Facing Sexual Violence in Rockbridge County, Virginia
The Facing Project is a national non-profit that connects people through stories to strengthen communities. This non-profit functions as the umbrella organization for Facing Sexual Violence in Rockbridge County. The national organization provides tools, a platform, and inspiration for communities to share stories about a common issue. In the summer of 2014, Facing Sexual Violence in Rockbridge County developed out of The Facing Project, initiating a project for Rockbridge Community including the campuses of W&L, VMI, and SVU, and the citizens of Rockbridge County to face the issue of sexual violence.
a. History of Organization
The Facing Project is a national non-profit that connects people through stories to strengthen communities. This non-profit functions as the umbrella organization for Facing Sexual Violence in Rockbridge County. The national organization provides tools, a platform, and inspiration for communities to share stories about a common issue. In the summer of 2014, Facing Sexual Violence in Rockbridge County developed out of The Facing Project, initiating a project for Rockbridge Community including the campuses of W&L, VMI, and SVU, and the citizens of Rockbridge County to face the issue of sexual violence. Over the past year, The Facing Project has collected stories from over 20 students and community members to be published for the first time in May. This constitution was drafted May 7, 2015.
b. Mission statement, including the purpose/focus of the organization
Facing Sexual Violence is a project designed to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual violence in the Rockbridge community and within Washington and Lee University, Virginia Military Institute, and Southern Virginia University. Facing Rockbridge aims to provide a forum for storytellers to share their experiences with sexual violence, spread awareness about how this issue affects our community, and initiate dialogue to move towards a healthier sexual culture. The project works to match writers from these campuses and the community at large with students and community members willing to anonymously tell their stories of sexual harassment, domestic abuse, rape, and sexual violence more generally. This project provides a forum to spread awareness, improve discourse about the issue of sexual violence, and an opportunity to bring together different universities and the community of Rockbridge to work toward a common goal.
c. Requirements for membership
To make this project a success, we are looking to use the talents and skills of students and community members in several different teams of volunteers. Our volunteer teams include the storytellers, the writing team, the editing team, and the social media/PR team. The storytellers are the crux of the project and will be matched with volunteer writers who will help to craft a story about the storyteller's experience with sexual violence. All members must complete the necessary sensitivity training by Dr. Janet Boller and fill out the required confidentiality forms before participating in the project. All storytellers' names will remain confidential - only the Project Manager and Co-Manager have access to these names. The writer matched with a particular storyteller will know his or her name, but must sign a confidentiality form requiring that they do not share the name with anyone.
d. Organization of Leadership/Officers (not including specific names)
Project Manager: The Project Manager is the primary leader of the project. This individual should have a close relationship with the founders of The Facing Project, J.R. Jamison and Kelsey Timmerman, to ensure that our project maintains its relationship with our umbrella organization. Additionally, the Project Manager should receive names of volunteer storytellers, oversee the matching of storytellers, and work with the leaders of the writing, editing, and social media/PR teams to achieve the goals of the project. Project Co-Manager: The Project Co-Manager should assist the project manager in the planning, directing, and executing of project events, activities, leaders, and jobs. Writing Team Director: The director of the writing team will help to match storytellers to writers, organize the interviews for the storytellers and the writers, and provide assistance with other writing needs. Editing Team Director: The director of the editing team will find publishing options for the publishing of The Facing Project book and lead the editing team in the editing of stories and overall compilation of stories. Social Media/PR Director: The Social Media/PR director will create and maintain social media accounts to spread the word about the organization and issues relevant to sexual violence. Additionally, this individual will be responsible for reaching out to community organizations for partnerships.
Officers will be selected by a staff representative of the Shepherd Program through an application process in September of each year.
e. Benefit to Washington and Lee University and/or the surrounding community?
Our organization faces an issue which affects many in our community. Sexual violence has a profound impact on Washington and Lee, but also significantly impacts our neighboring institutions and surrounding community. Not only will storytellers be empowered to share their stories, but members of the community will also have the opportunity to connect and build bridges while dealing with a common issue. The long-term impact of the project will be even more powerful, encouraging speech and discussion about sexual violence and other social justice issues. Ultimately, our project will initiate much needed conversations around these issues and work towards a healthier sexual culture.