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In 2017, Tina Tchen came to the National Women’s Law Center with a vision for what would become the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund (the Fund). Her clarity of purpose was a guiding light for us as we created the initiative that today, nearly four years later, has had an outsized impact on the ability of survivors to tell their stories and seek justice in the legal system. We are grateful to Tina for her role not only as a co-founder of the Fund, but her subsequent position leading the TIME’S UP Foundation, and most importantly her decades-long advocacy on behalf of women and girls.
Doing the work to create avenues for survivors to seek and receive justice in the legal system on their own terms is never easy, but our objective at the National Women’s Law Center has been clear: to shift power back to survivors and away from the institutions and norms that have enabled harassment and violence to go on for too long. In that work, there are necessary guardrails that must be in place to ensure that even the perception of conflict does not exist, that survivors feel safe, and their needs are prioritized. To that end, we are reviewing and evaluating our processes. As a first step, and to ensure that the independence of our work is clear to the survivors we serve, we will be bringing the administration of the public relations assistance function in-house and do so on a timeframe that ensures we do not disrupt the pipeline of support we are already providing to survivors.
We are grateful to the dedicated and passionate team at SKDK who worked with the Fund; they took on dozens of individual cases as well as recruited other PR professionals to the network and helped us scale PR services. Their continued commitment to finding pathways for survivors’ stories to be heard – and holding the media accountable in doing so – has been unparalleled.
This is just the beginning of the work ahead – work that will always require humility, and always demand that we learn from the people who trust us to amplify their voices and who seek our assistance as they fight for justice. It is their trust that powers the National Women’s Law Center and the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund to tackle some of the most considerable challenges facing women today. As we continue to deepen and strengthen our work on their behalf, we are thankful for the many survivors who keep us listening, learning, and accountable.