JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Using the power of personal stories to create change: that's the goal of monologues to be performed in front of policymakers in our community.
The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center's "See the Girl Monologues" are back after their 2019 pilot program. They want to help women tell their stories about trauma.
"How do we use our voices and our lived experiences to be able to share and change what's happening for others in the community?" said Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center President and CEO Dr. Vicky Basra.
Basra says they're looking for more women who have lived through trauma to tell their stories.
In the pilot program, three women told their stories about the pain of solitary confinement, going through six foster care homes, and being trafficked and then blamed for it.
"The monologues is an opportunity for young people to really heal because they don't have to hold their story in silence anymore," Basra said. "They don't have to be ashamed anymore and they don't have to be isolated."
The monologues are also a chance for policy and decision makers to hear their stories. In the pilot, attorneys, police officers, and clinicians were in the audience.
"At the end of it, they all paused and just spoke about how it shifted how they saw these young people," Basra said. "It shifted how they were going to do their work. And I think that piece for me was like what we really wanted to happen."
Basra says for many in the audience it was the first time they'd heard someone's story from the beginning to the end and the impact it still has.
"They walked away really being impacted by the stories and knowing that they needed to change how they were providing services and how they were doing the work," she said. "That specific group were so moved by what the women shared, that they really did go back and want to have conversations with their leadership of how they could do some of the work differently."
Registration for See the Girl Monologues is open for women ages 10 to 24. They are accepting applications until September 14.