There are many people in our community working to create positive change to end sexual violence. We want to meet as many of them as possible. If you would like to submit a recommendation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knowing that we have been a resource for so many and knowing that I have played a small part in someone’s journey is very rewarding to me.
1. What is your position at STAR?
I started with STAR in July 2015 as Development Director for the agency. In my role, I assist in raising awareness and diversifying funding streams for agency stability.
2. How did you come to work at STAR and/or in the field of sexual assault prevention and response?
I have always had strong female role models in my life that have supported me in all that I do. I have always been taught to believe that I can do anything I set my mind to. Given that, I have always been an advocate for women and women’s issues, and helped be a voice for those that are underserved. I made a career change in 2006, from corporate America to not-for-profit work. At that time, I began working in fundraising and development for the Battered Women’s Program [now Iris Domestic Violence Center] and saw how much need there is for organizations that work with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence.
I was given the opportunity in July 2015 to begin work with STAR and survivors of sexual assault. My passion is to make sure that I do all I can to help raise awareness and funds for organizations, like STAR, to provide the life-saving services that are so underfunded.
3. What do you find challenging about your position, and what do you find most rewarding about your work at STAR?
What is most challenging for me is that the community doesn’t seem to see how big an issue sexual assault really is, and that it takes all of the community to come together to make a change. I truly believe that we as a community and a society can do better in serving survivors and holding offenders accountable. Sadly, until a loved one is assaulted, individuals don’t think it pertains to them.
What is most rewarding is knowing that an organization like STAR is here for those that need us. No matter what, we believe and are there to provide the services needed to support survivors through times of crisis. Knowing that we have been a resource for so many and knowing that I have played a small part in someone’s journey is very rewarding to me.
4. What are some simple, day-to-day ways you promote positive change in our community, outside of your work duties?
I try to live my day-to-day life reflecting a positive attitude and a spirit of making a change. I have a wide scope of friends and interests that keep me grounded. My parents were great examples to me of how important it is to always give back and work to make the community a better place.
I am a member of the Junior League of Baton Rouge, through which I am able to give back by volunteering in our community, which is very rewarding to me. I am also involved in other activities through my contact with business and community leaders where I am able to add my viewpoint to pertinent issues on behalf of those who may not otherwise have a voice.
5. What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant about becoming an active member of the movement to end sexual trauma?
I would ask how could they not be active in the movement — it’s the right thing to do. We have to come together as a community unified in holding perpetrators accountable for violence they commit, and holding legislators responsible for passing laws to protect sexual assault survivors.
I would also tell them, don’t wait till it happens to someone you love before you make your voice heard. Sexual violence is a community issue, not an individual issue.
6. How can community members support the work STAR does to serve survivors and end sexual violence?
Community members can support the work that STAR does in many ways:
- STOP being silent bystanders: get educated and make your voice heard.
- Support STAR through financial support. In order to provide these life saving services, it requires much needed monetary support. I encourage people to visit our website and make a donation.
- Volunteer your time as a STAR hotline or hospital advocate.
- Support STAR’s community events to raise awareness and funds. You can have fun while benefiting a wonderful organization and survivors of sexual assault.
Alicia is currently planning STAR’s 2nd Annual Champions of Change Breakfast, which will be held on Wednesday, April 6 from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge. Learn more on our website or Facebook event page, and by watching Alicia’s recent interview on Cox 4’s Across Louisiana. Purchase your tickets today to support STAR!