Beyond Breck organizes art fundraiser for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Mia P. ’24 is one of the leaders of the Beyond Breck student organization, which is focused on providing education on consent and healthy relationships within the Breck Upper School. This spring for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), Mia had the idea to sell her and her classmates’ art to raise awareness — and funds — for local organizations doing the same type of work Beyond Breck aspires to do on campus.
Mia built a website for the project and recruited her classmates to donate their art to be sold. When asked if she considers herself a student activist, Mia responded quickly: “Yeah, I really do.”
We caught up with Mia about her work and what she hopes to accomplish this year — and beyond.
How did the idea for the SAAM fundraiser come to be?
Earlier this year, the Sexual Violence Center came to campus. Afterwards, me and a couple of my friends reached out to them, and we’ve actually been partnering with them for our community partnership to create a youth group support curriculum. I knew about Agape Oasis because of my classmate Cori ’24, whose mom runs the organization. In November, I also had the opportunity to go to the Summit on Sexual Assault and Consent at Georgetown Day School in Washington DC, where I got to attend all these amazing workshops, meet students from other schools, and have real honest conversations. In DC, I also met with the founders of I Have the Right To, which is an organization that is super dedicated to getting into schools and helping survivors of sexual assault. I wanted to bring some of what I’d learned in DC back to Breck because I knew we already had a lot of positive momentum with Beyond Breck.
I saw all these great organizations around, and I love art. So I wanted to combine those two things and do a fundraiser. At first I just wanted to sell my own photos, but then I decided we should make it more of a community effort. Over spring break, I made a website and reached out to friends to see who could make ceramics or sell their drawings and paintings. It just felt like a really cool opportunity.
What do you hope this fundraiser accomplishes at Breck?
I hope that it spreads awareness. It is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I want people to understand that this is an underrepresented issue. I also want to celebrate student art because a lot of times students don’t really get to show their work except in Scholastic. I want them to have the opportunity to show what they’re passionate about and donate it for a good cause. I hope people just take a look and consider getting something, even if it’s just a sticker or ring. I made sure that there were different price ranges because I wanted to be inclusive. It’s a really positive community building thing, and it makes me happy to see. Next year, I want to have even more artists and all different kinds of stuff.
Have you always considered yourself a student activist?
I think I’ve always gravitated towards leadership. I’ve been at Breck since preschool, so I feel at home in the community. I see spaces for improvement, and I think I’ve really listened to the wants in my community. Of course there have been times where I’ve needed to step back and listen, but I think I really gravitate toward letting my voice be heard. In the past, I’ve been in places where I feel like I couldn’t speak up because of certain relationships or power dynamics; now that I’m free from that, I just want to let it all out. I want to speak for other people who don’t have the same confidence as me.
The Beyond Breck SAAM Student Artwork fundraiser goes until May 12. To purchase items and learn more, click here.
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