Published April 4, 2013
Lucille A. Coady, UB clinical nursing instructor, recalls the very personal quotes painted on a T-shirt made by her 19-year-old daughter for the Clothesline Project while she was a student at SUNY Brockport:
I HATE you for what you did.
You took away my friends.
You destroyed my dignity.
You stole my identity.
I thank you for making me strong.
You gave me a voice.
You showed me my intuition.
You pushed me to stand for me.
“It made me cry with her and for her; it made me angry that my daughter was a victim; it made me feel powerless to protect her; it made me proud of her resilience to endure and it gave me hope,” said Coady.
“As a mother, a midwife, a professor, a woman, a sister, an aunt, a friend and a nurse, the Clothesline Project provided me with inspiration.
“I wanted to bring the project to UB,” she said.
This year for the first time, the School of Nursing is able to host the Clothesline Project at UB because of a Grassroots Grant Coady received from the American Association of University Women.
The Clothesline Project is a visual display that bears witness to the violence against women. During the public display, a clothesline is hung with T-shirts, each decorated to represent a particular woman’s experience; shirts typically express the feelings of the survivor or someone who cares about her.
Traditionally, the project, which started on Cape Cod, Mass., in 1990, takes place on college and university campuses.
Along with the T-shirts that provide women a voice, bed sheets are hung from a clothesline with the words: “These hands will never harm a woman.” Men are invited to place their hand prints on the sheets.
“As a professor of nursing, I must impart the importance of community connectedness to students through community service and outreach,” said Coady. “UB’s Clothesline Project will include several events nursing students will participate in on our campus, as well as involvement from UB football coach Jeff Quinn and team, the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and the Western New York community.”
UB Clothesline Project activities will begin on April 9 in UB Stadium. Mary Travers Murphy, executive director of the Family Justice Center, which assists victims of domestic violence, will meet with members of the UB Bulls football team at 2:30 p.m. to address the issue of violence against women At 5 p.m., Quinn and members of the football team will place their handprints on sheets to pledge their support.
On April 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Union, North Campus—and outside if weather allows—nursing students will assist other students in the creation of T-shirts and the display of T-shirts. Students and faculty from the medical school will display their hand prints on a sheet and the UB football team’s sheet will be displayed.
The T-shirts will be on display inside the Student Union until April 14.
Sub Board also has volunteered its assistance with the project.
UB will provide T-shirts at no charge to women or their families who wish to participate. T-shirts can be dropped off at 414 Michael Hall, South Campus from noon to 5 p.m. April 2.
T-shirts also can be dropped off at Wellness Education Services, 114 Student Union, and at the School of Nursing, outside of the administration offices in Wende Hall, South Campus.
“Violence against women happens every day and it will not change if we as a society do not address the causes and promote intolerance of injustice,” said Coady. “To bring it back to our campus community, as I speak with my students on the topic, they all agree that all parents have in the back or fore of their minds as they send their daughters off to college, ‘I hope she is safe.’”