Stony Brook’s Weekend Life Council and Center for Prevention and Outreach, or CPO, hosted their annual Monument Quilt event to raise awareness for sexual assault survivors in the Student Activities Center on Oct. 21, as a part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Monument Quilt is a collection of 4’ by 4’ squares that have been collected by schools and organizations all over the country by an activist organization called “FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture.” Each quilt, containing messages of strength and empowerment over a large layer of red fabric, will be included in the final display of fabrics which will spell “Not Alone” over a mile of the National Mall in Washington D.C. at a date to be determined.
“There are monuments to wars and natural disasters,” Christine Szaraz, a counselor for CPO and organizer of the event, said. “But none to sexual violence survivors. It’s important to offer acknowledgment, otherwise it minimizes the violence.”
Two tables filled with craft supplies and designs gave students an idea to start their quilt if they were unsure. Creative quilts such as an image of a hand reaching out for colors around it and one of small animals dancing around words of strength were made. About an hour into the event, two women stepped forward to perform spoken word poetry to a background of quiet brushstrokes on fabric.
Students who were unable to participate in the event on Friday can see some of the quilts on display at the “Take a Stand, Walk with Me” march for Domestic Violence Awareness starting in the SAC plaza on Oct. 26 at 1 p.m. before they are sent off to the Monument Quilt headquarters.
“You can be an activist and supporter of a cause while having an engaging and fun time,” said Szaraz, who had a smile on her face for most of the event.
Szaraz hopes to keep the momentum going next fall with Domestic Violence Awareness Month events, maybe having a similar event to replace the Monument Quilt.
“We can do a campus-only quilt,” Szaraz said, “or we can do something new as well. Hopefully the creativity keeps flowing and people who are excited can pitch in their ideas.”