Just 2 weeks into the SFB fall tour, I stopped by to see our new besties at University of Massachusetts – Lowell. The team of badasses in Student Activities is killing it over there and had some 400 seats lined up, zip tied, a boss stage and serious sound system. They brought in the big guns.
After sound check, start time slowly creeped. And let’s just say they didn’t quite fill the seats they had hoped to. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, self-defense is a tough sale.
But here is the incredibly awesome news: 1.) There were a solid number of dudes in the crowd. Like over half. 2.) we had FUN! Those who came were super into it. 3.) I had a very real, open conversation with a brilliant group of women who were uber pumped about the program and could hardly wait to share stories: One who, just in the last week, made moves to be an active bystander, looking out for a couple freshman girls who were being creeped on by a guy following them slowly in a car (she threatened to call the cops and he drove away). Another girl shared her “I never thought it could happen to me” story about getting mugged just a few weeks ago and how much she wished she had this course before that had happened. We talked for a quite a while after the program, laughing, chatting and sharing our fears… being vulnerable about a scary topic that can seem a lot less scary when you are in a safe place to talk about it and can learn very basic skills to deal with it.
So yeah, they didn’t get the masses they were looking for, but we did connect with some real leaders in the community who want to take more steps towards a safer program by bringing us back for more intense classes. These are also the people who will continue chatting about the program for a while, sparking important conversations with the peeps who couldn’t make it to the seminar.
And I most definitely chalk that up as a BIG win.
Thank you SO much University of Massachusetts – Lowell for letting me hang and putting on such an amazing program. You all are the bomb and I can’t wait to see you again soon! Till next time..
Love and Light,