We knew in 2014 when we selected our focus area that some women and girls in our community face danger every day. Through our grants to agencies who help them regain security, we help to make inroads each day. But more needs to be known about the crisis that others face and safe places they can rely on. We've been pleased to see others communicating about aspects of our focus area.
The aSHEville Museum's September 1-November 15 exhibit, "More Than a Survivor", tells its poignant story through stunning portraits. Their exhibit that ends in August, "Bought and Sold: Voices of Human Trafficking", was the site of an Advocacy Committee event to which all WFW members were invited.
Carolina Public Press (CPP) sponsored an informative event about Human Trafficking in August, with panelists Angélica Wind (Our VOICE), Karen Arias (30th Judicial District Domestic Violence - Sexual Assault Alliance, Inc.) and Frank Taylor of CPP. The founder and head of CPP, Angie Newsome, spoke at our 2014 Fall Gathering held at Highland Brewing.
At a Moral Monday gathering in Sylva this summer, we found five women promoting organic cleaning supplies. A 2014 grant funded Clean Slate Coalition with $35,000 to launch a new program called Clean Slate Enterprises for women residing at the Clean Slate House in Sylva, some of whom have been imprisoned or institutionalized. Clean Slate was delighted with the grant; they now make organic cleaning supplies and offer custodial and cleaning services to businesses and individuals, primarily in Jackson County. This program gives women work experience that oftentimes leads to a job, and improved life skills, reducing their risk of recidivism, addiction relapse and homelessness.