Latest DREIM News & Announcements

WCSAP commits to not enforcing NDAs against former employees

On September 29, 2021 WCSAP's board of directors voted to publicly commit to not enforce Non Disclosure Agreements (NDSs) in place against former employees who speak out about their experiences of racism or other discrimination during their employment at the organization. This decision was based on our board's commitment to furthering transparency and accountability, related to harms experienced by former WCSAP employees. The NDAs have the effect of silencing people from sharing about their experiences of harm, which is in direct opposition to our movement's role in supporting survivors in telling their stories.

 

*note: Previously, this post had a typo and said that the vote was on September 30, 2021. The WCSAP Board of Directors actually completed their vote on September 29, 2021. The post has been updated to reflect this error.

Thoughts on the Trial of R. Kelly

R. Kelly's federal trial began last Wednesday in New York. He is being charged with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor, and sex trafficking, as well as eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits sex trafficking across state lines. At our recent staff meeting, WCSAP staff were discussing how and why this man's exploitation was allowed to continue for so long.

WCSAP Responds Violence Targeted at Asian American Women and Communities

In the Atlanta area yesterday, a 21-year-old white man killed eight people, including six Asian American women. The shootings took place at three massage parlors; the shooter has said that he carried out these attacks not because of racism, but because he has a sex addiction. 

It is unclear and unimportant whether or not people can have sexual encounters at those businesses. There may never be a clear way to “prove” that racism was at the heart of these attacks. The assumption that the existence of racism or the presence of sex work need to be proved is in and of itself is problematic. His assertions are preposterous in connection to carrying out these mass murders.

The shootings occurred at the “intersection of gender-based violence, misogyny and xenophobia,” Georgia state Rep. Bee Nguyen said, the first Vietnamese American to serve in the Georgia House and a frequent advocate for women and communities of color. 

Supporting Staff From Communities Of Color with Thriving In 2021Gathering

On March 30 and 31, WCSAP is hosting Thriving in 2021: Communities of Color Gathering. This year’s gathering will be two full days. It is being coordinated by Carolina Gutierrez, WCSAP Bilingual Advocacy Coordinator, with assistance from Patrícia Flores and Donna Schulz. All three are women of color on WCSAP’s staff.

It is impossible to overstate how challenging this past year has been. Our work is often difficult and stressful, and those difficulties were deeply exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also had to face our own reckoning as a movement, as organizations, and as individuals for how we have contributed to racial injustices. We grappled with how to identify and name the harms we have been a part of, repair harm, and commit to anti-racism in action and outcomes. Throughout all of this, the greatest impacts of these challenges fell on communities of color.  

Moment of Truth Statement in Support of Black Lives

In June 2020, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, 46 sexual assault and domestic violence coalitions, including WCSAP, signed on to the following statement.

This is a moment of reckoning. The murder of George Floyd broke the collective heart of this country, and now, finally, millions of people are saying their names: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery — an endless list of Black Lives stolen at the hands and knees of police. The legacies of slavery and unfulfilled civil rights, colonialism and erasure, hatred and violence, have always been in full view. Turning away is no longer an option. Superficial reform is not enough.

In Support of Black Lives A Statement from WCSAP Board of Directors

As one of the leaders in the movement to end sexual violence in Washington and across the nation, WCSAP understands the deep intersection between forms of oppression. These forms of oppression create a system that puts people of color at an increased risk for violence, discrimination, and inequity. We support efforts to create an atmosphere of nonviolence through social change. We recognize that disrespect, ignorance and the abuse of disparities in power are the roots of violence. We denounce racism and are committed actively to anti-racist work within our organization and the communities we serve. Our hearts go out to all those impacted by the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and the countless acts of racist violence perpetrated against black people in our country. We stand in solidarity with people of color, and movements and organizations who do so as well, including Black Lives Matter.

WCSAP supports Safety and Access for Immigrant Survivors and Communities We oppose SB 6030/HB 2226

The Senate bill 6030 plans to make immigrant communities less safe, silence immigrant survivors, and push them further into the shadows. Immigrant survivors need access to justice and to reach out for support when they experience violence and discrimination. This access will effectively be blocked when the fear of removal from the U. S. is stronger.

Specifically, our member programs have seen ICE and CBP presence at local courthouses throughout the state have a chilling effect on immigrant survivors of sexual and domestic violence. These survivors need protection orders and other court resources.

Our New Year's Resolution

Join WCSAP in making anti-oppression a priority in 2020. This year, we make a commitment to:

Identify ways in which we are operating in white supremacy as individuals and agencies: this means we must understand what whiteness looks like in our movement, in our agencies, and in ourselves. If we don't know, we will find resources in which we can learn. We will take accountability for our individual actions and we will take responsibility for the ways in which we perpetuate racist systems.

Interrupt anti-blackness, racism, and white supremacy as it manifests. This means we will stop protecting the culture of whiteness, and speak out when we see racial violence in all its forms. This also means that we will not stay silent when we see racial violence, for silence is complicit and allows racial violence to continue.