“How are you?” Jesse asked as we sat on our yoga mats. I looked into his eyes and knew exactly what he meant. He felt it too.
You know that feeling — the one 65 million Americans felt days after the election. The feeling of disbelief, anger, and uncertainty at what may lie ahead with Donald Trump in the White House.
For sixty minutes we sat on our yoga mats and instead of practicing asana, we had one of the rawest conversations I have had about this election. Open, honest, real conversation about our fears and how we need to move forward. We recognized that the fight begins here. Right here, in our neighborhood. But, where do we begin?
We decided we needed to do something — we needed to bring people together in a way that reminded us that while we were angry and uncertain, we are moreover hopeful, with unbending faith in our Norfolk community.
A quick Facebook post & boom— six women and a femme supporter sit down for brunch at No Frill Grill. As we enjoyed our breakfast fare, we told each other what brought us to the table that day. We were angry, we were feeling let down. And surprisingly, most of us had a similar story—we were either victims of some form of sexual harassment/assault or knew someone who was. Six strangers, six stories, six times too many.
The sad thing is that we are not alone. According to RAINN, every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Sexual assault and harassment are never something to be taken lightly. And yet what bothers me is that as I type this, I’m wearing a white tee that has a quote from our President- Elect on it. His infamous line, “Grab ‘em by the pussy,” is branded across my chest. My heart sinks just knowing how many people thought that what he said was just “locker room banter.” What angers me is that the man who will be the face of our country is the same man that spoke so crassly about women.
The six women and the femme supporter are concerned, but never hopeless. We believe in the cause and we believe in you! We believe that if a change is going to come, it’s going to come from a group of empowered and passionate citizens! If you want to help fight back in an meaningful way, then join us this Saturday, January 21 at Work | Release.
We will begin with a (free!) self- defense class led by Leta Krieger, former Virginia Beach Police Officer.
Then sit down with us for brunch as we dive into hot topic conversations and a bowl Ruth Bader Grits. One thing I have learned is that if you never talk about the issues, then there will always be issues. So whatever topic you are chewing on, please feel comfortable to bring it to the table. You never know who might feel the same way.
Our hope is that each woman knows that she is strong. Our hope is that each woman knows that she is not alone. And, most importantly, that it is not her fault. We are in this together because women’s issues are all of our issues in one way or another. So grab your gang and we will see you this Saturday!
The Empowerment Brunch is this Saturday at Work Release, which is located at 759 Granby St. For more info or to invite your friends, here’s the event on Facebook.