December Volunteer of the Month

 

MESA is pleased to spotlight Mallory as our Volunteer of the Month. Mallory is an invaluable part of our volunteer team. Mallory has always been such a willing volunteer and makes every effort to participate in everything we do. Thank you, Mallory, for your dedication to MESA and our community!

Let’s hear from Mallory!

  1. What do you enjoy most about volunteering with MESA?
    I have really enjoyed the immediate acceptance into the MESA community. Even though I have only been volunteering for a short while, I see fellow volunteers and hospital staff throughout Boulder almost every day. The smiles and the hellos we share never fail to brighten my day. It is so amazing to feel so connected to this community in such a short amount of time.
  2. How long have you been with MESA?
    I have been volunteering with MESA for about a month and a half. I finished my training in October [2017].
  3. How do you usually spend your Saturdays?
    I spend my Saturdays doing the quintessential Boulder day. I like to wake up early to either take my puppy on a hike or go to the farmers market, and then I like to eat lunch on Pearl.
  4. What was the last book you read?
    “The Yacoubian Building” by Alaa al-Aswany. It is an Egyptian novel about social upheaval in 1990s Egypt. It was the most fascinating, yet heartbreaking novel I have read in a while.
  5. Who is your role model?
    In complete honesty, my role model changes every day because there are so many amazing people in the world. Right now, I am really excited about Patty Jenkins, the director of “Wonder Woman.”
  6. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
    I would be in multiple places at once so I could have more fun stories and experiences, and, of course, to get more things done.

Interested in becoming a MESA volunteer? Apply today!

Is the Louis CK Apology any Different?

 

Image result for hollywood men accused of sexual assault

 

 

Just a few of the powerful men in Hollywood accused of sexual assault or harassment.

 

 

Twenty-six. I did some research to get the number right, though I’m sure it has risen by now. As I typed the words into Google, I found that my heart was pounding. I didn’t want to read those names. According to the New York Times, 26 powerful, famous men in Hollywood are under investigation for various types of sexual misconduct and violence.

On that list are men that I respect. Jeffery Tambor and Kevin Spacey are the two names that disappointed me the most. These are men whose work has changed my life. Men who I thought that I could count on as allies in the movement to end sexual assault. And this is such a finite list; it’s only the most prominent people, in Hollywood. There are so many more who don’t have the celebrity status to bring their case to the public’s attention.

After most of these accusations, the response has been to issue a half-hearted statement neither saying sorry nor accepting responsibility. Harvey Weinstein denied the 57 allegations against him, asking for a “second chance.” Ben Affleck issued a ten-word tweet. Kevin Spacey decided that being accused was the right time to come out as gay. I work closely with victims and survivors of sexual assault, and I am exhausted by these responses. I am disappointed. I could spend more time on the inadequate “apologies” (see Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Ben Affleck), but I’d rather spend time on the one response that stood out to me.

“These stories are true.” Starting with these words, Louis CK’s response is already a departure from those of other powerful Hollywood men, who have been denying allegations and defending themselves since the beginning of October. CK is famous for his hyper-aware style of comedy, and that tone came through in his apology to the five women who accused him of exposing himself to them in 2002.

Louis CK abused the power and influence that he had over multiple women. Period. Also, he seems to acknowledge it. “What I learned… too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them… is not a question. It’s a predicament.” This sentiment, for me, is what is missing from a lot of apologies. They say “sorry”, but did they understand any of the dynamics that led them to abuse in the first place? All of these apologies have been met with harsh criticism, whether for evading responsibility entirely, or, in the case of Louis CK, for apologizing as an attempt to protect his career.

I don’t believe that any apology can undo harm. It takes much more than words of regret to make it right. That requires action, and for some victims and survivors of sexual violence, even a lifetime of action wouldn’t be enough. On the other hand, acknowledging the survivors’ accounts of wrongdoing and one’s personal role in perpetrating abuse is a good place to start.

The simple recognition of the factors contributing to the epidemic of sexual violence in Hollywood– and all over the country– is not enough. Louis CK’s apology doesn’t absolve him of anything. However, when a perpetrator admits his wrongdoing, validates the accounts of assault, acknowledges the power dynamics at play, and expresses remorse—let’s pause. This is different than other responses we have heard. And it is the direction we need to move in if we are to truly seek restoration. If more people begin to accept responsibility for the harm they’ve caused and we are able to witness that complicated, messy, human act, then maybe we can start to move forward toward a safer, more equal society.

 

Claire Cuthbert is a graduate of CU Boulder in Psychology and Spanish. She is currently working at MESA in the office manager position.

November Volunteer of the Month

MESA is pleased to spotlight Gabby as our Volunteer of the Month. Gabby is an invaluable part of our volunteer team. Gabby has always been such a willing volunteer and makes every effort to participate in everything we do. Thank you, Gabby, for your dedication to MESA and our community!

Let’s hear from Gabby!

It really was a no brainer for me to choose to get involved in my community, and to be a part of changing the culture of sexual assault, an issue that has become so pervasive in our global community. I chose to get involved with MESA because there are simply too many “me too’s” in the world. It’s all around us, and more often more than not, we are naïve about how prevalent the issue is within the network of people that are a part of our lives.  Attention has been called to the issue of sexual violence, but not enough.  And too often, the matter is forgotten in the fast pace of life, when there isn’t a global story bringing it to attention.  Survivors don’t have the luxury of being able to forget.  Talking is important, but it’s not sufficient. Everyone needs to be held accountable for their actions, and that includes the responsibility of being involved in changing an issue that should be unacceptable.

I have been with MESA now for a year and a half, and I have loved every minute of my role in supporting survivors. MESA not only strives to provide security and support for survivors, but also works to create a safe place in the community for both survivors and volunteers alike. Sexual assault is relevant to every single persons life, in one way or another, and it should be something every person wants to take part in changing.  Survivors shouldn’t owe telling their story to attempt aiding change. There isn’t a day I don’t love being there to support survivors, whether that is through counseling or just being there to listen. But, the reality is, my job shouldn’t have to exist, and I hope there is a day in the near future where no more “me too’s” are added to the list, and where no one should have to fear being violated.

Interested in becoming a MESA volunteer? Apply today!

October Volunteer of the Month

 

MESA is pleased to spotlight Holly as our August Volunteer of the Month. Holly is an invaluable part of our volunteer team. Holly has always been such a willing volunteer and makes every effort to participate in everything we do. Thank you, Holly, for your dedication to MESA and our community!

Let’s hear from Holly!

  1. What do you enjoy most about volunteering with MESA?
    I love the community that we have. Everyone is so caring and supportive that I know if I ever had an issue I could go to anyone and instantly feel better.
  2. How long have you been with MESA?
    About 6 or 7 months now!
  3. What’s your personal theme song?
    I would have to say “Flawless” by Beyonce. I think it gives a lot of empowerment to women which I try to do every day and come on, we’re all flawless!
  4. What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
    I would say everything that MESA has given me. Signing up to be a volunteer and now being an intern and Super Group Leader. I love all the responsibilities I have and am very proud of the work that I do.
  5. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
    I would want to heal. This is the work that I try to do daily, but it is usually automatic. Although pain is important to grow, there are many things I wish I could heal immediately.
  6. Who is your role model?
    My grandmother is my biggest role model. She raised me to be the person I am and has overcome more than I could imagine.

Interested in becoming a MESA volunteer? Apply today!

August Volunteer of the Month

MESA is pleased to spotlight Katie as our August Volunteer of the Month. Katie is an invaluable part of our volunteer team. Katie has always been such a willing volunteer and makes every effort to participate in everything we do. Thank you, Katie, for your dedication to MESA and our community!

Let’s hear from Katie!

  1. What do you enjoy most about volunteering with MESA?
    I enjoy believing and supporting survivors in our community who are too frequently disbelieved and re-victimized by society. I also enjoy empathizing with and aiding secondary survivors, or those who are supporting survivors they know personally
  2. How long have you been with MESA?
    I worked with MESA and SPAN’s joint partnership Peers Building Justice for two years while in high school, and have been on the hotline since fall of 2011.
  3. What was the last book you read?
    Believer by David Axelrod.
  4. What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
    I was the deputy finance director for a 2014 Secretary of State campaign that fundraised a record-breaking amount for that office.
  5. What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?
    Water, a phone, and a boat.
  6. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
    I would have Sherlock-like powers of deduction so I could solve crimes and entertain people at dinner parties.

Interested in becoming a MESA volunteer? Apply today!

July 2017 Volunteer of the Month

MESA is pleased to spotlight Lizzie as our July Volunteer of the Month. Lizzie is an invaluable part of our volunteer team. Lizzie has always been such a willing volunteer and makes every effort to participate in everything we do. Thank you, Lizzie, for your dedication to MESA and our community!

Let’s hear from Lizzie!

  1. What do you enjoy most about volunteering with MESA?
    I feel like we’re living in such turbulent times that it’s easy for me to get overwhelmed and begin to feel powerless. I wanted to give back to my community and put some love into the world. I’m a survivor myself and this work gives my pain a purpose; I appreciate being able to use my experiences to help others feel more supported and less alone.
  2. How long have you been with MESA?
    I graduated from the training program last Fall [2016].
  3. How do you usually spend your Saturdays?
    I like playing outside! I’m a big fan of tent camping, kayaking and canoeing (it’s the Minnesota in me). Taking my dirt bike into the mountains is great self-care for me. I really enjoy relaxing with close friends over bluegrass, beer and games. And taking naps snuggled up with my cat.
  4. What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
    Simply getting to this point in my life. 🙂 I’ve had my fair share of pretty tough curve balls thrown at me and I think I’ve been able to stay positive, focus on the learning opportunities and not lose hope. I’ve worked really hard to keep my sense of humor and integrity intact.
  5. What is your favorite joke?
    What time does Sean Connery get to Wimbledon? Tennish.
  6. If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
    The ability to turn water into really, really, really good coffee.

Interested in becoming a MESA volunteer? Apply today!

June 2017 Volunteer of the Month

MESA is pleased to spotlight Liesy as our June Volunteer of the Month. Liesy is an invaluable part of our volunteer team. Liesy has always been such a willing volunteer and makes every effort to participate in everything we do. Thank you, Liesy, for your dedication to MESA and our community!

Let’s hear from Liesy!

Liesy G 06.17
I have only been with Mesa since March and working on the hotline since May, so [being chosen as volunteer of the month] came as a complete surprise to me. I am very grateful, but, truth be told, I am just glad to help in any way I can. The real joy of working at MESA for me is the tangible difference volunteers make by just being there and working with all people who are affected by the sexual assault epidemic of our world. Being an advocate for community members and teaching my friends and loved ones about how to tangibly make a difference, instead of just hoping for someone else to combat sexual assault, is what makes me want to keep doing more.

As it is for all of us, sexual assault has an intrinsic influence on my life. I have been doing advocacy work informally with my friends and family for years. As I am sure all volunteers have experienced, I’ve been thanked by strangers for just showing up at events and helping with such a difficult subject; It really puts this work in perspective. Donating a little time every month is not that much effort for me, and I am excited and happy to do anything to help heal and expand how MESA helps survivors and creates open dialogue with the community.

It feels a little strange being such a newcomer and being thanked for the work that so many have done before me, but it shows how much everyone needs MESA. Given our current political climate, it’s even more rewarding to give any extra help I can to an organization that is indirectly under attack by ignorance and fear. We [volunteers] all do such great work by holding space for pain, and creating an environment where people can get the help they need, subsequently creating a ripple effect through our own personal spheres of influence. I am honored and glad to be doing work that makes such a difference to even one person’s life. That’s what it’s about for me, just being there for one person.

Interested in becoming a MESA volunteer? Apply today!

Canine Classic 5k Winner Results Are In!

The Canine Classic was a wonderful success with a warm, sunny finish to warm participants and their pooches. The highlight of the event was afterward, watching all of the lovable, four-legged friends strut their stuff in the Dog Trick Contest. We can’t wait to share more! Stay tuned for pictures to follow!

Check out who took home the big win. Click HERE!

Announcing the 17th Annual Canine Classic 5k! You’re invited!!

Canine 2017 - Canine Logo w sponsors Great cause. Dogs. Running. Music. Fun.
Need we say more?

The Canine Classic is a unique event that helps support a cause that can be difficult to talk about. It provides a fun, positive, and light-hearted atmosphere that brings the community together to support sexual assault awareness.

The 17th annual Canine Classic 5k will be held on Sunday, April 30th 2017 at the Boulder Reservoir. Canine Classic is a dog-friendly 5k run/walk for participants of all ages. (Canine companion is optional.) This is a professionally-timed event that can be used as a BolderBOULDER qualifying time.

This year’s event will feature local DJ, Blakk Caesar (Henry Mitchell), delicious food from the Wheel & Whisk food truck, doggie vendor expo and more fun than you can shake at!

Learn more about this event at CanineClassicBoulder.org.

Interested in becoming a sponsor, vendor, or a volunteer? Contact Alyssa Paschall at events@movingtoendsexualassault.org.

Register

 

 

 

ONLINE REGISTRATION CLOSES AT NOON ON SATURDAY APRIL 29TH
ENTRIES RECEIVED AFTER NOON ON FRIDAY APRIL 28TH WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR EARLY PACKET PICKUP AND MUST BE PICKED UP ON RACE MORNING.


Boulder artist, Kristin Sheldon, owner and creator of Heartstrings Card Company, has created and donated the Canine Classic race logos for over 25 years. Kristin’s whimsical three dogs, along with the bluebird have become iconic characters for the Canine Classic race every year.

Don’t miss your chance this year to own your very own Canine Classic swag, featuring these lovable mascots! Click here to learn more!

Announcing a Support Group for Primary Survivors of Sexual Assault

Survivor's Support GroupMoving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) is now offering a support group for primary survivors of sexual assault. If you are a survivor of sexual trauma, this group is for you. Benefit from emotional support, understanding, and encouragement from one another.
This 8-week group will provide:

  • A warm, safe, private setting with 3 to 6 members
  • Understanding on how trauma has affected you
  • Tools to help you manage difficult thoughts and feelings
  • A chance to share support with other survivors

Who it helps: This group is for primary survivors of sexual trauma
When: Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (8 weeks) Starting March 9th, 2017
Where: Moving to End Sexual Assault (MESA) – 1333 Iris Avenue, Boulder, CO 80304
Facilitator: Taylor Millard, BS, MSW candidate
Investment: $15 per session; Victim compensation accepted as payment form.

Space for this group is limited; register today!

Register