by Myriam Richard, with a special contribution by Petrona Joseph
When I was asked by Petrona Joseph, a Montreal-based PR, author and TV personality from Dominica and this issue’s SABLEmuse, to be part of a photoshoot gathering strong women, I was undoubtedly excited, glad and humbled by it. Awaiting her email with all the needed info about this photo session, I went back to work thinking it was going to be similar to the previous one she did around the same time last year.
But it was more than that.
It was much deeper and better than that. This photoshoot was in support of the #metoo movement – one that affects us all; for when one is hurt, all are hurt. And there isn’t a better person than Petrona herself to let us know the whole story about how it came to be.
When I received notification of my Gala Dynastie Nomination for Author of the Year, my automatic response was to have a bestie photoshoot, with fellow author, and Success Coach Samantha Kris.
But as time drew closer to the gala, I was struck with personal tragedy, #metoo had struck my family.
I am still suffering the effects of the [ordeal], but the idea came to me to show solidarity to the victims of sexual abuse, and the only way I could think of was to call together 50 strong Montreal women, who not only talk the talk, but these women [also] walk the walk in their support for vulnerable women by raising money to support them through life transitions, and most of all, [by] celebrating their triumphs.
Obviously, this idea stemmed from the Oscars.
While we didn’t all walk the black carpet at Gala Dynastie, our photo shoot had the same effects of the Oscars [#metoo] movement. For example, we all wore black, and showed [unity] in gathering to show support for sexual abuse victims all around the world, but particularly, those in the prison system who live systematic abuse, with the root cause of sexual traumas.
The energy of the photo shoot attracted local celebrities like Anne-Lovely Etienne and get this — Angelo Cadet — the only man in the shoot, [who] was not only showing solidarity with us but was also bringing awareness to men and their attitude and behaviours toward women. I would also like to mention that Sandra Parker, Director of Lasalle College’s LCI Education Foundation was also among us, having recently contributed half a million dollars to the Shakira Foundation in Columbia.
The response we have received thus far is overwhelming, and the women in the shoot […] have transformed the way they see themselves, which is an awesome testimonial to the power we hold when we come together.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Petrona, an inspiring woman, for sharing her story and for organizing this gathering of remarkable women. Below are some of the images from the photoshoot she commissioned.