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The She Festival aims to support and empower women

The She Festival Facebook
SheFest is slated for this Saturday in Midtown.
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OKLAHOMA CITY- As a result of working in the restaurant and bar industry for numerous years, Brian Pickering said he saw a worrisome trend that he could not look away from.

“There’s a lot of harassment that is dealt with by everybody in general, but women specifically in the service industry,” he said.

After one particular incident, Pickering quit his job at a popular Oklahoma City bar and restaurant. Pickering said the experience helped him realize the power and impact of direct action.

“The She Festival was born out of that,” he said.

With the help of two female colleagues, Brittanie Paden and Jennifer Easley-Maynord, Pickering began to organize the event. Within one month, the organizers have curated a space to join together in celebration, protection, and the uplifting of all women.

The She Festival is the brainchild of Brian Pickering. (E.I Hillin/ Red Dirt Report) 

The She Festival will take place on Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. at the Pickering Place, 422 N.W. Ninth St. in Midtown. The festival is a donation-based event and open to all ages. For a $20 donation, guests can enjoy brunch, music, art, and activities throughout the day.

All proceeds from the festival will help support local and state organizations, including Bartenders Against Sexual Assault (BASA), #YESALLDAUGHTERS, YWCA, Poetic Justice, the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and ReMerge.

Pickering said reaching out and visiting different organizations has been one of the best experiences of his life.

“The women in these organizations have been standing for a long time and waiting for us to stand with them,” he said.

ReMerge, located in Midtown, is a female diversion program working with mothers of minors or pregnant women to provide an alternative to incarceration. Terri Woodland, ReMerge Executive Director, said they were thrilled to be chosen to be a part of the She Festival.

“Our program empowers mothers to become self-sufficient tax-paying citizens who can care for themselves and their children,” she said.

An art display from Poetic Justice will be on site from Tulsa. Poetic Justice is a 501(C)(3) organization offering restorative writing workshops to incarcerated women emphasizing voice, hope, and power to change.

Musical performers will include; Mackenzie Fox, Gabriel Hancock, Chase Kirby, Jarvix, The Indigos, Stone Tide, Costello, and Willow Way. Featured speakers for the event include will include a panel of women from OCADVSA Prevention Coordinator and YWCA Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator, ReMerge, Poetic Justice, and a Trauma Education Specialist from OU Medical Center.

She Festival has a prime focus of women in the service industry and taking a stand within restaurants and bars to help prevent sexual harassment and abuse. Pickering has attended meetings with several restaurants to bring open discussions about harassment in the workplace.

For more information about SheFest and how to get involved, visit their Facebook page or theshefestival.com

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About the Author

E.I. Hillin

Elizabeth Ivy Hillin, 30, grew up in Lindsay, Okla., where the dirt is definitely red. Hillin...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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