Three years ago, the filmed murder of George Floyd sent shockwaves throughout the world. It inspired a revitalization of racial justice movements, and its legacy can be found in the increased awareness and conversations about the many ways in which racism is still interwoven in the fabric of our society. Yet, as the years have gone past, we have observed a pushback against DEI in company culture, the teaching of the history of racial oppression in schools, and an overwhelming sense that the conversation of racial equity is “over”. At NSVRC, we believe that conversation can never be “over”, particularly in our field.
As an organization that seeks to educate about the effects of sexual violence in our culture and the vital prevention work that must be done to eradicate it, our mission would be left unfulfilled if we didn’t talk about racism. Racism, sexism, and all of the “isms” are related to interconnected systems of oppression. There is no end to sexual violence without an end to racism. That is why our theme for The Resource this year is “Racial Equity in the Movement.”
This year, we launched a Sexual Assault Awareness Month theme that I was incredibly proud of: “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.” Throughout April, we were able to release original resources and facilitate discussion online about how vital it is to consider race as well as ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, disability, and social class when learning about sexual violence and approaching its prevention and care. For this year’s edition of The Resource, we’ve decided to expand upon this topic even further.
The NSVRC library also understands the value of emphasizing racial equity (as well as equity for all types of backgrounds) to young people. This is why, for this issue of The Resource, they have generously provided us with a social justice booklist for young people to learn about the history of discrimination, powerful role models in history to look up to, and the innate power each and every child has to change the world.
Additionally, you can find our article detailing how racial equity was discussed through the plenary speeches at our co-sponsored event, the 2023 National Sexual Assault Conference®. We are so proud of how our speakers brought attention to the importance of racial equity in our movement, and we look forward to seeing how next year’s speakers and workshop-runners tackle this topic.
Some of the subjects brought up throughout this issue are difficult, but we believe firmly in reflecting the full reality of the intersection of race and sexual violence. We hope you continue with us on this journey and never, ever, ever stop having this conversation.
Yolanda Edrington, NSVRC Director
This blog post was published in The Resource 2023 online magazine special issue on Racial Equity in the Movement.