In the last few months, Occupy Wall Street has shown us that Americans have tapped into the global movement against negligent economic policies. Americans are fed up with the aggressive capitalism that is hurting the middle class and resting on the backs of the poor.
Unjust economic policy is the cause of much of the violence and disruption seen in many of our communities and specifically poor, immigrant communities. As Mayor Bloomberg fights to clear out the occupiers- we must remember the real issue is not the encampments, but what they represent- which is the fight against regressive economic policies that are hurting our communities and stopping us from living sustainable, happy and healthy lives.
As members of the Sakhi community and committed to the eradication of violence against women, let us use this momentum to push for change in our communities that reflects the needs of our own 99%.
As with the Occupy movement, it is clear that the time has come for concrete actions to be taken. We must push for the kind of change we want to see. At Sakhi, we are using this momentum to continue our work, strengthen our partnerships, ramp up our prevention programs and enable and support our communities.
Over the past year at Sakhi, we:
* Formed partnerships with the Anti-Violence Project for our staff to be trained on working with the LGBTQ community
* Expanded our scope of services to permit safe friends and family of survivors to attend some of our economic empowerment workshops, recognizing their similar isolation and vulnerability to violence
* Launched a teen dating violence project, for the first time ever reaching our youth – working with girls so that we can address and prevent violence
* Continued to reach previously unreached South Asians in New York City through community outreach activities
* Held our first Summit, ‘Preventing Violence, Promoting Justice’ and brought together social justice leaders across movements to figure out how we can bring our collective voices and strengths to end violence against women
As the year ends, we already have plans to build on the energy surrounding the Summit and will host the first in a series of follow up events in February 2012 at the Barnard Center for Research on Women.