Back in November, I attended an event called Hello Sunshine X Together Live. You might remember me talking about it when I introduced Cleo Wade’s Heart Talk. The night was full of incredible women sharing their inspiring stories and talents. Another of those amazing women is MILCK, also known off-stage as Connie K. Lim.
Throughout the night at Together Live, MILCK performed a few songs and shared pieces of her life story including battling and overcoming anorexia, surviving physical and sexual abuse, and growing up with a dream that clashed with her parents’ vision for her life. As immigrants from Hong Kong, they had high expectations and hoped she would pursue a career in medicine or law.
MILCK shared that in 2015, as she was working through some of her past traumas and struggling to succeed as a musician, she was reliving past moments of abuse in her dreams. In the dreams, she was speaking out in ways she hadn’t before and began “reclaiming (her) narrative.” In one very vivid nightmare, she was being hit by her abuser while an onlooker told her it would just make things worse to say something so “just keep quiet for now.” But instead she looked up at the observer and said, “I can’t keep quiet.”
The dream, specifically that phrase, stuck with her and became the chorus of a song, “Quiet.”
“I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh / I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh / A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh / I can’t keep quiet /For anyone / Anymore”
In the weeks leading up to the 2017 Women’s March, she found other women attending the event, 26 strangers, and in small groups around National Mall during the March they sang “Quiet” with the goal of creating a cathartic experience for the other marchers. Video footage of MILCK and the other women singing went viral overnight. Within days, she was flying to New York City to perform on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and meeting with record labels.
In the last two years, she has been busy recording new records with Atlantic Records, touring with Ani DiFranco, opening for Jason Mraz, singing “Ooh Child” on the tear-jerker Procter & Gamble #LoveOverBias Olympic commercial, touring with Amy Shark, and performing at the ESPY’s… just to name a few of her recent accomplishments.
But through all of that, she remains true to the message of “Quiet.” Today April 8th, 2019 marks the third annual #ICantKeepQuiet Day in which MILCK invites her community and the rest of the world to speak out about oppression, fear, trauma, and abuse.
In 2017 flash mobs gathered in cities all around the world to sing “Quiet,” and in 2018 they organized a fundraising concert which raised around $9,000 for the #ICantKeepQuiet fund which helps support three important organizations doing great work on a local, national and international level.
This year, MILCK has invited the I Can’t Keep Quiet community to join her in a collaborative art project. Over the last few weeks, people have been invited to share their stories of survival, turning pain into power, and speaking out against oppression. These stories have been posted on ICantKeepQuiet.org for the community to read and respond to through written word, video, or art work. The overall mission is to “amplify someone else’s bravery in sharing their story.”
You can read the stories, share your own, and/or submit your own words of encouragement or art work at ICantKeepQuiet.org