Message from the Interim Director

Dear Friend,

June is a month of pride for Resilience. Not only do we celebrate and amplify the LGBTQ+ folks in our communities but also the historic holiday of Juneteenth. 

This attention goes beyond June for us. In our history as an organization LGBTQ+ staff, volunteers, clients, supporters, and community members have made some of the most meaningful contributions to our organization and work. Resilience provides more services to LGBTQ+ folks than any other rape crisis center in Illinois. 15% of our client population identifies as LGBTQ+. 

We are proud of our long history of LGBTQ+ leadership in programs and our organization. Resilience led the charge in integrating male-identified, trans, and gender-nonconforming folks onto the frontlines of our work when that was unheard of. Years later we are proud to say more than anything, survivors want support and compassion from first responders, which has no binary identity. There is much to celebrate — and advocate for— this Pride Month, and beyond. 

Next week, we are excited to celebrate Juneteenth. Our offices will be closed on Monday and we look forward to taking time to reflect on and celebrate this meaningful day in our nation's history. Juneteenth represents strength, hope, and progress, and it reminds us all of how we can continue to strive toward equality and change. We hope the day is full of celebrations, joy, culture, and pride. We also feel it’s a day to recommit to preventing and responding to sexual violence in ways that dismantle racism now and into the future. 

June is a month that reminds me that change is needed in order to evolve. As we celebrate progress this month, we welcome more change in the arrival of our new Executive Director, Donna Jacobson. I have been honored to serve our mission as your Interim Director throughout this transition and look forward to the possibilities the future holds through the process of change together.

Happy Pride and enjoy Juneteenth 2023. 

In solidarity always, 

Sarah Layden, Chief Operating Officer & Interim Director



Our Resilience Spotlight: Interview with Katie Kirshenbaum

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 Katie Kirshenbaum, a Resilience Trauma Therapist. Read our interview to hear from Katie about working with survivors in different roles, ways we can all support LGBTQ+ survivors, and more. Click the button below to read our interview with Katie.


VOCA Funding Cut Updates

Illinois Caucus Against Sexual Assault (ICASA) Update

Last month, ICASA released a statement and updated us that there will be no statewide relief for Illinois Rape Crisis Centers. “We are incredibly disappointed to see no change in the primary line item supporting statewide sexual assault services. These services are needed in every Illinois community, and this lack of increased funding will directly impact our ability to assist sexual assault survivors when we are needed most,” ICASA Chief Executive Officer, Carrie Ward, said. “We are clear that the state of Illinois did not cause the budget deficit faced by Illinois rape crisis centers, but the General Assembly was asked to help bridge the gap in funding that leaves sexual assault survivors, dedicated center staff, and Illinois communities in the lurch. For the last several years, federal funds have supported nearly two-thirds of statewide sexual assault services. An enhanced investment by the state is long overdue.”

Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact our officials about the budget, who helped us spread the word about these cuts, and who donated. Your efforts are deeply appreciated, and the fight is not over. We will keep our community updated on more action alerts with local, state, and federal government as this funding crisis and advocacy related to it is not over. 

How you can continue to help

  • Donate directly to Resilience today – any and every amount counts to help us help survivors in this time of need!
  • Encourage others in your community and network to donate to Resilience today.
  • Host your own fundraiser benefiting Resilience - virtually or in person! Click here to create a fundraiser page for Resilience and click here to learn more about all the ways you can give back to Resilience.
  • Keep spreading the word. Share information about the VOCA Funding Cuts to your own networks. Learn more about all the ways you can help with the VOCA Funding Cuts on our website. You'll find resources such as a downloadable VOCA flyerour VOCA Funding Cut FAQs, and more.

Thank you for your support during this volatile time. No matter what comes next, we will continue to serve survivors to the best of our abilities through all of our programming. Please reach out to Sarah Layden at for more information about VOCA Funding Cuts and more ways you can get involved.


Thank you for supporting the Empowerment 5K

Last Saturday our Associate Board hosted our second-annual Empowerment 5K! We were thrilled to walk, run, and roll with so many of you at the lakefront. It was a beautiful morning to gather with this community and come together to raise funds to support all of Resilience's services. We are thrilled that this event raised over $8,000! We can't thank you enough for showing up and supporting survivors. You can view photos from the Empowerment 5K here.

We send all of our gratitude to the Associate Board Empowerment 5K Planning Committee: Andrea King, Michelle Morrow, Hannah Muerhoff, Amanda Robert, Mina Sabet, Nicki Schiller, Courtney Wells, and Mary Wozniak. Thank you for putting on this fantastic event! Thank you to our incredible Empowerment 5K Sponsors! Sprint Level Sponsor: Pure Storage. Run Level Sponsor: McCorkle Litigation Services. Dash Level Sponsors: Mark & Laura Cohen, Mind Chicago, Pivot Psych Chicago. Jog Level Sponsors: Artful Framer Studios, Athletico Physical Therapy. In-Kind Sponsor: Right Way Signs. Graphic Design Sponsor: Pono Design.


Thank you to our June 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 June Partner of the Month, Rivendell Theater Ensemble. Rivendell partnered and raised money for Resilience on their production of MOTHERHOUSE, resulting in over $700 donated to us! In case you missed it, Rivendell is thrilled to announce a second extension of Tuckie White's MOTHERHOUSE - now running through June 25! 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


Join our summer volunteer training in July and August!

Resilience is always looking for our next class of Volunteer Medical Advocates! Applications for our summer training are open now. The application deadline for volunteers is Tuesday, June 20. The training will take place from Monday, July 17 through Thursday, August 17, on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 5:30 - 9:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Are you interested in becoming a Volunteer Medical Advocate later in the year? Join us for our training in the fall or winter. Please reach out to us at with questions! Learn more about our volunteer program here.

Trauma Therapy Support Groups & Workshops

Monthly Journaling and Meditation Group (Virtual) – The fourth Wednesday of each month, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Next meeting on June 28). A virtual space for survivors of sexual violence to process their trauma through journaling and guided meditation. To register, contact Alexa Diego, LPC at

Crochet and Craft Group (Virtual) – The first Thursday of each month, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. via Google Meet (Next meeting on July 6). 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. To register, contact Erica Hungerford, LPC, at

Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault Group (Virtual) – The second Monday of each month, beginning July 10, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. This group is open to survivors who experienced drug or alcohol-facilitated sexual assault; a person who was deliberately given substances without their permission, resulting in unwanted sexual harm; or a person who was otherwise unable to provide consent due to substances. The group will include open discussion to explore consent, memory loss, guilt, self-blame, and more. To register, contact Katie Kirshenbaum, LSW, at

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.

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


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.

60-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis Intervention Training (Virtual) – Monday, July 17 – Thursday, August 17 (Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays), 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. via Zoom

Participants will obtain foundational knowledge of sexual violence and rape culture and its impact on those who experience this type of victimization. Trainees will gain basic crisis intervention skills, explore the neurobiology of trauma and learn how to respond appropriately to disclosures. They will also learn about the legal and medical remedies available to survivors and explore how sexual violence impacts unique groups of survivors. The training will conclude with an emphasis on vicarious trauma and self-care and empower trainees with the resources they may need to share with survivors in their communities. The application deadline for volunteers is June 20. The application deadline for professionals is July 13Click here to apply (volunteers) or here to register (professionals).

Please contact McKenna Rogan, Advocacy Volunteer Supervisor, at with questions.

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.


Women Empowering Women Tasting benefitting Resilience

My Buddy's (4416 North Clark St., Chicago, IL 60640)

Wednesday, June 28, 6:00 p.m.

Join us at My Buddy’s for their monthly Women Empowerment Tasting night, showcasing female-owned breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Resilience is honored to be their nonprofit partner for June and will receive half of the proceeds raised from the night. There will be a tasting with a woman-owned liquor company from 6 – 7 p.m., and then an all-women comedy show from 7:30  8:45 p.m. Please join us for a lively evening of drinks, food, a raffle, and great company! Guests must be 21 or older to attend. Tickets are not required to attend. You can learn more and donate here or make a donation at the event.


Save the date for Evening of Impact 2023!

celebrating | socializing | fundraising | guest speakers | program | cocktails | dinner | silent auction | raffle prizes | awards | and more!

Join us for Resilience’s largest annual fundraising event on Thursday, September 28, 2023, 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. at  Galleria Marchetti (825 W. Erie St, Chicago, IL 60642). Supporters, donors, community partners, allies, staff, volunteers, and more come together to celebrate, socialize, and raise funds for Resilience. Join us at Evening of Impact to deepen your support for survivors and connect with a passionate community of people advocating and taking action to empower survivors and end sexual violence. Registration will open soon! Learn more on our website.

For more information about becoming a sponsor, please contact Miranda Ehmke at

Thank you to our Committee Co-Chairs: Lucero Castellanos and Maddie Gryll and our host committee members: Mark Cohen, Board Member, Kate Meyer, Board Member, Swathi Mothkur, Board Member, Kat Stabler, and Kelley Kitley.


Find OMMB at your favorite festival this summer

Our Music My Body (OMMB) is a campaign led by Resilience that was created to raise awareness about sexual harassment in the music scene. We do this work because we believe everyone deserves to feel comfortable and safe at concerts and festivals. Our Music My Body works with festival and venue staff, musicians, and music fans alike to create fun and consensual music experiences for all. Learn more on OMMB's website. OMMB is thrilled to return to Rudio Fest on August 19 and 20. Learn more and get tickets at


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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