After last year’s FORUM conversation around the reality of sexual assault in Nashville, the 2020 FORUM dives deeper into the most at risk population, young women age 18-24. The new panel discussion features a counselor, a university administrator and a survivor and focuses on The Reality of Sexual Assualt: The College Campus Edition.

Panelists Include:

Cara Tuttle-Bell, J.D., M.A., Director of Vanderbilt University Project Self Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response 

Jordan Owens, MSW, Statewide Training Specialist at Sexual Assault Center

Survivor of Sexual Assault


Meera Ballal, J.D., M.Ed., Founder of Women’s Healthcare Initiative

Click Here for Panelist Bios Click Here to View the 2020 FORUM on YouTube

The FORUM 2020 Resource Library

The Women’s Fund always considered opportunities to engage and educate the community about issues affecting women and girls. It was an opportunity for the Board to share the insights they were learning through relationships they were forming, and the information they were introduced to through the network of foundations and funds with a shared mission of supporting women and girls that were being established across the country.

Nearly 20 years ago, the first educational effort was to bring attention to the issue of senior women who survived their husbands and were now left with understanding their financial circumstances, often for the first time. For this effort, The Women’s Fund partnered with the Council on Aging.

Fast forward past a sampling of other educational events and a changing community over a decade and The Women’s Fund Forum, as it is known today, was born in 2012. The featured topic would have never been imagined 25 years ago: Human Trafficking in Tennessee.

After bringing attention to human trafficking in our state, The Women’s Fund selected the issue of hunger and food insecurity in our Middle Tennessee community and shined light on how women and their children are disproportionately impacted through the Forum titled Hunger Happens Here.

As the opioid epidemic began to impact our state and our country, the 2017 and 2018 Forum focus was When Addiction Comes Home and Stories from the Opioid Crisis with former Women’s Fund board members as panelist. One as an expert in the field and another sharing her personal story of losing a son to addiction.

The #MeToo movement and countless national stories on sexual assault bring the conversations home when Middle Tennessee women ask, what is the reality of sexual assault in our community? The Women’s Fund gathered experts in 2019 to discuss the local environment and resources to support those impacted by sexual assault.

The Women’s Fund Forum Tackles Tough Topic of Sexual Assault

Forum Panelists
Pictured: Rachel Freeman, LCSW, President & CEO Sexual Assault Center; Virginia Carrigan, Sex Crimes Lieutenant, Metro Police Department; Pam Crues, MSN, RN, FNP-BC, SANE-A, Medical Legal Exam Team manager, Nashville General Hospital; Jennifer Pagliara, The Women’s Fund Forum Co-chair; Valerie Nagoshiner, The Women’s Fund Forum Co-chair; Meera Ballal, J.D., M.Ed., founder of Women’s Healthcare Initiative.