Becky’s Fund Welcomes EllaMay 31, 2016
I’m Ella, an advocate and activist from Baltimore, MD. During my undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins, I served as the Co-Director for The JHU Sexual Assault Resource Unit. I joined JHU SARU as a freshman looking to change the circumstances that had led to my own abuse. Over the next four years, I devoted much of my time to educating students about healthy relationships and providing survivors in my community the resources they needed to heal. As Co-Director of SARU I facilitated on-campus trainings and discussions, hosted speakers from around the country, and worked closely with administrators to develop a new sexual misconduct policy that includes affirmative consent. I also worked as a peer responder on our 24/7 resource hotline, providing immediate emotional support and connecting survivors legal, medical, and therapeutic resources. As a member of the queer community on campus, I noticed a gap in the resources provided for survivors of assault and domestic violence that did not always account for the needs of LGBTQ+ survivors. To fill this gap, I coordinated with The Office of LGBTQ to create a survivor’s support group as one of their identity-specific meet-ups.
In addition to my advocacy on campus, I interned for the Baltimore-based art activist group FORCE: Upsetting rape culture. I focused on FORCE’s project The Monument Quilt, a crowd-sourced collection of stories by survivors of rape and abuse, written, painted, and stitched into quilt squares. I recently joined the Leadership Team for The Monument Quilt to plan for the quilts final display on the national mall in Spring 2017. I’m also currently working as a project leader for Gather Together, a group of survivors in Baltimore city organizing community dialogues about sexual assault and domestic violence and working with community partners to design public campaigns.
I’m excited to join the Becky’s Fund team this summer to work on programs and communications. I hope to use this platform to foster productive discussions about domestic violence, it’s cultural contexts and intersections with other forms of oppression, and how we can work to prevent future violence. With this broader goal, one of my focuses will be creating LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum.