Witnessing, Listening for Justice and Peace - Gender Justice

#MeToo #NoMore #ChurchToo #SilenceIsNotSpiritual #HowIWillChange #WOCAffirmation


“Today’s announcement [about #MeToo being named Person of the Year by Time Magazine] should be an opportunity to ask ourselves: are we really committed to the hard work of ending sexual violence? What about young people having to break bread with their abuser at a family gathering year after year, in silence and solitude? What about women of color and transgender people, who struggle to be believed by friends, families, and those in power? What about those regularly assaulted by officers of the law, on our streets and in our jails--- do they get to say #MeToo as well? Will we listen when they do? We need a complete cultural transformation if we are to eradicate sexual assault in our lifetimes. It means we must build our families differently, engage our communities and confront some of our long-held assumptions about ourselves. . . . When you hear #MeToo, will you stand up to say #NoMore? Let’s get to work.” - Tarana Burke

“In 2006, Tarana Burke founded the me too. movement to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly young women of color from low wealth communities, find pathways to healing. Using the idea of “empowerment through empathy,” the me too. movement was ultimately created to ensure survivors know they're not alone in their journey. The me too. movement has built a community of survivors from all walks of life. . . .  Ultimately, with survivors at the forefront of this movement, we're aiding the fight to end sexual violence. We want to uplift radical community healing as a social justice issue and are committed to disrupting all systems that allow sexual violence to flourish.”  Source: metoomvmt.org


In 2017, we saw the results of many people’s long and unappreciated work as an apparent sea change occurred related to whether society will publicly tolerate sexual violence. While it remains to be seen how deeply this will pervade our church institutions, the #ChurchToo and #SilenceIsNotSpiritual efforts emerged to speak about the multilayered pain when sexual violence occurs in sacred settings, and men started speaking about #HowIWillChange. In 2017, the OEP community gave birth to the OEP-GenderJustice Community of Practice, initiated by Beth McKenney.

Matt Guynn

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