Our VOICE, Buncombe County’s rape crisis and prevention center, will host bestselling author Chanel Miller on March 11, as keynote for Break the Silence Speaker Series, the agencies largest fundraising event of the year.
Before the world knew her name, Chanel Miller was inspiring millions and changing the landscape of how we talk about sexual assault.
As Emily Doe, the survivor of a highly publicized rape case at Stanford University, her victim impact statement (published with permission on BuzzFeed News) went viral with 11 million people viewing it in just four days. Her perpetrator received a six-month sentence (of which he served only three months), but her story inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case.
In her 2019 memoir, Know My Name, she went public with her story, winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography and many other awards, giving readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel, a writer, an artist, a survivor, and a fighter.
Her work has forever transformed the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable, and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing.
“We are so excited to host Chanel Miller,” says Our VOICE Executive Director Angélica Wind. “Her story of speaking out is meaningful to so many survivors. She bravely sparked a national debate around the treatment of survivors by college campuses and court systems.”
Our VOICE is working to partner with local and statewide educators (middle, high school, college) to ensure that Chanel Miller’s message reaches the broadest audience possible, they are also contacting schools to host watch parties, purchase tickets for students, and to use their voice to advocate for campus and school wide support. Title IX Coordinators across the region will receive promotional materials from Our VOICE with opportunities for partnership and participation.
“Due to COVID-19 we made the decision to host our event virtually through Crowdcast," said Wind. “We will miss being in person with the community, but we’re excited about the virtual event and the number of people we will reach, we hope to return to an in-person event in 2022. Asheville has always stepped up for us with overwhelming support of our work, we are so grateful for the generous people in this community, and we look forward to when we can gather together again. This year virtual, next year in person.”
The Break the Silence Speaker Series is Our VOICE’s largest fundraising event of the year. Now in its fourth year, the event continues to grow and provide financial support for the agencies important work in Buncombe County. Each year the series highlights the voice of a national leader, activist or survivor who has worked to improve systems in responding to and ending sexual assault or human trafficking in our communities.
Our VOICE has had many headliners at this event, including Elizabeth Smart, Tarana Burke, Amber Tamblyn, and now Chanel Miller. The funds raised from the event help support programs such as free counseling services for survivors, prevention education for every middle- and high-school student in Buncombe County, access for survivors to rape kits and supplies at the hospital, and training for crisis response volunteers to answer the 24-hour crisis hotline.
Jane Kramer will open the event. The event begins at 7 p.m. via Crowdcast.
Tickets cost $25 or $10 for a student.
For more information about sponsorship opportunities and to purchase tickets go to www.ourvoicenc.org/bts/.
Miller was named one of the Forbes 30 Under 30 and a Time Next 100 honoree and was a Glamour Woman of the Year honoree under her pseudonym Emily Doe.