"Untold Stories" Writing Workshop Helps Survivors Transform and Transcend

Faculty team up to foster healing through creative expression

On Oct. 5 and 6, Mount Mary University will host an intensive "Untold Stories" testimonial writing workshop with award-winning author R. Clifton Spargo and Anne Ream, author and founder of The Voices and Faces Project™, a digital documentary initiative that brings attention to the stories of survivors of sexual violence and trafficking.

The program gives pre‐selected survivors of sexual or domestic violence or human trafficking a creative and safe environment to develop their own work of poetry, short fiction, or prose. The "Untold Stories" workshop is the brain child of two Mount Mary professors - Rachel Monaco-Wilcox, chair of the Justice Department, and Ann Angel, English graduate program director. It is the first in a series of activities that focuses on how creativity can fuel social change for survivors of sexual violence and human trafficking.

According to Monaco-Wilcox, "Science has shown that writing, drawing or dancing your story is a very powerful healing tool for sexual violence survivors." Many of this year's "Untold Stories" workshop participants are from Sojourner Family Peace Center where Angel volunteered as a workshop leader for a summer series on Writing as Healing.

Hear more about the event on WUWM's Lake Effect.

About the Faculty
Monaco-Wilcox, a professor in the justice program, was named one of Milwaukee's "40 Under 40" by The Business Journal. She is active in the fight against human trafficking and sexual violence. In 2012, she established the university's first-ever, three-part writing and healing series "Untold Stories."

Angel, a professor of English, is an award-winning author. Her most recent book, Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing, was published in 2010. She's currently working on a new book about trafficking in collaboration with Monaco-Wilcox.