Every year, the growing amount of Denim Day participation in Los Angeles inspires us. This is the city where it all started 19 years ago—a place where millions of Angelenos are united in a national and international movement. This year, we looked at different ways we can take action against sexual violence. We highlighted the leadership of youth on their campuses, in their families and in their communities; men who speak up to confront rape culture and the importance of making services and resources available and accessible to ALL survivors of sexual violence.
The Official Denim Day Rally and Press Conference
We kicked off April 25th with the Official Denim Day Rally and Press Conference, hosted by POV and Mayor Eric Garcetti, on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall. The program featured POV’s Executive Director Patti Giggans, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Survivor Danah Cleaton, poet Yesika Salgado, TIME’S UP Entertainment Interim Executive Director Priya Swaminathan, LA Metro’s Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins, Youth Over Violence Leader Alexis, Schools Over Violence Program Manager Rashad Beal, Institute for Nonviolence co-director Avis Ridley-Thomas and Los Angeles City Councilwomen Nury Martinez and Monica Rodriguez. This was a powerful way to kick off Denim Day in Los Angeles–influential Angelenos joined by community members–all united in the message that THERE IS NO EXCUSE AND NEVER AN INVITATION TO HARASS, ABUSE, ASSAULT OR RAPE!
The City of L.A. and Metro Declared Sexual Harassment-Free Zones
Mayor Eric Garcetti and Metro Deputy CEO Stephanie Wiggins committed to making Los Angeles a sexual harassment-free zone by joining POV’s Sexual Harassment: Not on My Watch initiative. We look forward to working together to support survivors and engage the public.
High School Campuses
POV’s Youth Over Violence program is made up of youth from all over Los Angeles. Youth Over Violence empowers youth and creates spaces that support their efforts to end rape culture and sexual violence in their communities, schools and families. This year, members from the Miguel Contreras Learning Center STOP Club (Students Together Organizing Peace) hosted a lunchtime Denim Day Fashion Show to show their support for survivors and encourage their peers to get involved.
College students from USC, Occidental, Santa Monica Community College, UCLA, Cal State LA, Pasadena City College, LA City College and more showed up for Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Denim Day by tabling and hosting panels on their campuses to increase awareness about sexual harassment and violence on college campuses here in Los Angeles and around the country.
Workplaces, Businesses and Organizations
What better way to top off Denim Day, than with a cupcake? The Hilton Foundation shared special cupcakes with employees who supported Denim Day by wearing their favorite denim to work.
Fox Gives, which is associated with FOX Entertainment Group, invited POV to speak with their employees about creating a workplace free from sexual abuse and harassment. On Denim Day, FOX held a Denim Day fundraiser and invited employees to wear denim and share photos on their personal social media accounts.
The San Gabriel Valley Medical Center and Kaiser Permanente’s L.A. locations both hosted Denim Day for the first time. Nurses, staff, and doctors wore denim!
We do not want to forget to give a huge shout out to IPSY, who amplified the Denim Day message by talking about consent, the impact of sexual violence and the importance of being an “upstander.” Another partner, Collection LA, actively spread the word about Denim Day and hosted a fundraiser to benefit POV.
In the spirit of solidarity and intersectionality, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, 1in6.org and First 5 LA were among the local community partners who showed support and participated on Denim Day this year.
In the Locker Room, On the Court and the Field
From the staff room to the locker room, sports teams across the country are supporting social justice causes. We are amazed by their creativity–the L.A. Kings showed their support by designing their very own special Denim Day team jersey, which was auctioned off to benefit POV services and encouraged all of their players to gear up. Another great home team that supported Denim Day, was the L.A. Galaxy. We appreciate their leadership and efforts to support survivors and healing services.
Continuing to Grow and Expand Our Message
We know the significance of dedicating April 25th to raising awareness about sexual harassment, abuse, assault and rape and supporting survivors. We also know that this is work that requires action every day. POV asks that you continue to be an advocate at your work, school or home! We invite you to challenge sexual harassment and violence when you hear, read about and witness it.
Thank you for making Denim Day 2018 one of the most impressive to date!