Even before the national outpouring of sexual harassment and assault cases, a Portland teenager was organizing an event hoping to help put an end to it.
Irie Page traded a traditional birthday party to put together an evening focusing on consent. It’s what she wanted for her 14th birthday-- not a party, not gifts, but 500 kids and their parents learning about consent and dating safely.
Background: Teen organizes 'consent event' for her birthday
“It's very exciting. It's very satisfying to be doing something like this!” said Page.
On Thursday evening, the crowd packed Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall to see Mike Domitrz’s ‘Can I Kiss You?’ presentation. Domitrz speaks about consent, dating and healthy relationships to people of all ages around the world, but never before at the behest of a birthday girl.
“What Irie's done here is exceptional,” he said. “It's the first of its kind, of its magnitude, without a doubt.”
Page started a donation campaign in July to raise Domitrz's $6,000 speaker's fee. Just weeks ago, she still needed $2,175 dollars. That’s when rape survivor and advocate Brenda Tracy paid the balance. Then, Domitrz waved his entire fee.
“That's because of Irie's efforts,” said Domitrz. We wanted to do something special to really reward this community for all that she's done.”
Page said Thursday she plans to donate the $6,000 to nonprofits that prevent sexual assault and help survivors. She also hopes to continue her efforts in advocacy and consent education.
“Just start some conversations where they weren't able to do that before,” said Page.