A spoken word performance featuring the poems and short stories of Indigenous/Chicana artist and 2022 SUNY Oswego graduate Chelsea Maldonado called “Redress to the Red Dresses” will raise awareness of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (#MMIW) cause. The free event will take place at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 28, in Tyler Hall's Waterman Theatre.

“Redress to the Red Dresses” addresses, redresses and attempts to process MMIW and the intersections between colonialism and patriarchy, anti-Indian racism and violence against women, haunting and healing. One week before annual observances of Red Dress Day (May 5), Maldonado will center the voices of Indigenous women on the ancestral territory of the Onondaga Nation. 

The event started as an art installation in Canada to bring awareness to this issue. The red dress and red hand print over the mouth have become international symbols of the struggles against settler colonialism, white supremacy and violence against women. Athletes and activists, students and scholars have donned the red dress/red hand print to center the voices of Indigenous women and the idea of raging against the dying of the light.

Maldonado earned a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in Native American studies from Oswego. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, Maldonado combines the inspiration of New York City with ancestral knowledge to bring awareness about urban Indian peoples and the complexities of Indigenous life. For Maldonado, being Indigenous means to be born into a community while also struggling to put the pieces together.

The campus community can learn more through tabling events in Marano Campus Center from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on April 26, 27 and 28.