Leon joined forces with Madison McNally, who hosted a successful music event on campus last year, and they decided to stage a benefit concert for QSAP. They also teamed up with Jocelyn Briones, president of the student-run group Sexual Health Alliance Revolutionizing Positivity (SHARP). Leon serves as head organizer, with Briones as outreach coordinator and McNally handling entertainment booking and social media.
The concert, called Reflect, is set to take place at Space Mountain Miami this Friday. It will be MC’ed by Robert Lee, founder of the open-mike night Speakfridays, and offer visual art and performances by local artists. Performers include comedian Shana Manuel, erotic performance artist ViKerrious, spoken-word artists Sab Soriano and Oliver Brantome, and South Florida bands such as Palomino Blond, Boston Marriage, and Birthday Wish. Leon will also perform with her band, GrayWise.
The Reflect team wanted the event to stretch beyond FIU’s borders and into the larger Miami community, and several outside organizations were eager to participate. The Miami-based clothing store Outplay, which specializes in gender-nonconforming swimsuits and sportswear, is the concert’s main sponsor; NYX Professional Makeup and the food truck Monkeilicious, which will donate a percentage of the night’s food sales to QSAP, are also sponsors. Other groups that will have tables at the event include student organizations from FIU and
In the era of #MeToo, sexual assault is discussed more now than ever, and particularly on college campuses. But many voices are still left unheard. “A lot of what I saw in the past, the attention was geared towards spotlighting the fraternity system,” says McNally, who was the Title IX student representative for Florida Gulf Coast University’s Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance. She felt encouraged to see students fueling a sexual assault awareness movement, but found the overall conversation heteronormative and not as inclusive as it could be.
“I like to see women from different backgrounds coming together and really creating something special for the community,” says Luna, a rapper and FIU student who will perform at Reflect. Regarding the three organizers, she adds, “I’m happy to see them persevere and make it happen, especially in an age where a lot of people are being activists but maybe not necessarily doing something about what they want to see.”
For Leon, events such as Reflect also provide a shared sense of healing. “I feel like there’s power in stories and in relating to other people what happened to you,” she says. “
Reflect. 7 p.m. Friday, April 12, at Space Mountain Miami, 738 NW 62nd St., Miami. Tickets cost $10 via eventbrite.com.