30 min

The Power of Untold Stories (with Rachel Monaco-Wilcox‪)‬ Human Powered

    • Documentary

*A head’s up that this episode contains discussion of sexual assault and human trafficking. If this doesn't feel like the right time to listen, we invite you to check out the resources below and hope you'll tune in next month for the next episode of Human Powered.* Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Rachel Monaco-Wilcox understands this. She founded LOTUS, a free victim rights legal clinic, and Untold Stories, a writing and art-making workshop for survivors of human trafficking. In this episode, we talk with Rachel about her work, as well as participants of the workshop who carry the torch and share their stories so that others may find their own way. Rachel is one of those people who blazes new trails, but she does not walk alone. She brings others along to find beauty, courage, and strength within themselves. The Untold Stories writers workshop and survivor empowerment program is nationally recognized for its innovative approach that combines art therapy, creative writing, and law to help survivors process their trauma, reclaim their autonomy, and emerge with a sense of purpose and strength. To learn more about Lotus Legal Clinic and its Survivor Empowerment programming, please visit lotuslegal.org. Every year, pre-COVID, they host a spring showcase with workshop participants. Wisconsin Humanities is proud to have supported this project for many years through our grant program. Check out this short video from the 2018 event. Some of the artwork and writing from the program is published in magazines, available from the website here. Additionally, the Untold Stories 2020 Interactive Gallery and a series of videos bring these works to life. It's important to know your rights. This document from LOTUS Legal Clinic provides Victim & Witness Rights in Wisconsin. The voices in this episode: Rachel Monaco-Wilcox is an artist, lawyer, mentor, teacher, and consultant. Her work has served marginalized and exploited people (elders, those with special needs, and victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation or assault).  Merging the power of the humanities with legal and social justice has been her unique professional niche. Rachel is the founder of LOTUS Legal Clinic, teaches Art Therapy doctoral students, and has a private practice in Trusts and Estates. In 2021 she founded a small publishing company called Minerva Press, LLC. She is also an accomplished ultramarathoner and raises Vizslas. Read Rachel's Love Wisconsin story here. Traci Powell lives in Orlando where she is a writer and psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner offering counseling to other survivors. She is working to start an Untold Stories program in Orlando. Lisa McCormick is a mother and parent advocate. She served on a task force with former Governor Scott Walker to help end trafficking in Wisconsin. Austin M. Reece is Director of Survivor Empowerment at LOTUS Legal Clinic, Lecturer in Philosophy at Mount Mary University, and a poet. At LOTUS Legal he develops and implements trauma-informed, humanities-based educational programming for survivors of sexual violence and human trafficking, and edits Untold Stories, a literary magazine that publishes survivor writings alongside visual art responses. His poems and essays have recently appeared in Crannóg, Rise & Thrive, The Milwaukee Independent, Bramble, and Coffin Bell, among others.

*A head’s up that this episode contains discussion of sexual assault and human trafficking. If this doesn't feel like the right time to listen, we invite you to check out the resources below and hope you'll tune in next month for the next episode of Human Powered.* Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Rachel Monaco-Wilcox understands this. She founded LOTUS, a free victim rights legal clinic, and Untold Stories, a writing and art-making workshop for survivors of human trafficking. In this episode, we talk with Rachel about her work, as well as participants of the workshop who carry the torch and share their stories so that others may find their own way. Rachel is one of those people who blazes new trails, but she does not walk alone. She brings others along to find beauty, courage, and strength within themselves. The Untold Stories writers workshop and survivor empowerment program is nationally recognized for its innovative approach that combines art therapy, creative writing, and law to help survivors process their trauma, reclaim their autonomy, and emerge with a sense of purpose and strength. To learn more about Lotus Legal Clinic and its Survivor Empowerment programming, please visit lotuslegal.org. Every year, pre-COVID, they host a spring showcase with workshop participants. Wisconsin Humanities is proud to have supported this project for many years through our grant program. Check out this short video from the 2018 event. Some of the artwork and writing from the program is published in magazines, available from the website here. Additionally, the Untold Stories 2020 Interactive Gallery and a series of videos bring these works to life. It's important to know your rights. This document from LOTUS Legal Clinic provides Victim & Witness Rights in Wisconsin. The voices in this episode: Rachel Monaco-Wilcox is an artist, lawyer, mentor, teacher, and consultant. Her work has served marginalized and exploited people (elders, those with special needs, and victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation or assault).  Merging the power of the humanities with legal and social justice has been her unique professional niche. Rachel is the founder of LOTUS Legal Clinic, teaches Art Therapy doctoral students, and has a private practice in Trusts and Estates. In 2021 she founded a small publishing company called Minerva Press, LLC. She is also an accomplished ultramarathoner and raises Vizslas. Read Rachel's Love Wisconsin story here. Traci Powell lives in Orlando where she is a writer and psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner offering counseling to other survivors. She is working to start an Untold Stories program in Orlando. Lisa McCormick is a mother and parent advocate. She served on a task force with former Governor Scott Walker to help end trafficking in Wisconsin. Austin M. Reece is Director of Survivor Empowerment at LOTUS Legal Clinic, Lecturer in Philosophy at Mount Mary University, and a poet. At LOTUS Legal he develops and implements trauma-informed, humanities-based educational programming for survivors of sexual violence and human trafficking, and edits Untold Stories, a literary magazine that publishes survivor writings alongside visual art responses. His poems and essays have recently appeared in Crannóg, Rise & Thrive, The Milwaukee Independent, Bramble, and Coffin Bell, among others.

30 min