2018 Speakers

 
 
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sarah bessey

Advocate | Writer | Speaker

Sarah Bessey is the author of the best-selling and critically acclaimed books Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith and Jesus Feminist. She is a sought-after speaker at churches, conferences, and universities around the world. She also serves as the President of the Board for Heartline Ministries in Haiti. Sarah lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada with her husband and their four children.

Twitter: @sarahbessey 
Website: www.sarahbessey.com


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DONNA COLETRANE BATTLE

Advocate | Preacher | Coach

Donna Coletrane Battle, PhD, is a native of Yanceyville, NC and is currently the Chaplain at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. She previously served as the Executive Pastor of The Way Christian Center in Berkeley California, as well as a Life Coach and Associate Dean of the Chapel at Shaw University.

For the past thirteen years Donna has been engaging and facilitating groups in the areas of building healthy relationships, identity, cultivating ethics, values, diversity, conflict resolution, and justice. She is married to Dedrick Nathaniel Battle and together they have two tremendously terrific children: Caio, 6, and Coletrane, 2. Meditating, spending time with her family, reading, movies, counseling, preaching and teaching are among Donna’s greatest joys in life.

Twitter: @DCBattle


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JULES WOODSON

Survivor | Advocate

Jules Woodson is a Christian, mother, flight attendant, survivor and advocate. In early January 2018, inspired by the #Metoo  and #Churchtoo movements, she bravely shared her story online about being sexually assaulted by her youth minister when she was a minor. Her story, and the response from the church, made international news. By coming forward and speaking out, Jules hopes to inspire, encourage, and empower other victims of abuse. Jules also hopes to use the platform she has been given to raise awareness and motivate culture change in how the Church handles sexual abuse.

Twitter: @juleswoodson11 


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SHANITA S. BROWN

Advocate | Adjunct Professor | Licensed Counselor | Speaker | Consultant

Shanita Brown, PhD, is an intimate partner violence scholar, advocate, speaker, and consultant. She received her PhD in Counselor Education & Counseling from North Carolina State University. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate and National Certified Counselor. Her research, service, and clinical expertise embodies an intersectional approach to various forms of intimate partner violence experiences of women and girls of color, faith/spirituality, mental health wellness, multicultural/social justice counseling and adolescence. She has authored scholarly publications and professional presentations related to her expertise. Dr. Brown seeks to educate, empower and inspire the next generation of advocates to create positive change.

Twitter:  @DrSBrown


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MONICA DAYE

Advocate | Founder of STANDUP- SPEAK OUT

Monica Daye is the voice of many silent whispers. A leader, advocate, poet, women’s activist and founder of StandUp-SpeakOut of North Carolina, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that specializes in servicing children who are exposed to domestic violence and sexual abuse with the assistance of Art Therapy.

A native of Durham, North Carolina, Daye holds a Master of Science in Human Service Counseling and is Board Certified Practitioner for the National Organization for Human Services. She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Psychology in 2012. Daye offers over ten years of experience working with mental health clients and victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. As a certified Victim Service Provider, Daye continues her studies in the holistic approaches to healing, offering hope and resiliency through teaching individuals about Healing Through Arts and the powerful transformation of Expressive Art Therapy.

Twitter: @SUSONC  
Website: susonc.org


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BOZ TCHIVIDJIAN

Advocate | Law Professor | Founder & Director of G.R.A.C.E.

Boz Tchividjian is a former child abuse prosecutor who currently teaches Child Abuse and the Law and several other courses at Liberty University School of Law.  As division chief, Professor Tchividjian was personally responsible for prosecuting hundreds of cases of child sexual abuse. He is the founder and executive director of G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). G.R.A.C.E. is an organization that educates and equips faith communities to correctly respond to sexual abuse disclosures, while also providing practical guidance on how to protect children and serve survivors. Tchividjian is the third eldest grandchild of Reverend Billy Graham and co-author of Thank You, Billy, and The Child Safeguarding Policy for Churches and Ministries.

Twitter: @BozT 
Website: netgrace.org


JOHN PAVLOVITZ

Advocate | Pastor | Writer

John Pavlovitz is a pastor, writer, and activist from Wake Forest, North Carolina. In the past four years his blog "Stuff That Needs To Be Said" has reached a diverse, worldwide audience. A 20-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John is committed to equality, diversity, and justice—both inside and outside faith communities. 

He is the author of A Bigger Table, and his new book Hope and Other Superpowers arrives in November 2018.

Twitter: @johnpavlovitz


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DIANNE DARR COUTS

Advocate | President of MK Safety Net

Dianne Couts serves as President of MK Safety Net, an organization that understands the unique aspects of the Missionary Kid (MK) experience and offers support for MKs on their healing journeys.

As a nine-year-old, Dianne was sexually abused in West Africa by a missionary colleague of her parents. She and her brothers also attended Mamou Alliance Academy and are featured in the documentary about abuse, entitled "All God’s Children."

Dianne is a retired French and English teacher. She and her husband Bud, a retired minister, have three married children and six grandchildren.

Twitter: @MkSafetyNet
Website: http://www.mksafetynet.org/


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CHARLES L. BAILEY, JR.

Survivor | Advocate | Author | Speaker

Charles L. Bailey, Jr.  is a 67-years young, happily married husband to Susan for 46 years, father of four, and grandfather of ten. Charles lectures at least once a year at Wake Tech in their Crisis Intervention Course, and answers the phone at a national hotline for sexually abused persons three days a week. Along with leading support groups, Charles is a published author whose book—In the Shadow of the Cross—won an honorable mention at both the London and Los Angeles Book Festivals and was requested by the Vatican for educational information. 

Twitter: @Author_ITSOTC
Website: intheshadowofthecross.com


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DEE PARSONS

Advocate | Writer and Co-creator of The Wartburg Watch

Dee Parsons is a wife, mother, blogger, victims' advocate and a new Lutheran who holds a BSN and MBA. Dee primarily worked in public health nursing and spent two years on the Navajo Reservation. During that time, Dee encountered a fair number of abuse and neglect clients in her early nursing career.

Dee Parsons launched The Wartburg Watch with her best friend after they observed Dee's former Southern Baptist Church mishandle a pedophile situation. Deciding to focus primarily on abuse in the evangelical church, Dee thought no one would ever read their articles. Sadly, Dee has never been without material to write about, as there is far more abuse in the Church than anyone could have imagined.

The Wartburg Watch tells the stories few people wanted to hear before #MeToo, and has always supported those who have been abused. Dee hopes by providing information on the Church's many misdeeds that church-goers would be empowered and equipped to recognize and avoid abusive churches and church leaders.

Twitter: @wartwatch 
Website: thewartburgwatch.com


Linda Kay Klein

Linda Kay Klein

Advocate | Author | Speaker

Linda Kay Klein is the author of the upcoming book, PURE: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free (Touchstone; September 2018)—a potent combination of journalism, cultural commentary, and memoir.

inda is the founder of the organization Break Free Together and a trained OWL sexuality educator. Her work has been highlighted on the TEDx stage and at major gatherings such as the 92Y’s SHE Summit and the Apollo’s Women of the World Festival. She holds an interdisciplinary master’s degree from NYU, where she focused on American Evangelical sex and gender education.


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Angie Devone

Advocate | Author | Speaker

Angie Devone is the author of Reclaiming Your Life and Spirit After the Bond Breaks (2013), based on her testimony of reemerging from divorce with dignity and faith.

A certified nursing assistant, phlebotomist, and Notary Public, Angie’s mission is to empower, encourage, and inspire others with the lessons she has learned through her life. One of Angie’s favorite self-penned mantras, “Never lower your standards for someone who is unwilling to raise their own.”

Outside her advocacy, Angie’s passion includes gardening, jazz concerts, traveling, exploring museums, and home staging and design. College basketball is her favorite sport and Angie is an avid fan of The UNC Tarheels. Angie has three grown sons and a dog, Coco.

Twitter: @angiedevone1
Facebook: encourage.empower


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Gricel Medina

Advocate | Pastor | Speaker

Gricel Medina is a pastor, speaker, writer, and advocate who has planted three churches and leads a prayer movement for the MidSouth Conference. An ordained pastor through the Evangelical Covenant Church, Gricel was the first Hispanic to be Chairperson of the ECC commission on Biblical Gender Equality (CBGE). In that role, Gricel developed leadership development material and has contributed numerous writings on the affirmation of women in all areas of leadership within the Church. Pastor Medina has written for several widely distributed Spanish and English magazines, devotionals, and blogs, including Covenant Companion. She is a regular writer for the award-winning magazine, Mutuality, and the CBE blog Arise.

As a tenacious leadership and community developer, Gricel’s work has impacted public and Christian education, court systems and Washington, D.C. Pastor Medina was most recently the headline speaker for CBE International Conference in Orlando, Florida, where she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for her advocacy for women at all levels of leadership in and outside the Church.

Twitter: @pastorgricel