SpeakOut! is an event that we hold every year (usually in the Fall, but sometimes in the Spring as well) to show support for survivors of sexual assault and interpersonal violence. After collecting anonymous testimonials on our SpeakOut! Blog, PD organizes a reading of these stories by our members in The Pit. The evening also includes a-capella and spoken word performances, and the opportunity for anyone to speak out against sexual assault and interpersonal violence during the open mic. SpeakOut! is an emotional and difficult event for everyone, but its message and impact are essential to our mission.
(Photo by Evan Semones, Daily Tar Heel)
In Fall 2014, PD held its first Consent Carnival in the Queen Anne Lounge of the Campus Y. Although much of our work involves educating the community about the difficult and painful realities that survivors face, we are equally concerned with the celebration of healthy sexuality and healthy relationships of all kinds. Consent Carnival is a night of food, fun, and free prizes! (Some of the more *exciting* ones come from our generous donor Cherry Pie, in Raleigh). We play trivia, eat pizza, color in coloring books, and hold the ever popular “condom toss” contest. This event is also a great place to meet up with other gender equality and feminist advocacy groups from around campus, who partner with us to provide resources, information, and Halloween candy!
Love Week & Self Love Week
In February, usually the week of Valentine’s Day, PD sits in The Pit each day for a whole week! We pass out stickers, treats, and resources supporting all kinds of healthy relationships and spreading awareness about unhealthy relationships, relationship violence, stalking, etc. We emphasize love in all its forms, be it among romantic partners of any gender identity or sexual orientation, or be it among friends and family! One of the most popular parts of Love Week is a photo campaign where students and other passersby can respond to our prompt “A healthy relationship is…” and have their picture taken for our website.
In recent years, Love Week has been such a success, that in Spring 2015, PD decided to dedicate Love Week to “self love” in particular. We believe self love is the foundation of healthy relationships, and a key to being a happy human being! It’s also a great reason to eat pizza together.
Alliance Against Violence (AAV)
Alliance Against Violence is a week-long event that we hold in April, during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Previously known as 24 Hour Rape Free Zone, this week is dedicated to raising awareness of sexual violence issues as well as encouraging our community to engage in prevention and advocacy. Over the past 2 years, we have passed out over 4,000 free Alliance Against Violence t-shirts. The t-shirts have a pledge on the back, which reads “I pledge to take a stand against interpersonal violence in order to begin the real practice of equality and freedom.” By asking everyone to sign the pledge and wear the t-shirts on the same day (usually Thursday or Friday), we create a visual representation on campus of our dedication to supporting survivors and ending sexual assault in our community. AAV also includes a capella and spoken word performances and generally coincides with the I’m a Survivor Benefit Concert.
I’m a Survivor Benefit Concert
PD organizes this benefit concert during April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month, or SAAM) as a fundraiser for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center (OCRCC). The Beyonce-themed concert is both empowering and educational, as we work to reach audiences that may not otherwise hear our message. The night includes performances by bands, singer/songwriters, dance groups, and more.
We also pass out custom consent coasters and raffle tickets for prizes from local Chapel Hill and Carrboro organizations, including WomanCraft, The Daily Grind, and LightYears. It’s a lot of fun, and a great fundraiser for the OCRCC!
Orgasm? Yes, Please! (OYP)
OYP is an event held by Project Dinah, Interactive Theatre Carolina, and Health and Wellness in past years. This event is normally scheduled for the fall, and uses skits to teach the sex ed you were supposed to, but probably didn’t get in high school. OYP covers many topics, including what does/does not qualify as consent, how to have tough conversations about STDs, etc. and (of course) orgasms. We believe that spreading knowledge about safe, consensual intercourse is very important in preventing interpersonal violence. We also pass out free condoms and raffle off sex toys (over $400 worth!) — it’s a great time!