Red Dress Day Exhibit

Kat Napoli in front of this year’s exhibit

On May 4, 2024, the second annual MMIW Red Dress Day exhibit took place at the Morgan Hill Library. The event, organized by the AAUW DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) committee, is designed to bring awareness to the crisis of underreported cases of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in California and across the nation. Each of the  red dresses that were displayed represents the hundreds of women and girls who are victims of violence each day.

The event began with DEI co-chair Kathy Chavez Napoli apprising everyone of the overall MMIW crisis. She explained that the red dresses serve as both a memorial and a call to action. She then read the land acknowledgement statement for the Amah Mutsun people indigenous to the Morgan Hill area.

Assemblywoman Gail Pellerin from Santa Cruz also spoke, reporting that the state legislature had just passed a resolution acknowledging Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women. A ceremony and gathering in the Capitol recognized the “horrifying statistics of atrocities” towards indigenous people and the silence around it. Since data drive decisions, events like the Red Dress exhibit make a difference. She said that action is finally being taken against those committing crimes against Native Americans, a change from past decades.

Those present had the opportunity to share their thoughts and impressions about the exhibit and the MMIW crisis. It was a well-attended, powerful, and memorable day.

Return to July/August 2024 Newsletter