TODAY: Standing Room Only - Survivors, Allies and Advocates will fill Great Hall at MA State House
March 26, 2018
TODAY: March 26, 2018: In the biggest advocacy day ever, reflecting the current climate and conversation, hundreds of survivors, allies and advocates will take to the MA State House at Jane Doe Inc.’s Annual Day of Action. The program will take place from 10am-11am in the Great Hall, followed by visits to every single Representative and Senator. See requests below.
The theme of gun control from this past weekend’s marches and the #MeToo movement will carry into today’s message.
Here are some excerpts from the speech Debra J. Robbin, Jane Doe Inc. Executive Director, will give this morning:
"Since we were gathered last year, many compelling moments have put sexual and domestic violence right in the center-of our dinner conversations, school assemblies, workplaces and more. These are the headlines and news stories of our times. And so, for these reasons and more, we know that today (and every day for that matter), our work is to speak from our hearts and experiences and given the current climate, these messages matter more than ever.
Why is this time so important and why does it feel like a watershed moment? We don’t have enough time to fully answer these questions but we do know that, against the climate of racism, xenophobia, gender based violence and oppression, we are also witness to bold voices who are saying: NO MORE, ENOUGH is ENOUGH, ME TOO, TIME’S UP and NEVER AGAIN.
We can’t go back to lose what we have gained around Title IX, we can’t go back to divisive actions that perpetuate white supremacy, we can’t and won’t go back to lose the little ground we have gained in the past decade. We can’t live in a society where we need a photo to prove that someone was abused, where we are still asking the questions about what someone was wearing after they have been violated!
From recent attempts to stop gun violence to public conversations about healthy masculinities; from attempts to restrict a woman’s right to choose to a ballot initiative here in MA to undo public accommodations for transgender people—there is so much to do and so much more to undo.
Like most of you here today, I was so inspired by the amazing courage and energy of those young people who took to the streets on Saturday and spoke their truths. So much of our work is interconnected whether it is about gun violence, state sponsored violence against people of color or LGBTQ communities, sexual assault, domestic violence and more.
What really struck me were the intentional efforts on the part of the march organizers in some cities to center so many of the voices of young people of color.
This is our work too. We know that when the experiences of those who are most vulnerable, most marginalized- are attended to, not only do those survivors benefit but so do all survivors. And so our work must be to elevate and amplify those voices that have been kept out of these conversations and as a result, the conversations will change in terms of what is important and how we organize.
And so today is our Day of Action where we come together and harness our collective energy and commitment to filling these halls with our strength and compassion to make social change and ask for a small, a tiny piece of the pie in the name of justice.
Our presence here today is about more than that; we are all Advocate Activists and this one day, although important, also symbolizes how powerful a coalition is and can be. We applaud the phenomenal work that you do as advocates; those same skills combined with your passion and commitment can be put to use here in the State House."
For more information on JDI’s budget and legislative requests:
Program Description Sexual and Domestic Violence Line Item
JDI Legislative Priorities (As of 3/1/18)