I have been working in the field of sexual violence advocacy, education, and prevention for over 18 years. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Women’s Studies from the University of South Carolina – Columbia (USC) in 1999. As an undergraduate student, I served as a sexual health awareness and rape education peer educator and volunteered at the local rape crisis center. My first job out of college was as the Survivor Advocate at the Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands in Columbia, SC. I loved my job and after several years realized that my passion was working with college students. For the past 10 years, I have focused on creating and implementing violence prevention and response programs on various college campuses including USC, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), and most recently, NC State University where I was the Assistant Director of the Women’s Center. My work focuses on helping schools, colleges, and universities build capacity for response and prevention of sexual and relationship violence. I specialize in developing peer education programs and workshops, training staff and administrators, creating interactive programs for high school seniors and incoming first-year college students, establishing sexual assault response and prevention teams, establishing prevention and response centers on campus, developing response protocols and hotlines, grant-writing, policy review, and assessment and evaluation.
I hold a Masters in Public Health in Health Behavior & Health Education from UNC-CH. I served on the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault Board of Directors for 5 years as the campus representative. Over my two terms I chaired the legislative and advisory committees. I have also been a member of the state-wide North Carolina Sexual Violence Prevention Team since 2007.
My parents have told me that I’ve been an out-spoken feminist since I could talk. I love that, and it makes sense to me because my connection to peace, justice, and equality for all people is my foundation. I was born in Paris, my mother is French and my father is from Boston. They created a home for my sister and me in Newton, MA where our voices mattered and our thoughts and opinions were encouraged. We were safe, respected, and taught that what was most important was to be thoughtful and empathic and to embrace people of diverse backgrounds.
I went to college knowing that I wanted to be a lawyer or politician, working to better women’s lives. However when I was raped 7 months into my college career, my future changed. It was after this experience that I found my real voice, and that I became an activist and advocate for survivors of sexual violence as well as stalking and domestic/relationship violence. Throughout my healing journey I learned that the only way to end this violence was to end all forms of oppression for all marginalized groups. Once all people are seen as equal within systems, policies, laws, institutions, families, and relationships, power-based acts of violence can end. This is the underpinning for Chrysalis Network.
As I think about all of my identities, the one that matters most to me is mother. I have two sons, Sky (3) and Harper (6). I want them to live in a home where they are respected, their voices are encouraged, and most of all, they are safe. What greater act of social justice could I contribute in my lifetime than to raise two loving, kind, and respectful boys? I am grateful to my partner Marc who shares my values and commitment to our boys, and who has taught me to always lead with love.