PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland teen is planning something special for her 14th birthday that has nothing to do with presents or parties.
Irie Page wanted to give a gift to her community in the form of consent education. In July, she began organizing an event called Can I Kiss You? put on by national speaker Mike Domitrz.
“Pretty much everyone can agree that assault and violence are wrong, but we need to do something about that,” said Page. “I think the best way to create change is to start with education."
Page set Can I Kiss You? for Nov. 9, one day before her 14th birthday, at Portland State University’s Lincoln Recital Hall. Page started a GoFundMe account to cover Domitrz's $6,500 speaking fee. As of Wednesday, it had raised just over $4,000. PSU waived the rental fee for Lincoln Recital Hall, which seats 220 people.
“I would really love it if as many people could come to this event as possible,” said Page. “I've put a lot of time into this.”
After KGW's story aired, Brenda Tracy, a rape survivor and human rights activist, donated $2,175 to help Page reach her $6,500 goal.
"Cant' think of a more worthy cause," Tracy said on Twitter. "Thank u Irie Page 4 donating your birthday to help others learn about consent! You're a real life hero!"
Tracy also urged parents to bring their children to Page's event.
Sarah Page is proud of her daughter.
“I think it's kind of the understatement of the year,” she said. “Are we proud? Of course we are, we're thrilled!”
Sarah Page noted that the event was to coincide with a pivotal time in the fight against sexual assault and harassment.
“We have reached a tipping point,” said Sarah Page. “We have reached that place where people are standing up and saying ‘no more,’ and ‘I believe you.’”
Irie Page hopes what she's doing makes a difference. That the words she and other teens hear at the event will create conversations that would empower them now and in the future.
“If it could save someone, then that would be really great,” said Page.
Maybe the best birthday present, of all.
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