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On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the Joyful Heart Foundation hosted our very first Los Angeles fundraising event, Joy Rocks, at the home of all things rock, the House of Blues. We gathered to honor the men who are playing such an important role in the movement to end sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse and to celebrate the work of our LA community.
The Verizon Foundation, a leader in engaging men to end violence and abuse, presented Joy Rocks and WOLF Films served as the event’s underwriter. The event was also graciously hosted by our Los Angeles Committee, which is made up of a group of passionately dedicated individuals who believe in Joyful Heart’s mission and shared vision for our community.
Los Angeles Committee Members
- Jill Eisenstadt-Chayet, Co-Chair
- Bridget Gless Keller, Co-Chair
- Shelli Azoff
- Jenny Belushi
- Mary Berger
- Jodi Guber Brufsky
- Jenny Lorant
- Pati Miller
- Julie Moran
- Stephanie Murray
- Cheryl Nakao-Miller
- Lisa Paulsen
- Kathleen Rosenbloom
- Julie Rowen
- Susie Sheinberg
- Molly Smith
- Laura Wasserman
- Elizabeth Wiatt
Upon arrival to the House of Blues, Joyful Heart’s Founder and President, Mariska Hargitay, and husband, founding Board Member Peter Hermann, joined Joyful Heart’s Los Angeles Committee and members of the Board of Directors to welcome guests Maria Bello, Mike Doyle, Jodie Foster, Bob Greenblatt, Peter Jankowski, Greg Kinnear, Christine Lahti, Michael Landes, Christa Miller, Sharon Lawrence, Christopher Meloni, Diane Neal, Sandra Oh, Sarah Paulson, Danny Pino, Amy Poehler, Kim Raver, Hilary Swank, Sela Ward, Mike Weston and many more, including the afternoon’s honoree, baseball legend Joe Torre and his wife Ali.
As Maile spoke, the true meaning and importance behind Joy Rocks flooded into the room. She touched upon Joyful Heart’s local work in LA and the progress we have made in eliminating the rape kit backlog. Following the positive note of how far we have come, Maile also noted that we still have so much more to do, noting that we are currently serving as an advisor to a collaborative team in Detroit, home to the largest known backlog in the country, to help end their backlog of over 10,000 untested rape kits. The event’s theme of engaging men was also highlighted in her speech as she expanded on our efforts—in partnership with 1in6, A CALL TO MEN and the Verizon Foundation—to bring men to the forefront of these issues while also supporting all survivors, including men, on their journeys to healing. Join the thousands who have pledged to LIVE RESPECT by supporting survivors and doing their part to end violence by visiting LIVERESPECT.org.
To lead into the next portion of the program, Maile noted how much our LA community has grown in such a short period of time, stressing the importance that each and every person plays in our joyful revolution. As her speech concluded, over 30 members of our community stepped into the spotlight for our "How Will You Join?" parade, in which person after person shared the ways they have turned towards violence and abuse, shed light into the darkness surrounding these issues, survived themselves or helped someone else survive.
I helped start the organization 1in6.
I confronted the Mayor of Los Angeles about the rape kit backlog in my city.
I spoke out to honor my mother and pay tribute to my brother.
I am raising two young boys to treat people with respect.
I believed my son when he told me he was being abused by our neighbor.
I had a crazy idea to start a foundation.
All of these acts—big and small—play a vital role in our movement and we are immensely grateful for the support. We know each and every one of you is also standing with us, so please hear us when we say, "thank you."
In her introduction of Joe, Mariska expressed her immense gratitude to Joe for his groundbreaking work and incredible voice.
To see a man—the strongest man, the most macho man, and I use that in the best way—to see him take a stand and say, 'Enough is enough'…that will make other men stand up. It will change lives.
To learn more about Joyful Heart’s work to engage men, visit men.joyfulheartfoundation.org.