IMPACT Book Club: Know My Name

Welcome to our first IMPACT Bay Area book club!  Join us as we read Know My Name: A Memoir, written by Chanel Miller.  In this book, Chanel describes her experience as a sexual assault survivor in the legal system and her trauma healing journey.  Together, we will reflect on her vulnerability, strength, and heartbreak to honor her story.  

Starting today, we will share a new post over the next few weeks on our Full Force blog.  Posts will highlight different themes from the book as well as reflection questions to inspire thought and conversation.  Engage by sharing your insights directly into the comments section of the blog post.  To support a dynamic and empowering book club, we ask that you 1) be respectful of other people's opinions and 2) set a boundary when needed.  We will close our book club the week of February 17th with a virtual meet up where we can each share our final thoughts.  
To start our book club, please share:
1. What is your connection to IMPACT Bay Area?  
2. What inspired you to read this book?
My name is Jessica and I took my first IMPACT Basics class in November 2016.  This experience taught me that I am physically strong, capable of setting boundaries, and that my voice is powerful.  Inspired by this feeling, I've been volunteering on IMPACT's board of directors ever since.  When determining which book to choose for our first book club, we immediately thought of Chanel Miller.  We wanted to celebrate her courageous act of coming forward with her name and story.  Before reading her book, my only impression of Chanel was from the media.  To me, she demonstrated vulnerability, grace, and strength.  She was so relatable. She could be anyone - a cousin, friend, or even me.  Once I started the book, I realized that I didn't know anything about her.  Now I know that she is artistic, creative, brave, strong willed, and deeply self aware.  While it is sometimes hard to hear about what happened to her, I feel like I owe it to her to continue on.  We owe it to her to listen. 
I'm excited to hear from you what inspired you to read this book.  Please share your thoughts in the comments below!

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  • Monica Stone
    Oops, I forgot to say my name is Monica Stone and I’m a board member at Impact. I am 67 years old and I just took Impact Basics again for the first time in 25 years, what a great program we have with fabulous teachers!
  • Monica Stone
    Thanks, Linda for sending those links – especially the one with Trevor Noah. She is a remarkable woman and I enjoyed the book. My only criticism is that it kind of went on and on at the end, but mostly I loved her writing and thought it was incredibly honest. I am so glad she decided to come out as herself in the book and in the media. I have to say that when I realized she was Asian, I thought, oh, that’s why they gave her such a hard time. Now I don’t know if that’s true or not and it’s possible that with a rich white girl, it would have been the same, but that was my first thought.
  • Linda Leu
    Hi everyone – I’m Linda, the Executive Director of IMPACT and also a whistle instructor.

    I wanted to read this book because like everyone else in the Bay Area, I followed her story (without her actual story) closely in the media as it unfolded. Then because of three compelling things that I saw about the book:

    1. I read her victim impact statement before I even knew she wrote a book and I was shook. You can read or watch here:

    2. Lisa Ko’s NY Times opinion piece about why it is important that Chanel Miller is Asian-American. I am often thinking about gender-based violence and racial identity: how my personal identities shape how I am treated in the world, and also how other Women of Color navigate the social context of violence.

    3. Chanel’s interview with Trevor Noah,—-turning-her-pain-into-a-rallying-cry-with—know-my-name——extended-interview where I got to hear her, in her own words, show the world how incredible she is.

    I have so much gratitude to her for writing this book and I can’t wait to discuss it with you all!