The Denim Project is a new Clark University student initiative that uses art, community, and conversation as means of raising awareness of sexual violence. In April, the group will present the following events as part of its Series on Awareness of Sexual Violence:
Art Exhibit 2 p.m. Saturday, April 6 Traina Center for the Arts (2nd floor) Through an anonymous survey during the past weeks, Clark students have submitted their own stories of experiencing sexual violence. The stories are shared with visual artists whose works will strive to interpret these experiences.
Community Conversation 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11 The Fishbowl at Dana Commons In the community conversation, members of the Clark community will discuss sexual violence through a socio-cultural lens. The Denim Project guest speaker is Jessica Johnson, founder of Jeans 4 Justice, a non-profit organization that focuses on creating healthy relationships and empowering social change, with the ultimate goal of ending sexual violence. Johnson will co-facilitate the conversation. She will also speak at the living art show, April 13.
Living Art Show 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13 Tilton Hall The Living Art Show includes models exhibiting wearable art that also is created by Clark University student artists. Works from the earlier art exhibit will also be on display, and attendees will be able to enjoy refreshments and performances by various student groups.
"When I started working on The Denim Project, I had no idea that it would be this big,” said Dan Deutsch, a Clark University senior who initiated the project. “When the scope became stressful or seemed overwhelming, one of the most important things I learned was to take a step back and realize that this work is extremely important, especially on a college campus. I have had such a dedicated and passionate group of students work with me along the way, and my hope is that students and administration view the series as a new beginning of the conversation about sexual violence at Clark."
The Denim Project’s partnering non-profit, Jeans 4 Justice, is a community-driven model of social change that first brings awareness of an issue, educates on how to be an active bystander, and finally empowers participants as leaders in the movement to end sexual violence. Jeans 4 Justice believes in “the infinite power of the individual, and that transformation and leadership happen from the inside out. When one person commits to making a shift in their own life by making powerful, compassionate and loving choices, they create a ripple around them that can cause change throughout generations.”
Along with partner Jeans 4 Justice, The Denim Project Series is sponsored by Pathways for Change, formerly the Rape Crisis Center of Central Massachusetts. Other sponsors include the following at Clark University: Communication & Culture Program Higgins School of Humanities CAVE (Clark Anti-Violence Education) Program Office of Student Leadership & Programming Speaker's Forum TOPICS (Training, Outreach, Prevention, Intervention, Counseling) student organization STIR (student life magazine)
These events are free and open to the public. For more information, find The Denim Project on Facebook, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or learn about the partnering non-profit organization Jeans 4 Justice at www.jeans4justice.org.