There has been a great amount of media coverage with the news of Kobe Bryant’s untimely death. While most news stories describe him as well respected athlete, community supporter, family man, and gender equity advocate, there has also been media coverage addressing Bryant’s arrest for committing sexual assault. This is a case where race, class and gender collide in ways that reveal why it is important to address sexual violence in our society.
During this time, we must give space and validate the wide range of feelings being expressed around this issue. It is also an opportunity to discuss the role celebrities and people with influence can play in fostering healthier communities. Community led programs with culturally sensitive material can do much to educate young folks around consent, healthy boundaries and power dynamics.
People are not the totality of the worst thing they have done or have happened to them. CALCASA asserts the dignity of all people – survivors and those experiencing loss. We are committed to building policies and procedures that support survivors and developing systems in which we are able to prevent sexual assault from occurring in the first place. We believe that with prevention and intervention, people can evolve and change. People who have abused in the past can acknowledge their wrongdoing and take conscious steps in preventing rape in our culture and communities.
We urge leaders, changemakers, and celebrities to do more to invest in their communities.
Healing takes time and bold conversations are a necessary part.
Contact Carissa Gutierrez, Communications Manager, California Coalition Against Sexual Assault E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-446-2520 x316