When we launched the Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team (YWAT) in the summer of 2003, we could not have imagined where we would be today. We launched the project with eight young women and over the years we have had over 40 associate and core members.
We have traveled the country speaking in New Orleans, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee, just to name a few places. We have directly educated over 5,000 youth and adults about street harassment, healthy relationships, and in general about violence against girls and young women. We know that our influence exceeds that number because of the curricula and train-the-trainer events that we sponsored over the years.
We have learned research skills through our participatory action research projects and have developed ourselves as leaders. We have created curricula and will release our final one about how to engage young men as allies to prevent gender-based violence this Fall. It will be our final project.
We have spent the past several months archiving all of the work that we have created over the past 8 years. We wanted to make sure to document our practice so that other young people who are taking action in the world might find some inspiration in what we accomplished and take it to the next level.
We are keeping our e-mail address though we will likely only check it from time to time. If you have questions about the history of our work, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each and every young woman who has participated in creating YWAT is proud of what we have done. We are all lifelong activists and continue to take action in our communities together and independently. We thank every single person who contributed in any way to making YWAT what we became.
Special thanks to our funders, our allies, our families, and all of our supporters. We want to say a final special thanks to Mariame Kaba who served as our primary adult ally during the entire 8 years of our existence. We could not have achieved what we did without her love, support, and constant encouragement.
The struggle continues…