Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Black women anti-rape advocates unite at UIC
by Liz Baudler
2018-04-18

This article shared 843 times since Wed Apr 18, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


"After Rosa, Before #MeToo"—a panel of the history of Black women's anti-rape organizing efforts—was a chance for four powerful women to commiserate on a subject they knew intimately. Organized by Keisa Reynolds of the University of Illinois at Chicago's ( UIC's ) Women's Leadership and Resource Center as part of its "Take Back the Fight" programming, Reynolds was inspired by reading a piece about how #metoo was not benefitting Black women, and realizing the author seemed unfamiliar with Black women's crucial efforts in the fight against sexual violence.

Mary Scott-Boria—a former member of the Black Panther party and, later, a women's health organizer—remembered not feeling like she had a language to talk about the rape she'd experienced when she was 20. "I did it because I was a community organizer," Scott-Boria said of her early anti-rape work. "I didn't even think of myself as a survivor."

Scott remembered "stumbling" into anti-rape organizing, a feeling the entire panel concurred with. Two of the women, Vickie Sides and Rachel Caidor, did not even feel like organizers, though Caidor said in college her dorm room was the unofficial rape-crisis center. "When I graduated high school, I didn't even know rape crisis counselor was a job you could get," she said.

Activist Mariame Kaba remembered calling a sexual-violence hotline she found in the phone book, and asking to be connected to other teen survivors. "You are in crisis and you need to figure out what is wrong with you," she remembered being told. "We have no place for you." Both she and Scott-Boria had spent formative years inside Black Nationalist movements that were highly sexist: Kaba's consciousness was raised in college by Angela Davis' Violence Against Women and the Ongoing Challenge to Racism.

All of the women had to confront both misconceptions about the work they started to do and internal struggles within their various communities. While the other panelists recalled forming a community around the YWCA, Kaba remembered feeling isolated from other women of color in her non-profit work, and increasingly uneasy about the role the state played in her work. The cops were never the first thing survivors asked for, she said, often because they didn't want their partners incarcerated. Had she continued in a non-profit space, Kaba said, she would have eventually stopped doing the work.

Through her work with social service agencies, Caidor began to see the way conversations about domestic violence and rape were siloed, and among women of color, survivor identity was still developing. Working as a counselor in Logan Square, she found she "had to unlearn what they were taught," as clients treated her space more as a community center rather than for counseling. Caidor found that communities were already doing the healing and organizing she was supposed to provide. "Disabuse yourself of what you think people need," she advised the crowd, saying it was better for nonprofits to provide space and resources in communities of color than inserting themselves.

Scott-Boria, meanwhile, had been asked to grow the presence of rape-crisis services in Black communities, but she soon realized that to "create a consciousness around rape enhanced the criminalization of Black men." Furthermore, she found her task literally impossible because of the belief that funding should be spread equally throughout the state. And the conversation about rape was historically understood to be private in Black communities, although the panel agreed that approaches to that conversation are changing. Scott-Boria's granddaughter has followed in her footsteps as an anti-rape organizer, unaware that her grandmother once did the same work, and her 13-year-old grandson recently asked her to explain rape. "Boy, you asked the wrong person," Scott-Boria joked as the room exploded with laughter.

Kaba delineated the history of rape conversations in the Black community. While Black men were often accused of raping white women, which led to powerful anti-lynching activism, and Black women were often victimized by white men, the conversation about intracommunity sexual violence "didn't exist," Kaba said.

Sides recalled observing her partner in a 40-hour training in which part of the agenda involved disclosing survivorhood. Initially Sides recalled wondering why the participants, all Black women, were using the training as "a therapy session." Her partner reminded Sides, no stranger to working in these worlds already, that this was an opportunity and space which Black women were rarely afforded. "Why didn't I see the beauty of what was happening there?" Sides asked, and went on to say the space probably was so effective because it was all Black and no one was offering justice, instead just the space itself.

Audience questions saw the women discussing R&B singer R. Kelly, soon to make an appearance at UIC's campus. While saying of Kelly, "that child molestor makes really good songs," Caidor critiqued Jim DeRogatis' journalism about Kelly, saying it seemed "self-interested," and recalling that on his radio show DeRogatis had once discussed Ike Turner's career without mentioning his spousal abuse."Where were you for Tina Turner?" Caidor asked rhetorically. Kaba agreed, calling the DeRogatis's pursuit of Kelly "Ahabization," and wondering on a broader level how perpetrators can repair harm.

"If there's no way back, a lot of people are going to deny they're rapists," Kaba pointed out. She continued this point in response to a question about how to restore perpetrators to communities. "We don't have a culture that encourages people to take responsibility," she said, and pointed out that we should still reward people for being accountable. Fear of punishment, Kaba continued, leads to collusion, where communities hide their wrongdoers and nothing get solved. "Communities are not going to agree to throw their people to the state," Kaba said.

Sides pointed out that artists and storytellers like R.C Riley and E. Nina Jay, who talk about their histories of sexual violence in their work, are finding ways to engage without organizing. Sides, who currently works at U of C, saw hope in a student she worked with who wanted to draft a curriculum to educate her rapist rather than go through a disciplinary process.

"People are starting to think beyond criminal justice," Sides said.

"Take Back The Fight: Resisting Sexual Violence From the Ground Up" runs through May 15 at UIC's Pop Up Just Art Gallery, 1344 S. Halsted St.


This article shared 843 times since Wed Apr 18, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

COVID California, Puerto Rico off Chicago's travel advisory list; others return
2021-09-21
On Sept. 22, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) took one state and one territory—California and Puerto Rico—off its weekly COVID-19 Travel Advisory, while Connecticut and the District of Columbia returned to the advisory. The ...


Gay News

LGBTQ blood donation discrimination assessed, PULSE shootings cited
2021-09-21
--From a press release - Chicago, Ill. — Last week, Reps. Mike Quigley (IL-05), Val B. Demings (FL-10), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Adam B. Schiff (CA-28), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Ritchie Torres (NY-15) received a ...


Gay News

Chicago Ald. Cappleman attacked
2021-09-19
On the night of Sept. 18, Chicago Ald. James Cappleman was attacked in the Uptown area of the city, The Chicago Tribune reported. Cappleman, in charge of the 46th Ward, is one of five members of ...


Gay News

WORLD Germany's compensation, Lyra McKee, LGBTQ Afghans, tennis player
2021-09-19
Germany has compensated almost 250 people who were prosecuted or investigated under a Nazi-era law criminalizing homosexuality, according to euronews. By September, 317 people had applied for compensation for their ...


Gay News

Patrick J. Kennedy to receive award from Trilogy at virtual gala
2021-09-18
Chicago-based Trilogy Behavioral Healthcare will present its Partner in Recovery Award to The Kennedy Forum founder, mental-health advocate and former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy as a part of its virtual 50th-anniversary gala on Thursday, Oct. 21. ...


Gay News

HHS awards $48M to health centers to expand HIV prevention, treatment
2021-09-16
On Sept. 16, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $48 million to 271 HRSA-supported health centers across 26 states, Puerto Rico and ...


Gay News

National groups kick off #BiWeek to celebrate bisexuality+ visibility
2021-09-16
Sept. 16 marks the start of #BiWeek, an annual digital campaign to accelerate acceptance for the bisexual+ (bi, pansexual, fluid, queer, unlabeled, etc.) community, according to a joint press release from the organizations The Bisexual Resource ...


Gay News

Hastert settles sexual-abuse lawsuit
2021-09-16
Days before a trial was set to begin, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reached a tentative settlement in a hush-money lawsuit filed by a man whose decades-old sexual-abuse allegations led to the politician's downfall six ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs transformative energy legislation for Illinois
2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Delivering on principles previously laid out, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation into law that puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy, invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs ...


Gay News

COVID Southern Illinois reports it has zero ICU beds available
2021-09-15
Amid a COVID-19 surge, Illinois' southern region reported Sept. 13-14 that it ran out of intensive care unit (ICU) beds—which has delayed surgeries and resulted in longer waits for appropriate care, The Chicago Tribune reported. In ...


Gay News

Howard Brown hosting Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium on Sept. 29-30
2021-09-15
Howard Brown Health will host its 2021 Midwest LGBTQ Health Symposium in a virtual format Sept. 29-30. The conference, presented by the Howard Brown Health Center for Education, Research and ...


Gay News

COVID Connecticut, D.C., removed from Chicago's travel advisory
2021-09-14
On Sept. 14, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) took one state—Connecticut—and the District of Columbia off its weekly COVID-19 travel advisory. The advisory now includes 48 states and three territories, as daily COVID case ...


Gay News

Catholic theologians urge protections for LGBTQ+ people
2021-09-14
More than 750 of the nation's leading Catholic theologians, church leaders, scholars, educators and writers have joined New Ways Ministry in voicing support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, according to a New Ways press release. ...


Gay News

Men Having Babies surrogacy conference on Oct. 9
2021-09-13
The Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. According to a press statement, more than 100 (vaccinated!) ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine
2021-09-12
In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.