EPISODE
11
49:31

The Path to Healing with Dani Ayers

In this episode of Reckoning, Kathryn Kosmides speaks with Dani Ayers about the Me Too Movement, cancel culture, rape culture, and healign after trauma. Dani is the CEO of the metoo International, which was originally founded in 2006 to help survivors of sexual violence, particularly young women of color from low wealth communities, find pathways to healing after sexual assault. 


In this episode, Dani discusses:

  • The Me Too Movement beyond the viral hashtag
  • Healing as post-traumatic growth
  • Me Too’s intention isn’t to “cancel” everyone 
  • The spectrum of rape culture
  • How healing looks different for every survivor

Welcome to Reckoning, a podcast that explores gender-based justice, safety, survival, and resilience in the digital age, through conversations with experts and advocates. I'm your host, Kathryn Kosmides, the founder and CEO of Garbo, a tech non-profit building a new kind of online background check. Before we jump in, I'd like to warn our audience that we have raw honest conversations about gender-based violence, which may be too much for some listeners. Please put your safety and health above all else when listening.

Kathryn: Dani Ayers is the CEO of metoo international, the nonprofit organization behind the Me Too. Movement. In 2006, the Me Too Movement was founded by survivor and activist Tarana Burke and in 2017, the #MeToo went viral across social media with over 19 million individuals, sharing the hashtag and their stories. Dani Ayers joined the organization in 2019 as the Chief Operating Officer. She has spent her entire career uncovering and understanding what influences organizational health and viability with a focus on the multi-layered work of racial and social justice, gender equity, and education. In July of 2020, she transitioned to CEO and has been leading the organization since. Our conversation today explores what building Me Too the nonprofit has been like, cancel culture, rape culture, and the important work of healing after trauma.

Kathryn: First, I really want to learn a little bit more about Me Too, the movement's kind of mission, the organization's mission, vision, and values.

Dani: Yeah. Thank you for that. I love sharing about metoo’s vision because a lot of folks don't actually know it. They sort of have made assumptions over the years in the wake of the hashtag going viral. So I appreciate being able to talk about it. Metoo is and has always been grounded in a black feminist framework, coming out of Tarana Burke's experience in working with young black girls in the south and really supporting their leadership development and realizing there was this massive challenge in the way that took the form of that. They had experienced horrific, sexual violence in their lives, and it had impacted their lives in deep and meaningful ways. And Tarana’s understanding of her own experience with sexual violence. It became her life's work. And so Me Too is grounded in that. And so our mission is very much about centering the experiences of those who are most marginalized in our society and their experiences with sexual violence in the work of trying to interrupt and end sexual violence. And we see that happening in a myriad of ways, from sort of cultural and narrative shifting work, at sort of a communication strategy level, also in working directly with survivors around supporting them along their healing journeys. Healing is a core part of how we see our way forward. 12 million individuals tweeted Me Too in the 24 hours after the hashtag went viral. And we know that that is a massive community of folks that is along some point of their healing journey. And so our work is very much about how to meet folks where they are. We are very much digital in nature. Our work is about reaching survivors where ever they are and have just started to engage globally as well. So, much of our work is research and developing curriculum and resources that live on our website. And we'll continue to build out sort of this living, breathing resource of access to the survivors may have to resources in their local communities to help them support them along their healing journey, but also their power building and resiliency.

Kathryn: I love that focus on the healing journey. I think that's a big missing piece when it comes to this type of work, in general, is like we talk about prevention barely. And then we talk about immediate aftercare. Once an incident has happened, what's the band-aid essentially that we can put on a bleeding wound, but we very rarely talk about what's after that. What is the healing really like? And that's what I appreciate about the work that metoo, the organization is doing.

Dani: Yeah. And I'll say too, Kathryn, that the word healing is starting to get thrown around a little bit. I'm sure you've heard this in your work as well. And we really, just to kind of double-click on that, we look at healing in the lens of what we call post-traumatic growth. A lot of folks know post-traumatic stress and what PTSD is. In the same way, we think about healing as post-traumatic growth. And so our work is very much around an understanding of what trauma does to the body, to the brain, and the ways in which we can engage survivors. It along a growth journey after trauma. So we get very specific about it, a little scientific about it, but we really believe that instead of sort of some folks who kind of come from a more, I don't know, I'll just say like a kumbaya kind of heal idea of healing. We really look at it as a little bit more clinical and actionable.

Kathryn: No, I think that is necessary. And that phrase post-traumatic growth is so powerful because they think we often hear post-traumatic stress, right? The downsides of trauma and how it impacts us, but you can utilize your trauma, your experiences in this world. And I believe everyone experiences trauma on some level of spectrum, especially I believe every woman experiences, gender-based violence, somewhere on the spectrum, at least once in their life and taking that as a catalyst to move forward and to do something with that pain is fundamental to the work that I'm doing. I'm sure it's fundamental to the work that you've done in your own career, in your own journey. And so I want to talk a little bit about that journey. You've been with the organization since January of 2019, originally as the COO. And so what made you first decide to join and how has your presence since shaped the organization?

Dani: Yeah. Thank you for that question. I don’t often get to talk about that. So I have been sort of building social justice infrastructure, organizational infrastructure for the majority of my career. I have found that one of the things we really struggle with in the nonprofit sector is building strong infrastructure to support our missions and visions. It's really a challenge. We have amazing work happening on really unstable foundation. And so it's become a passion of mine over the years. And I had worked with Tarana years ago in a black arts for social justice organization out of Philadelphia. And we worked really well together. I moved to Atlanta, she continued on, I watched the hashtag go viral and couldn't believe it because I knew that she was doing this work all along. And she approached me in late 2018 and said, “I need to build an organization to support this work, and I need you to help me do that. Would you join me?” And, I ,of course, could not say no to that opportunity. And so at the end of 2018 really started to put the foundational elements into place. And we were very literally and are still very literally building the plane while flying it. I mean, we had some really generous support in those early days from organizations like New York Women's Foundation who really made it possible for us to build out a small team, without having to sort of struggle to pay folks while we're trying to build programs. So we were able to really begin building the curriculum that we needed because— by the way— it didn't exist, right? We didn't have access to the kinds of learning tools that we knew we wanted to work with folks around, specifically around this kind of post-traumatic growth approach. And so it allowed us to really hit the ground running. My contributions, I hope that they allowed for a team to be built on a solid foundation for them to have the right kind of culture and environment to grow and thrive in. I'm really proud of the work we've done, in setting up all of those really necessary back office elements that have to be there for you to bring on folks so that they have really great health insurance so that they are taken care of if they need to step out of the office so that their mental health is reimbursed. If they have expenses, we have a unlimited PTO policy and really encourage folks to take time. All of these things require sort of work on the front end and that's what I did sort of as Chief Operations Officer. And then in July of 2020, I was moved into the CEO role to take on a more day-to-day organizational approach to the work and how do we actualize the vision on a day-to-day basis? Now that the infrastructure was set up and we had some staff to support, I was able to move into that more broad role. And so it's a little uncomfortable for me to be sort of the face of an organization. I'm definitely more comfortable behind the scenes, but helping to share interview responsibility and being ready to step out and speak on behalf of the work that we're doing. So I'm hoping I'm taking some of that pressure off of Tarana these days.

Kathryn: I definitely think you are and I feel you on being the face of an organization. I think it's something that I struggle with as well. It's like, “yeah, I have this podcast and I have this”, but I'm a very private person actually, who likes to be behind the scenes. And even in my career before, I was in stage management, so I love owning operations and things like that, but no one ever sees the stage manager, right? So I feel you, I feel you on that. And I also definitely feel you on building the plane while flying it because they think that is something that we're doing over here is. I mean, I had an idea of a vision for something, and I'd been working on it since January of 2018, in the midst of my own experience and it was a part-time thing for so long, I was consulting on the side majorly to fund the organization to get it going. And then earlier this year we got the funding and the corporate sponsorship from Match Group and it took off now. It's like, okay, we're building the plane. We're about to launch the platform in just a few weeks and I don't think people realize that building or starting a non-profit is so much like a startup or just like any business. They don't think it's like a business. It's like, no, it is. You have to build operations and you have to find revenue sources and funding and all of that.

Dani: Absolutely. It is absolutely building a business. And I tell our team, you probably have a similar language, that when we bring anyone on you are an entrepreneur. You are some of our first staff, you are going to bring and add so much value. You're going to put your name on this. You are an entrepreneur, every single one of the people on our team, I consider them all entrepreneurs in their work. And I think that's an important element of any startup.

Kathryn: It's definitely empowering every individual that joins an early company, that's betting on you and betting on the organization's leadership and the board, et cetera, to bring this vision to life. And so I'm so grateful for our team that has joined when it is such a gamble.

Dani: Yeah, it is. And I think that's why the culture, the way we treat each other, the way we talk to each other, is so important. And also because of the work that we're doing. We are survivor-led. Most of our staff are survivors. Most of our staff, are folks of color. And so for all of those reasons, we are so deeply connected to the work that we're doing. It's a big consideration inside of how do you operate a team that is so close to the content that they're creating and programming? it's definitely something we talk about all the time.

Kathryn: And as you mentioned, metoo is grounded in a black feminist framework that explores the intersections of racism and sexual violence. How has that lens and framework influence the work?

Dani: Oh, wow. It is in everything we do. I think one of the biggest misconceptions about metoo is that we sort of came to light, came into folks knowing, in the moment where there was a Hollywood reckoning. And so because of that, even to this day, folks conflate us with the Hollywood response to Harvey Weinstein and the reckoning that happened around him. Folks think that we are run by Hollywood and that we are only about the white elite in Hollywood. We get messages about this all the time, still. They conflate us with Time's Up,

Kathryn: Time's Up—I was going to say someone just confused y'all the other day in a conversation I was having. So it definitely happened.

Dani: It happens all the time. And so we really have set out, when we started, educating folks and talking about what we actually are about and I think we've come a long way. But as you know, from that conversation, we still have folks out here who, are either, not listening or in sometimes some ways, purposely misunderstanding on purpose, committed to misunderstanding. We do have folks that do that. So for us, it's just about continuing to honor the origins of the work of metoo in all of our programming and activations. And so everything from our branding, our marketing, our language, and any of our programming, you will see the community that we centered reflected and all of that. And it's important, part of every conversation we have, On our website, you'll see diversity in body size, in gender, in color. It's really important for us to represent that at every level, we know that the solutions to racial justice, to racial injustice, are very similar to the solutions and side of the issues we have with sexual violence. These movements are so interconnected and intersectional. And so our work is to continue that thread, continue helping folks to understand that and continuing to work with folks in other movements on how we can advance things together. We're definitely stronger together.

Kathryn: Yeah. I was watching a live of Tarana the other night and I'm going to pull it up on my phone on Instagram. I forget who she was live with, but she said the systems as they exist today, the conversations that we have today around sexual violence and accountability in sexual violence and holding bad actors accountable for their violence is, she said, a lot of law and order, crime and punishment. And I thought that was so interesting rather than I think she said it needs to be harm and harm reduction and shifting that framework to doing that. And I thought that was so powerful and something I had never heard before.

Dani: Yeah. It is a reframing. And I think we have been very vocal about our support of movement for black lives and their call for defunding the police. We have framed it as re-imagining the criminal justice system. We do believe that that is a necessary evolution in order to really be able to suss out the deeply held patriarchy and racism that exists inside our systems and structures. And we have to understand that there is a nuance there because in the same vein, as we want to move away from carceral approaches, we also have to understand the reality that we live in. And then until we have some of those other solutions present materially in our communities, we cannot say to a survivor do not go to the police because we don't have the appropriate alternative for that person at this time. But it does not mean we are not seeking that out and calling for that and supporting the policies and approaches that allow for that. We do believe that we need to reimagine what it means to hold someone accountable.

Kathryn: I don't know. This hits so close to home because Garbo is so close to the criminal justice system. And I hate the criminal justice system. I've seen the problems firsthand I've experienced [it] and I'm a privileged white woman with access to capital. And I've just imagined like, what is it like for a trans person, a person of color, just someone who doesn't speak English, like whoever it is trying to use the system as it exists today. I can't imagine what that is like. And so I think that it is trying to reimagine what the system could be while simultaneously, still supporting survivors. You can't just be like, throw your hands up and there's nothing that you can do, I'm sorry that this happened to you. Okay, wash my hand you're done. I think it is utilizing the system that exists today while building that infrastructure underneath it to dismantle the existing system.

Dani: Yeah. Yeah. I think that's exactly how we approach it. And we actually created, alongside a coalition of other organizations called the Survivor’s Agenda, we actually imagined what it would be to re-imagine the criminal justice system. And we have policies that we call for the approaches that we call for and they're all actually available at survivorsagenda.org for folks that want to take a look at them, but we're actually working on these things, right? What we know is that for every black woman that reports rape, 15 at least do not. And there's a reason for that. We know that when black girls and women go to the police, they did not get the justice that they deserve. They are disbelieved, they are disrespected. And in worst cases, they are actually reharmed. We also know that sexual violence is the second most reported complaint against the police only second to excessive force. And who do you think is experiencing that sexual violence at the hands of police exponentially? It's black and brown folks. So these are the realities that we live with. And we cannot tell a survivor who is looking to disclose and it looking to go to the police or an authority, not to do that, right? So there have to be multiple truths that we realize on a regular basis and that we are working toward and demanding change at the same time that we're acknowledging our present material reality.

Kathryn: So true. So true. And you personally, in some of the things that I've watched you and Tarana talk a lot about people who do have problematic behavior being too afraid and lacking the courage to speak up and address their own behavior because of this kind of cancel culture that surrounds us. They're not even willing to be like, “oh yeah, I did say that and I'm sorry” and so how do those who have done wrong or performed bad actions come to terms with those actions and then change their problematic behavior in this cancel culture that we kind of live in today?

Dani: Yeah. Well, I first want to say, cause I think a lot of folks also have that as a misconception of what metoo is about that we are not at all about cancel culture. We do not aspire. Our work is not anything that I've said so far on this podcast. None of it has been about taking down powerful men that is not at all where our focus is, where we spend any energy at all in the work of the organization. So I definitely want to say that we are seeing from, let's say Cuomo's resignation now to the recent judgment against R. Kelly, that there are folks that are being held accountable inside court, inside of our carceral system, or inside of independent investigations that are taking place. Those are representative, symbolic, and are not at all a clear sign that our culture has shifted to that place, right? We can call those wins for the survivors and we do need to understand that there are R. Kellys in many of our communities and that is the reality. And so in my mind, cancel culture has taken on a, a whole shape of its own. It's a massive sort of problem I think because the way that Me Too approaches this work and me personally, is that part of what we need from those who have caused harm is their ability to acknowledge that they have caused harm. And that can't be the end, right? There is a process by which you acknowledge that you've caused harm and you take action to not only show that you understand that you caused harm, but that you are responsive to the desires, the demands, the requests of the person that you caused harm to. And I think for so much of our culture, we are focused on the harm doer instead of the person who experienced harm. We're not listening to the people who have come forward to say, I experienced harm. It's not okay, I'm stepping forward. We're not asking them, what do you want? What do you seek in this? And choosing to act based on that. We focus on the harm-doer and we put their name in the streets and we cancel them. And we say that they're a bad person and you do all of this stuff and it does no one any good. These live status droids, they stay in trauma instead of looking at what it means to try to from this— as we talked about before— these awful situations that happen, seek some way of healing inside of these relationships. Now there are some survivors who actually want to seek from their harm-doer, some kind of engagement that they would like to along their healing journey. Others do not, right? And I think until we understand that there is an there's an individualized approach in some ways. And there also is an approach that allows us to say we're not canceling this person as though they don't exist anymore, but we may need to put them outside the community, right? And Tarana talks about this a lot. We need to move them outside the community while they are acknowledging, while they are accepting their harm and the harm that they've caused while we are determining the actions that they need to reduce the harm that they caused. They need to not be in contact with folks that they could cause harm to, right? You put them outside the community. It doesn't necessarily mean you lock them up for the rest of their lives or those kinds of things. And I think we don't invest enough in that dynamic of what survivors actually want to see happen.

Kathryn: I think that the hardest part for me of engaging in these systems. I did go to the police when things got so bad and I went to family court to get the order of protection. And so I was immediately entered into these two justices, but I had no idea what the heck was about to happen at all. And I think the hardest part was in the criminal justice system, no one asked me what I wanted as a survivor. It just takes off. And I think a lot of people don't realize, like I was just talking about a friend who was thinking about getting an order of protection, against an ex-boyfriend. And I don't think people realize what the system is really like and how in the criminal justice system, it becomes the state versus the offender, not you versus the offender. And you are completely kind of cut off from any type of what do I want in this situation. And so when the criminal justice system and family court did not work for me in the way in which healed me or made me feel like basically that my abuser would stop abuse. What I wanted was to prevent harm from happening to the next person. I chose to Sue him. And I felt like I had way more control over that system and creating that public record of his violence. So it could prevent violence, but I've tried to settle my own case. I said, just give me $1 and say that you did it. Just say that you did it, say that you caused harm, take accountability, responsibility, reflect on your own actions and I'll be done with it. But he refuses to take that accountability. And I think that's the hardest part about people who cause harm and commit violent acts is like, they don't want to take that accountability for their actions. They don't want to do that self-reflection. And when they feel like they are being held accountable, being removed from communities are being left out of contact from individuals that they could cause harm to. They get very defensive. And I think it's balancing these things of we're not trying to cancel you. There's a difference between canceling someone and holding them accountable for their actions, you know?

Dani: Right. Yeah. I agree wholeheartedly there absolutely is a difference between completely throwing someone away and saying, “you're going to have to take accountability for this if you want to lead a healthy, normal life”, right? And you have to and there are various ways that we can see that happen. But I think you're right, there's a spectrum, just like there's a spectrum of survivors, certainly not a monolith. There are a spectrum of harm doers. There's not just one profile of someone who causes harm. That's why I often think that this is why the criminal justice system doesn't work because it's a one size fit all. For the response of two, three, however many people are involved, very different individuals falling across a wide spectrum. And so we have to be able to have response based on the dynamics of the situation at hand and the criminal justice system just does not allow for that. It doesn't work.

Kathryn: No, it doesn't work. And that's the biggest thing that I realized. And again, it's hard cause Garbo uses this very broken system. And so we are expanding outside of this system of the criminal justice system. Because again, like you said, a lot of people don't report, especially communities of color, especially other marginalized individuals because the system causes them even more harm if they choose to report. And so I think it's balancing that individuality of not only the traumatic experience being individual but also of the accountability and justice being individual and centering the survivor and what the survivor wants in that so important. All right, so moving from cancel culture to rape culture, I think a lot of outsiders who hear the word rape culture are, “oh my goodness”. They get wide-eyed and they run away from this phrase because they don't understand it. And I think a lot of the time if they do start to understand it and process, and even Google what is rape culture, they realize that, “oh, wow, I might be part of the problem”. I do laugh at the jokes or at least I don't say anything when they occur. And so how do we get folks to one, understand what rape culture is, acknowledge that it is in existence, and how do we get them to become part of the solution?

Dani: Yeah. So it's so interesting because I think when we first started as an organization I think there was a very specific subset of the population that was listening to us that was interested in what we were talking about. And part of our work over the last year has been—we know that that sexual violence has a public health crisis, right? It has all the elements of what a public health crisis is. And so part of our work in 2020 was how do we, even 2021, was how do we help to educate folks on just how close they actually are to sexual violence if they haven't experienced that themselves. And that obviously brings up the conversation about the spectrum of rape culture. And so, we had a whole campaign during April of 2021, during sexual violence awareness month, was around disrupting rape culture. And so we did a whole campaign around educating folks on that spectrum, that it's wide and it's long, but when you allow and look another way at, or even participate in the side of the spectrum that includes rape jokes, that includes catcalling on the street, when those things are allowed to happen, that allows for that tumbleweed where you then end up with harassment happening, which allows and when that's allowed, then you move into violence happening. And so they happen on a spectrum and because our society has been so slow to respond to the side of the spectrum, that isn't violence, it has allowed for the perpetration resulting in violence. And I think that we have, after April of 2021, we had this disrupt rape culture campaign. We saw so many new faces of folks who are like, “huh, well, I might not be able to say that I am a survivor of sexual violence, but I have absolutely experienced harassment and I have absolutely experienced seeing and hearing rape jokes and being called out on the street”. When folks understand that that's all a part of the same spectrum, the same culture, there's a different understanding. and I hope that we continue to engage folks along that spectrum. We had a lot of conversations internally about using the words, rape culture, because they can feel jarring. But we realized we actually didn't normalize that term. so that folks are able to name it when they see it. And if folks want to check out, we have a platform called Act Too that's at https://acttoo.metoomvmt.org/. And on that platform, we actually have quizzes and different questionnaires. We have actions and podcasts and books that talk about, not only sexual violence, but the spectrum of rape culture. It's meant to sort of educate and activate everyday folks. Doesn't matter if you work at a bank, you work at a grocery store on what this issue really is because so many folks are just coming into the knowing of “oh, wow. Okay, yeah. I understand that when I don't say something about a rape case that I'm hearing, that spirals. And that those things become the next and become the next and result in violence. So I think it's important that we really talk about that regularly and in a mainstream way.

Kathryn: And I think a lot of it is generational, as you said, a lot of it is that they're just coming into their own understanding of what the spectrum is. And a lot of it is, “oh, that that's accepted”, “it used to be acceptable”, “oh, that joke used to be okay”. It used to be fine to say these things. And then it's like disrupting that thought pattern, almost that this was never okay. And what you experienced is on the spectrum of gender-based violence and it should never have happened. And because we said it was okay back then, it has spiraled into this culture that we see today that is so pervasive in sexual violence. And I think even raping your wife was legal until like the sixties I think or something like that. And don't quote me on that. We'll put it in the show notes, but it's insane that these things used to be so normalized. And now I think it's like, okay, take off the glasses, take off that lens of this happened to me. So it's okay that it happened. I think that is something that we are just getting to that reckoning of past generations meeting future generations, Millennials and Gen Z, who are talking actively about this and using the words “rape culture” and things like that. And so it's interesting to even see like my mother's own shift and the way in which she has thought about these things and talks about her own experiences that happened to her. So I think it's an important conversation that I think we're just at the crux of.

Dani: Yeah and I think if every person could say “oh, we can't say that anymore”, you know? And we're so uptight nowadays—every person needs to respond to that and say it was actually never okay. It was actually never okay. And so, because there is this sort of very common way that folks are trying to referenced this moment in history as though we've gotten really sensitive and it lacks a really historical understanding. It's incredibly false. And so it does take folks to say [it] because that does reframe the conversation right away when you hear someone say actually was never okay. Even back when it was, it was actually not. And I think it really does take all of us and actually I mean to interrupt sexual violence it is going to take all of us, right?

Kathryn: Exactly. Metoo the organization is very focused on healing survivors and helping them as that post-traumatic growth that you were talking about. And I don't think a lot of people understand what healing looks like because it's not a linear path. It's not a light switch, like I'm traumatized and now all of a sudden I'm healed. So let's dive in a little bit here. I always say that the roots of being a survivor is the word surviving and surviving is not pretty. It's not something easy especially if you're still experiencing violence and simply trying to survive that situation. A lot of people kind of bucket victims and survivors and one day you just hop on over to being a survivor and you're magically suddenly healed. Can you talk a little bit about one, why Me Too, the organization, chose to focus on healing, how this has kind of manifested in your work and then really what healing looks like for survivors?

Dani: Yeah. So I'll just first [start with] this language of victims and survivors. I think prior to 2017, when the hashtag went viral, if you heard anyone mainstream media, folks on the street, talk about someone who had experienced sexual violence they were going to be named a victim right there by  enlarge. Even organizations who were working on the issue of sexual violence, in a lot of ways were referencing their folks that were participating in their work as victims. And I think one thing that Me Too brought to life was around languaging in the way of naming those folks “survivors”. And the reason for that is because there is power in having survived sexual violence and still being here in the wake of the trauma that you experienced. And to your point, it's not pretty, it's awful. It often really harms someone lifelong. And you're here, you've survived it. And there's something that is in that, that is a different energy. You look at someone differently and we wanted mainstream America. We wanted the world to acknowledge that these folks have survived. And we also understand that the folks that we work with, the participants in our programs, might not always refer to themselves, frankly, as “survivors”. I've seen a lot of communications from folks saying, “I don't feel like a survivor right now, I just feel like a victim”. I don't feel like I have power and we don't ever say to that person that they should label themselves or feel any other way than they actually feel. We would love for them to move along the spectrum of healing that allows them to feel as though they survived, but we're not going to tell them that they should just slap that label on themselves and keep it moving. And so we say, “However, you show up. However, you come to this.” So the thing that you might often hear if you talk to organizers in the movement to end sexual violence, is that healing is lower on the priority list, right? There are policies that we need to push for, there are demands that we have, there are actions that need to be taken, and that is all very true. All of that is so true and there are some amazing organizations working on those things. We believe that the work cannot result in really moving forward out of the culture of sexual violence without healing. And so it has to be part of every conversation that we have about interrupting sexual violence. And so when we sought to build out our website, we wanted it to be full, chock-full of resources and things for folks to access. And part of what we determined was we should have it be a little bit of a journey inside itself. So if you come into our site, it'll ask you where you are in your life. Are you in crisis? Are you ready to explore healing? Do you want to learn more? We want folks to be able to access resources based on where they are. And so that's built in to all of our work, and to answer sort of the last question, healing looks so different for every survivor. We don't claim that there is a formula for it. We do believe that there are elements that are really important to consider and to try on and to think about. We know that healing is much more alive and possible in community and so that is one element of our work that we think is really important for folks. But we understand there isn't a sort of beginning. There isn't a sort of middle and there isn't an end. And we talk about this to the staff at metoo, that we're all still moving along our healing journeys. Sort of the ways that folks embrace therapy is so important in our own practice inside the organization. We consider everything from talk therapy, to yoga, to Reiki, to any of those things as therapy. Whether it's something that is actionable in your body or whether it's something that's in your mind. And we're actually releasing a self-lead individual healing curriculum at the beginning of December called “Survivor’s Sanctuary”. And it will allow for individuals across the globe to engage in a healing journey through a secure and safe website where they can log in and there's going to be videos in there, there's gonna be lessons in there, community in there, and the idea is that folks so often aren't sure where to start. Aren't sure what to consume to move them through the emotions that they may be having. And so it's broken up actually into mind. There's a section body, and then there's an integrative section, which really looks at the intersections of those things. And we've had facilitators building out this curriculum for the better part of a year, and we're finally going to be launching it on December. So I would encourage anyone who's listening that's interested. It's free. It will be available to anyone who wants to take part, and then we're going to have, biweekly engagement where folks can actually join together, come together on a Zoom and see the folks who are participating in the curriculum, be able to access this community of folks that are also doing this self-guided healing journey.

Kathryn: I love that. I was going to ask what's next for the organization, but that sounds like what's next is the Survivor’s Sanctuary program.

Dani: Yeah, Survivor's Sanctuary. Our anniversary is going to be the week of—the official anniversary is October 15th—but the week of October 18th, we have a series of actions every single day from education about the movement, to we have a philanthropy day to a global day. And then on Friday, the 22nd, we're going to have a celebration that will include dancing and yoga and breathing exercises and all kinds of joyous elements because we also believe that part of healing is finding joy. And so, we always think about how can we bring joy to this work?

Reckoning is a podcast produced by Garbo, a tech non-profit building a new kind of online background check. Our executive producer is Imani Nichols with whisper and mutter. Please subscribe to the show via your favorite podcast app. And as always, please send your questions and comments to hello@Garbo.io

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