More than 300 local leaders, philanthropists, and activists will raise awareness and funds to support survivors and work to prevent sexual violence.
RVA’s Evening of Impact (formerly known as Soiree in the City) will be returning to Morgan Manufacturing on May 24th, 2018. With the attendance and support of Chicago’s corporate and community leaders, the event is expected to sell out to more than 350 guests.
This year, RVA is standing with the #MeToo Movement and honoring founder and activist Tarana Burke, with the Dr. Natalie A. Stephens Visionary Award. Tarana Burke has dedicated more than 25 years of her life to social justice and to laying the groundwork for the “me too” movement, helping survivors of sexual violence, particularly young women of color from low-income communities, find pathways to healing.
In December of 2017, Tarana, along with other “me too” activists, were chosen as TIME’s Person of the Year for their courage. Tarana recently attended the Golden Globe Awards with the actress Michelle Williams to raise awareness for the “me too” movement. The Dr. Natalie A. Stephens Visionary Award, named in honor of RVA’s founder, recognizes the work of far-sighted leaders who have made a powerful and lasting impact on the fight to end sexual violence.
“RVA is beyond proud to honor Tarana Burke with the Visionary Award at our Evening of Impact,” said Erin Walton, Executive Director at RVA. “Because of Tarana’s work, for the first time in history, survivors are being believed and abusers are being held accountable. We look forward to celebrating her incredible contribution to our movement and taking action with our supporters to prevent sexual violence.”
Last year, 350 supporters joined RVA at its annual spring fundraising event, raising more than $170,000. All proceeds support RVA’s mission to support survivors of sexual violence and work to end rape culture. The Evening of Impact includes hors d’oeuvres, food stations, and beverages, a silent auction with a wide array of experiences and prizes, and a powerful and moving program featuring survivor and former RVA client, Kelley Kitley. Evening of Impact is co-chaired by RVA board members Carol Stone and McKaye Whiteside, and Katie Rich, a writer for SNL and activist, is the Honorary Co-Chair.
TARANA BURKE has dedicated more than 25 years of her life to social justice and to laying the groundwork for the “me too” movement to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly young women of color from low-income communities, find pathways to healing. A sexual assault survivor herself, Tarana is now working to assist other survivors and those who work to end sexual violence. She is also senior director at Brooklyn-based Girls for Gender Equity. On stage, she provides words of empowerment that lift up marginalized voices, enables survivors across all races, genders, or classes to know that they are not alone, and creates a place for comfort and healing to those who have experienced trauma. In October 2017, the hashtag #MeToo spread virally across social media to denounce sexual assault and harassment, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against the film producer Harvey Weinstein. On Facebook, the hashtag was used by more than 4.7 million people in 12 million posts during the first 24 hours it was live. In December 2017, Tarana Burke, along with other “me too” activists were honored with the Time Person of the Year Award for their courage.
RVA is a leader in the fight to eradicate sexual violence and end rape culture in the Chicago area. RVA provides crisis intervention, medical and legal advocacy, and trauma therapy services to survivors. We also work to prevent sexual violence through our education and training programs and through our ambitious public policy agenda. Our services are available in English and Spanish, and are free of charge for survivors and their loved ones. Last fiscal year, RVA served 2,007 survivors and their loved ones, conducted 153 professional trainings reaching 2,784 individuals, facilitated 679 school-based presentations reaching 14,778 students, and taught 68 presentations to 1,458 college students and community members.