Are you a survivor of sexual assault looking to speak out, inspire others and create change? STAR is hosting Truth Out Loud, a 3-part workshop series that will empower participants to speak or write publicly about their experiences in order to increase public understanding of sexual trauma and facilitate healing. Each workshop will be co-facilitated by a STAR staff member and an outside facilitator who has specialized experience in storytelling.


STAR believes that all survivors’ stories matter and is seeking a diverse group of workshop participants. Interested individuals must submit an online application no later than noon on Friday, January 19th, 2018. Email with questions.


Workshop #1: The Survivor’s Journey
Saturday, March 10th @ 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Co-facilitated by Virginia Archer and Rebecca Marchiafava

Virginia is a founder and community organizer for New South Story Lab. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in anthropology and political science. After college, she put her cultural studies to good use and began exploring activism, writing, food and innovative education. Virginia believes in the importance of doing what you love and enjoys holding space for writers, artists, teachers and activists to collaborate and create together. She’s been in non-profit administration since 2010, having worked to address at-risk youth, food insecurity, addiction and homelessness. Currently, she is the Director of Development and Major Gifts for LSU Libraries. Her interests are environmentalism, politics, film, creative writing, journalism, poetry, cooking, community organizing and celebrating life.



Workshop #2: Composing Your Story
Saturday, March 17th @ 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Co-facilitated by Ginny Engholm and Dana Rock, LMSW


Dr. Ginny Engholm is a professor of English at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University who specializes in women and gender studies, women’s health culture, and health humanities. She writes about a range of topics, including women’s reproductive health, motherhood, pregnancy loss, and grief, and health education. She also works with nonprofits that are focused on women’s health and women’s issues to help them better communicate their stories and to use storytelling and narrative more effectively to support their missions.



Workshop #3: Telling Your Story
Saturday, March 24th @ 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Co-facilitated by Meta Smith-Davis and Brooke Allen, LCSW

Meta Smith-Davis is a 61-year-old daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, an amazing wife, a true Leo, and a Black Female living with HIV. Meta is a native of Baton Rouge. She is employed by HIV/AIDS Alliance for Region 2 (HAART) as the Assistant Director of Prevention. She is a member of Positive Women’s Network-USA and co-chair for the PWN- Louisiana. She is also the Baton Rouge Stigma Index Project Coordinator. She was Inducted into the 20/20 Leading Women Society an organization dedicated to WLWHIV in 2015, She is a PWN-USA Leadership Training Graduate, Advocate, and Activist. She is also actively involved in helping PLWHIV be empowered to advocate for themselves, but while they are making that transition, she is honored and glad to be their voice.