By: Genessa & Jordyn, Voices
Although much emphasis is placed at the university level, community colleges are far from immune to the issue of sexual violence. Being an activist at the community level differs from the experience at a traditional university as the community college environment presents a set of unique challenges. Because only 25% of community colleges offer off-campus housing most students are commuters and maintain jobs outside of classes. Balancing an outside schedule on top of classes can make campus involvement a challenge for students as well as group leaders. Beyond these challenges, sexual violence remains a difficult issue to move people to talk about.
With these challenges in mind, Voices, an advocacy group at Northwestern Michigan College, launched a photo campaign intended to generate a wider reach and inspire others to get involved both on and off campus. The #MyVoice photo campaign was a partnership between multiple student groups, community members, and faculty that had the goal of encouraging other survivors and allies to speak out on the issue and show support through posting photos with statements, stories, and other pieces of art related to sexual violence.
We want to encourage others to share the photos we have taken, and share their own using the hashtag #MyVoice. Although this campaign emerged from a relatively small town faced with the unique challenges of involving students at community colleges we are encouraged by the response of our peers and see great potential everyone to change the culture surrounding sexual assault that we currently live in.
Getting involved and making a change not only possible in every corner of the world, but also extremely important. The more people willing to take a stand, the more powerful of a movement we will create. No involvement is too small, and it can start with posting picture in support of survivors by using our hashtag #MyVoice.
Voices is a student led group based at Northwestern Michigan College that is focused on providing peer to peer support for survivors of sexual assault as well as bringing together allies in order to raise awareness throughout the community.
For more pictures from the Voices Galley, check out their Facebook page