July 4, 2020

25th Anniversary for Day of Silence, Friday, April 24

The following message is from the Office of Equity and Access.

Friday, April 24th, will mark the 25th Anniversary for Day of Silence*. We are asking the UMW Community to virtually participate in this vital event. We may not be able to create a rainbow of shirts on the grass of Ball Circle, but the UMW community continues to affirm an inclusive and supportive community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) citizens and allies. We can demonstrate this by letting our voice be heard via #UMWisHOME and we must #breakthesilence.

Here is a toolkit to help make your voice heard on Friday, April 24th, during the Annual Day of Silence:

  • At 12pm, create a virtual “Moment of Silence” by posting our unified image to your individual or UMW affiliated accounts on social media. Please see attached images for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can add any of the following information from GLSEN to your post:

o   Our silence is LOUD!

o   I’m staying silent on GLSEN’s Day of Silence, a national youth movement highlighting the silencing and erasure of LGBTQ people at school.

o   Nearly 4 in 5 LGBTQ students don’t see positive representation in their curriculum, nearly 9 in 10 experience verbal harassment, and almost a third miss school because they feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

  • At 4pm, “Break the Silence!”

o   By answering the prompt, I AM BREAKING THE SILENCE BY…?

  • Submit to PRISM for a re-post:
  • DM PRISM (@umwprism) with your story
  • Email PRISM (umwprism@gmail.com) with your story
  • Your name will not be shared through the repost nor will you be tagged. However, pictures and/or videos are not private if we repost them.
  • Post your response to your social media account, if it is a safe space for you to do so.

o   Follow PRISM (@umwprism) on Instagram to view submitted prompt responses.

In keeping with our values outlined in ASPIRE, join us in celebrating the 25th Annual Day of Silence.

People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual and Gender Minorities (PRISM)
Center for Prevention and Education
James Farmer Multicultural Center
Office of Title IX
Safe Zone
Talley Center for Counseling Services
Vice President for Equity and Access & Chief Diversity Officer

Information on resources and support can be found on SAFE ZONE’s webpage.

* Day of Silence was first organized by a student at the University of Virginia in 1996 as part of a class project. The following year almost 100 colleges and universities participated, making it a national event. College and university students have driven and participated in many movements throughout history, and the UMW Community is no exception. This includes Day of Silence powered by PRISM, a student-led organization that promotes the values of diversity and acceptance of students of sexual and gender minorities.

In 2000, Day of Silence became an official initiative with GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network).

#DenimDay

Greetings Faculty and Staff,

Mary Washington will close out Sexual Assault Awareness Month on Wednesday, April 29th, with Denim Day. The UMW Community is encouraged to wear denim to promote a discussion about myths and stereotypes surrounding sexual assault. Although, we are not on campus, we want to present a collage of employees wearing denim throughout the day on social media.

Please complete the Denim Day Form if you are interested in submitting a picture for the collage by 10am, Wednesday, April 29th. Or email Marissa Miller (mmille23@umw.edu). Early submissions are welcome.

If you are interested in posting a picture on your personal and/or UMW affiliated accounts, please use the toolkit below:

  • Tag us on Instagram (@UMWCPE) or Facebook (@UMWCPE)
  • Use #denimday and #UMWisHOME
  • On April 29, wear denim with a purpose

Denim Day and wearing jeans in April became an international symbol of protest of harmful attitudes about sexual assault after an Italian Supreme Court decision overturned a sexual assault conviction because the survivor wore tight jeans. The first Denim Day in the United States occurred in 1999 organized by Peace Over Violence, a nonprofit based out of Los Angeles. Learn more on the Denim Day website.

In solidarity,

Marissa Miller
Center for Prevention and Education