Former NFL player and actor Terry Crews will join a group of celebrities and activists for a 20th anniversary celebration of Chicago-based PAVE, a non-profit dedicated to ending sexual violence and uplifting survivors.
The event, called RISING, will take place at Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg, IL, a suburb of Chicago, on July 11th. It will start at 5:00 pm CST (3:00 pm PST) and will be available to stream anywhere.
Terry Crews, who will headline the event with PAVE founder Angela Rose, gained significant media attention at the height of the #MeToo Movement in 2017 when he revealed that he had been groped by a Hollywood executive at a party in 2016. For his vulnerability and activism, he was recognized as one of the “Silence Breakers” named as the Time Person of the Year in 2017.
Since this event falls right on the heels of former comedian and convicted rapist Bill Cosby’s release from prison, it is likely that this will be top of mind for those speaking at the event. Cosby spent three years in prison for drugging and raping Andrea Constand and was released on June 30th.
“It’s a very triggering time for survivors,” said Crews. “Bill Cosby’s release from prison was a triggering event, even for me, because you start to wonder whether it’s worth coming forward about your harassment and abuse. But I’m here to tell you that it is.”
PAVE supported Constand during the trials against Cosby and led the campaign to revoke Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom that was awarded to him in 2002.
RISING’s other confirmed speakers include (but are not limited to) talk show host Whitney Reynolds, actress Esme Bianco and model Tess Holliday.
The date chosen for the event also comes two days before the 25th anniversary of Rose’s own highly-publicized kidnapping and sexual assault in Schaumburg in 1996.
“This event is so important because every person knows a survivor of sexual assault, yet it is the most under-reported crime and many people suffer in silence,” Rose told MUSE TV. “We want all survivors of trauma to know that they are not alone and PAVE is here for you! Your voice matters. Your story matters. You matter – and it’s not your fault.”