End CSA NOW! EVENT – Save the Date

Join us in bringing awareness, prevention, and dialogue
to end child sexual abuse.

End Child Sexual Abuse NOW!
>>>EVENT<<<

Saturday, April 19, 1:30 – 4:30pm
Oakland Asian Cultural Center
388 9th Street, Oakland

As many of you know myself and 8 community members have been working to create an event that emphasizes the importance of community involvement to end child sexual abuse (CSA) and increase visibility of those impacted by it.

Please SAVE THE DATE. This event will include:

  • Discussions about current efforts being made to address CSA;
  • Community forum to bring voice to those impacted by CSA;
  • Special film screening of preliminary footage from You Me and the Fruit Trees;
  • Resources and information sharing;
  • Healing arts activity;
  • Most importantly, we want to bring visibility to this largely shrouded issue by leading a community march to the local city hall as a call to action!

Parts of the event will be filmed for the documentary my team and I are currently producing. It’s a character driven film that follows several survivors of CSA and includes leaders in the movement to end child sexual abuse as well as other community members impacted by CSA. For more information on this documentary please visit: Trailer

We are also thrilled and honored to share that the City of Berkeley unanimously passed our proclamation to recognize “End Child Sexual Abuse NOW!” as a day in Berkeley. We have a whole lot to celebrate and hope you can be there April 19th to celebrate with us!

Please share this invitation with your networks through social media, tweet it, post it and forward this post to your friends, co-workers and family.  Invite your friends on Facebook here:  End CSA EVENT

Stay tune for a list of speakers and more details.

Together we can end CSA!

Tracey Quezada –info@traceyquezadaproductions.com
&
Danielle Castro – Danielle.castro@ucsf.edu

Good: Grief. On Grief, Remembrances and Moving Forward.

bloom

On Grief, Remembrances and Moving Forward.

by Jaye Johnson

What’s grief but a felt sense of loss?

And what’s remembrance but a… re-membering? A sense of “Putting it all back together.”

When we lose or lose touch with people we know, know of, love and respect, the pain can seem so hard to bear. So unspeakable. But speak about it we must.

Unresolved feelings—including mournful ones—find ways and means of expression that surprise us in ways we can’t even comprehend. For health’s sake, for closure’s sake, breathing life into grief so that it can transform, resolve itself, bring about healing, is essential to your well-being.

As each day makes its way into our collective consciousness, I renew my thoughts.

I remind myself of the spiritual truth that nothing is ever lost or hidden in Divine Mind. Memories keep our loved ones alive—this Life is eternal. Paradoxically, these feelings of being separated from others remind us of how we are all interconnected.

Seeing each day, moment, holiday, ritual, shared or sacred time as symbolic, we honor and celebrate all that is lovable with in ourselves.

Each life is precious. Each life lost…still cherished.

You are precious. You are cherished. Your loving thoughts keep those you have lost alive. Precious. Cherished.

Namaste,

Jaye

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Healing Happens: Discover Helpful Resources & Links

Angela Shelton – Healing – Angela Shelton is a healing sherpa and a walking, rocking testament that joy and healing happens. I’ve never seen anyone handle even grief quite like her. Great rest stop on the long and winding road, great space for online dance breaks!

This Is A War – Grief – Helpful reminders and ideas to help you navigate through the grieving process at your own pace.

Grief and Creativity – Creativity is forever an act of faith. It can help to get you moving out of any transition process simply “in the doingness of creative things.” Check it out.

Losing Your Parents  – Deals with grief and loss in terms of losing your parents. Great support and heart-opening updates.

 


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Music as Mantra’s-Finding healing through songs.

Listening to Tori Amos’s music probably saved my identity.  I don’t want to say “saved my life” because I am not sure if my life was ever in jeopardy.  But, my identity was and I think that, on some level, losing one’s identity (or never finding it in the first place) is a horrifying thought.

When I found Tori’s music I was a junior in high school and had just gotten out of a terrible, abusive relationship that lasted much longer than it should have.  I was seventeen and really had no idea who I was.  This was compounded with the fact that I lived in a small town where gossip spread like wildfire and where everyone seemed to have an opinion about what had happened to me.  So, not only was I trying to heal from something very destructive, I was also trying to be a teenager in a very suffocating place.  I had no idea who I was or what I wanted to become.

Then a friend of mine gave me a copy of Tori Amos’s CD Little Earthquakes.  Just like many Tori Amos fans have said, that CD changed everything.  It required me to listen and interpret the song lyrics, to adjust them to my emotions and to find mantra’s in songs like “Girl” (Everybody else’s girl, maybe one day she’ll be her own”).  I began listening to all her songs on a loop (at the time she had three albums out) and found myself transfixed by this person who seemed to understand what I was going through, even though we had never met.

As I grew older and began the long journey that was my college and graduate education I found myself turning to Tori’s music for more than healing (although healing was still certainly a major component).  I began to see it as a guide through things like politics (the album American Doll Posse took on George W. Bush and his policies), the experience of Native people (with the album Scarlet’s Walk), international relations (the song Juarez which addressed the rape and murder of women in Juarez long before the media started covering it) as well as my own feminism.

When it came time for me to pick a dissertation topic for my PhD I workshopped an idea about the ways women have used music as a means to heal themselves as part of a holistic health class I was taking.  I was surprised at how positive my classmate’s responses were, especially since none of them had heard of Tori or her music.  With this in mind, in the summer of 2009, I began interviewing women who are fans of Tori Amos to find out what it was that drew them to her music.  The results of this study demonstrated to me that music goes beyond being a powerful healing force, music reflects the experience of the listener and becomes a way for a person to engage in self care.

But, specifically for women, music that tells the story of another women’s experience is particularly powerful, especially if the song is written and performed by another woman.  Many of the women I interviewed were survivors of sexual or physical abuse.  For them, Tori’s music took them on a journey to self-healing because the songs spoke to Tori’s own experience overcoming sexual assault.  Another common theme was experiences women had had with miscarriage.  One women, in particular, told me the story of a pregnancy that was the result of her rape and the miscarriage that followed.  Knowing that Tori has been through miscarriages, and had written entire albums about the experience, gave many women a guide, a way to help them heal.  The result of this study is my forthcoming book, “Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman: Female Fans and the Music of Tori Amos.

In holistic health it is taught that people cannot heal unless their mind, body and spirit are all being worked on.  This is what I think music does for people.  I spoke with many rape survivors who told me they write down song lyrics in their journal’s and use them as bullet points to express what they are feeling, because doing this in a journal is a safe place.  I met a woman, who was healing from breast cancer, who told me that her best healing takes place in the car on her way home from work because she can scream along with the music she is playing and release her tension.  Many people talk about blasting a CD (or IPod playlist) while creating art, that the music gives them a rhythm to help them create.  One woman in particular, who is dealing with a disease that left her disabled, told me about her “painting songs”, a playlist created to get her motivated to create her art.  For myself, music becomes mantra’s in my head that will often punctuate what I am feeling.  Sometimes I am aware of what they mean and sometimes I let them pass through and assume that the meaning will come to me later.

I hope to explore the ways that music can be a tool in your “healing kit” in future posts.  I hope you can offer me suggestions or share your own way(s) of using music to heal in the comments.  Until next time, one of my favorite quotes from Leo Tolstoy, “Music is the shorthand of emotion.”

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Adrienne Trier-Bieniek, PhD is the author of the forthcoming book, “Sing Us a Song, Piano Woman: Female Fans and the Music of Tori Amos” which will be release by Scarecrow Press.  She has written for The Orlando Sentinel and the journals “Qualitative Research” and “Humanity and Society.”  She is currently a faculty member in sociology at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida and she studies the ways pop culture influences ideas about gender.  She also runs the Facebook page “Pop Culture Feminism.” www.adriennetrier-bieniek.com