Can we create a world of true equality? How do we maintain our motivation when injustice and inequality reign around the globe? In addition to spiritual nourishment, I look to success stories for inspiration.
Here in Denver, USA, we are celebrating the success of our recent benefit concert for the AMURTEL projects in Haiti. After the concert, my co-organizer, Kusuma Donnelly, told me, “it exceeded my wildest dreams!” We raised over $3,000 with an audience of 150 people.
We were two women organizing an event at a woman-owned concert venue, with the proceeds going to a woman-run project… yet gender was never an issue in any part of the process. We were met with nothing but open doors; we were treated with nothing but respect.
Let me illustrate the point for you. I sent a media pitch to a popular local magazine. The title of my email read “Assault Survivor/Songwriter Creates Benefit for Orphans in Haiti”. The male magazine editor forwarded my pitch to a male reporter, who promptly contacted me to set up an interview. I was sexually assaulted by a friend’s dad at age five, and the reporter wrote a beautiful article about how my experience as a survivor has driven me to heal the world through music. I believe we must tell our stories of healing after injustice, and I was met with more respect and open doors.
While I am inspired by my experience, I am aware that my reality is a sharp contrast to the reality of women in Haiti, and women in poverty everywhere. Human trafficking, barriers to education and a lack of opportunities haunt so many women, in addition to the problems of sexual assault and unequal pay that I have experienced in my life. Yet we must build on our success stories. Kusuma has twice volunteered in Haiti and has taught knitting to women, men and children. Using old T-shirts or plastic bags, the hard-working Haitians learn to create marketable items. The AMURT and AMURTEL projects in Haiti are creating an oasis of hope and progress.
Reflecting upon our fundraising concert, I experienced living proof that a post-gender world is possible. I realize that it exists in a bubble, among progressively minded, well-educated people. Yet I believe we must start with creating progress and empowerment in small circles. We can create a world of equality and respect, beginning small and creating ripples in ever-expanding circles.
By Sara Giita Flores – 15 March 2018