Elizabeth: supporting survivors through performance art


Elizabeth Peprah is a published poet who is currently completing her M.A. in women’s and gender studies. A passionate champion for women, Elizabeth is particularly invested in eliminating sexual and physical violence against women, and considers herself “an activist for the women nobody cares about.”

The depth of post sexual assault trauma is so heinous that many women choose to end their lives rather than live through their pain. Many survivors lose passion to continue in school, many leave their workplaces, and their dreams are shattered after being defined by their experience with sexual assault.

Elizabeth is tackling these big and complex issues through her initiative, The Survivor’s Boat Rescue Network, which channels one of her own passions: performance art.

The Survivor’s Boat Rescue Network works to establish university and college networks that are by survivors, for survivors. The program helps women heal through spoken word art classes, and offers an opportunity for survivors to come to terms with their personal tragedy, find healing and restoration within their lives post-assault.

Unfortunately, statistics tell us that one in every three women can identify with at least some parts of this story. I hope to further develop my idea, and help to offer an opportunity for these women to come to terms with their personal tragedies.

Elizabeth joined the DOT Impactathon, where she prototyped and tested The Survivor’s Boat Rescue Network, and developed an impact business model canvas. She worked closely with fellow Impactathon participants and credits the program for allowing her to move from “one day” to “just do it.”

I gained so much peer support and was able to join a movement of young social entrepreneurs with similar goals of bettering our communities through innovative change. I learned so much more about the many facets of social entrepreneurship, expanded my network of like-minded young people, and gained confidence to establish my idea.

Elizabeth is one of seven young women in Ottawa, Canada who were selected to attend DOT’s youth innovation summit in Nairobi, Kenya. 

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