On Saturday, March 11 at 2pm, seven marches in seven Caribbean countries will bring hundreds of people together to break silence on sexual violence. The Bahamas march will begin at 2pm, starting from the Potter’s Cay parking lot west of the Paradise Island bridge, travel south on Mackey Street, and end at The Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts grounds.
Participants are invited to stay for the Tiny Talk Speaker Series and Expo which will include a storytelling workshop, life coaching, yoga, condom demonstrations, and art therapy. Hollaback! Bahamas, powered by Equality Bahamas, has partnered with NGOs including Bahamas Crisis Centre, The Family: People Helping People, and Bahamas Sexual Health & Rights Association to make a variety of services and information available on-site.
“We’re focusing on the power of story-sharing, creating a safe space for dialogue, and working toward the healing of survivors through this march, speaker series, and expo. Our goal is to bring a wealth of resources to one space and invite people, especially women and girls, and access them,” said Alicia Wallace, Director of Hollaback! Bahamas.
Organized by Life In Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence, this event comes after #LifeInLeggings brought stories of sexual violence, from street harassment to rape, to social media. Started in Barbados, the hashtag got the attention of women throughout the region who shared their own stories. The Reclaim Our Streets regional march of solidarity affirms the women who have shared their stories, supports survivors of sexual violence, calls on authorities to address the issue with legislation, policy, and programming, and provides the general public with tools to take action.
Founder Ronelle King said, “It’s important that we, as a Caribbean region, come together and pledge to end violence against women and girls. Let us look toward the future and make necessary societal changes that begin with ourselves and those around us so that the women and girls yet to come never have to experience what we have. Let us unite the Caribbean to change the statistic from 1 in 3 to none in 3.”
Hollaback! Bahamas invites offices, service organizations, church groups, and families to join us on the march, taking to the streets in solidarity with women and girls in The Bahamas and the Caribbean who have experienced sexual violence and joining in the call for justice, support, and an end to gender-based violence.
Equality Bahamas Partnership Coordinator Lisa Lawlor-Feller said, “It’s encouraging to see so many organizations and individuals coming together in a regional movement for gender equality. I’m looking forward to the day’s events and helping to sustain the conversations actions they spark within our community.”
The Tiny Talk Speaker Series will include an overview of the Women’s Suffrage Movement by Marion Bethel. Immediately following the speaker series, expo booths will run concurrent sessions in 20-minute intervals until closing at 5pm. The event will be hosted by Media Personality and TV Talk Show Host Leslie Lezz Boogie with music provided by DJ Ampero. Hollaback! Bahamas and Equality Bahamas extend an invitation to members of the public to attend and participate in the afternoon activities.
Limited space is available in the speaker series and expo. Organizations, experts, and practitioners may express interest via email to bahamas[at]ihollaback[dot]org.