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“Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug”. What an opening line from feminist author and activist Laurie Pennie, in her article commenting on the wave of women’s voices speaking out against sexual violence, abuse and rape culture this week.
We couldn’t have put it better. As graduates of the NEXT Project will know, the mental discomfort we experience when faced with a contradiction in personal values and beliefs brought on by our own behaviour can act as a powerful motivator for change or a trigger for further justification and denial.
In all of our courses, we look at these ingenious psychological mechanisms that can either protect or harm us, liberate us or keep us trapped. And increasingly, we are proud to be supporting and empowering women to speak out in the face of systemic oppression.
This month we’re excited to have begun the second pilot of our Feminism for Change course for women in recovery from drug and alcohol misuse. The course aims to develop self-esteem and awareness through key concepts in feminism. And it’s not the only project being run by and for women at FfC.
Clothing for Change is a new project being launched and developed by NEXT graduate Bex Exel. As well as writing for our blog she’s launched our online Etsyshop where you can examine and purchase some of her exclusively designed and tailored clothing.
We’re also pleased to announce ticket sales for our upcoming fundraising concert Ebb and Flood on Saturday 25th November. A limited number of concession tickets are available in advance so snap yours up if you haven’t already. Choreographer and FfC supporter Maika Klaukien has taken ‘resiliance’ – another theme in our work – as the inspiration for an event featuring music, dance and poetry (as well as refreshments afterwards). We look forward to seeing many of you there.
If that’s not enough inspirational women for you, here’s an interview with Lucy, one of our incredible NEXT graduates, with some words of strength, motivation and courage.
None of this work would be possible without an ability to raise income. Our latest newsletter thanks one of our supporters whose generous donation enabled us to leverage a £7,000 grant from the Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, which will go towards our vital running costs. We also received a £1,000 grant from the St James’s Place Foundation in July.
All the best,
Bob, Liz, Laura, Katie & Bex