Our Start By Believing Panel last week was a thought-provoking and interesting event. Special thanks to our speakers who each brought their unique insights to the issue of sexual assault response and prosecution (left to right):
- Sarah Colford is a Board Member and Moderator for Break the Silence. She is also a survivor. Break the Silence works to support survivors of sexual violence by striving to end rape culture and hold perpetrators accountable.
- Jennifer Bjorhus is an Investigative Reporter for The Star Tribune. Originally a business reporter, in recent years Jennifer has begun focusing on criminal justice issues. Her recently published “Denied Justice” series examines how Minnesota’s criminal justice system often fails victims of rape and sexual assault.
- Commissioner Paul Schnell has held positions as Carver County Sheriff’s Deputy, in the Saint Paul Police Department, as Police Chief in Hastings and Chief of Police for Inver Grove Heights. His work in the SPPD included patrol officer, patrol sergeant, sex crimes & family violence investigator, public information officer, training officer, and crisis negotiator. From 2014 to June 2017, Paul served on the Minnesota Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Board.
- Nicole Matthews is Anishinabe from the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, and is the Executive Director for Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition, where she has been since 2002 and serves as Executive Director. She was one of five researchers who interviewed 105 Native women used in prostitution and trafficking for their report: Garden of Truth: The Prostitution and Trafficking of Native Women in Minnesota.
- John Choi is the Ramsey County Attorney. Both as Saint Paul City Attorney and in his current role as County Attorney, John's innovative approach to holding abusers accountable, while working collaboratively with advocacy agencies to help victims has transformed the way government intervenes in domestic violence and sex trafficking situations.
Also, a huge thank you to our volunteers and partners in coordinating the event: League of Women Voters - Dakota County
and Saint Paul Neighborhood Network
Watch The Event
If you missed the live event, there are still opportunities to learn. SPNN will be rebroadcasting the event on Channel 19 on the following dates and times:
- Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
- Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.
- Friday, February 1, 2019 at 9:00 p.m.
- Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.
- Sunday, February 3, 2019 at 10:30 p.m.
We hope you find the program informative.
*Photo courtesy of Kathy Defoe.