War has been raging in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and women are caught in the crosshairs. Since the 1990s, militias have been fighting over the region’s rich, lucrative natural resources. Of their war tactics, rape runs rampant and is strategically used to devastate communities by tearing families apart and forcing victims to flee. Enter City of Joy, a leadership center dedicated to serving survivors of rape and gender violence. Here, women learn to not only face, but also embrace, their unspeakable stories. In one of the most dangerous parts of the world, these survivors study their rights as women and practice self-defense techniques to protect themselves from future threats. When they let go of the guilt they carry from their attacks and regain the self-worth of which they’ve been unfairly stripped, they will return home to be the leaders their communities so desperately need. City of Joy sheds light on the unbelievably resilient women left in a war’s destructive path. No longer living in fear, they are demanding our attention.
Elizabeth Bach-Van Valkenburgh, MASSA, LISW-S
Madeleine Gavin, Director, City of Joy
Kirsti Mouncey, LISW-S, LCDCIII
Christine Schuler Deschryver, Director,V-Day Congo and City of Joy
This conversation will be moderated by WVIZ/PBS ideastream Reporter/Producer Marlene Harris Taylor.