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.
Whenever I hear someone speaking in an oppressive manner, even a simple micro-aggression, I like to point it out in a compassionate and respectful way with the hope that they can begin to understand why that behavior may not be best. –Endya Hash
1. What is your relationship with STAR?
EH: I have been a volunteer with STAR since March, and I was an Advocacy Intern over the summer.
2. What led you to get involved with STAR and/or join the movement to end sexual violence?
EH: Once I decided to pursue a career in Public Interest Law, I wanted to get involved with some public interest groups in Baton Rouge in order to get some experience in the field, generally speaking. I had heard of STAR from some of the groups I participated in at LSU, and I thought it would be a great place to get my feet wet. STAR showed me the great need for competent people within this field, and the many ways in which I could use my law degree to help others. As a result of this work, I also realized the importance of the movement to end sexual violence. I always knew that sexual violence was a problem, but I had no idea to what extent and how much can be done to stop it.
3. What do you find most rewarding about your participation in this movement?
EH: STAR has shown me how important working with people in the community can be to a movement. I enjoying conversing with people from other organizations that also care about this issue and working to find ways in which we can combine our efforts into creating change. It is uplifting to see how many people are beginning to care about the movement and get involved. Furthermore, working with the survivors and seeing their gratitude for our work is also rewarding and reassuring. Being an advocate for survivors has also given me the confidence to advocate in other areas as well.
4. What motivates you to keep going when things get difficult or discouraging?
EH: My biggest motivations are my role models, and all of the wonderful STAR staff. When I need that encouraging boost, I just flip through Eleanor Roosevelt’s autobiography for those familiar quotes that I’ve highlighted and relied on many times. The staff at STAR is also incredibly supportive and encouraging, and they are always willing to help.
5. What are some simple, day-to-day ways you promote positive change in our community?
EH: My favorite way to promote positive change day to day is by intervening when people casually promote oppressive ideas. Whenever I hear someone speaking in an oppressive manner, even a simple micro-aggression, I like to point it out in a compassionate and respectful way with the hope that they can begin to understand why that behavior may not be best.
6. What advice would you give to someone who is hesitant about becoming an active member of this movement?
EH: Many people with whom I discuss the movement don’t understand exactly what it is or how to participate in it. I find that many people I explain the movement to come to realize over time that their previously held negative beliefs are false and that a deeper understanding creates compassion. I would suggest that anyone who is hesitant about the movement do some research and gain some knowledge on sexual violence. Once educated about the movement it is almost impossible not to be an active member.