(Washington, D.C) At this critical moment of a global pandemic and a national uprising against systemic racism in the United States, MeToo national leaders today announced the launch of a multi-racial, survivor-led collective—The Survivors’ Agendathat will amplify the ways in which the movements to end sexual violence and racial violence are reliant upon one another. The belief that survivors of sexual violence know how to transform systems and create a culture of accountability in schools, workplaces, and throughout society, is the basis of this bold new initiative. Tarana Burke, founder of ‘me too.’ International, Ai-Jen Poo, Executive Director of National Domestic Workers Alliance, Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Center, and Monica Ramirez, founder and President of Justice for Migrant Women, with a host of survivor-focused organizations and leaders, co-created this project that will crowdsource the issues, policies, and supports that survivors want and seed the changes that are needed to end sexual violence.

The Survivors’ Agenda initiative will bring survivors together across gender and race, through virtual town halls, kitchen table conversations, and online surveys, to create a platform that drives policy change and systems to build a world that is free of violence. As an initial step, survivors will be invited to participate in an online survey that captures their views on responses to sexual harassment and sexual violence in education, the workplace, housing, public health services, and health and wellness. Their responses will shed valuable insights on issues survivors view as priorities and clarify what they expect our nation’s leaders to do to combat violence. Survivors’ participation will be central to creating a policy agenda that is made by and for survivors—with the goal of articulating key policy priorities that address the systemic problem of sexual harassment and violence and positioning survivors as an important political constituency.

Tomorrow, Thursday, June 25, Tarana Burke, Ai-Jen Poo, Fatima Goss Graves, and Monica Ramirez will host a national call to address why a survivors’ agenda is critical to confront the systemic problem of sexual violence and how The Survivors’ Agenda will mobilize survivors to take action in community. The call will take place at 7pm ET /6pm CT/ 4pm PT. To register for this call, go here.

“In October 2017, the world shifted as millions of people raised their hand to say “me too,” said Tarana Burke, founder of ‘me too.’ International. “Almost three years later, and we are still experiencing the ripple effects and shifting into how a movement is born from its wake. In 2020, we are ensuring that the policies and services we need to protect our rights to dignity, safety, and freedom are not only part of the national conversation, but fundamental to it.”

In September, The Survivors’ Agenda will be unveiled at a virtual Survivors Summit. The summit will bring survivors together from across the country and across identities to give them the tools to demand change and accountability and to find healing. This will position survivors  to take this work back into their communities—whether that means starting campaigns around key policy demands or speaking as experts on this issue in the media or in public spaces.

“We are calling for a change in the rules,” said Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director of National Domestic Workers Alliance. “We are calling for the people in power–the officials we elect into office, and who purport to represent our interests–to be held accountable to the unique needs of those who have survived sexual and gender-based violence. Those who may or may not self-identify as survivors, but who, by nature of their personal experiences, identify closely with the impacts of survivorhood.”

“At this moment when our country is grappling with its long history of systemic racism and the many ways that our existing systems and institutions are failing, it is all the more critical to elevate the voices of survivors,” said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “We’ve barely begun to address the systems that provide cover for this abuse. But tapping into the creative ideas, suggestions, and expertise of survivors will be key to guiding our leaders to work to build a world where we can work and live and learn with safety, dignity, and equality.”

“When we come together in the name of healing and restorative justice, we will do so with the needs and voices of the most marginalized at the center,” said Mónica Ramírez, the Founder and President of Justice for Migrant Women. “We will work to uplift the experiences and demands of Black, Indigenous, people of color, queer, trans, and disabled survivors, knowing that when we serve survivors at the intersections, we strengthen and sustain a movement that will change perceptions and behaviors and shift culture for the greater good.”

To take part in a crowdsourced agenda for building safer futures, free from sexual violence through a digital platform that launches on June 24, go here.

And for more information about the Survivor’s Agenda and/or the national call taking place, please contact Melanie@ellecomm.com

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