Remember Emma Sulkowicz, the former Columbia student who carried her mattress around the campus as her thesis project, titled Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight)? As part of her thesis, she carried her dorm room mattress (which was 50 pounds!) with her literally everywhere she went from September 2014 until May 2015.
The project was a protest, a statement, and a visual reminder of the fact that her rapist had been found not guilty and was still allowed to attend the very same school in which the assault had occurred, and the same school Emma still attended, as well. Many rapists are either not found guilty or the sentences that are handed down are very light, and Sulkowicz wanted to call attention to this fact.
However, her work has received recognition in some circles, including by the National Organization for Women (NOW). She was just awarded the 2016 Woman of Courage Award, and she posted this photo on Instagram:
The caption includes this section from her speech: