As a high school freshman in 2003, Daphnee helped to found the Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team (YWAT), a youth-led, adult-supported social change project that empowers women to take action on issues that affect their lives. The YWAT believes that through collective action, consciousness-raising and organizing they can end violence against girls and young women. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “For girls who are in abusive dating relationships, tired of being groped by unfamiliar men on the CTA or dreading the walks to and from school for fear of boys and men who harass them, Daphnee Rene is a champion.” Daphnee has been recognized as a “Champion of Change” by Women Employed, and one of “50 People Who Make Chicago a Better Place” by the Chicago-Sun Times. She currently attends DePaul University, where she plans to obtain a degree in Sociology and Philosophy.
The following Youtube Video aired at the awards ceremony in March 2010 and highlights the honorees including Daphnee:
We are pleased to be supporting the National Week of Action on School Pushout sponsored by the Dignity in Schools Campaign. We are contributing to the National Week of Action on School Pushout by lending our new comic Sent Down the Drain which was illustrated and written by our ally artist & activist Billy Dee to the campaign for the week.
Sent Down the Drain by Billy Dee for Suspension Stories (2010)
We have also developed a set of discussion questions with Project NIA to accompany the comic. We hope that people will find this useful in raising awareness and consciousness about the school to prison pipeline and school pushout.
The comic will be available exclusively on the Dignity in School website for downloading until Monday October 18th. It will then be removed and we will re-post it in 2011 when we launch our new Suspension Stories website. In the meantime, you can visit our Suspension Stories Youtube Channel to see some great interviews that we have filmed already. Special thanks to our partners at Free Spirit Media for filming these interviews at our April 2010 event.
So be sure to download this popular education tool this week! Also, you can join YWAT member, Lillian Matanmi on Saturday October 16th from 9:30 to Noon on a panel at an event called “Youth Voices Challenge the School to Prison Pipeline.” This event will take place at Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can register for that event here.
Our awesome peers at Free Spirit Media have been consistent and terrific partners with us on several projects over the past few years. Youth from FSM worked with us to create this short video that highlights our mission and work. They have also partnered with us in the past to film our CTA stories community forum and are currently working with us on our Suspension Stories project. FSM ROCKS!
Over the past seven years, the Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team (better known as YWAT) has been been addressing violence in the lives of girls in Chicago.
Back in 2006, we were lucky to have a group of students from Depaul University work with us to develop our original website. We loved that site and have kept it for the past four years. However in the last couple of years as our membership has changed, we have found it more difficult to keep up with updating the site. It was created through Joomla and only a couple of our members are proficient. Therefore the burden was always on them to keep our site relevant and updated.
Now with the advent of WordPress, we have found it much easier to create blogs and websites. We are taking advantage of this moment in time to create a new site that will archive most of our work from the past 7 years. This is a work in progress and we don’t plan to be done with this site until the end of the year. We hope that readers will be patient with us as we upload materials and experiment with the look of the site.
We hope that this site will be useful to other youth-led groups across the country. Welcome!
The YWAT is a youth-led, adult-supported social change project that empowers women to take action on issues that affect their lives (particularly issues of violence against girls and young women). The YWAT believes that girls and young women should be free from violence. We believe that through collective action, consciousness-raising, and organizing we can end violence against girls and young women.