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From September 10 – 11, more than 400 people from across the country gathered for A CALL TO MEN’s national conference: Advancing Sports Culture to Prevent Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Joyful Heart was proud to be one of the national non-profit conference partners. We also hosted a roundtable discussion about the collaboration between Joyful Heart, NO MORE, Viacom and players from the NFL. This joint effort yielded Joyful Heart’s NFL Players Say NO MORE PSA campaign, which reached tens of millions of football fans throughout the 2014 – 2015 season.
For 78 days, we've watched four courageous women take on a national movement—literally—to end sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Calling themselves States on Skates, this group has skated 2,800 miles across 8 states to bring light to the issues and raise funds for the Joyful Heart Foundation. After hearing about their adventure I was captivated by their journey but after experiencing firsthand Gracie, Brenna, Beth and Kim’s spirit and passion, I am absolutely in awe of their resolve and dedication to spreading hope nationwide to survivors and advocates.
On Wednesday, May 6, Joyful Heart more than 500 members of our community came together for our annual Joyful Revolution Gala: The Conversation Is Now in Session. Since we last gathered in New York City for our annual gala, it has been a remarkable, challenging, surprising, energizing year that saw sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse dominating headlines and capturing the public’s attention like never before. But as Mariska said that evening: " We want more than just a sense that things are different—not just a feeling that change is in the air. I love that feeling and I welcome it, but just like all of you do, we want measurable change leading to the end of this violence."
On April 16 and 17, 2015, Joyful Heart partnered with numerous organizations to sponsor two screenings of The Hunting Ground, a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on college campuses. The Hunting Ground’s Hawai‘i premiere was held at the Doris Duke Theatre as part of the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) Spring Showcase on April 16, and a second screening was held at the popular The ARTS At Marks Garage in downtown Honolulu the next day. Over 400 people attended both screenings of the documentary.
On Monday, March 30, Joyful Heart held our first TALK event on the East Coast in the Washington, D.C. area at the beautiful home of Jaime and Andrew Schwartzberg. The discussion was part of the TALK discussion series, aimed at gathering and engaging communities to explore a myriad of issues related to sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. The theme of this discussion was exploring men's role in ending violence against women.
It was in Hawai‘i where Mariska first started the Joyful Heart Foundation ten years ago with the intention of helping sexual assault survivors heal and reclaim a sense of joy in their lives. We are immensely proud to be a part of this collaborative effort to bring NO MORE to Hawai‘i, where Joyful Heart began. And we are truly grateful for the support of the community, our partners, local government and media sponsors in sharing our message of Hawai‘i Says NO MORE.
"Violence and abuse is everywhere and has deep and lasting impact. And yet these are issues that—for the most part—we don’t talk about. What that means for survivors [is that] they are trapped in silence and feel alone and ashamed. And what that means for those who are violent and abusive [is that] they are not held accountable. We want to change that. That is what tonight is all about. We want to encourage conversation, deepen our understanding and inspire action." This is how LA Committee Member Jenny Belushi opened TALK LA on a November evening in Brentwood, and what we talked about that night with more than 75 members of our Los Angeles community.
On November 12th, Joyful Heart staff members were joined by members of the Hawai'i Hearts to TALK STORY as part of our on-going series to shed the light on and engage in thoughtful conversation about issues surrounding sexual assault and domestic violence. An important part of our mission at Joyful Heart is to raise visibility, encourage conversation, deepen understanding, inspire action and help break the deep social stigma surrounding domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse.
On August 31, our Hawai‘i community gathered for our Joyful Mele celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Joyful Heart Foundation’s work throughout the state. We celebrated our nā mele, the songs and stories that tell of our origins, our roots and of our deep love of Hawai‘i—and the many bright lights who make our work possible.
When Mariska first imagined Joyful Heart in Kailua-Kona ten years ago, no one could have foreseen the powerful impact we would have a decade later. Under a starlit sky, with full and grateful hearts, we looked back at our ten years—while looking forward into the future.
To celebrate our 10th Anniversary and the say thank you to some of the navigators who have made our journey possible, Joyful Heart and Tori Richard was honored to have Tori Richard host a private dinner with Nancy and Herb Conley, who opened their home to nearly 100 guests. The intimate evening provided a time for us to connect to our story, our work and each other before our larger Joyful Mele event—and to celebrate the generosity and spirit of those who have made our work possible.