Remembering lives lost, hope

Backlit colorful t-shirts hang in a shop window

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Action Month in October included numerous impactful events, including the Clothesline Project, a domestic violence vigil, and a candlelight walk.

Group of WW University students stands with a clothesline t-shirt display

Thanks to an AAUW mini grant, the Clothesline Project spread awareness and solidarity from Walla Walla to Dayton. Student and community volunteers contributed beautiful messages and stories that graced clotheslines in and outside the YWCA, at Providence St. Mary Medical Center, and in the front windows at Locally Nourished in Dayton.

While all of the volunteers worked on the clotheslines and chalk art, some also created a display about the more than 70 lives lost to domestic violence in 2022 and helped put the finishing touches on the Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, altar.

Chalk art messages against domestic violence on sidewalks by the YWCA
Group of YWCA supporters circles the block at dusk, holding candles

Adding beauty and respectfulness to the altar and other displays were generous flower donations pulled together by Wild Willow and Cindy at Safeway Floral.

In a brief bilingual vigil presentation, Community Outreach Coordinator Celia Guardado explained the place of the altar in Latina culture and at the YWCA – showing love and honoring our ancestors, while also shining a light on lives lost to violence.

The program was followed by a candlelight procession through the neighborhood led by Celia and Executive Director Anne-Marie Zell Schwerin, a powerful reminder of our shared commitment to ending domestic violence and creating a safer, more compassionate community.

Smiling young woman displays a Day of the Dead altar in the back of an SUV

When Walla Walla Valley Honda invited us to their Trunk-or-Treat event for children, Kate and Megan from Mariposa took a bit of the altar on the road for some wider community exposure, then returned it to the YWCA for staff, clients, and visitors to appreciate during the Día de los Muertos celebration, Nov. 1 and 2.

Together, we are making a difference, fostering awareness, and advocating for a world free from domestic violence.