In an open letter to the Women in Animation community yesterday, President Marge Dean announced a new art project aimed at speaking out, fighting against harassment and addressing gender issues: “Roar.” Dean took the opportunity to offer WIA and its supporters a reassuring check-in and recognize the bravery of those coming forward with their own stories to push for social change.
Dean particularly mentions the open letter written and signed by more than 200 women and non-gender conforming animation industry workers, writing: “They gave notice to the Animation Industry and have everyone across the board paying attention and looking at their policies, behaviors and history. They kicked open the door of silence that has allowed harassment to happen and continue. Think about all the people that will now not be harassed because the industry has been put on notice by this band of women.”
As part of this major shift and echoing calls for action, WIA wanted to create a platform for expression. Thus, Roar, “an open call to everyone to create and share a work of art that expresses your personal experience and reaction to the gender issues you face.” Art can be animated, visual, verbal, or any form preferred. Select pieces will be chosen by WIA to display on its online gallery, social channels and at events. More submission info available at womeninanimation.org or by emailing roar [at] womeninanimation.org.
“Speaking up and telling your truth is key to stopping all harassment as well as at the core of empowering women and other underrepresented people. We have the smarts and the talent; we just need to make the world see and hear it. Many folks in animation are not particularly good with words. But, as we all know well, there are many mediums to communicate through,” Dean’s letter concludes. “Please use yours to tell the world what you think and feel about the challenges you face. Be heard!”
WIA’s previously announced sexual harassment resource page is also now live.