If there is one thing that has remained consistent about me over the years, it’s that I am always concocting some controversial haircut (kindly referred to as my “five-year hair plan”). Last month marked the third year I participated in Punk Cuts to End Rape for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, and I couldn’t have been more excited to shear my mane for the summer. As the Administrative Services Coordinator for the Center, I feel it is both an honor and a privilege to sport a “punk cut” as I greet newcomers to the office.
Watching the Punk Cuts fundraiser advance, and foster more attention from the community, has left me inspired by the generosity and support of the area. What started off as a disordered house party, with haphazard haircuts, has transformed in merely two years, to a crowd-packed gathering, in a public venue brimming with supporters, professional hairstylists, a craft bazaar, and a total of seventeen shaved heads!
The 2014 Punk Cuts to End Rape fundraiser raised over $5,700 dollars—an unprecedented amount. We at the Center are so thankful for the various contributions from our community—whether it was sponsoring one of the participants, or buying a “Feminist Killjoy” button, or simply spreading information about the event and the cause over social media—we could not have done it without you. I’d like to give a special shout out to Mina’s Studio, Orange County Social Club, and Jesse Franklin for their paramount contributions. Rachel put it best when she said:
The Punk Cuts to End Rape Campaign is an effort to grow the funder-base of the Orange County Rape Crisis Center—but this is not strictly a financial move. In my philosophy of community engagement, fundraising is an activation activity; an effort to raise awareness of the urgent issue at hand, but also the fact that everyone has some badass in their life who is willing to go to extreme lengths to act upon their passion for ending sexual violence. That’s the kind of community I want to live in. Punk-Cutting to End Rape is the kind of activity that pushes forward the social and cultural change that must happen for sexual violence to end.
Over the next year, as my hair grows back, I’ll look forward to next year’s event, and hope for even more awareness about the issue of sexual violence in Orange County.
To see more photos from the event, be sure to check out our Facebook page.
Alex Stewart is our Administrative Services Coordinator. In addition to managing our office and providing integral staff support, she offers her hair to the cause annually.