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Your Empowered Sexuality (YES!) is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit on a mission to provide anti-oppressive, consent-based, pleasure-focused sexuality education to people of all ages. They partner with families, individuals, community organizers, educators, and healthcare providers to create a more just world in which people have the right to autonomy and great relationships with their bodies and communities. And they’re inviting everyone to join them at ConsentFest on Saturday, May 6, to celebrate consent and imagine what living in a consent culture can look like.
How good can we feel?
“This event is an all-ages, free outdoor community fair,” describes Isy Abraham-Raveson, YES!’s executive director and co-founder. “It’s meant to expand people’s ideas of consent in a broader way than just interpersonal touch; thinking about bodily autonomy and consent in terms of reproductive justice, sexuality relationships, and our relationships with our land, neighbors, and who decides what happens to our communities.”
The event is planned to be full of activities for families, youth, and adults where concepts of consent are demonstrated and imagined through storytelling, performance, play, and conversation. Families can enjoy three scheduled story times throughout the day hosted by the Free Library Book Bike, renowned organizer and drag queen Icon Ebony Fierce, and event organizer Abraham-Raveson who will read their book The Great Big Hug. Also featured is a youth-friendly live performance by the band Ants on a Log, whose songs inspire loving who you are and expand our ideas of who we can be, as well as Epic Adventurez, a seasonal commodity of Clark Park providing a full day of larping.
“Bodily autonomy is sacred, and consent is joyous,” Abraham-Raveson says. YES! recognizes there are negative associations with the idea of consent, that when people hear "consent" they often relate it to sexual violence or abuse. “Consent isn’t always about violence or the things that can go wrong. Consent is also about how good we can feel to be respected. And that’s a powerful thing.” Abraham-Raveson further describes ConsentFest as being a great opportunity to learn about what’s being done in our communities around topics of consent, sex ed, and other related issues. The hope is that people will be introduced to several organizations they may not know exist.
Attendees can also expect to engage with a variety of pleasure-centered offerings, like consent-based body work, massage, puppy petting, tarot readings, and face painting. Abby Cox will teach two yoga sessions, Renya NeoNorton will facilitate the Building a Practice of Consent in Our Relationships with Ourselves through Writing workshop, and Ambrose Gage will present two more: Feeling and Expressing Boundaries Through Body Awareness and Embodying Your Yes and Your No Through Movement and Voice. West Philly community choir Sing Slavic is also slated to perform.
“ConsentFest is a joyful way to connect with ourselves, and each other,” Abraham-Raveson notes. So RSVP YES! to bridging connections between neighbors and empowering respectful relationships. Offer a donation in advance, too, if you can.
What, When, Where
YES! presents ConsentFest. Saturday, May 6, 2023, from 12-4pm. Free. Clark Park, 4300 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. yourempoweredsexuality.org
The park is accessible by car, with street parking, and public transit, with trolley stops at the corners of 4300 Baltimore Avenue and 4300 Chester Avenue. There are large, paved pathways into, around, and through the park allowing for access for strollers and wheelchairs, as well as grassy and graveled areas to consider for accessibility
Bathrooms can be accessed at nearby businesses along 4300-4800 Baltimore Avenue.
Water will be provided by the host organization at no charge to the public.
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