RVA recognizes activist Kalven

By Bourree Lam

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Terkel, Steve Edwards and Dr. Quentin Young of Chicago Public Radio, and New Yorker and New York Times Magazine writer Alex Kotlowitz gathered last night to honor author-activist Jamie Kalven at the Annual Rape Victim Advocates (RVA) Visionary Awards, which took place at the Carrie Secrist Gallery in the West Loop on Thursday.

“The Rape Victim Advocates help victims of sexual assault during the recovery process. Through counseling and various resources, RVA help victims to become survivors,” said Philip Chang, a member of RVA and an event organizer. “Kalven was honored for encouraging men to step forward and end social violence.”

A regular contributor to Chicago Public Radio, Kalven spoke at the Visionary Awards about his work with the Family Violence Prevention Fund. Kalven also discussed his book “Working with Available Light,” a memoir of his family’s trials after his wife was sexually assaulted.

Held in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Visionary Awards raises tens of thousands of dollars annually for immediate care, information, and support for sexual assault victims and their families.

Through a 24/7 network of staff volunteers, RVA has helped over 20,000 victims of sexual assault since 1974.

“The Visionary Awards is to celebrate the achievements of RVA and raise money too,” Chang said. “Due to the limited amount of federal and state funding we receive, we rely a lot on this event for donation to fund our cause. This annual fete is the time RVA introduce ourselves to the community and collect a few bucks while having fun.”