November 19, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
LEEWAY FOUNDATION PRESENTS THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE: FINDING PLEASURE IN THE AGE OF #METOO ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5
As the #METOO movement continues to ripple outward, activists and artists are just beginning to reckon with its cultural significance and its long-term implications for our daily lives. On Tuesday, December 5 at 6 p.m., Leeway Foundation presents The Pleasure Principle: Finding Pleasure in the Age of #METOO, a conversation between #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and sex-positive artist and activist Favianna Rodriguez. The discussion, held at Temple Contemporary Gallery (2001 N. 13th Street) will explore the intersections of pleasure, consent, healing and accountability in the wake of sexual violence.
“Leeway’s interest in partnering with Temple Contemporary on this event is embedded in the evolution of our feminist principles and in centering the experiences of those on the margins, including women, trans and gender-nonconforming people,,” said Leeway executive director Denise Brown. “We ask the questions: What are the narratives that are underneath ‘otherness?’ What else is there besides our identity politics? This conversation with Tarana and Favianna will not only center their experiences, but it will also underscore the notion that there can simultaneously be a quest for joy—what affirms and connects us—while upholding agency and consent.”
The event is part of a yearlong celebration for Leeway Foundation in recognition of its 25th anniversary. As a leading supporter of women, trans, and gender nonconforming artists and cultural producers working at the intersection of art and social justice, Leeway has promoted artists bringing awareness to sexual assault and/or exploring the topics of sex positivity and pleasure activism.
The event will be livestreamed by PhillyCAM.
For images or interview requests, please contact Moxy PR at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-788-2196.
About Tarana Burke
For more than 25 years, activist and advocate Tarana J. Burke has worked at the intersection of racial justice and sexual violence. Fueled by commitments to interrupt sexual violence and other systemic inequalities disproportionately impacting marginalized people, particularly black women and girls, Tarana has created and led various campaigns focused on increasing access to resources and support for impacted communities, including the ‘me too’ movement.
A proud native of the Bronx, N.Y., Tarana’s passion for community organizing began in the late 1980’s when as a young girl, she joined a youth development organization called 21st Century, and led campaigns around issues like racial discrimination, housing inequality and economic justice across the city. That work, coupled with a desire to deepen her education and organizing skills led her to attend Alabama State University, a historically black institution. Her organizing and advocacy work continued throughout college and remains a pillar of her professional life.
Her career took an intentional turn toward supporting survivors of sexual violence upon moving to Selma, Alabama to work for 21st Century. She encountered dozens of black girls who were sharing stories of sexual violence and abuse, stories she identified with very well. Tarana realized too many girls were suffering through abuse without access to resources, safe spaces and support, so in 2007 she created Justbe Inc., an organization committed to the empowerment and wellness of black girls. The impacts of Justbe Inc. are widespread, as the program, which was adopted by every public school in Selma by [DATE], has hundreds of alumni who have gone on to thrive and succeed in various ways. Tarana’s role as the senior director at Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn, NY, an inter-generational non-profit dedicated to strengthening local communities by creating opportunities for young women and girls to live self-determined lives, is a continuation of what she considers her lifes’ work.
Since #metoo, the hashtag she created more than ten years ago, went viral last fall Tarana has emerged as a global leader in the evolving conversation around sexual violence and the need for survivor-centered solutions. Her theory of using empathy to empower survivors is changing the way the nation and the world think about and engage with survivors, and her belief that healing isn’t a destination but a journey has touched and inspired millions of survivors who previously lived with the pain, shame and trauma of their assaults in isolation.
About Favianna Rodriguez
Favianna Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist cultural strategist and activist. Her work and collaborative initiatives address gender equality, racial justice, immigrant rights and climate change. Favianna works with cultural movements around the United States bringing together the powerful intersection of art, entertainment, social justice and cultural equity. Most recently, she has been collaborating with women in the entertainment industry to design timely initiatives addressing equity and inclusion, including 5050by2020.com. She is the Executive Director of CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, actors, writers and producers in immigrant rights. In 2012, she was featured in a documentary series by Pharrell Williams titled Migration is Beautiful, which addressed how artists responded to failed immigrant policy in the United States. In 2016, she received the Robert Rauschenberg Artist as Activist Fellowship for her work around mass incarceration. In 2017, she was awarded an Atlantic Fellowship for Racial Equity for her work around racial justice and climate change. Favianna lives and works in two California culture capitals∫ the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
In addition to being an innovative leader in the cultural sector, Rodriguez also has helped build The Lab, a co-working space in the heart of Downtown Oakland that is focused on racial justice, culture change and climate justice. She brings expertise in designing co-working spaces that foster collaboration, innovation, and friendship.
About Leeway Foundation
The Leeway Foundation supports women and trans* artists and cultural producers working in communities at the intersection of art, culture, and social change. Through our grantmaking and other programs we promote artistic expression that amplifies the voices of those on the margins, promotes sustainable and healthy communities, and works in the service of movements for economic and social justice.
*Leeway is a trans-affirming organization committed to gender self-determination, and uses the term “trans” in its most inclusive sense, as an umbrella term encompassing transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, Two-Spirit people, and anyone whose gender identity or gender expression is nonconforming and/or different from their gender assigned at birth.