My passion project is a fashion brand I founded that creates economic opportunities for survivors and women at risk of sexual exploitation in South East Asia. Yes, it’s a heavy topic. So heavy, that sometimes I become paralyzed with the responsibility of explaining its complexities to others. That’s why when I read Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined
, I felt as though someone had finally done the topic justice. Set in the midst of war-torn Congo, Nottage demonstrates how war, rape, and murder crush a human’s ability to make sense of being loved and loving others. She masterfully creates characters who we can’t help but empathize with as we see them climbing step by step from the rubble of their brokenness, to demonstrate the resilience of their humanity. The raw trials and triumphs that fill this satisfying journey will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the beautiful people of Central Africa, and will offer an inspired truth: we cannot be defined by our past—despite what has been done to us, we can love, and be fully loved, again.
— Alissa Moore, education, research & collective action associate (former)