My name is Felicia Chew. I am a resident of Pima County, and founder of Felicia Chew Community Projects, working to help end systemic domestic violence by building relationships through sharing stories, art, and perspectives.
I am here this morning to share about why October is significant to me. October is domestic violence awareness month. I am a survivor of domestic violence.
In February of 2011, I moved to Pima County, unaware that I had been a victim of domestic violence. It was through the responses of the Tucson Police Department, Marana Police Department, and programs like Emerge! and the County Attorney’s victim advocate program that I recognized that I was a victim.
Seven years after moving to Pima County, I am able to say that I am a survivor of Domestic Violence. I volunteer, with approximately 100 other community members, as a victim advocate through Barbara Lawall’s office. The Victim Advocate program has been recognized across the nation as an excellent model. Pima County has been a leader in being an advocate to victims’ rights. To human rights.
One of the reasons that Domestic Violence perpetuates is because victims are afraid to speak up. People are afraid to speak up because relationships are lacking. Relationships are lacking because we are becoming increasingly limited with venues for building relationships. Relationships build trust, trust allows people to speak up. People speaking up reduces crime. Reduced crime takes us out of crisis mode. Being out of crisis mode allows us to trust and to build relationships… which reduces crime.
I ask that you be innovative and a leader in finding a way to fuse the reduction of crime by building up community relationships. Golden Pin Lanes builds relationship. Consider local models like Antigone books, who experienced a recent employee buyout; and longstanding co-op models, like the Food Conspiracy Co-op. Consider the Aquatics Program. Tap into and build up existing resources, like Golden Pin Lanes to help create a happy, healthy community in the Miracle Mile area, and to revitalize the Oracle Area.
I would like to invite you to Tuesdays for Tucson tonight at La Cocina from 5-10p to help end systemic domestic violence with Al Perry, Church Ink tattoo Parlor, and the Tucson Quilt Project.
I would also like to invite you to the monthly Walk-a-Mile at Jacobs Park, the first Saturday of each month, beginning at 8am. This month we will be recognizing a sixth grade student for participating in the Tucson Zines Writing Challenge, sharing about a problem in Tucson – hot cars. Registration and pre-walk activities begin at 8am. The Writing Challenge recognition will be at 9:15am, and the Walk, from Jacobs Park to Miracle Mile and Golden Pin Lanes, will begin at 9:30am.