For the third year, a group of leading women will walk the catwalk in a fashion show raising awareness for domestic violence survivors.
P7 Walk With Purpose on September 17 will feature the P7 Divas, or Powerful 7, women leaders in their communities and professions, many of whom are domestic violence survivors themselves. The fashion show is the centerpiece of the party, starting with casino games, followed by a headline fashion show by R&B singer, songwriter and harpist Thulani, followed by a live DJ and dance party until midnight.
Editor Lisa Jones, founder of No Silence More, for her, P stands for power – not just in status, but in giving, unity and harmony between models.
“They became a sisterhood,” she said. “Whenever they need each other, they’ll be in a group chat. They are of different ages, ethnicities, and affiliations. …. It is a wonderful and wonderful force. ”
Jones is the founder of Safe No More, a collaborative platform between organizations, agencies, community members, elected officials, and real-time victims and survivors, with the goal of building a system to keep survivors safe for up to two years after they leave their abusers. Partner.
P7 Divas votes to support a non-profit organization each year. The event will benefit Sterling-based Women Giving Back, which this year provides clothing for women and children escaping domestic violence. Both organizations help prevent survivors from returning to their victims—often among the control abusers seek over their victims is control over their money and other resources, making it difficult to leave.
According to Jones, the fashion show isn’t all about glamour—it’s all about the mission.
“It was important to me that they didn’t just show up – I needed them for the mission. For the first year, no one could know that they were in a fashion show. Nobody knew until they were actually on stage,” she says.
But the P7 Divas are there for the mission, as is their costume designer, New York City-based Afua Sam.
Sam recalled meeting Jones years ago at an event serving autistic children through fashion and art. For Sam, who has been designing since childhood and taught herself to sew to create what is within herself, her talent and art have always been tools to serve and free herself.
“I was a victim myself, years ago, and I realized that once I found the courage, even though it took me a long time, everything started to shine brightly.” “My creativity comes out more, because I’m free.”
In the first year, she collaborated with other designers on the show. But later she decided to present the whole show herself, despite the busyness of designing many clothes for many models. It allows her to share her artistic vision with Jones on stage.
“I know if we sort these things out, the focus will be greater,” Sam said.
And when you love what you do, the job becomes “effortless,” she said.
“The love behind what you do gives you more joy when you create pieces like this. And for that reason, it’s something that I hold dear to my heart,” she says. For people, to create happiness, to make other people smile.
Solitaire Carroll said many of the models have been participating since the first year. She is the founder of One Sparrow, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving communities in Haiti through horticulture and farming, pop-up health clinics and health education, as well as a first-of-its-kind college prep program in America for first-generation immigrant families, and this past year’s fashion show. He was a user. She also helps Quietly No More, and said its mission fits well with her nonprofit’s work to lift people out of poverty.
“A lot of homelessness and economic inequality, especially for women, is domestic violence,” Carroll said. “Why don’t they leave, whether they stay, why they are now impoverished, left but have no resources – they often need to be re-educated.” . They need help to find a new job. They want help, they want help to get their kids back on their feet.
She said it’s important to learn more about domestic violence — both for resources for victims and how to recognize and be sensitive to domestic violence and your preconceptions about it.
“I really believe that education is the solution to many of the problems we face in society, homelessness, domestic violence, inequality, inequality, economic inequality,” she said.
According to Jones, the P7 Divas have had an impact you might not have suspected.
“Our hope is that other women will speak up, and they have,” Jones said. “I don’t think they even know the good they’re doing – they really don’t. I’ve had a lot of women pull me aside because of them.
The P7 Fashion Show fundraiser will begin at 5:00pm on Saturday, September 17th at 21586 Atlantic Boulevard, Sterling. Tickets are available at p7phasethree.com.
Journalist Alexis Gustin was interviewed for this story.