Message from the Interim Co-Directors

Dear Friend,

It is officially spring! Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is underway, and there are many different events and ways to get involved in supporting Resilience this month and beyond. You are invited to Standing Silent Witness, our signature SAAM event where our community gathers to protest the silencing of survivors, at Daley Plaza on April 28. You can check out all our other SAAM events here. SAAM is also a hugely important fundraising occasion for Resilience, and if you’re able to donate, please click here to do so! Every dollar counts. Thank you for being a part of SAAM with Resilience. 

Spring is a busy time of year for Resilience. On June 10, we’ll gather at the lakefront for the second Empowerment 5K hosted by the Resilience Associate Board! Registration is open and you can purchase tickets now before our early bird sale ends on April 30. We are also actively looking for sponsors for this event. If you or someone you know are available to participate as a sponsor, please contact us! We need the support of our community like never before. Sponsoring the 5K is a wonderful way to show your support and commitment to survivors of sexual violence. What better way could there be to welcome summer than joining us at this active, fun, social event with the Resilience community!

In the meantime, we hope you have a wonderful month and stay in touch. We appreciate you!

With gratitude,

Sarah Layden and Amy O'Keeffe, Interim Co-Directors



Our Resilience Spotlight: Interview with Yazmin Garcia

We're proud to celebrate the people who connect our incredible community and bring us together in this work. For this month's interview, we're shining a spotlight on Yazmin Garcia, a former Resilience client and Volunteer Medical Advocate. Read our interview to hear from Yazmin about the impact of Resilience Volunteer Medical Advocates and the challenges and triumphs of the work they do. Click the button below to read our interview with Yazmin.


VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) Funding Cuts - Important Updates

Due to the VOCA funding cuts, we know that in FY24, our funding will be cut by over $550,000 – almost 17% of our annual budget. These cuts can lead to a hiring freeze, potential furlough, and/or layoffs for Resilience staff. Our advocates, therapists, and educators are dedicated to supporting survivors and providing them with the best care, support, and empowerment but they cannot do that without funding. Today, we are utilizing every resource we have to prepare for this devasting deficit so we can continue to provide direct services for survivors at full capacity. To learn more about our VOCA funding cuts, please click here.

We need the support of our community to help us close this gap! Here's what you can do:

These numbers impact our ability to support survivors in our community in major ways. Please give or get involved in whatever capacity you can. Learn more about VOCA funding cuts on our website. Thank you for your support during this time! We have hope for the future thanks to you, our dedicated and uplifting community.

Please contact Sarah Layden at and Amy O’Keeffe at for more information and ways you can support Resilience as we await more information regarding these VOCA funding cuts.


Support survivors, help Resilience reach our SAAM fundraising goal

Our SAAM 2023 fundraising goal is $20,000 and we are calling on our community to help make this a reality. You can make your gift today, or start a peer-to-peer fundraiser and encourage your networks to give during April! We count on the generosity of you, our dedicated supporters, to help us raise funds. Your gifts directly impact our clients who are on their healing journey and need the help, resources, and assistance that Resilience provides. The web of people that are impacted by your donations spans far and wide into therapy sessions and support groups, hospitals, K-12 classrooms, and beyond. We can’t make that impact without you. Help us make SAAM 2023 a powerful catalyst for our services and give today!

We are thrilled that RAYGUN has partnered with us again to provide some amazing new and returning Resilience merch! Three t-shirts, a tote bag, and a button are all on sale on their website now. Order today to rep and support your favorite nonprofit during SAAM! A portion of proceeds benefits Resilience.

Everyone can do their part to spread awareness about sexual violence during April and beyond. Join us for these upcoming special SAAM events: Community Accountability Workshop: Supporting a Friend Who Has Caused HarmBreaking the Silence Café, and our signature SAAM event, Standing Silent WitnessView details on all our SAAM events here!


Meet our new Board members

Resilience is thrilled to welcome two new members to our Board of Directors. Madeline Gryll and Kristen Lalowski are the newest members to join Resilience, and we're honored they're choosing to share their talents and shared passion for ending sexual violence with us. Welcome, Madeline and Kristen! To learn more about our Board of Directors, click here. If you are interested in joining Resilience's Board of Directors, please contact Amy O’Keeffe or Sarah Layden.

Madeline Gryll

Kristen Lalowski


Thank you to our April Partner of the Month!

Resilience proudly celebrates a new corporate partner each month. These partners' generous support allows Resilience to provide our programs and services completely free to the survivor. We send our gratitude to our April Partner of the Month, 2 A Billion. Bon Iver's 2 A Billion campaign selected Resilience to receive a $2,500 grant! This is the third year that the band has donated 5% of their annual publishing royalties to past 2AB partners. We are grateful for these partnerships that allow Resilience to expand our reach and impact in our community.

If you are interested in becoming a corporate partner of Resilience, please contact Amy O'Keeffe, Chief External Relations Officer and Interim Co-Director, at


Welcome new Associate Board members!

Resilience is thrilled to welcome new members to our Associate Board: Osman Aijazi, Josephine Cahill, Andrea Crosser, Jillian Furey, Nikki Naglich, and Courtney Wells.

The Resilience Associate Board is an inclusive group that supports the work of Resilience while having fun together. They plan events like Cocktails for a Cause and the Empowerment 5K. Interested in Joining? The application process includes an online application and in-person interview. Learn more about the Associate Board here. Thank you to the Associate Board for all your hard work and welcome to all our new members! We're honored to have you.

Community Accountability: Supporting a Friend Who Has Caused Harm; Skills for Practicing Accountability with Someone Who Caused Harm (Virtual Workshop)

Thursday, April 13, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Nationally, there are more survivors than rapists in jail. Additionally, jails and prisons are also places where sexual violence occurs. Given this reality, join us to discuss and build accountability practices rooted in community. This workshop will help participants build practical skills to support friends and loved ones who have caused sexual violence. For more information, please contact Russell Dahlman at

The Zoom link will be sent out to attendees prior to the event. Learn more and register below!


Speaking of Survival: A Poetry Reading & Fundraiser – Virtual

Sunday, April 16, 3:00 p.m. C.T. (4:00 p.m. E.T.)

Speaking of Survival brings together eight poets, one literary journal, and one survivor-supporting nonprofit for a virtual event to share poetry, build community, and spark hope.

Held in April —  both National Poetry Month and Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month — Speaking of Survival is designed to give voice to survivorship through poetry; foster creative permission, inspiration, and collaboration; provide opportunities for fresh dialogue and deeper literary and broader community connections, particularly among those affected by sexual violence; and raise funds for Resilience in direct support of survivors of sexual violence in the Chicagoland area. Hosted virtually by Olney Magazine and Raegen Pietrucha to benefit Resilience, Speaking of Survival features writers, who will read, among other work, poetry they wrote on the many facets of sexual violence survivorship.


Breaking the Silence Cafe – Virtual

Thursday, April 20, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Breaking the Silence is a virtual open mic night for local Chicago artists to share their stories of survival and resistance through poetry, spoken word, and more. We encourage performers of all ages, languages, and backgrounds to stand up against sexual violence. Tickets are free, but we suggest a donation of $20 to support Resilience. Alternatively, please donate what you can! The Zoom link will be sent out to attendees prior to the event. We look forward to seeing you there!


Partners of Sexual Assault Survivors Workshop – Virtual

Monday, April 24, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

A free, two-hour workshop for partners of people who have experienced sexual violence, ages 18+, and all genders are welcome. Individuals, couples, or partner groups (survivors and non-survivors) are welcome and encouraged to attend. This workshop will give guidance on ways to support your partner, how to better respond to your partner’s needs, work through intimacy concerns, and process feelings. This group is for Illinois residents only.

Contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to join the workshop or with any questions.


Monthly Journaling and Meditation Group – Virtual

Fourth Wednesday of each month, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Next meeting on April 26)

A virtual space for survivors ages 18+ of sexual violence to process their trauma through journaling and guided meditation.

Contact Alexa Diego, LPC at to request the meeting link.


Standing Silent Witness – In Person

Friday, April 28, 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Daley Plaza (50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602) 

Join Resilience for our signature SAAM event! In a visual demonstration of the silencing of survivors, participants gather silently for one hour wearing t-shirts with stories and messages protesting sexual violence and rape culture. This powerful event includes community members, advocates, volunteers, and survivors amplifying stories that are too often ignored as a way to break the silence about sexual violence. This year we'll gather in person at Daley Plaza (50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602). Participants will be socially distanced during this outdoor event. Please join us at 11:45 a.m. to meet and organize before the demonstration begins at noon. At the end of that hour, we will break the silence by chanting messages of support. Come by Standing Silent Witness during a break in your day and stay as long as you are able. We invite participants to sit or stand for as long or short as they’d like. 

This event is free. Registration is encouraged but not mandatory to attend. Contact Lizzy Springer at with questions. We hope to see you there!

Join us for two t-shirt-making events before Standing Silent Witness!

Tonight, Wednesday, April 12, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., and Friday, April 28, 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Resilience Central Office, 180 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 600

Resilience is hosting two open studios to decorate t-shirts with stories and statements that bring awareness to sexual violence. These t-shirts are worn to display our messages against rape culture while we silently protest at our signature SAAM event Standing Silent Witness. T-shirts, materials, and examples will be provided. Attendees are not required to attend Standing Silent Witness to participate in the open studios, all are welcome to create with us. Breakfast will be provided at the April 28 open studio, and we will walk together from the Resilience office to Daley Plaza where Standing Silent Witness will begin at 12 p.m. Learn more and register below!


Crochet and Craft Group – Virtual

Monthly, every first Thursday, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. via Google Meet (Next meeting on May 4)

Join us for a monthly craft group focused on teaching crochet stitches and helping troubleshoot crochet issues. This group is also open to any crafter (knitting, sewing, painting, coloring, etc.) who would like to craft in a safe community space. This virtual group is open to all survivors of sexual violence ages 18+ who reside in Illinois.

To register, please contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at


Drag Bingo hosted by the Resilience Associate Board

Sunday, May 7, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

My Buddy's, 4416 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Join the Resilience Associate Board for a Drag Bingo event at My Buddy's! Tickets are $40 and include entertainment and five bingo cards. Additional bingo cards will be $5 and we'll have a 50/50 raffle as well. $1 from every drink sold during the event will be donated to Resilience! Click below to learn more and register.


Women of Color Support Group – Virtual

Wednesdays, May 17 through June 18, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

This group encourages healing through shared experience as well as exploration of both individual and systemic trauma at the intersection of race and gender. Topics will be chosen by group members and may include racial identity, survivorship, and building community support. This group is for Illinois residents only.

Please contact Reneé Miranda-Beristain at for more information and to complete an assessment.


Crochet and Mindfulness Workshop – Virtual

Monday, May 22, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

A free two-hour virtual workshop teaching entry-level crochet skills as well as mindfulness techniques, for survivors of sexual violence. No disclosures about experiences are required, however, group participants are welcome to discuss this if they wish to. Materials needed: One crochet hook, size 5mm or 5.5mm; one ball of yarn, medium weight (size 4). Free materials are available for those in need (must contact us at least 5 days in advance of the event).

Please contact the group leader Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to participate and inquire about materials.


40-Hour Confidential Advisor Training – Virtual

June 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 15, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

This training provides an in-depth examination of how sexual violence impacts individuals, communities, and broader society within the higher education context. Participants will be equipped to support survivors, and all survivors should be able to count on trustworthy, specialized institutional responses. CEUs are available.

Contact Jenna Barrus at with questions. Learn more and register below.


The Associate Board Empowerment 5K

Saturday, June 10, 8:30 a.m.

Burnham Park (1199 E Oakwood Blvd, Chicago, IL 60653) 

Resilience's Associate Board will be hosting the second annual Empowerment 5K on Saturday, June 10! Save the date and join us as we walk, run, and roll to support survivors during this active and social fundraiser. This is a family- and dog-friendly event for walkers and runners of all levels. Participants will receive a t-shirt and other swag at the finish line! Registration is open! Get your tickets now before our early bird sale ends on April 30. 


Communication with Partners Around Intimacy Workshop – Virtual

Monday, June 12, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Participants will learn techniques for communicating with partners related to intimacy, including: boundaries, asking for what you need, starting the conversation, and more. This free workshop is open to survivors of sexual violence ages 18+ who reside in Illinois.

Contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to join or with any questions.


Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education – Virtual

Friday, June 30, 9:00 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

This training is intended for higher education professionals involved in providing student survivor support or responding to student disclosures of sexual or domestic violence. Suggested participants are Confidential Advisors, Student Conduct and Student Counseling Services. This training does not provide comprehensive review or guidance on updated Title IX procedures; however, Title IX Coordinators are also encouraged to attend.

Contact Jenna Barrus at with questions.


Evening of Impact 2023

Thursday, September 28, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Galleria Marchetti (825 W. Erie St, Chicago, IL 60642)

Please save the date for Resilience’s Evening of Impact! This event will include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dinner, music, an inspiring program, a one-of-a-kind silent auction, raffle prizes, and more! By supporting Evening of Impact, you support Resilience’s mission to empower survivors and end sexual violence. For more information about becoming a sponsor, please contact Amy O’Keeffe at More details coming soon and registration will open soon!


Get connected to Resilience's Trauma Therapy services

Resilience offers free, time-limited, individual Trauma Therapy as well as support groups and workshops. Our current estimated wait time is up to two months. Our individual therapy is limited to 20 sessions, while groups and workshops are unlimited as long as you are living in the state of Illinois. Reach out to our main office at (312) 443-9603 or to our Trauma Intervention Specialist, Alexa Diego at to be added to our trauma therapy waitlist.

You can learn more about Resilience's Trauma Therapy services here. You can also view our current listings of therapy workshops and group therapy sessions.


Join the Resilience team, we're hiring

Resilience is looking for new staff to join our team in our mission of empowering survivors and ending sexual violence. The following positions are currently open: 

Apply today! To learn more about careers at Resilience, click here. Do you know someone who might be a good fit for one of these positions? Send them this email!


Get Connected with Resilience's Remote Services

Click here to connect with an Advocate
Please fill out this form to be contacted by a trauma therapist to schedule or confirm a one-time virtual session
Contact us to join our waitlist for free individual sessions of trauma therapy


Click here to visit our Information on Survivor Options and Rights Page
Click here to visit our COVID-19 Resource Page

180 N. Michigan Ave. Suite 600 | Chicago, Illinois 60601
312-443-9603 |

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