Be the Change Symposium - Preventing Sexual Violence in Philadelphia



Preventing Sexual Violence
in Philadelphia

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50th Anniversary Be The Change Symposium

Preventing Sexual Violence in Philadelphia

Join us for the Be the Change: Preventing Sexual Violence in Philadelphia Symposium on September 21, 2023, to commemorate 50 years of supporting survivors and to imagine the end of sexual violence in Philadelphia. This Symposium is free of charge.

Get ready to engage in meaningful conversations, gain valuable insights, and connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for making a difference. The symposium will kick off at 8 AM, so be sure to arrive early to secure your spot and enjoy breakfast.

Throughout the day, esteemed speakers from diverse backgrounds will share their experiences, ideas, and strategies for creating a world free from sexual violence. See below for topics and speakers.

Participate in interactive workshops, panel discussions, and a networking session to expand your knowledge and build lasting connections. Together, we can inspire change and take collective action toward a safer future for all Philadelphians.

Symposium Highlights and Topics include:

  • Breakfast Plenary: 6ABC’s Tamala Edwards will be joined by a group of speakers who will consider the movement to end Sexual Violence in Philadelphia then and now through the lens of WOAR at 50 years
  • Panel 1: Demystifying Human Trafficking in the City of Philadelphia
  • Panel 2: Beyond the Incident: The Impact of Economic, Housing, Health, and Other Insecurities on Healing from Sexual Trauma
  • 50th Anniversary Celebration Lunch and Keynote Speaker, Dr. Sandra L. Bloom: Breaking the Cycles of Trauma that Bind Our Communities in Violence
  • Panel 3: Trauma-Informed Care: Assessing and Integrating Physical and Mental Health Supports Following Sexual Trauma in Children and Adults
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Optional Session: WOAR LIVE ANNUAL REPORT featuring staff presenting on WOAR’s continuum of services offered to the Philadelphia community. Location: Stadium Classroom adjacent to Great Hall

We will be joined by internationally renowned experts committed to fighting sexual violence.

Our esteemed speakers include:
  • Sandra L. Bloom, MD Keynote Speaker — Board-Certified Psychiatrist, Founder of the Sanctuary Model® and Creating Presence, Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy at the Dornsife School of Public Health, Drexel University
  • Jannie Blackwell — former six-term City of Philadelphia Council Member and Advocate for Social Change
  • Susan DelMaestro, PhD — Clinical Psychologist, Trauma Specialist, and Director of Psychology Internship and Residency Programs, Crescenz VA Medical Center
  • Tamala Edwards – 6ABC News Anchor
  • Amber Goltz – Human Trafficking Specialist at WOAR
  • Indira M. Henard, DSW, MSW – Executive Director of DC Rape Crisis Center
  • Leah Hynansky – Member, Advisory Council for The Salvation Army’s New Day to Prevent Trafficking
  • Alexis Krieger – FBI Victim Specialist
  • Sakinah Love, MA, PhD – Founder and Executive Director of Redeemed for a Cause, Adjunct Professor of Human Services, Rowan University
  • Omar Martinez, JD, MPH, MS — Associate Professor, Population Health Sciences Department, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida, and Director of the Implementation Science Research Lab
  • Florence Momplaisir, MD, MSHP – Assistant Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Roz Pichardo – Founder of Operation Save Our City, Cease Fire PA’s Invest in Safer Communities Coordinator
  • Lauren Realberg — Deputy City Solicitor Child Welfare Unit, City of Philadelphia
  • Shea Rhodes — Co-founder and Director of the CSE Institute at Villanova Widner School of Law
  • Willamette Simmons, PsyD, MBA – Licensed Psychologist and owner of IPCS Wellness
  • Carol Tracy — Women’s Law Project
  • Elizabeth Van Nostrand, BA, JD — Associate Professor of Health Services Administration and Policy, Graduate Programs Director
  • Carolina Villamil-Grest, MSW, PhD – Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Temple University, College of Public Health

WOAR at 50

In 1973, a group of concerned Philadelphians united to support survivors of sexual violence, and in doing so created WOAR, one of the first rape crisis centers in America.

WOAR – Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence is part of a constellation of partners throughout Philadelphia that form a safety net for survivors of sexual violence. In our 50 years, WOAR has expanded to offer a continuum of services, from our 24/7 hotline to crisis support, counseling to trauma-focused therapy, court advocacy to community outreach, and a range of educational and training services focused on preventing violence.

WOAR’s vision, 50 years ago and today, remains focused on a common and urgent aspiration: to end sexual violence and break the cycles of abuse that enable and perpetuate it in Philadelphia.