Getting ready for Untold Stories………………

Posted March 13th, 2012

I spent the first Saturday afternoon of my spring break at my college learning about sexual assault and how young women and men are using digital and media arts to empower communities and individuals to prevent and heal from sexual violence. It wasn’t the most comfortable way to spend a Saturday because this is never an easy discussion. But it’s an important discussion nevertheless. And I’m so glad I attended. For instance, I was reminded that, even as teachers need to learn to recognize the signs of victimization so that we can offer counseling and other programs, I was also reminded that we have the voice to empower our students to avoid victimization and to move from victim to survivor. We also have a voice to encourage young men and women to recognize how they might encourage violence within our culture through their own behavior and views. (AN IMPORTANT ASIDE, speaker Scherazade Tillet posted on a note on her power point that 94% of men are nonviolent. What a great reminder that we’re living in a gentler culture than it sometimes seems.)
But back to the reason I’m posting on this topic today. It is always difficult to hear the stories of rape and dating violence victims. I can see why many would rather these conversations don’t take place. But they must take place as long as one person is being victimized and as long as one victim is afraid to speak out. We can use our voices and our art to heal. If you missed the first in Mount Mary College’s 3-part series on Untold Stories, you can still sign up for the additional two workshops. I’ve included all the information below:

Mount Mary College presents this three-part series on how creativity fuels social change for survivors of sexual violence and human trafficking.

Scheherazade Tillet,
A Long Walk Home™
Sexual Assault in the 21st Century: The Digital and Media Arts Discussion*
Print the flier.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Gerhardinger Center, room 109, Mount Mary College campus
Free and open to the public.
Registration requested.
The Internet has increasingly become the hunting ground for sexual predators. Using new methods in art therapy and the digital arts – including photography, projection, video, Twitter, Facebook, and live feed – we will discuss how state?of?the?art technology can empower communities and individuals to prevent and heal from sexual violence.
Presented by A Long Walk Home™, a nonprofit organization focused on sharing testimonies, poetry, music, dance, photography and video by survivors of sexual abuse and their allies in order to provide safe and entertaining forums through which the public can learn about healing from, and preventing, sexual violence.
*The Master in Science Program in Counseling at Mount Mary College is an NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider. Provider Number: 4529. Attendees receive 2 clock hours (.2 CEU’s) for completion of the training.

The Stories We Tell, Testimonial Writing Workshop
Coming to campus – October 27-28, 2012
“These stories are so powerful, and the hunger these women have to share them is so profound, and the potential implications are so great.”
–Anne Ream, Chicago Tribune, December 4, 2011.
Fifteen pre?selected survivors of sexual or domestic violence or human trafficking will develop a creative piece in this intensive testimonial writing workshop, taught by R. Clifton Spargo (center-right), an award?winning writer and Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and co-facilitated by Anne Ream (center-left) and . Participants will showcase their work through a format provided by The Voices and Faces Project™ and Mount Mary College in order to impact the community through individual testimony.
“Because silence is the enemy of change.”
–The Voices and Faces Project™

The Voices and Faces Project™
Creativity for Social Change: A Forum
Coming to campus – Spring 2013
This event includes a dinner, a keynote speaker and breakout sessions presented by representatives from Mount Mary College.
“…The only way we can challenge and change the way the world responds to sexual violence is to bring these stories to the attention of the public.”
–Anne Ream, Chicago Tribune, December 4, 2011.
Program features:
Keynote: Anne Ream
Ann Ream (shown at right) is a Chicago-based writer and the founder of The Voices and Faces Project™. She is nationally known for her innovative efforts to improve the lives of women and girls and her passion for changing the status quo through a series of creative, media driven initiatives.
Breakout sessions: (Participants choose which session to attend.)
• Dancing with Tears and Rage: The Role of Art Making in Survival
Art Therapy Department
• Writing as Healing
Specific activities in memoir and journal writing can help writers move from victim to survivor. (Based on Louise De Salvo’s “Writing as a Way of Healing”)
English Department
• The Journey to Wellness: Using Mindfulness based Strategies to Promote Personal Healing
Counseling Department
• Milwaukee Responds: Together
A discussion of ground breaking partnerships, including the Sexual Violence Victim Advocacy Project.
Justice Department