Message from the Executive Director

Dear Friend,

I am excited to be writing to you today as I begin my second month as Resilience’s newest Executive Director. My name is Donna Jacobson, and I thank you for the warm welcome this community has given me during my transition into this role. I come to Resilience with decades of experience in social services, including as a social worker and as an Executive Director. I am truly honored to be in this role with an organization whose values and mission speak so deeply to the work I love to do. I look forward to forging relationships with you, our community, in the coming months.

As we commence the first few weeks of Fiscal Year 2024, I am thrilled to welcome new and returning members of our Board of Directors. Please read our latest interview with Jon Center, our new Board President, below to learn more about what our Board of Directors will be focusing on and diving into later this year.

I would also like to acknowledge that July is Disability Pride Month. Bodily autonomy, empowerment, and accessible choices lie at the intersection of disability justice and ending sexual violence. Resilience continues to work towards making our services as accessible as possible to fit the wide variety of needs of our clients, staff, and volunteers. We know that people with disabilities are often targeted because of their disabilities, and then not believed because of them. We must come together in this work to center the margins of survivorship. Together, we can dismantle ableism and end sexual violence. 

I look forward to connecting with you in the coming months ahead. In the meantime, take care and enjoy your summer!

With gratitude,

Donna Jacobson

Executive Director



Our Resilience Spotlight: Interview with Jon Center

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 Jon Center, President of Resilience's Board of Directors. Read our interview below to hear from Jon about the work he’s done with Resilience over the past four years and what he’s looking forward to in Resilience’s new fiscal year.


Welcome Resilience's FY24 Board of Directors and Associate Board

We're thrilled to introduce our Board and Associate Board for Fiscal Year 2024! Thank you to all members of our Board of Directors and Associate Board for your involvement and dedication to Resilience's mission and vision. Your work is deeply appreciated by our staff, clients, and community!

Resilience’s Board of Directors is a critical component of our work to ensure that survivors of sexual assault are treated with dignity and compassion and to affect changes in the way the legal system, medical institutions, and society as a whole respond to survivors. Would you like to contribute your skills and perspective to the leadership of a valued Chicago non-profit? Learn more about our Board of Directors here.

The Resilience Associate Board is an inclusive group that supports the work of Resilience while having fun together. Associate Board members make a two-year commitment, attend quarterly meetings, and join a committee that meets monthly to work on specific projects in support of Resilience. Learn more about our Associate Board here. We're pleased to welcome two new members to the Associate Board, Yeonju Ahn and Samantha Dickens.

FY24 Board of Directors 

Jonathan Center, President

Sarah Wallace, Vice President

Gene Halleran, Treasurer

Mark Cohen, Secretary

Lucero Castellanos

Dr. Crystal T. Clark, MD, MSc

Nicolette Freeman

Brian Greenberg

Madeline Gryll

Kristen Lalowski, RN

Kate Meyer

Kate Migon

Dr. Swathi Mothkur, MD

Lauren Pesa

Saarah Ahmad Shaikh

FY24 Associate Board

Andrea King, President

Mina Sabet, Vice President

Mary Wozniak, Treasurer

Amanda Robert, Secretary

Jennifer Zale, Fundraising Chair

Jillian Furey, Fundraising Co-Chair

Nicki Schiller, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Co-Chair

Yeonju Ahn
Osman Aijazi
Stephanie Brown
Josephine Cahill
Andrea Crosser
Samantha Dickens
Leigh Hare
Sarah E. King
Ashlee Krawczyk
Megan Lawlor
Somin Lee
Ting Lin
Farrah Malik
Bobby Mannis
Michelle D. Morrow, Ed.D
Hannah Muerhoff
Alexandra Musgrove
Nicole Naglich
Maliha Sayla
Naomi Thornton
Sadie Tournour
Courtney Wells


Apply for the Survivor Fund - Emergency Cash Assistance

The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence established the Survivor Crisis Fund to address critical gaps in the safety net for survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking. The Survivor Crisis Fund is a one-time $1,000 payment for survivors of all forms of gender-based violence. This fund is the largest emergency cash assistance program for survivors funded by a municipal government in the country. It will reach over 5,000 survivors and seeks to provide support, safety, and stability in the lives of survivors and their families. The basic eligibility to receive funding is that you are a victim/survivor of domestic violence, sexual abuse, stalking and/or human trafficking. 

The application portal is temporarily closed, but you can click below to provide your contact information if you would like to be notified when it will open again.


We appreciate our Volunteer Medical Advocates!

Resilience Volunteer Medical Advocates celebrate at Volunteer Appreciation Night

On June 28, we celebrated our incredible Volunteer Medical Advocates at Resilience's Volunteer Appreciation Night! This community gathered at The Long Room in Logan Square for a night of food, drinks, socializing, and gratitude for the amazing work they do. To our volunteers: thank you for your dedication, compassion, and generously spending your time and energy being a vital resource for survivors navigating the aftermath of violence. We can't do this work without you! 

Resilience is always looking for our next class of Volunteer Medical Advocates! You can apply to our fall volunteer training now. The training will take place October 16, 17, 19, 23, 24, 26, 30, November 1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, and 16 between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Are you interested in becoming a Volunteer Medical Advocate later in the year? Keep an eye out for more info on our winter training session. Please reach out to us at with questions! Learn more about our volunteer program here.


Sending our gratitude to our Foundation Partners

We are so grateful for the support we receive from our foundation partners, especially in the past few months as we readjust our budget to make up for VOCA funding cuts. We'd like to thank Chicago Foundation for Women for the $20,000 grant we received from them. Additionally, thank you to the DRW Foundation for the $25,000 grant we received from them. Our foundation partners allow our programs and services to flourish!

Resilience is also honored to be awarded a grant through the city to provide prevention education services, specifically through the city's Gender-Based Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention Education Programming. This grant will support all our prevention services for students ages 15 and up. We thank these partners for their generosity and dedication to ending sexual violence! We cannot do this work without them.


Seeking participants for Common Thread project with Black Sheep Collective

Black Sheep Collective is asking survivors from all walks of life to participate in the Common Thread project by parting ways with any clothing items or textiles they may carry that are connected to their experience with sexual violence. Inspired by the founder's experience surviving sexual assault, Common Thread will display the diversity of experiences, emotions, struggles, and triumphs that survivors of sexual violence carry each day. Black Sheep Collective invites survivors from all walks of life to be the subjects of our portrait series. Each of the survivors will be asked to contribute to our Survivors’ Quilt to commemorate all those who have experienced sexual violence, sexual harassment and/or sexual misconduct. 


Thank you to our July 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 survivors. We send our gratitude to our July Partner of the Month, My Buddy's. My Buddy's hosted a Drag Bingo event in May with a portion of proceeds donated to Resilience, and they also hosted their monthly Women Empowering Women Tasting event last month to benefit Resilience. 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 Miranda Ehmke, Interim Director of Development, at

Trauma Therapy Support Groups & Workshops

All Gender Intimacy After Assault Support Group (Virtual) – Wednesdays, July 12 – September 13, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. This psychoeducation support group will be a blend of teaching skills to become more comfortable with sexual intimacy after assault, explore how to communicate intimacy needs and boundaries, and be a safe space to share experiences and get peer support. To register, contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to schedule a screening.

Queer Survivors Support Group (Virtual) – Mondays, July 17 – October 2, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. (skipping August 4, September 4, and September 11) This support group is for all queer persons, ages 18+, who have experienced sexual violence. We will address participant-requested topics with a focus on empowerment. To register, contact Katie Kirshenbaum, LSW, at

Partners of Sexual Assault Survivors Workshop (Virtual) – Thursday, July 27, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Couples and partner groups are welcome! This workshop will give guidance on ways to support your partner, how to better respond to your partner's needs, work through sexual intimacy concerns, and process feelings. Contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to join the workshop or with any questions.

Survivors of Drug-Facilitated Sexual Violence Group (Virtual) – The second Monday of each month, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (Next meeting on August 14). This group is open to survivors who experienced drug or alcohol-facilitated sexual assault. The group will include open discussion to explore consent, memory loss, guilt, self-blame, and more. To register, contact Katie Kirshenbaum, LSW, at

Crochet & Mindfulness Workshop (Virtual) – Thursday, August 24, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. This two-hour virtual workshop will teach entry-level crochet skills as well as mindfulness techniques for survivors of sexual violence. Please contact the group leader, Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to participate and inquire about free materials for those in need.

Communication with Partners Around Intimacy Workshop (Virtual) – Thursday, September 21, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Participants will learn techniques for communicating with partners related to sexual intimacy, including boundaries, asking for what you need, starting the conversation, and more. Contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at to request to join or with any questions.

You can always visit our website to view the current listings of Trauma Therapy workshops and support groups.


Let's Talk About Sex Workshop (Virtual) – Wednesday, July 19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Join us for a virtual workshop that will provide you with introductory skills to navigate conversations about sex and Intimacy, pleasure inclusivity, queer sex and identities, kink, nonmonogamy, and more! Sliding scale pricing is available. 3 LCPC/LCSW CEU’s are available. Reach out to Jenna Barrus, Training and Outreach Manager, at with any questions.

You can always learn more about upcoming trainings or request a workshop on the RTI page of our website.


Join the Resilience team, apply for an open role or internship today!

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 and internships at Resilience, click here. Please share with your networks!


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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