Toronto, ON December 17th 2013. Lead writer and creator of Traveling Black Chicks Blog Lucy Hamlet, is headed on an adventure of a lifetime to raise awareness for Violence Against Women and a Girl’s Right to Consent. The No Means Stop! Climb to Kilimanjaro is being undertaken as part of her Blog’s Journeys for Change initiative.
For the former arts producer and now CEO of the Black Chick Group the initial decision to do the climb was a personal challenge to defy her own limits. According to Hamlet, “I felt stuck and needed to challenge my life. The opportunity arose to take a trip to Tanzania so I thought that while there I’ll just climb this mountain.” That was of course before she knew how high Kilimanjaro actually was! Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is Africa’s highest peak standing an impressive 19,430ft above sea level. It is one of the official Seven Summits and is also known as the world’s tallest free-standing mountain. Once she did find out Kilimanjaro’s actual height however, Hamlet became further determined to scale the ‘beast’ as she now refers to it.
The Traveling Black Chicks blog shares stories of Black Women’s life and travel journeys. The Blog’s tag line and mission reads, See the World. Be the Change and so posits that the climb would be used to raise awareness for an issue or charity organization. Finding out that the 16-year-old daughter of a close friend was recently violated by a young man, while walking to her doctor’s office in broad daylight, crystallized the cause for Lucy. She states, “I feel that awareness and education about consent are strong precursors to help stem violence against women. For me it makes sense to focus on educating boys and young men at an early age.”
Tropicana Community Services has officially endorsed and will lend support to the No Means Stop! Climb to Kilimanjaro. “Raising awareness for Violence Against Women is a cause dear to Tropicana Community Services,” says Executive Director Sharon Shelton “Lucy’s climb and the intent behind it is in perfect alignment with the work Tropicana already does in the community to help prevent and deal with similar issues. We look forward to supporting Lucy in her bid to summit Mount Kilimanjaro on International Women’s Day 2014.” Tropicana Community Services, a Toronto-based multi-service organization, provides all youth, newcomers, people of Black and Caribbean heritage and others in need with opportunities and alternatives that lead to success and positive life choices.
The climb to the ‘Roof of Africa’ (as Kilimanjaro is affectionately named) has been described as manageable but grueling by seasoned climbers. For her part, Hamlet has started a physical and nutritional training regimen using the Herbal Life family of products and trainers to prepare mentally and physically for the climb. The plan is to Summit Kilimanjaro on March 8th, 2014 in celebration of International Women’s Day.
A Go Fund Me page (online), as well as plans to tap into offline fundraising mini projects will help finance her climb and raise funds for awareness raising projects. An official No Means Stop T-shirt will be created. Funds from the sale of the T-shirt will go directly towards helping to support Tropicana’s Violence against Women programs and developing innovative ways to educate youth especially boys and young men about Consent.
The Traveling Black Chicks Journeys for Change Initiative is designed to encourage travel that illuminates issues and helps make a difference in the world. On the journey to Kilimanjaro Lucy will meet with and interview as many people involved in and affected by the conversation about Consent and Violence against Women, including young men and women of Tropicana’s Sister to Sister Women’s Group and Man Up Men’s Group.
Lucy’s climb to Kilimanjaro is being documented on the Travelingblackchicks.wordpress.com blog as well as on Facebook.com/travelingblackchicks and on twitter @trblackchks