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Celebrate International Women's Day with the Connecticut Women's Consortium as we listen to incredible stories of resilience told by survivors of unimaginable violence.
Speakers: Elizabeth SmartJoyclyn Bell, MSWMarlee Liss
Schedule of Events:
09:00am - 09:15am: Opening Remarks09:15am - 10:15am: Overcoming Adversity: The Elizabeth Smart Story presented by Elizabeth Smart 10:15am - 10:30am: Break 10:30am - 11:00am: Generational Impacts of the Sex Trade on People of African Descent presented by Joyclyn Bell11:00am - 12:30pm: The Nervous System Regulation & Coming out of Freeze presented by Marlee Liss**please note that all times listed above are eastern time**
Overcoming Adversity: The Elizabeth Smart Story:
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. At the tender age of 14, just before celebrating her middle school graduation, Elizabeth went to sleep in her family home just as she had always done. Awakened hours later to a knife held roughly against her throat, she was taken from her home and family and held captive for nine long months. In her captivating message, Elizabeth shares her incredible story of perseverance in the face of unimaginable adversity. Her speech not only tells her personal story, but also discusses topics such as overcoming extreme adversity, the importance and process of recovery, and not allowing your past to dictate your life's future. Elizabeth knows that there is nothing more important than having hope in a difficult situation. Having lived through an extreme circumstance as a young teenager, Elizabeth gives great insight and hope to all. The Founder of the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation”, Elizabeth has also helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions. Elizabeth has chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, “My Story.” In addition, she and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivors guide, entitled, “You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.
Generational Impacts of the Sex Trade on People of African Descent In this 30-minute presentation, Joyclyn Bell, MSW, will discuss the generational impacts of the commercial sex trade on people of African descent. Joyclyn is an educator and a person with lived experience in domestic intergenerational trafficking and exploitation, sexual and community violence.
The Nervous System Regulation & Coming out of FreezeMarlee Liss made history in the justice system when her sexual assault case became the 1st in North America to conclude with restorative justice through the courts. In this workshop, Marlee will use guided somatic practices to help participants regulate the nervous system, complete stress response cycles, and feel calm. These practices will familiarize participants with grounding tools that can take you from stressed to calm whenever you need them. Marlee will help participants come out of dissociation and into embodied presence and somatic awareness feeling beautiful, safe, and powerful within their bodies.
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape.Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12,2003, after being held a prisoner for 9 grueling months.Through this traumatic experience, Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs, and National legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which led to conviction.The Founder of the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation”, Elizabeth has also helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions.Elizabeth has chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, "My Story." In addition, she and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivors guide, entitled, “You're Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.Elizabeth has recently released a new powerful and inspiring book about what it takes to overcome trauma, find the strength to move on, and reclaim one’s life."Where There’s Hope" is the result of Elizabeth’s mission: It is both an up-close-and-personal glimpse into her healing process and a heartfelt how-to guide for readers to make peace with the past and embrace the future.Elizabeth’s abduction and recovery continue to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes vigilance by "everyday" people and the belief that hope always exists to find every missing child.Smart attended Brigham Young University, studying music as a harp performance major. She married her husband Matthew in 2012, and they now have two beautiful children.Elizabeth’s example is a daily demonstration that there really is life after tragedy.
Joyclyn is an educator with lived experience in domestic intergenerational trafficking and exploitation, sexual and community violence. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she has her MSW, and is a Licensed School Social Worker in Oregon. Joyclyn's background includes providing domestic violence/sexual assault, anti- trafficking advocacy, and group facilitation, in schools, and in the community, as well as with adults and youth impacted by systems. She is a graduate fellow of the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center, a member of Oregon's Trafficking Advisory Committee, a member of the Multnomah County Sex Trafficking Executive Committee, a founding member of the Northwest Survivor Alliance and creative producer of Can Oppression Be Liberation; a short film about the generational impacts of the commercial sex trade on Women of African Descent.
Marlee Liss is a restorative justice advocate, award-winning speaker, and embodiment coach. She is also a lesbian, Jewish feminist and trailblazer. Marlee made history in the justice system when her sexual assault case became the 1st in North America to conclude with restorative justice through the courts. This means that she fought for her assailant to go to therapy instead of proceeding to criminal trial and eventually, they met in a transformative 8-hour circle. Since then, Marlee has shared her story worldwide - being featured on major media platforms like Forbes, Huff Post, Buzzfeed, Mel Robbins Show, and more. Additionally, with a background in anti-oppressive social work, eating disorder prevention, trauma-informed yoga and somatic sex education, Marlee has coached hundreds of women worldwide in reclaming sensuality and embodied empowerment, especially after sexual trauma, disordered eating, and relationship abuse. A renowned speaker, Marlee won 1st place at the international Speaker Slam competition on Forgiveness and has delivered presentations for: the US Military Sexual Assault Response Team, on an elite panel for the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, at Fordham School of Law, CHW Charity, Canada’s Victims & Survivors of Crime Week, and more. Further, her story is currently on contract to be made into a documentary and scripted series, as she works on her memoir. Learn more about Marlee’s work at www.marleeliss.com
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