Ms. Conant, Sponsor— I think that our event for Denim Day helped bring more awareness to the issue of sexual assault on our campus, and I was glad that our group was able to interact with all of the students from all of our academies. I was surprised by the number of kids who expressed interest in what we were doing and how passionate they were about the issue. I was really encouraged by the ideas that the students were generated to keep the project going for next year: they want to do more small events throughout the year. Some are even interested in starting a team to run the LA Marathon to continue to bring attention to the issue of sexual assault in our community. We were pleased with what we were able to accomplish on our website and we all want to keep adding to it and to keep spreading our message.
ROYALS Member, Student, Liz M — I was very surprised on the brainstorming and the leadership that many people in the group had. I really liked the way that we tried to work with the boys and in the beginning, it worked well.
ROYALS Member, Student, Stephanie Avalos — We had different stations so people could participate. Once they realized what was going on, they started asking a lot of questions. People wanted to know how they could show support and they started writing notes of encouragement like “you are beautiful” and “be strong.” Next time, we have to actually do more to encourage other academies to participate. This was a good start, but we can do more to contact the leadership of other academies to keep awareness going.
ROYALS Member, Cassandra M. — What surprised me about our event was how not many people knew what Denim Day actually was about until they came to our booths to ask us. This showed us that Denim Day isn’t really talked about much in our community and it isn’t a subject that is really touched on. Something I would do differently next year is to make more of an effort to get all the academies more involved in the event. This project helped our community a lot because it made the issue of sexual assault more of a public issue and it told people that we can all do something to help, even if it is a small thing. We can call take part in ending rape culture and sexual assault.
ROYALS members, Monserrat Lopez— The most surprising thing about my experience with ROYALS is that I got to form very close bonds with girls that had the same ideology as me. If I had the chance to start my involvement with ROYALS all over again, I wouldn't change anything about it. I felt like the choices we made as a group, really defined us as a team and helped us grow as students, citizens, and artists. Being a part of a group that wanted to make a change for victims of sexual assault was very inspiring. I hope that people who have gone through this experience know that they are supported and not alone.