Mirka Estrada, Nest Youth Advisory Board Member and a Junior at Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School in Dallas, Texas, speaks with us about the #MeToo movement and how the Nest Curriculum helps prepare young people to identify signs of sexual assault and exploitation.
NEST: Is #MeToo impacting your school or your community? In what ways? How are people talking about it?
The #MeToo [movement] has opened the conversations we have about sexual assault around the school. Now, we are seeing perpetrators being exposed and having to deal with the consequences. It honestly has given us hope that we will see more justice for sexual assault victims, and we are now seeing the era of silence come to an end. It inspires us to stand in solidarity with those victims and makes us more passionate about organizations that are leading the charge for transformation, such as Nest.
How do you think education plays a role in ending sexual harassment? Has the Nest Curriculum affected the way you think about it?
Education opens the conversation and allows us to explore the root cause of the problem. Thus, we can craft a plan that attacks the issue at its core. This promotes better and more comprehensive solutions. Nest and its curriculum is eye-opening, because of it we have become more conscious citizens. Now we can identify the signs of sexual assault and trafficking, and offer aid to those in need.
What can young people do to change the culture of sexual assault and harassment?
Change starts with the next generation, and if we equip them with the knowledge and the tools to educate those they meet, then change is bound to happen. Instilling moral values in our youth is important to see a societal change. We must stop teaching that "boys will be boys" and start to hold those who do wrong accountable. Accountability is the first and the most important thing we need to teach our youth.
To read more about Mirka, find her bio here.