By Joshua Aguilar |Staff Writer|
The Clothesline Project Workshop helps students of CSUSB speak out against violence towards women.
The workshop encourages students to decorate shirts to help those who have experienced sexual assault, abuse and violence.
This year the project was held on the second floor of the San Manuel Student Union (SMSU) where participants decorated
shirts with a message of support for the victims.
Students were invited to decorate shirts in the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) from April 18 through April 22.
The shirts will be on display in the SMSU.
Emily Erwin, student assistant of the WRC, organized the workshop.
“The purpose is to raise awareness about the prevalence and damages of sexual assault and violence,” said Erwin.
“It gives it a physical presence and people get to see in a personal way how sexual assault and violence has affected people in their community,” continued Erwin.
“I know last year we had a lot of people come forward and make shirts. It is the first day so we have not had a ton of people come in, but I know it picks up, we usually have a pretty good response,” concluded Erwin.
The Clothesline Project originated in 1990 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The workshop allows women to share their emotions by decorating a shirt and placing it on a clothesline for others to read as a testimony about their experiences.
Janet Honn-Alex, coordinator for the WRC and the Pride Center, shared how CSUSB became involved in the project.
“The Clothesline Project was brought to CSUSB by alumni and students in 1992 or 1993,” said Honn-Alex.
Honn-Alex was a student when The Clothesline Project was gaining popularity throughout university campuses across the nation.
“Some of us were in an activist group and we were trying to bring awareness to violence against women, and so we brought The Clothesline Project to CSUSB,” said Honn-Alex.
The WRC has taken on this project every year since and hundreds of shirts are made, according to Honn-Alex.
The shirts cannot all be displayed because there are so many and there is limited space, but the WRC tries to display as many as possible from this year and from years past.
“The Clothesline Project has a long history and voices are always being added through the shirts. The shirts made this year are always hung along with some from the past 25 years,” said Honn-Alex.
The workshop consisted of one table with plain white t-shirts and paint.
came in at their own time and decorated a shirt with their own testimony.
The experience is very personal and makes it difficult to discuss the topic with students.
The shirts on display have various quotes about violence towards women such as:
“I have learned that sexual assault is NOT the victim/survivor’s fault and there are multiple options for healing.”