Empowerment Art for Survivors
In January 2018, CARE was awarded a Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) project grant that focused on expanding resources, support and healing modalities for survivors of sexual/relationship violence on UC Riverside’s campus. HCI supports projects that aid in the creation of a healthy campus culture and environment through collaborations with campus and community partners on policies, programs, services and initiatives that address all dimensions of wellness, as well as with innovative engagement strategies.
Inspired and developed by Caylin Yorba-Ruiz, a third-year art (studio), and media and cultural studies double-major at UCR, with support from the CARE office, the Empowerment Coloring Books & Zine project seeks to provide individuals with messages of empowerment, empathy, healing, self-care and support. Because individuals who have been impacted by various forms of traumatic experiences often report struggling with their sense of self-worth, low self-esteem, isolation, disconnection with their surroundings, anxiety and depression, one of the many goals of this project was to reconceptualize healing approaches and expression for members of the UCR campus community.
Recognizing that healing is not restricted to one approach and that multiple forms exist, Caylin’s coloring books and zine are a reflection of the many forms of healing that CARE would like to make available to the campus. As demonstrated by this project, art and expression allow opportunities to address the physical, emotional and spiritual impact of trauma, and can be helpful in facilitating reconnection to oneself, reducing anxiety, finding calm, inspiring artistic expression, practicing self-care, and cultivating self-acceptance and love.
Artist & Activist Caylin Yorba-Ruiz
Caylin is a UCR student double-majoring in art (studio), and media and cultural studies. Her artistic work focuses on empowering methods to influence social change and her ultimate goal is that her art contributes to a better society. Caylin’s most-recent work is a 24-page zine created as a response to our political climate. Words for Empowered Women: A Book to Motivate, Challenge, and Inspire features drawings and typography illustrating the strength and resilience of women internationally, and includes quotes from Wangari Maathai, Malala Yousafzai and Frida Kahlo.
Caylin's academic studies focus on Latina art history, feminism, and the intersections between ecology, feminism, race and class. Caylin strives to create work both in the studio and in the classroom that helps break barriers between society and higher education, allowing needed resources and education geared toward community improvement and reform to be accessible to all audiences, regardless of socioeconomic standing.
As a survivor, Caylin aims to create accessible modes of healing for survivors in the UCR community. Her ability to access resources and begin in her healing was not possible until she started school at UCR. That experience with campus resources, and her passion for creating change, have inspired Caylin to assist the members of her community through uplifting and interactive media. The growth and healing that Caylin has experienced through the support she received from campus resources, including her participation in CARE’s Yoga as Healing program, as well as her passion for creating change, is what inspired the creation of her first coloring book, Notes to Self, and motivates her to continue assisting her community through uplifting and interactive media.
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