The Cultural Change Project produces multimedia materials to insert in print (community publications, hospital newsletters, newspaper inserts, billboards); broadcast (Public Service Announcements for television, movie theaters and radio); online (social media, magazines.)
The Project’s mission is to spark a conversation about street harassment, making it unacceptable. Catcalling should be considered as repugnant and unacceptable as using racial and ethnic slurs. The Cultural Change Project is the only program in Western Massachusetts, and one of a handful in the nation, with a mission to end public sexual harassment. Internationally, only Belgium has criminalized public sexual harassment, in 2014.
If you also believe that gender equality includes the right of girls and women to be safe from street sexual harassment – there are laws, albeit still weak, to address sexual harassment in the workplace – please consider supporting the Cultural Shift Project in any of the following ways:
• Be a partner that helps spread the message.
• Make a tax-deductible donation. Our mailing address is:
Cultural Change Project
c/o Arise for Social Justice
467 State Street, Springfield
Massachusetts MA 01105
• Send us links of news and initiatives that we can help spread to our contacts.
• Invite us to give your organization a two-hour workshop on how to be an active bystander.
Our Founding Partners
Arise for Social Justice A multi-issue, low-income rights organization run by and for poor people and the Project’s fiscal sponsor
Enlace de Familias in Holyoke, a nonprofit community organization
Men’s Resource Center The Center has engaged in pioneering work for more than 30 years to engage men as active allies to women, challenging men’s violence, and supporting men in developing positive and healthy expressions of masculinities. The work of the Men’s Resource Center is a critical part of this initiative. If sexual harassment of girls is to end, boys and men must be front and center in the effort.
Mujeres a la Vanguardia A North End, Springfield-based grassroots movement of women pushing for social justice
The Performance Project An arts community of many ages and ancestries in Springfield, MA
The Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Springfield, a hub for regional community conversations, arts & cultural events.
Our Founding Advisers
• Dr. Arlene Avakian, co-founder of the Women’s Studies program at the University of Massachusetts
• Kathy Wicks, MPH, Program Director, Springfield Partners for a Healthier Community
• Christopher Sikes, CEO of Common Capital Inc., a non-profit business financing and assistance organization.
• Joan Tabachnik, an expert on child sexual abuse and activating bystanders
• Dr. Mari Idalí Torres, PhD, Director, Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Public Policy, UMass-Boston
• Dr. Julia Demmin, Psychotherapist
Women and girls are not free and equal in the public square. The worldwide sexual harassment and abuse of women is largely invisible as a public health issue. Why a public health issue? Because they are robbed of their self-worth and confidence to realize their greatest aspirations, enduring lifelong blows that make them suppress their ideas. They are dehumanized.
In the U.S., from the streets of Holyoke to the halls of Congress, girls and women live in a world of unequal opportunity. They are sexualized in the media and verbally harassed by leering men as they walk to and from school or their jobs.
Project founder and director Natalia Muñoz, journalist for more than two decades, in 2010 founded Verdant Multicultural Media, which produces multimedia campaigns in service to social justice.
Work samples can be viewed here.
The distance between street harassment of girls and the roles that become available to women later in life is so short many do not even realize what the poet Maya Angelou once wrote about internalizing our own oppression. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
Subliminally, we continue to be taught that the only women who matter are those who are young and fulfill men’s sexual fantasies. That’s why a multimedia campaign would set off community conversations that have been dormant for centuries.