On June 3rd, current and former Howard University students on Twitter began sharing stories of sexual violence they had experienced. These experiences ranged across the spectrum of sexual violence, including harassment, sexual assault, unwanted sexual contact, verbal and emotional abuse, intimate partner violence and more. Many of these acts of sexual violence were done by the same people, to many different survivors.
Sexual violence on college campuses has long been a pervasive issue. For Black people — especially female-identified Black people, Black people with disabilities, and Black LGBTQ+ people — these traumatic experiences happen at higher rates.
Healing from these incidents can be a fraught journey, especially when there are little to no resources for survivors. College administrations are too often complacent and ineffective. Law enforcement isn't a good option either, for a myriad of reasons.
In response to these survivors coming forward, we decided to start a healing fund. There is no amount of money that can take away the pain of sexual violence, the pain of having your power taken away and your societal marginalization(s) exploited.
However, we hope that by distributing these funds, we can aid survivors in taking crucial steps towards healing.
This fund is for current and former Howard students who are survivors, of all genders, and who have experienced all types of sexual violence across the spectrum. We are prioritizing current and former Howard students at the moment, but after this first round of fundraising, we hope to expand this fund to include all Black Survivors, regardless of where they went to school.
The money distributed is meant to be used for whatever the survivor thinks will help their healing process, whether that's housing, therapy, self-care, or just things that make them happy. At the moment, most of our requests are for housing, therapy, groceries, and psychiatric care. Many of our applicants have also been financially impacted by COVID-19.
Right now, we are giving survivors $5,000 dollars each and will continue raising our goal as we receive more requests. Currently, we have 20 requests and have decided to close the request form. We want to provide funds for every survivor, but the need is so overwhelming right now and although we've raised a lot in a short amount of time, we still have a long way to go.
If you need help with your healing, please fill out this waitlist.
We stand with you, we believe you, and we're dedicated to supporting you however we can.
Our Fundraising Team
As a team, we are led by Black women, Black queer women, Black women with mental illness, and Black women survivors of sexual violence. We also have asked some cisgender men and white women to help in a supporting role, but we remain committed to uplifting and taking the lead of the most marginalized and the most impacted by sexual violence.
Nylah Burton — Nylah (HU17) is a writer and sexual assault prevention specialist. She covers mental health, race, climate, and more. You can find her on Twitter.
Jasmine Oshiyemi — Jasmine (HU21) is a creative director and story teller based in Atlanta Georgia. She sheds light on race relations and issues related to being a woman. You can find her and all she likes to do on Instagram .
Sytonia Reid — Sytonia (HU17) is a writer based in Washington D.C., and an editor at the nonprofit Green America. Sytonia is a lover of history, content creation, good food, and binge-watching TV.
Amanda Broyard-Bonam — Amanda (HU17) is a project manager working in special education in New Orleans. She runs an interview-based race and culture blog at theblackandproject.com
Cameron Clarke — Cameron Clarke (HU17) is a health educator and researcher based in New York City. He works for Planned Parenthood on health policy.