Teal Mondays began as an online campaign during the month of April (Sexual Assault Awareness Month). The idea was that every Monday, participants would wear the color teal (the designated color for Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention) and hashtag #TealMondays on social media. The goal was to spread the message to not only raise awareness, but to show solidarity with survivors to let them know that they had support.
Now this sounds like a pretty solid idea right? Well, like any great idea, there was a small problem. The campaign didn’t exactly catch on like I thought it would, so when it launched in April of 2016 there was only one participant…me. I didn’t give up though! Every Monday I went to work in a dress shirt and different teal tie (I was a bank teller at the time), and plastered my lovely face across social media. I knew that if just one person, one survivor, saw the post and felt better knowing somebody was on their side, then I’d completed what I had set out to do.
Fast forward to 2017. I’m in Graduate School, I’ve got a full time job and I realize it’s already March. I planned on expanding the campaign so I enlisted the help of some of my fraternity brothers (yes you read that correctly, I’m in a fraternity and campaign for sexual assault awareness and prevention, the vast majority of us don’t fall into that ugly stereotype) to get the movement going down at my old school. To help with that, I designed teal wristbands for them to sell on the condition that they donate all the money to a local women’s shelter. If I learned anything at school, it was that fundraisers that sell something are almost always successful, and this one was no different. In a few short weeks, there was teal on the wrists of hundreds of students.
Now that the Teal Mondays project was in motion, I wanted to really get the ball rolling. I started social media accounts where I would post different tidbits and facts and keep up with the news in the sexual assault community. And that’s when things really started to take off. Before I knew it, I had people from all over the country participating in Teal Mondays. I had been posting about the wristbands to generate a buzz around campus, but now I was getting requests from other places. I was shipping them out to Maryland, Iowa, Georgia, even as far as California from people wanting to support the Teal Mondays movement. On top of that, I had an inbox full of messages from survivors and allies saying they found comfort in my posts and were happy to know someone was on their side.
Towards the end of April, between work, school and the campaign, I had to slow things down. Finals week is always crazy and when I wasn’t studying or working, I was updating the pages or speaking to allies or survivors. It was then that I decided to keep the #TealMondays movement going year round, and my followers were happy to support. As of July, people are still wearing teal every Monday to support the cause.
In regards to my latest venture and my first step into the blogging universe, I’d like to make you all a promise: I understand some topics may reopen old wounds and cause people to relive some of their worst experiences, so each post from here on out will start with a CONTENT WARNING providing the brief details of what will be discussed. Because at the end of the day I’m here to help people, not make things worse.
If you’ve made it this far, then welcome to the Teal Mondays movement. We’re happy to have you and I hope you’re ready to change the world with us.