Happy Earth Day!

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In the news


Happy Earth Day & Thank You For Being a Force For Good!

It’s hard to believe that it is already April 22nd, Earth Day. So far, MISSSEY has had the honor of serving 293 young people this year. We could not have done that without the support of our community. We are grateful for your support and for the seeds that have been planted over the past 15 years.

From the start MISSSEY has worked to create a different world for Black girls and Black gender-expansive youth, one in which they can lead liberated, self-determined, and joyful lives, free from sexual exploitation and violence. We see a world that values rather than commodifies them, that nurtures and honors their abilities. We know that the young people we serve deserve clean, safe, sustainable neighborhoods. This is the world we hope to build with and for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian girls and gender-expansive youth, this is a part of taking care of each other and of the young people we serve.

“Everyone has the right to a healthy environment and for this, it is worth taking care of ourselves– it is about taking care and respecting ourselves!” Yana Polyvets – Unicef young voices

 

We look at root causes and understand the impact of environmental racism in and around Oakland. We also see young people who deserve to be liberated and nurtured on a healthy planet. The Environmental Justice Movement has defined the environment as “Where we live, work, play, learn and pray.” These are the spaces that we should demand that our public servants keep ecologically clean for the young people we serve and for ourselves.

At MISSSEY Every Day is Earth Day

Today, MISSSEY continues to lead the way in making racial justice a core focus in the work of ending the sexual exploitation of young people; part of this leadership means continuously increasing our sustainability. As we work towards going paperless, seeking a new, greener space, supporting remote work, and providing access to public transportation for the young people we serve. We know that these efforts are just some of the steps we can take to help the environment and encourage sustainability. A more environmentally friendly Oakland is a more equitable Oakland. Poor air quality, something, and something are all harms that disproportionately impact Black and Brown communities. We ask that you keep the young people we serve in mind on this Earth Day, because care and consideration is care for our communities.

 

Thank you for being such a huge part of our growth and for continuing to support MISSSEY. Please share this message with 2 people today to invite them to join this growing movement. Thank YOU for being the change you wish to see in the world.

 

Reach out to info@MISSSEY.org to learn about how you can support MISSSEY in our search for a greener HQ.


MISSSEY Celebrates Ketanji Brown Jackson

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In the news


MISSSEY Celebrates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

MISSSEY Celebrates Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

We are excited to celebrate Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the US Supreme Court. This ascendance by the first Black woman to ever be named a Supreme Court Justice is a reminder of the promise and excellence that thrives in our communities. Ketanji Brown Jackson represented her clients as a defense lawyer within the justice system and now she is representing promise and possibilities for Black women everywhere. This is a powerful statement to those who deny that the voices, needs, and abilities of Black women, femmes, and gender-expansive folks matter.  

 

Today Jackson quoted poet Maya Angelou: “I am the dream and the hope of the slave.” It is a beautiful refrain and a heart wrenching reminder of dreams deferred.  At MISSSEY we believe that young girls and gender-expansive youth should be defined by their strengths, passions, and ambitions;  not by the trauma they have endured. We know that so many dreams can be derailed by the experience of assault and the hard road towards healing. Even without the experience of an assault there are many barriers that stand in the way of Black femmes and gender-expansive youth’s success. President Biden acknowledged the “verbal abuse, the anger, the constant interruptions, the most vile, baseless assertions and accusations” that were flung at Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearings. 

This was the case on the public stage; the afflictions that are dealt out in private are even more egregious than that. 

 

There is a historic precedent for this disregard for Black women. In the United States there were no laws in place to protect Black women who were enslaved from sexual assault. This remained so throughout reconstruction and the Jim Crow era. In many ways we have come a long way from that history, Jackson stated today, that in her family “it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States.” However, statistically, African American women are much more likely to be victims of assault than white women. This is why we remain steadfast in our work: for more than 14 years, MISSSEY has provided healing and pathways out of exploitation for thousands of young people. This month also marks the 21st anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. From its beginning SAAM was about both awareness and prevention of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. That is because It’s impossible to prevent an issue no one knows about, and it’s difficult to make people aware of a problem without providing a solution. The two work in tandem, and they always have. This is why we work every day to provide prevention training and build awareness. 

 

At her confirmation Jackson said, “I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free.” At MISSSEY we dedicate our work to building power among young survivors and changing the conversation to focus on the root causes that lead to sexual exploitation. The work of increasing sexual assault awareness won’t end on April 30th. We will continue our efforts to boldly break the cycle of sexual exploitation and working with our allies to rid systems of the racist policies that make Black girls and gender-expansive youth vulnerable to exploitation. We will not rest until all Black girls and gender-expansive youth are safe and thriving.


MISSSEY Receives Grant from Women’s Caucus Foundation

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In the news


MISSSEY Receives Grant from Women’s Caucus Foundation

MISSSEY Receives Grant from Women’s Caucus Foundation

Thank you to Assemblymember Mia Bonta for honoring MISSSEY with a $2,500 grant through the Women’s Caucus Foundation!

MISSSEY named 2021 Women in California Leadership nonprofit grantee

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In the news


MISSSEY named 2021 Women in California Leadership nonprofit grantee

MISSSEY named 2021 Women in California Leadership nonprofit grantee

We’re honored to have been named a grantee of the Women in California Leadership organization by Senator Nancy Skinner. Women in California Leadership is a non-profit 501c3 organization with charitable and educational purposes of promoting public awareness regarding the critical significance of women in California.

MISSSEY joins TuesdayTalks with CARE Atlanta Global Innovation Hub

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In the news


MISSSEY joins TuesdayTalks with CARE Atlanta Global Innovation Hub

MISSSEY joins TuesdayTalks with CARE Atlanta Global Innovation Hub

Our executive director, Jennifer Lyle, joins Kirby Williams, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and Dr. Janie Chuang, American University, for a conversation on eradicating human trafficking, hosted by CARE Atlanta.
Watch the recording here

NBC Bay Area Race in America: The Conversation

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In the news


NBC Bay Area Race in America: The Conversation

NBC Bay Area Race in America: The Conversation

MISSSEY’s executive director, Jennifer Lyle, talks about the epidemic of missing and murdered Black and Brown girls in the United States and the need to increase resources and attention to find them.
Watch the interview now