Traffic was stopped along two blocks of North Avenue Sunday afternoon to make room for the Monument Quilt, a crowd-sourced display of 1,000 8′ x 8′ squares of red fabric bearing stories and messages of empowerment from rape and sexual assault survivors and their allies. The event, called “Not Alone Baltimore,” was organized by Baltimore-based activist group FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture (City Paper’s “Best Do-Gooder” in 2014), co-founded by Rebecca Nagle and Hannah Brancato, a current OSI-Baltimore Community Fellow. Check out City Paper’s great recap of the event and a preview from ABC2 News.
Brancato co-founded FORCE a few years ago, before becoming a Community Fellow. As part of her fellowship, she established Gather Together: a Survivor Support Network, which aims to better support survivors and transform cultural attitudes to prevent rape and abuse. Gather Together operated a healing station as part of “Not Alone Baltimore” and plans to continue to provide public healing spaces for survivors of rape and abuse.
Gather Together aims to change the current culture surrounding rape and abuse. Through the program, survivors are paired with mentors and together they advocate for awareness and healing through reconnecting with their communities.
The Open Society Institute-Baltimore launched the Community Fellows program in 1998. It is now a corps of social innovators 170 strong. The program seeks dynamic activists and social entrepreneurs interested in implementing projects that address problems in underserved communities in Baltimore City. Fellowship awards are in the amount of $60,000 for a term of 18 months.