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Visionary Voices: The Voices & Faces Project at the Clinton Presidential Center.

On April 21st, Voices and Faces Project founder Anne Ream and speakers bureau member Melva Luker
traveled to the Clinton Presidential Center to receive the NSVRC’s Visionary Voice Award in recognition of their work to end sexual violence against women and girls. Melva and Anne were joined at the Clinton Center by Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe, Judge Susan Carbon, Director of the Office on Violence Against Women at the United States Department of Justice, and Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault Director Helen Jane Brown. In accepting the Visionary Voice Award, Anne talked about our work at The Voices and Faces Project and the critical role that documentary initiatives can play in the fight to end sexual violence and trafficking. An excerpt from her talk:

"We live in a world in which uncivil discourse is seemingly the norm, where real and perceived ideological differences too often stand in the way of respectful dialogue about human rights issues. Yet nothing breaks through ideological barriers quite so forcefully as individual stories. They make the political personal, reminding us that behind every fact and statistic about sexual violence there exist real women, children, and men whose lives have been horribly altered by it. A powerful personal story does not tell us how we should respond – but it does demand that we respond. It marks the beginning, not the end, of the public, non-partisan dialogue that can lead to change."

Congratulations, Anne and Melva, on receiving the Visionary Voice Award.
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 a "new generation" of anti-violence leaders. We're working to change minds, hearts and public policies through survivor storytelling. We need your support to continue our work. Donate today.

Art as a force for social change: Voices and Faces Project photographer Patricia Evans on Chicago Public Radio.
Is art an effective tool for advocacy? Chicago Public Radio's “Eight-Forty-Eight” show recently invited two guests to discuss this issue: Patricia Evans, our Voices and Faces Project documentary photographer, and Abraham Ritchie, a Senior City Editor of ArtSlant. Patricia is one of 32 international contemporary artists whose work is featured in "Off the Beaten Path: Violence, Women and Art," a multi-media exhibition curated by Art Works for Change and traveling the globe through 2013. To find out more about Patricia’s work with The Voices and Faces Project, and her piece in “Off the Beaten Path,” listen to her Chicago Public Radio interview.

The Voices and Faces Project’s “Project Latina” initiative at the Amnesty International Shine A Light Awards.
On May 4th, Amnesty International USA presented His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama with the first Shine a Light on Human Rights award. The event commemorated Amnesty International's 50th Anniversary and featured a keynote delivered by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, preceded by a welcome from Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA's Executive Director. Pilar Patzkowski, a founding member of our “Project Latina” initiative, represented The Voices and Faces Project at the event, and shared information about our work bringing the names, faces and stories of sexual violence and trafficking survivors to the attention of the public. Pilar has played a key role in our Voices and Faces Project efforts on behalf of the women of Atenco, Mexico, a high priority Amnesty International case that will be featured in our forthcoming Voices and Faces Project book.

The global "SlutWalk" phenomenon: Good or bad for women?
Women are taking to the streets in record numbers to raise awareness of sexual violence through "SlutWalks," which have been called "the new bra burning." The movement began in Toronto in January, when a policeman told female students at York University not to "dress like sluts" if they wanted to avoid being raped. That single, offensive statement sparked a global outrage, confirming that many, even in law enforcement, still cling to outdated, debunked notions about the causes of rape (for the record: it has nothing to do with what we wear). Women have taken to the streets to take part in SlutWalks in a record 70 cities across the globe. But are SlutWalks sending the right message - or setting women back? Voices and Faces Project founder Anne Ream weighs in in a SELF Magazine interview.

The Voices and Faces Project at the End Violence Against Women International Conference.
For the first time ever, End Violence Against Women International (EVAW) hosted its global conference in Chicago, April 11 - 13, 2011. At this year's conference, several Voices and Faces Project team members played a key role. Research Director and Communications Advisor Katie Feifer gave a well-received talk on "Influencing Public Opinion," challenging the audience to think in new ways about working with the mainstream media, while harnessing the power of new media to activate our core constituencies and challenge outdated attitudes about rape. Former New York prosecutor Roger Canaff and Voices and Faces Project founder Anne Ream gave a joint presentation on "Language, Media and the Law," exploring how language and media representations of sexual violence drive outcomes in criminal and civil court. Anne and Roger then moderated a panel discussion on language and media, one that featured Chicago Tribune journalist Megan Twohey, author and Voices and Faces Project Testimonial Writing Workshop Instructor R. Clifton Spargo, and Chicago Foundation for Women Communications Manager Laura Fletcher. Congratulations, EVAW, on a powerful and important three-day conference.
View the Conference Details.

Thank you, Gilt Bar! Our April fundraising dinner was a success.
Aaah, the delicious taste of supporting a good cause. On April 11th, Michelin Bib Gourmand award winning restaurant and bar-of-the moment Gilt hosted a benefit for The Voices and Faces Project. Guests enjoyed a special menu, a surprise opera performance, and unlimited cocktails handcrafted just for us, and just for the night. Best of all, 100% of proceeds will benefit The Voices and Faces Project and our work raising awareness of the issue of sexual violence.
View the Event Photos.

The Voices and Faces Project featured in a video directed by Emmy Award-winner Robin Smith. Watch it here.
Underwritten by the United States Department of Justice and directed by Emmy Award-winning journalist Robin Smith, the “Dignity, Fairness and Respect” video reflects on the unique challenges faced by victims, and calls us to respond to their cases with action and compassion. The Voices and Faces Project is featured as part of what United States Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson calls "a growing movement of young pioneers who are coming forward with new ideas." Most importantly, the video features the voices, faces and stories of survivors, and images and text from the forthcoming Voices and Faces Project book. We encourage you to view this video, one that serves as a powerful reminder that though we have made terrific progress in the fight for the rights of victims, there is still much important work to be done. Watch the Video.

Introducing our Voices and Faces Project Lecture Series.
Members of our Voices and Faces Project Speakers Bureau have spoken in 25 US States and on three continents, sharing survivor stories from our documentary project and advocating for change. To see a list of currently available Voices and Faces Project lectures and multi-media presentations, visit our website. To arrange for a speaker for your next event, email us.

Songs that create change? That's music to our ears.
Bandana Project performer Michelle Anthony is one of 17 artists and bands featured on our first musical cd to benefit survivors of sexual violence,The Voices and Faces Project, Volume One. Virgin Records calls our cd a "Who's who of today's hottest indie rock artists." We call it a great way to support an important cause. Hear the Public Radio piece on music social movements and The Voices and Faces Project, Volume One. It's a great way to preview tracks from our album!
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