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Creating Change: Our Newest Voices and Faces Project workshop debuts at Northwestern University.


Change. We know it when we see it — and we can usually feel it when it is happening. But can we really create change? The Voices and Faces Project recently debuted a new interactive workshop — "Unsilencing Public Policy: Creating Programs That Create Change" — that explores this question, and challenges audiences to create their own social-entrepreneurial programs. Our workshop considered two of The Voices and Faces Project's most effective creative initiatives (our first indie-rock benefit CD, and our testimonial writing workshop) and then challenged the student and advocate audience to develop their own social change programs. In the words of Northwestern University Professor Danny M. Cohen, who was a driving force behind the workshop:

I teach about specific social programs around the world, and I'm always looking for initiatives that challenge conventional design ideas, tackle urgent issues, and inspire my students. This Voices and Faces Project workshop checked all of those boxes. After The Voices and Faces Project visited our class, my students talked about how they had never considered the value of making explicit the narratives of victims of sexual violence. Students found it possible to apply Voices and Faces Project approaches to their own designs in other contexts -- for example, one student design team used the Voices and Faces model to design a program to help children articulate and process their experiences of having a parent with mental illness. Finally, my students talked about being blown away by The Voices and Faces team's dedication to her work."

Special thanks to our Voices and Faces Project workshop team: Jessica Brown, Patricia Evans, Molly Harris, Michelle Lugalia and Anne K. Ream. To find out more about bringing "Unsilencing Public Policy" to your school or social services agency, email us.
The Voices and Faces Project, recently named one of "America's Best Charities" by the board of directors of Independent Charities of America, has been recognized by the United States Department of Justice as part of the "new generation" of anti-violence leaders. We're working to change minds, hearts and social policy by helping survivors to tell their stories and by introducing those stories into the public square. We need your support to continue our work.

What is "The Price of Sex?" And why does it matter?
Voices and Faces Project founder Anne Ream recently began blogging for Thomson Reuters, the international news service. In "Sex Trafficking: The global problem that is far more local than many Americans think," Ream considers "The Price of Sex," Mimi Chakarova's award-winning film on international sex trafficking, while contrasting the global realities Chakarova explores with sexual trafficking in the United States. Ream's piece also looks at the NoVo Foundation-supported End Demand Illinois campaign, which is fast emerging as a national model for addressing domestic sex trafficking. Read the blog.

Media Matters: Re-thinking our ways of talking about violence against women in the public square.
Despite 30-plus years of anti sexual violence advocacy, many in the media continue to perpetuate damaging myths about rape. On May 23rd, The Voices and Faces Project traveled to New York to deliver a keynote talk to the New York Alliance Against Sexual Assault. In "Media Matters" we challenged the audience to "take back" the media, creating new programs to address violence, while finding more effective, new media-driven ways to bring survivor stories to the attention of the public. Special thanks to our communications team at Stone Ward Advertising, who created "Silence is the Enemy of Change," the video that accompanied our keynote talk.
To bring "Media Matters" to your community, email us.

Jerry Sandusky, Penn State and delayed reporting: A welcome perspective.
Roger Canaff, a member of our Voices and Faces Project/Victim Rights Law Center CounterQuo initiative, has written a terrific piece about why victims of sexual violence sometimes delay reporting to authorities. Considering the strong forces that discourage any form of reporting, Roger – a former NY sex crimes prosecutor – takes a reasoned, thoughtful look at this issue. Thanks, Roger, for your eloquence, compassion and critical voice. Read the blog.

Coming soon: Web 2.0. Thank you, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation!
We are grateful to the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation for its ongoing support of The Voices and Faces Project. Most recently, the foundation has chosen to support our Voices and Faces Project "Web 2.0" initiative, which is not so much a website redesign as a complete website "rethink" that will allow us to create a more interactive and more survivor-focused version of our existing website. Special thanks to Elizabeth Driehaus, Sunny Fischer and Richard Cahan for their consistent and creative support of our work.

Hear, Now: Our recent Public Radio "Worldview" interview on rape in the Congo is now available.
"The Importance of Bearing Witness" – an interview with Galya Ruffer and Anne K. Ream – was featured on WBEZ's "Worldview" and aired in advance of a May Northwestern University panel discussion on sexual violence in the Congo that was co-produced by Art Works Projects, Northwestern University's Buffett Center, and our team at The Voices and Faces Project. You can listen to the Public Radio program about our work and the event: Documentary initiative advocates for victims of sexual violence and read more about our recent efforts on the topic of testimony and social change.

Still demanding justice: The Women of Atenco, 6 years on.
Two years ago, Voices and Faces Project photographer Patricia Evans and writer Anne K. Ream traveled to Mexico, where they interviewed the Women of Atenco, victims of rape and torture at the hands of Mexican police. This case has been a high-priority for our allies at Amnesty International, and the failure of the Mexican government to hold police accountable has been condemned by members of the United States Congress, the United Nations, and the international human rights community. The willingness of the women to speak truth to power and perpetrators is inspiring, humbling and a reminder of how a small community of activists can challenge and change the world - and yet there has still been no justice.
Join The Voices and Faces Project and the Nobel Women's Initiative in demanding justice for the women of Atenco.
Listen to the WBEZ/Public Radio piece about our Voices and Faces Project work documenting the stories of the women of Atenco.

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