MESA Team: Alyssa Stein, Rebecca Jaskot, Martha Hawkinson, Camilo Casas, Dr. Janine D’Anniballe, Laia Jorba, Gosia Pastusiak, Amanda Fielder, Garrett Hernandez-Rimer

The 2015 Brave, Bold, & Beautiful fundraiser was an evening of inspiration and hope. The event honored the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, a survivor of sexual assault, and highlighted the important issue of prevention education. Our guest speaker, New York best-selling author, Rosalind Wiseman shared her insights around the challenges that young men face in breaking free from expected gender roles that facilitate rape culture.

We at MESA recognize the importance of having emergency medical services made available to survivors in our own community. The SANE program provides this invaluable service to sexual assault survivors. The Daily Camera recently published an  article highlighting the success of the SANE program.  Between the cancellation of the program in 2002 through March of 2015, the Boulder community had to travel to Loveland or Denver for a SANE exam. Now the community can receive care after a sexual assault at Foothills Hospital-Boulder Community Health or the Medical Center of the Rockies.  Many appreciate that the service is now available to Boulder residents. There is a group of caring community members that deserve recognition. The Boulder District Attorney Stanley Garnett and Chief Trial Deputy Katharina Booth pushed for the return of this program, but recognized that funding was limited. The approval for funding the return of the SANE program came from the Boulder County Commissioners, Cindy Domenico, Deb Gardner, and Elise Jones.  Further support and funding were provided by Jessica Ladd-Webert, the Director of the CU Office of Victim Assistance, as well as Valerie Simons, the Title IX Coordinator for the CU Office of Institutional Equity & Compliance.  Furthermore, the program simply could not have taken off without well-qualified professionals, such as Elyse Diewald and Debra Delk, to administer quality care to survivors during a SANE exam.

MESA honored each of these community members with a unique gift of art from Heartstrings Card Company.
SANE Program Awardees: Elyse Diewald, Debra Delk, Elise Jones, Cindy Domenico, Deb Gardner, Stanley Garnett, Valerie Simons, Jessica Ladd-Webert, Katharina Booth, and MESA Director Dr. Janine D’Anniballe

Brave, Bold, & Beautiful is also about celebrating survivors of sexual assault. Those that attended the event were inspired by a story from a survivor of sexual assault.

The evening came to a close with Rosalind Wiseman’s speech, “From Schoolyard Cooties to Rape Culture.”  Wiseman gained fame after writing her best-selling book, Queen Bees and Wannabees, which served as inspiration for the movie Mean Girls. Her most recent publication, Masterminds & Wingmen, particularly aligns with MESA’s efforts to educate young men and boys about healthy masculinity. Wiseman, a mother of boys, knows all too well how young men are faced with cultural norm expectations how to behave.  Even to stand up against a peer telling a rape joke can be difficult when young boys have not been given the proper tools and knowledge for how to handle such situations.  Rosalind tasks adults with stepping up, particularly the men in these boys’ lives. MESA has set out to initiate a school club for young men within Boulder County schools known as Men of Strength (MOST) Clubs. The club aims to provide young men with the knowledge and skills to prevent gender-based violence and foster healthy masculinity. At MESA, we believe that the prevention of sexual assault begins with community education. As poet, writer, and activist Eve Ensler once said, “When men stand up to end violence against women, the world is going to change.”