Detroit Slutwalk: Consent is Mandatory

Robert Fidler • 5 August 2017
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In a world where Brock Turner can only serve three months in jail for a rape charge, and that’s still facing more institutional justice than 99% of assailants, the right to consent is under attack. Beyond overt sexual and domestic violence, women, in particular, face a constant barrage of harassment and discrimination in the workplace, on the street and in social media. This is a denial of the right to gender equality and personal autonomy. Metro-Detroit Political Action Network (MPDAN) has stepped up to host the Detroit Slutwalk: Consent is Mandatory march to reaffirm the right to our bodies, our choices and that no one is ever “asking for it.”

Taking place in Palmer Park on August 12th at 1 PM, MDPAN will be bringing together a diverse array of speakers sharing stories of survival and perseverance against the oppressive specter of rape culture. In addition, numerous organizations will be present to provide outreach for victims, counseling and education. Palmer Park’s southern end has two major lots along Covington, one below the pond and a smaller one near Covington/Woodward. Non-metered street parking will also be available should the lots fill up.

Map of Palmer Park

MDPAN is ecstatic to announce an exceptional line-up of speakers! Potential governors, radio hosts and grassroots activist leaders are all coming together to stamp out rape culture:

- Fatima Salman: Host of 910AM’s Between the Lines and Executive Director of the Muslim Student Association.
- Jeynce Poindexter Mizrahi: Transgender Specialist and founding board member of Trans Sistas of Color Project
- Bree Campbell: Executive Director and Transgender Advocate of Trans Sistas of Color Project 
- Shirley Marie Johnson: Head Administrator for Women’s March Tennessee, CEO of Exodus Inc, a domestic violence shelter. 
- Brianna Dee Kingsley: Chair of Transgender Engagement, Justice League Royal Oak/UMC
- Jennifer V Kurland: Slutwalk MC, host of The Offensive Feminist with Jenny K on Cave Radio.
- JoAnna Underwood: Candidate for Detroit City Council, District 7 Representative, founder of People’s Action Committee.
- Jessica Martin: Vice President of Young Democrats of Michigan, 6th District Chief of MI for Revolution.
- Nicole Vasher: Leader of MI for Revolution’s Downriver chapter, Handmaid Bonnet-mancer.
- Antia Harris: Sister of Zeta Psi Zeta sorority, class of ’16.
- Sophia von Stardust and Laurel Pleasures: Local burlesque performers highlighting positive, consensual sexuality with their routine.
- Vicki Edwards: Leader of Refuse Fascism’s Michigan Chapter.
- Rachel Montgomery: Secretary General for MDPAN
- Robert Fidler: Media Director for MDPAN

Zeta Psi Zeta: A little black dress does not mean yes.

In addition to our speakers, we have a wealth of organizations providing outreach for victims of violence and harassment, counseling services and avenues for political action to advance the cause of feminism:

- Counseling Team: Shawn Force and Cayte Boyer are licensed counselors on hand to help our attendees, look for them wearing fluorescent tape at the rally. 
- Scotsdale Women's Center: A Detroit, pro-choice family planning center serving the community with a caring and non-judgemental atmosphere for over 30 years.
- Haven: Provides shelter, counseling advocacy, and educational programming for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Oakland County.
- Turning Point: Serves Macomb County by proving resources and programs to help victims of domestic violence and sexual assault take back their lives.
- WC Safe: A center providing compassionate and trauma-informed care to sexual assault survivors in Wayne County.
- Trans Sistas of Color Project - Detroit: A group that seeks to uplift, influence and impact the lives and well being of trans women of color in Metro Detroit.
- Women's March: All inclusive direct action organization dedicated to fighting bigotry and intolerance. Michigan and Tennessee Chapters will be represented.
- Zeta Psi Zeta: A Detroit based LGBT friendly sorority focused on promoting a different breed of femininity. Will be hosting chalk art at the event.
- Feminists of Oakland University: On-campus feminist group focused on educating the campus about gender inequality. Will be hosting a face painting booth. 
- No Good Girls Allowed: Community organization the works on benefits such as food kitchens and suicide prevention.
- Detroit Green Party: Our nation's most prominent third party, where feminism and care for the environment are core concepts.
- Restaurant Opportunities Center: Fights for a living wage and end of discrimination in food service.
- Michigan for Revolution: Grassroots organization aiming to effect progressive change and the local and state level.
- Refuse Fascism: Direct action group fighting against fascist and white supremacist elements in the US.
- Michigan for Choice: MDPAN's women's rights wing, will have sign making and other art projects available for open participation.

Cosplay is not Consent

Come out on August 12th and Palmer Park and stand with us to demand that consent is always mandatory!

Photography courtesy of TJ Samuels.