On stage during the performance that started it all at the 2016 Academy Awards.

On stage during the performance that started it all at the 2016 Academy Awards.

where we met

Co-founders Wagatwe Wanjuki and Kamilah Wilingham met at the 2016 Oscars while rehearsing to go onstage with Lady Gaga during her powerful performance of ‘Til it Happens to You.’ As two Black women who are prominent survivor-activists in the still very white space of campus sexual assault activism, we quickly found that we had a lot in common. Fortunately, our work and activism has brought us back together many times since.

Banner Survivors Eradicating Rape Culture

why start a new organization? why serc?

A couple months later we met up at the Netroots Nation Women’s Pre-Conference. Instead of bar-hopping with other badass activists as we’d planned, we stayed up all night talking about #JustSaySorry and all the things we’d like to see happen in the anti-violence movement. We also talked about how Black women had started anti-rape activism in the U.S.—yet we still felt like we’re very much on the margins of these now-mainstream movements fighting gender-based violence.

We want to change that.

We don’t want to live in a world where people whose very identities are politicized and marginalized have to continually appeal for inclusion in conversations in which intersectional approaches are considered “extra credit”—we want those identities to be centered and validated in the fight to change cultural narratives around gender violence. And thus, our organization Survivors Eradicating Rape Culture, was conceived.