It is important now more than ever to embrace and celebrate what connects us: our resilience. This month, we’re shining a spotlight on Katherine Stabler, Resilience supporter and member of the Evening of Impact Host Committee.
Read our interview with Kat below.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Katherine Stabler. I am the Assistant General Counsel at Monroe Capital LLC here in Chicago. We are a $14 billion credit fund with significant growth ahead of us.
On a more personal level, I’m a mom. I have a three-and-a-half-year-old daughter who is the light of my life. She’s given me a sense of what purpose really is. We live in Old Irving Park in the city. My husband is a fantastic dad and a great partner. We’re thoroughly enjoying being parents to our daughter.
I’ve been a very career-oriented person in an industry that is predominantly male-dominated. It’s been a privilege to continue my career in it as a female and ensure that we have a seat at the table.
I’ve been in Chicago my whole life. There’s something about the city and the way that it draws you in. The people here are exceptional. It’s not just Midwest values, I think it’s Chicago values. I’m also a first-generation kid. I was Polish speaking before I was English speaking. It’s been such a gift in a city with a large Polish population, a city so clearly built on the backs of immigrants. I am proud to be the child of immigrants.
You’ve been one of Resilience’s top supporters and a member of Resilience’s Evening of Impact Event Committee since 2019. What makes you feel so passionate about supporting the mission?
I met Amy O’Keeffe, Resilience’s Director of Development, at a Super Bowl party in 2019 through a mutual friend that we both adore. The two of us ended up chatting in the kitchen for most of the game about Resilience and what they’re aspiring to do. I was at the point in my career, both professionally and financially, to be able to commit to something and really give back.
Also, having a daughter has expanded my perspective on life and helped me understand what my priorities are. You can’t protect children from everything, but you can recognize that there are resources and people in this world dedicated to helping individuals who have been through difficulties in their lives. So when Amy spoke about Resilience and its mission, the work that they were doing and have already accomplished, the goals that they were setting, and the things they were trying to do, it seemed like an obvious fit for me to do what I could to help. When she reached out about joining the Evening of Impact Host Committee, I jumped on it. I have worked really hard to be in a position where I can give back meaningfully. To be in a position where I could help an organization that helps people who have been victims and are now survivors of sexual assault and violence is a privilege. I don’t have a background as a therapist or a background in anything in the medical field, but being in a position where I can come in and support, fundraise, and speak about the organization and get information out to my network which has resources that can help further build up the organization—that’s been the goal.
Very frankly, I think sexual assault and sexual violence are topics a lot of people want to hush away, whether it’s because they’re uncomfortable or because they know someone it’s happened to, or because it’s happened to them and it can be triggering. I think that’s all the more reason that we do need to talk about it, and I think it’s all the more reason that we need to fundraise around it and give victims the opportunity to understand that they can become survivors and warriors because they experienced something no human should ever have to. As the mother of a daughter, as a mother of any child, you want to protect them. You can’t keep them in a bubble forever. But you can definitely appreciate that there’s a world out there that will help them if something really bad does happen. I want to support that world as much as possible. We need all of the light and all of the attention on survivors of abuse and violence. Because if it was bad before the pandemic, it certainly has proven to be a lot worse for a lot of people because of the pandemic. It’s a great opportunity for me to step in and say, “Okay, I don’t get to do this every day for work, but it’s something that I can do in my personal life, to help fundraise and get the Resilience name out there.” I’ve worked for some organizations that have been able to join forces with me and make donations, and that was a point of pride for me. I’m going to keep getting better at it and keep raising more money and keep being there for Resilience. Whether as a member of the host committee or otherwise, it’s been a true privilege in my life to fundraise for this organization.
How has getting involved with Resilience impacted you?
It has absolutely impacted me by making me more aware of the world. I have not personally been a victim of sexual violence or abuse, but know people in my life that have been. The one thing I can do is shine a light on Resilience’s resources and emphasize that there are other people who have gone through it with you and that you’re not alone. Seeing the powerful community that is out there with their arms open waiting to support you and get through it with you has been so awakening. It has been so redeeming in a world where the news is really mostly bad. To know that there is a light, there is a safety net, and there is a pathway out with guidance, holding your hand, it’s just been so exceptional to witness that in Resilience.
So what I take away from that is that actually at the core, humanity is good and we really do want to help one another. It takes a lot of the weight off the day-to-day bad news, and it shows that we’re going to make it and people deserve love. My biggest takeaway is that there’s hope.
As a top supporter and passionate ambassador for Resilience, what is it you want people to know about sexual violence and why they should give?
I want people to know that this is everywhere. This, in and of itself, is something that as a society, as humanity, we are still very much struggling with. It is not something that will go away overnight, but the more education and the more time we spend making ourselves aware that this is happening, the more we can help. We can truly get the message out. You are not alone. You have experienced something no human ever deserves to experience. But there are people that do love you and do want to help you. I think that is the point. If you can’t volunteer, you can donate and you can fundraise and you can talk about it.
Fundraising can be tough in some circles because I think people find it to be a “taboo” topic. No one wants to talk about sexual violence. No one wants to talk about rape. It’s uncomfortable, but it’s happening every day. It’s happening closer than you think and the only way to truly stop something is to talk about it and talk about ways to make it better for the people who are surviving it.
Luckily at Resilience, we get to talk about the resources that we have to help. So it’s actually a very easy topic. When people are like, “Oh, I don’t want to talk about the victims or the stories, I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to know,” that’s fine, but guess what? You can talk about the people that want to help the survivors instead. The therapists, the volunteers, the medical staff, the non-medical staff, everybody that cares and is wearing their heart on their sleeve and going out and taking care of people that desperately need it. That’s what you can talk about. Talk about people wanting to help and then figure out how you can help them, whether it’s fighting forces on the front lines or donating in the background, or educating yourself, talk about it.
Our Vision is “a world where prevention efforts and global awareness of sexual violence expose rape myths, remove stigmas, eliminate rape, and support all people as equal members of society.” In your opinion, what is one important step each of us can take to support our vision?
One important step that I know we can take is to continue to focus on the message of hope, survivorship, and on making sure people know they’re not alone and that we can get them through it. Resilience is the organization with the right people to get anyone who’s experienced any form of sexual violence through it. It has the resources, it has the people. You guys are awake day and night doing this, more intimately than I am on any level. But I get to donate and I get to make an impact, however small. It still means a lot to me to be able to do that, and I know that it makes a difference. It doesn’t matter the size of the donation: you just have to show up and be there. We must continue to consistently put out the message that we are here to help, this is how we can do it, and these are the people that can do it with you. Again, there is too much stigma around it. It’s 2022. It’s time to fight the stigma off, so that means talking about it. Check on your neighbors. Check on your friends. Make sure your kids are doing well at school. Do the research. Google, Google, Google. Whatever makes you feel comfortable, talk about it.
This has impacted so many individuals, but we have the power to stop it. We have the power to check in on people and take care of one another and break the cycles. We have to step in and up for the individuals who have experienced it. For a lot of people, it’s a really sad, violent, vicious cycle. We’ve got to talk about it. We’ve got to be loud.
Just because this feels like a topic that is always going to be there, it doesn’t mean it’s a topic that always has to be here. We can change this. We just need more focus and attention on it. Every society around the world is different, and people treat sexual violence very differently. But here in America, here in Chicago, where we have a lot of power and a lot of say, let’s stop it. We can stop it by talking about it. I hope we continue to have a conversation and I hope we just get louder.
What’s one fun fact about you?
I played the viola in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and various other symphonies throughout my youth. I was exposed to some pretty amazing things, including playing on the same stage as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra every year and playing at Carnegie Hall and in different areas around the world.