On Thursday, you arrived at the Afternoon Tea in Q Theatre and we all got to know you on a whole different level.
The way in which a room full of women came to embrace you and feel empowered was moving and inspiring. The panel discussion with Lucy from HELP, Kushali and Sarah from our co-design group and Ruby Frost discussing the meaning of ‘strength in vulnerability’ made everyone think about what it means to be a woman today.
You could feel the energy in the room and the support that young women were giving each other, all of which was a reflection of the force and change we had hoped your arrival would bring.
All of us here at Curative have played a role in bringing you to life and I know you’ve had a lasting impact on each of us. I’ve been talking to the crew about you and their voices resound with empowerment and love…
Being part of Em has been a powerful and emotional journey. We’ve had to draw on our own courage to stand up and acknowledge that our sexual harm statistics are too high, we’ve used our voices to loudly say that it isn’t good enough, and we’ve listened carefully to what young women need to be a force for change. Em, you’re pretty special, and I’m so happy you’re here to provide a sense of support, to incite bravery, to encourage real stories to be told, and to create real change.
Em is powerful in its sense of honesty. Any separation from life is artificial. Work-life, home-life, social-life, there is just life. This. Here. Now. Em gives us the power to be honest with ourselves and how we feel today, and equips us with the tools to stay on top of any worrying emotions that emerge.
As a new member of the Curative Crew, helping bring Em to life allowed me to see first hand just how much Curative projects become part of their lives. This is not a job, this is a calling to make a positive impact and hopefully change the narrative of complex social issues.
Em is courageous, Em is creative, Em is empathetic, Em is a force.
This not only describes 'Em' the movement, but also the team working behind it to bring it to life... From the young women who helped us co-designed the initial concept, Jess, Jo & Eddy who poured so much of themselves into driving the concept, and to Kathryn and the team at HELP, who instigated the overall concept and trusted us with our crazy creative co-design ideas from day one.
It is a true representation of what could happen when we all pull our powers together to become a collective voice, to be a safe place for young women in Aotearoa, and to be a force... for good.
I have the pleasure of knowing we’re playing a part in hopefully unleashing a whole lot more young feminists! Writing content for Em has been a dream piece to write…I kept thinking on how so many young women could really use these tools, stories and words of encouragement, and I kept getting reminded of a younger version of myself and women I know who stumbled upon these lessons after years of trial and error. The time is now coz we needed these messages then, we still need these messages now.
Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is have a conversation about something that matters. Realising the power behind your own voice is one of those "aha" moments in life. One that you can't turn back from. Em is a place to have a voice, to hear other's voices and to give power to all things empathy, empowerment and embracing. What a beautiful way to live!
Apart from taking on a huge creative project and stretching myself in my work, Em has made me realise that I also have a story to tell. It has woken me up to my own experiences that I disregarded as insignificant in favour of 'soldiering on'. Working on Em was like getting one of those big deep embracing hugs, where you can't help but have a cry from the feeling of being surrounded by so much love!
The statistics around sexual assault are atrocious and the prevalent reactions to it worse. So Em, by providing information, support, positive role models and a safe place for fearless conversations and inspiration for young women is fulfilling something desperately needed. I'm super proud to be involved in a project that helps young women stand up and be counted.
But the most important thing, was the impact you were having on the young women and what they shared with us…
“It’s a safe forum… it’s positive… it’s needed. The world is changing, we need to enforce things like Em so they’re (young women) are not alone”
“Vulnerability is where you show your feelings and it makes you feel strong”
“The more we speak out, the more people will know of our struggles… I will make a difference”
“I will be as much a part of Em as possible, and Em will be a part of me”
“I will be a force. You want to be a part of that, part of that change”
That’s what we hope for, to create change, to create a force from each and every young woman who gets to meet you. For me, you’ve been so close to my heart and hearing young women speak so brilliantly and bravely about how they feel about you made my heart swell with hope, joy and pride.
Thanks for coming into our lives Em, we will be a force!