EVENT CO-CHAIRS: Carla Cline and Ronnie Berg
UNDERWRITING CHAIR: Mary Blake Meadows
RAFFLE CHAIR: Mary Black
Thank you so much to all of you who supported this year's luncheon on April 3, 2013. Because of your generosity, we raised a record-breaking amount to provide hope and healing to the most severely abused children in Dallas County. The work we do would not be possible without your support. On behalf of our staff, partners, and the children we serve, thank you.
Ashley Judd shared with us her beautiful story of hope and healing, reminding us that healing from trauma is a process. She gave us insights into her lifelong struggle with matching up what she appeared to be on the outside with her deep feelings of despair on the inside. She described with tenderness how she moved through, and continues to move through, her recovery from childhood neglect and sexual abuse, demonstrating that it is possible to be both simultaneously empowered and vulnerable.
She described lovingly those who she considered "angels" along her path to recovery who gave her strength, support and hope, allowing her to unburden herself from the pain that had been locked away for so long. Ms. Judd reflected on the importance of seemingly small acts or interactions with others that she experienced during her darkest moments that gave her courage and strength to continue.
She eloquently provided a deep connection from her story to ours, noting that the work of the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center is vital to supporting our young clients on their paths to healing. Ms. Judd gave a special thanks to our donors who supported the capital campaign, explaining that as she toured our facility, she received an answer to an early and painful question she often asked herself as a child. That question, during her loneliest and most desperate times as a 'lost child' was this: "Where is everyone?" The signs throughout our building, she said, listing donors' names, made a strong statement to children - "We are right here."
During her extensive tour of our Center, she expressed a true understanding of the unique model of our agency, that of pulling together all of the critical resources and components to help children through their trauma, with everyone focused on the best interests of the child. She later Tweeted to her followers that the Children's Advocacy Center movement has "revolutionized the response to care for abused children" and encouraged all of her followers to join her, and us, to "Stand Up for Children at www.istandup.org."
We were all moved by Ms. Judd's gentle, yet powerful words and presence. We are forever grateful to her that she has chosen to use her celebrity to draw attention to this important work.
See early photos from the event on our Facebook page
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Ashley Tyler Judd is an 8th generation Eastern Kentuckian and a celebrated, acclaimed actress. She has starred in 20 films, both box office hits and independent gems, in Broadway productions, and, most recently, on ABC's drama Missing. Judd's many film titles include Ruby in Paradise, which won the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury prize, Bug, Come Early Morning, Double Jeopardy, Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, De-Lovely, Frida, Simon Birch, A Time to Kill, and Where the Heart Is.
In addition to acting, Judd is also a dedicated humanitarian. Her work as an advocate and activist dates to her undergraduate years at the University of Kentucky. At present, she serves on the Board of Directors of Population Services International, Defenders of Wildlife, and Shaker Village. She has traveled around the world, visiting grassroots programs that focus on poverty alleviation, public health, human rights, and social justice. Her advocacy work includes: giving the keynote address on the modern slave trade to the 2008 General Assembly of the United Nations; testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the urgent need to prevent the spread of HIV to girls and women; and serving as an expert panelist/moderator at the Clinton Global Initiative, the Women Deliver Conference, the International AIDS conference, the Global Business Coalition to stop HIV, TB, and Malaria, and the National Press Club. Judd is a graduate of the University of Kentucky's Honors Program and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
In 2006, Judd attended an intensive in-patient treatment program to begin to heal from unresolved childhood grief that manifested as depression and codependency. She rejoices in a recovering way of life and sharing her experience, strength, and hope. In 2011, Judd released All That is Bitter and Sweet, a memoir recounting her journey from left-behind lost child to dedicated advocate. In telling her story, she resoundingly answers the ineffable question about the relationship between healing oneself and healing others. Judd resides in Tennessee and Scotland with her husband, Indy Racing League and Indy 500 Champion Dario Franchitti.