The Networking, Publicity, and Activism Program of SAPAC has been tirelessly working to expand SAPAC’s message of survivor support and appeal to a more diverse span of communities on the University of Michigan campus. This semester, the NPAs partnered with LSA Student Government Diversity Affairs Committee (DAC) to host a dialogue series called Telling the Untold Truth (TUT). This was a three part series that exposed some topics surrounding sexualized violence that are not often discussed. The first dialogue covered the hypersexualization of black men in the media and the stereotype of the black male rapist. For this event, the NPAs collaborated with SAPAC’s Men’s Activism program and Here Earning A Destiny Through Honesty, Eagerness and Determination (HEADS), an organization that offers support and empowerment for black males. The second dialogue focused on personal accounts of sexual assault survivors from the LGBTQ community. For this installment of TUT, the NPAs worked closely with the Spectrum Center on developing a My Voice panel specifically for the dialogue event. My Voice panels are in a program that is housed under the Spectrum Center. During My Voice panels, members of the LGBTQ community are trained to speak to a public or private audience about their life experiences. The final event was in collaboration with the Coalition for Queer People of Color to brainstorm ways that we can be the best possible activists. It was a more lighthearted event that will hopefully serve as a launchpad for further collaborations in the future. These events took place during the months of February and March 2014 and were open the public. The first and second events each had an audience of about 50 people. Each included free snacks and SAPAC swag!
For their last event of the academic year, the NPAs hosted their annual art show rEVOLUTION: Making Art for Change. Art surrounding themes of sexism, gender, and empowerment were exhibited. Artists all over Ann Arbor, as well as the country, submitted pieces and there were fifteen on display. The show was on display for a week in the Michigan Union Art Lounge and a closing reception took place on Friday, April 4th. The evening’s program included musical performances by NPA volunteers Amanda Wenger and Meredith Gillies. Additionally, Dean of Students Laura Blake Jones and Director of SAPAC Holly Rider-Milkovich each delivered heartfelt remarks about SAPAC’s work and the importance of expression through all mediums. rEV will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary next year and we hope to see alums and current SAPACers there!