Today, we are trying a new thing! It is day one of a 3-4 week blog series focused on SNAP Mennonite’s MAP List (Mennonite Abuse Prevention List) and the broader issue of publicly naming credibly accused perpetrators of sexualized abuse.

In a separate post, Barbra Graber starts off the series by offering her take on why it is important that credibly accused perpetrators of abuse be publicly named. But, since hers is the first post of the first blog series we’ve ever hosted, I think it wise to start by explaining what we hope the concept of a blog series will add to the broader OSU conversation and community.

As survivors share their stories, people have questions. Lots of questions. You wouldn’t believe how many questions make it to our desks, and you wouldn’t believe how many of those questions are the same (or maybe you would). We need a way to sustain longer, public conversations around questions that are coming to the surface for us and for the people who connect here.

We also notice that some questions – important questions – aren’t being asked and aren’t being answered. These questions are either too uncomfortable to ask out loud or not yet on our collective radar screens. We need a platform that lets us introduce new questions that need to be asked while simultaneously offering some tools to help us begin to process them together.

Solution? Blog series! Or, at least, we’re going to try it out for a while to see if it is helpful.

Every now and then, we will announce that we are devoting our focus to a specific topic of interest or set of questions for several weeks. During a series, we’ll aim to post a new contribution to the conversation each week, and each post will be written by a different person with a different perspective. Sometimes, Barbra and I will be among the writers, but not always. Those who write for a series will be invited to contribute to the conversation because they have some kind of experience or expertise in the area of focus. Remember, the goal here is to help all of us think and feel and love our way through the questions that come up as we receive survivors’ stories.

Another goal is to help diversify the kinds of survivor voices that are represented on Our Stories Untold’s blog. Not all series contributors will themselves be survivors, but we’ll be making an effort to invite voices that either represent or connect with survivors who aren’t yet commonly heard from on OSU. Barbra and I each have our own stories and our own opinions about what it means for communities to resist sexualized violence and support survivors, and we’ll keep sharing them (sometimes, in respectful opposition to the opinions voiced by blog series contributors!). But, we don’t speak for all survivors, and we want this space to be one where all survivors have a way into the conversation.

Next in the lineup this fall is a series on sexualized violence and race.

So! Do you know  someone you think we need to hear from? Do you have another topic in mind that you think we need to be talking about? Let me know.  (Really. Please. Send in your suggestions!)

And now, go read today’s post from Barbra inspired by a question that frequently finds its way to our inboxes: what good can it possibly do to publicly name people credibly accused of abuse?

Engage the question and Barbra’s response in the comments. This is your conversation, friends. And, look for the second post in the series next week.