By Danielle Miller
The second annual Denim, Diamonds and Pearls Brunch will be open to community members as it helps raise awareness for sexual assault survivors on Milwaukee’s 2018 Denim Day, which takes place at the end of April.
The Brunch is put on by the organization Priceless Incite, a group that goes into schools to help teach the youth how to heal and move on from abuse and sexual violence through an interactive curriculum created by Annika Leonard. This year it will be open to the community to reach more community members who may need a safe space to tell their story and encourage others.
“I wanted to see a service provider that works with teens that had been impacted by abuse and sexual violence,” Leonard said about creating Priceless Incite. “I wanted to start this organization to speak to gender based violence.”
The Denim, Diamonds and Pearl Brunch will feature speakers, both men and women, who have overcome sexual assault and abuse, as well as ways to help uplift those affected by violence in the community by giving them a safe space to heal, and the tools needed to overcome and stop the cycle of abuse and sexual assault, human trafficking, and dating violence.
“I have been doing this for a while, gathering all the lessons I’ve learned,” Leonard said about her personal history and connection to the topic. Her goal is to help “restore power back to young people,” and to help them be leaders in their community.
The curriculum presented by Priceless Incite has been featured in schools around Wisconsin, as well as presented at the National Sexual Assault Conference in Texas where presenters, some only 19 years old, stood in front of a crowd of over 100 people and told their stories.
“Having an insight, being empathetic, diplomatic also helps when I am speaking to young people,” Leonard said about how she helps those she encounters. “I am not judging their situation, I just want to help relieve some of that weight from being impacted by these things.”
With many young girls being victimized as young as eight years old and becoming trapped in a cycle of violence, Priceless Incite was created to give young black women support.
The curriculum starts and ends with the students involved, allowing them to change it as needed while still learning a broad set of skills to implement into their every day lives and become advocates in their community.
Leonard said the community support for the brunch was beyond her expectation. There will be a therapist on site, as well as a safe space zone away from the main event for those who want to talk and to make it “accessible to young people,” and to “put a lot of thought into taking care of them and let them know it’s okay.” Leonard said.
The event will take place on April 28, further RSVP details will be posted to Priceless Incite’s Facebook page.