June 2022

Statement of Support

On this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, Womankind reaffirms our support for older survivors of gender-based violence. The last couple years have been extremely challenging: in addition to suffering abuse in the home, they have had to experience loneliness and isolation during the pandemic and unfathomable levels of anti-Asian violence on the streets. Elders are vessels of wisdom and life lessons, who have a lot to offer and teach younger generations and even their peers. They are worthy of kindness, compassion, and care.

June 15, 2022


 

Community Ambassador Program

Did you know that Womankind has a robust Community Ambassador program that aims to build leadership among specific ethnic communities to eradicate gender-based violence (GBV) through community-based education?

Over the course of 8 workshops in 3 months, older/elder survivors at Womankind are educated about a nuanced understanding of GBV. These conversations raise awareness by considering thoughts and beliefs around topics including gender, race, and migration experiences and shift community views around GBV. With this knowledge, they can develop strategies to support and build safety amongst each other.

Queens Community Office

This month, the Queens-based cohort of Korean-speaking Community Ambassadors met to discuss elder abuse and create signs with personal messages. They also etched words on heart-shaped wood to hang in their room or car for a daily reminder. Click graphics to read more!

At the end of each cycle, Community Ambassadors choose a community service project to do, and this group will help fellow Korean community members fill out senior housing applications. We would like to give special thanks to our partner KCS Flushing Senior Center for always supporting this program!

Manhattan Community Office

Twice a month at our Manhattan Community Office in Chinatown, Womankind's Community Ambassador program has been educating a group of six Cantonese-speaking older/elder survivors on gender-based violence. At this training focused on community education and outreach, everyone took turns reading the presentation slides out loud to practice their public speaking skills and to become more comfortable with their own voice. Some ambassadors felt shy at first when thinking about doing outreach and engaging others, but we provided them with different scenarios to pitch Womankind's services for survivors of elder abuse and later in life abuse. Practice makes perfect!

We are so proud to witness how far they've come in being comfortable with speaking about sensitive and traumatic topics around gender-based violence and especially elder abuse. Our hope is to inspire older adults to actively age in society and to continuously challenge themselves by learning new topics especially sensitive ones to benefit their peers.

 

Staff Book Club

This Elder Abuse Awareness Month, Womankind's Care Committee launches its first book club for staff with the inaugural book selection, Stephanie Foo's "What My Bones Know, a Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma."

In our decades-long work with survivors of diverse ages, races, and backgrounds, we've observed that trauma can be passed down from generation to generation--be it trauma from gender-based violence, war, conflict, displacement, or other traumatic historical events. Through reading and discussion, we will learn more about complex and intergenerational trauma, and how anxiety and PTSD has passed down through generations of AAPI communities, manifesting in today's elder and youth populations.

Synopsis: In this deeply personal and thoroughly researched account, Foo interviews scientists and psychologists and tries a variety of innovative therapies. She returns to her hometown of San Jose, California to investigate the effects of immigrant trauma on the community, and while uncovering family secrets in the country of her birth, Malaysia, learns how trauma can be inherited through generations. Ultimately, she discovers that you don't move on from trauma--but you can learn to move with it.

 

Movies & Communities

Womankind, in partnership with the Chinese American Planning Council, hosted a screening of Disney Pixar's "Turning Red" for community members. It tells the story of Mei Lee, as she navigates the chaos of adolescence while exploring her role as a dutiful daughter. It also explores how not living up to the standards placed on you by your immigrant family can create trauma that can last for generations. As if that weren't enough, Mei Lee poofs into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited! The film was shown in English with Chinese and Bengali subtitles, followed by a group discussion. Please click banner to watch the trailer on YouTube.

Movies & Communities is a monthly Womankind event that centers the experiences of people of color and other marginalized groups through film and discussion. It aims to make connections, build community, and create dialogue and understanding between the diverse cultures found in New York City. This event is free and open to the public.