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News, upcoming and past events.

June 2022

Watch the interview with Neilu Naini by Malory Graham from the 2021 Aikido Winter Solstice Seminar
Part 1 - The Interview
Part 2 - Community Conversation

Brief summary 

The phrase #MeToo was first used in 2006 by its founder, Tarana Burke. In 2017, #MeToo went viral. I had lived with Teresa Shiraishi, a domestic violence and sexual assault specialist, at that time. Teresa was a survivor and part of this movement. Personally, I used to think that people were making too much of a fuss over something that should remain quiet. Here I am a few years later realizing the importance of sharing my survivor story.

In 2019, the petition for the Independent Coalition of USAF Women was passed on to me, and I signed immediately. There was no question or hesitation. Watching the course of this petition and the impact on the women's lives who signed it publicly, made me realize that I could not just sit and do my own personal work around my sexual assault. I decided to come forward with my story. I realized the solution is in transparency for individuals as well as for organizations.

I wrote a letter directly to the USAF in October 2020. At that time I wanted to do more work within the aikido community and decided to create a #MeTooAikido website with resources for aikido organizations, dojos and individuals, and also a support group, which is called Safe Space Conversations.

Through many dedicated hours of research, consulting, and drafts of the website, #MeTooAikido was made public. Thank you to Malory Graham, Ruth Peyser, Janice Taitel, and Arielle Herman. I would not have had the strength or courage to come forward without all the help along the way. We continue to meet regularly to provide this resource, something that has never been provided before, from a place of being survivor centered and trauma informed. I appreciate everyone that has taken the time to read my story, sign the pledge, and continue to self examine.

In Appreciation,
Neilu Naini

April 2022

The Aikido IDEA Project has made it possible to keep the MeTooAikido project going. With the award of a grant in April 2022, the basic expenses have been covered for the website. Thank you to Malory Graham, Sam Taitel, and Cesar San Miguel for your continual support towards keeping these conversations going, emphasizing the importance of self exploration and curiosity, keeping a critical eye on dojo environments, and allowing our dreams to stay alive. 

~Neilu Naini

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