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Contagious Spirit

Contagious Spirit is an event that celebrates Black women and girls' courageous and contagious spirit of resilience.

Our proposal requests $1,000 for Contagious Spirit, an interdisciplinary arts project that reframes widely held stereotypes about Black women and girls’ perceived lack of innocence.

Contagious Spirit was initially inspired by a recent Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality study titled, “Girlhood interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girl’s Childhood.” The study found that Black girls are viewed as “less innocent” by society as a whole and when compared to their White peers. These findings are concerning since Black women and girls face disproportionately higher rates of sexual assault.

Although the #Metoo movement, initially sparked by activist Tarana Burke, has drawn widespread attention to the pervasiveness of sexual assault against all women, it is vital that we continue to center the perspectives of Black women survivors. Contagious Spirit uses photography, music and dance to invite the Oakland community to imagine world in which Black women and girl survivors receive the emotional support they deserve.

Contagious Spirit includes photography, video and music that empowers Black women and girls. Thus, the event will occur during Women's History Month. The project culminates in a live performance at Betti Ono Art Gallery on March 31st of 2018.

Funded by Oakland, CA (January 2018)