Why I Spoke Up is a collaboration between Emmy Award-winning gymnastics videographer Deanna Hong and the Gymnast Advocacy Organization, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit created in 2017 with the goal of eradicating abuse culture within the gymnastics community through education and advocacy. More info on the GA below.
A message from Deanna:
Thank you very much for your interest in my latest project, Why I Spoke Up.
In light of the current cultural awakening about the pervasiveness of sexual abuse against women across all communities and industries, I was looking for a meaningful way to take action. I've decided to do this by showing my unwavering support for the brave women who are speaking out and sharing their stories, especially in the gymnastics community.
Last month my co-producer, Allison, and I traveled to Louisville, KY to shoot this interview with Rachael Denhollander. Rachael was the first woman to publicly accuse former Team USA doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault. Since Rachael came forward with her story in September 2016, more than 140 other women have said that they, too, are survivors of Nassar's abuse. At the end of 2017, Nassar pleaded guilty to ten charges of first-degree sexual assault and was sentenced to 60 years in prison for possessing child pornography.
By amplifying voices like Rachael's, I hope that we can continue this dialogue about sexual assault and ensure that the voices speaking out about abuse are never silenced again.
Currently, this endeavor is a personal passion project. I covered my own travel expenses and production costs out of pocket for this first episode. I absolutely want to make more of these, but it's not financially feasible to continue making them on my own. I'm not looking to profit off of this series, but ideally would like to be able to cover my expenses (the main one being travel, as these survivors live all over the country). Depending on the response to this first video, we are considering starting a crowdfunding campaign so that we can make more of these episodes and continue to tell these women's stories.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the series and especially if you would be interested in backing this project. If it seems like the demand and the support is strong enough to move forward, we would be thrilled to work on more of these. Please get in touch with me on any of my social media accounts (bottom of this page) or through my Contact form (top of this page). I'd love to hear from you!
Also, sign up for our mailing list for this project if you would like to receive updates on Why I Spoke Up.
Thank you very much for your time. I hope to be back with more soon!
ABOUT THE PROJECT
“Why I Spoke Up” is a video series that aims to honor the courageous women of the gymnastics world who came forward and spoke out about abuse, despite the pervasive culture of silence in the sport. By amplifying the voices of these survivors and exposing the factors that kept them silent for decades, we hope to catalyze meaningful change within the gymnastics community.
Why I Spoke Up does not aim to rehash the abuse these women have suffered, as we feel that has been covered enough in the media. Our intent to recognize how much strength these women have shown in coming forward and showcase them as the heroes they are. We believe that when a community is comprised of so many young people, supporting positive role models is extraordinarily important.
PARTNERSHIP WITH THE GYMNAST ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION
The Gymnast Advocacy Organization (GA) was created in 2017 by Allison Truscheit, a former gymnast who was disturbed by the revelations of widespread abuse in the community she grew up in and loves, the gymnastics community. Deanna Hong serves on the Board of Directors.
The Gymnast Advocacy Organization is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit with the goal of eradicating abuse culture within the gymnastics community through education and advocacy. Our goal is to bring more videos like this one to the gymnastics community. Where transparency is scarce, we aim to shed light on issues gymnasts, parents, and coaches aren't talking about.
More info about the GA is coming soon.