The #metoo movement initiated last year following an avalanche of sexual harassment allegations is still alive. #MeToo and Beyond: Taking the Next Step is a community forum and fundraiser to address the issue of sexual misconduct, abuse of power, and the ways to move our society toward healing and universal dignity.
The event on April 27 at Kapa‘a Public Library is geared to both women and men. Attendees will receive the knowledge, understanding and tools to create positive change in their sphere of influence around the fundamental causes of abuse of power.
The evening starts with a screening of the film The Beautiful Illusion, followed by an interactive community discussion led by a panel of experts. Issues of sexual misconduct and abuse of power in the workplace, in professional relationships, and — most importantly — solutions to the problem, all will be explored.
The impetus behind this forum for societal change are Nadya Wynd, Melissa Mojo and Laurel McGraw founders of Tropicbird Entertainment, a nonprofit theater and entertainment organization based on Kaua‘i.
In 1999, after working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles and witnessing sexual misconduct first-hand, Wynd wrote, produced and directed The Beautiful Illusion, a powerful psychological drama, starring Delane Mathews (co-star of Dave’s World and From the Earth to the Moon) and Tyrone Power, Jr. (Cocoon and Cocoon, the Return) son of the famous star from Hollywood’s golden age.
The 33-minute, narrative film addresses the issue of the sexual exploitation of actresses, as well as the ability to forgive the seemingly unforgivable. Produced as a Screen Actors Guild experimental film, The Beautiful Illusion was an official selection of the New York and Los Angeles Independent Film Festivals and aired on PBS.
In addition to the panelists, the forum will include special video addresses by U.S. Congresswomen Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa, both of whom are co-sponsors of the ME TOO Congress Act (H.R. 4396).
Panelists/Speakers will include:
— Sabra Kauka, one of the most influential Na Wahine Alakai (Women Leaders) of Kauai. She shares her passion for Hawaiian culture by educating keiki and kupuna as kumu of Hawaiian studies and hula at Island School and as the Kaua‘i coordinator of Hawaiian Studies for the Department of Education. She has also been a journalist, historian, environmentalist, anthropologist, political public information officer and dedicated activist.
— China Huffman, a senior at Island School with her own #MeToo story. She will be a voice of youth on our panel. She is very excited to be able to help inspire social change around this issue.
— Donna Charron, marriage and family therapist specializing in individual, couples and family therapy on Kaua‘i. A graduate of the American School of Professional Psychology/Argosy University, she is currently serving as private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients, including the YWCA.
Also participating via electronic media will be Robert Works Fuller, a founder of the Dignity Movement and co-author of its handbook Dignity for All. He is an educational reformer, advisor to presidents, citizen diplomat, physicist, futurist, prolific author, and former president of Oberlin College. In his book Somebodies and Nobodies, Fuller identifies rank-based abuses of power including school bullying, corporate corruption, sexual harassment, domestic violence, elder abuse, the invisible poor, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism (disabilities), ageism and classism and gives them a name: rankism. Fuller will demonstrate how societies can overcome rankism and promote universal dignity.
#MeToo and Beyond: Taking the Next Step is a free event at Kapa‘a Public Library April 27, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Donations to the event are tax deductible. A portion of the donations will go to the YWCA for its sexual abuse programs on Kaua‘i. The rest will go to support theater performances that portray respect and dignity for all people.