent, self-love, and sexual education—all while glamming up and taking photos for the campaign. I was able to connect with other black women who just like me, were brought together for our concern of consent in the black community. Being in an atmosphere where it was just black women, congregating, laughing was something I did not realize I yearned for in such a long time. I love black women and I love being a black woman so, immersing myself in an environment where it was exactly that, was special.
Not only that, I got to have a taste of the process that goes into a photoshoot and modeling. Wearing makeup, posing in front of a camera and lights was out of my comfort zone. Nonetheless, it was interesting seeing my natural beauty enhanced and seeing myself in a different light. The whole day of the photoshoot day was special to me.
The most important aspect of the event opened a well-needed discussion on consent and sexual health amongst black women and our community. There are some experiences I have had when it came to consent that I had not addressed or reflected on until after the campaign. ow, I am aware that there were certain situations where my consent was never asked for or acknowledged. Whether the situation was of sexual/non-sexual consent, my consent had been violated and it pains me to realize that.
I must also state that many black women have felt this way and are not aware of their rights to consent. It is heartbreaking to know that many young black women have experienced their consent being ignored or violated. The bodies of us black women are constantly under the subject of scrutiny and over-sexualized. Because of this, we are stigmatized constantly and forced into a narrative that our bodies are not our own.We must actively include these conversations in our community. It is imperative to understand our right of consent because it teaches us young women that we have a choice. We are the only ones who dictate what comfortability we have with others, not the other way around. It is our body, our choice, our right.
I am so thankful for Black Women in Motion for creating this campaign that opened a relationship for me and this outstanding organization. I saw an organization whose mission was to solely represent black women; I admire that so much. As black women, we end up isolated, misrepresented and/or even unheard from the broader community. That is why it is so important to have organizations that amplify our voices and challenge us to become better. I feel great about being a black woman and an outspoken one at that; unashamed of my blackness, my beauty and my pain that comes with it. I cannot wait to see what Black Women in Motion will be doing this year. Please keep on sprinkling that Black Girl Magic all over the city!
And another post down! For those who read up until the end, thank you very much I hope you were able to takeaway anything! Comment and share, I'd appreciate it immensely! I'll see you on the next post :)
RENEE SHIAN xx
FOLLOW BLACK WOMEN IN MOTION
Facebook: Black Women in Motion