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The Importance Of Bearing Witness: What are the risks, and rewards, of sharing our stories?

The prevalence of sexual violence in mass atrocity has only recently gained international attention and recognition as a crime against humanity. The testimonies of thousands of sexual violence victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have contributed to ending impunity and bringing perpetrators to justice. But at what cost to victims?

Those who live through sexual violence and go on to share their names, faces and stories play a critical role in making the world a safer and more just place for all of us. Yet public responses to their testimonies often reveal deep rooted discrimination against women, and remind us of the and barriers to openness that still exist in the DRC, and here in the United States.

Join the Center for Forced Migration Studies (CFMS) at The Buffett Center at Northwestern University, The Voices and Faces Project and ART WORKS Projects for an exploration of these important questions, and a performance of collected testimonies of Congolese women presented by Northwestern's Oral History and Performance as Social Action group. Following the performance, CFMS Director Galya Ruffer will moderate a panel discussion that features Therese Kulungu of Panzi Hospital in the DRC, Anne K. Ream of The Voices and Faces Project, and Leslie Thomas of The ART WORKS Projects. Free and open to the public, "The Importance of Bearing Witness" is sponsored by the International Studies Program, the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities, the Nicholas D. Chabraja Center for Historical Studies, and the Buffett Center.

LISTEN UP: on May 24th at 12:00 CST, Galya Ruffer and Anne Ream will be discussing sexual violence in the DRC and the importance of bearing witness on Public Radio’s Worldview.
Listen live online on May 24th.

The Importance of Bearing Witness
Thursday, May 24th
7 - 9 pm
Annie May Swift Hall
1920 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL
Get Directions
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.

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.

Hello, 40! Our Voices and Faces Project Speakers Bureau visits its 40th US state.
We founded The Voices and Faces Project to bring the names, faces and stories of survivors of sexual violence and trafficking to the attention of the public. No program has helped us do that more effectively than our Speakers Bureau, which has taken survivors to 3 continents and now - thank you, Ohio! - 40 US states. The survivors who share their stories through our Voices and Faces Project lecture series do not do so because it is healing, although it can be, but because it is necessary in a world that too often fails to grasp the scope and scale of sexual violence in the US, and beyond. Find out more about our available Voices and Faces Project lectures and learn more about our Speakers Bureau and its members.

Our testimonial writing workshop is coming to Edmonton, Chicago and Milwaukee - and it can come to your community.
We believe that every survivor's story has power and purpose, which is why The Voices and Faces Project recently launched "The Stories We Tell," the country's first 2-day testimonial writing workshop for survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence and trafficking. The workshop was created by R. Clifton Spargo, an award-winning fiction writer and Arts Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, through generous support from individual donors, Verizon Wireless, the Donner Canadian Foundation and the Goldblatt Family Foundation.
To find out more about bringing this traveling workshop to your community, email us.

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