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Anishaa Kamesh

Email Anishaaanishaa@breakthesilence.org

Where is home for you? A mix between Charlotte, North Carolina and Minneapolis, Minnesota. My family moved to Minnesota from India when I was 18 months old and then to North Carolina when I was 8. I came back to Minnesota for college and absolutely love it. If I had to choose one it would definitely be the Twin Cities.
How did you get involved with BTS? I met Sarah Super at a panel at the University of Minnesota discussing rape culture. Until recently before I hadn’t talked much about my assaults and had spent a lot of time in denial. I was inspired by Sarah’s passion to support survivors and after learning more about BTS decided to participate in the photo project. It was really healing for me to be able to tell my story and be met with only support and validation. What’s your “happy” song? It really depends on my mood and I have a ton of favorites, but one of mine is Check Yes Juliet by We the Kings.
What is your greatest skill? This one's hard. I think one of my greatest skills is my ability to remain optimistic. I kind of have the mindset that everything will work out for the best even if it is horrible at the moment. There have most definitely been times when this was really hard to believe in but I try to see what good can come out of something even if it means that a lot of work has to be put in for that outcome to even be possible.
Is there something you wish more people knew about you? I feel like I’m a pretty open person, but if it was at all possible I would spend the rest of my life traveling the world and volunteering for causes that are close to my heart. There are a lot of times where I wish I could just be a full time volunteer.
What do you appreciate most about BTS? The support and community. I am constantly amazed by the resilience and strength that surrounds me and who are always there to offer support and remind me that I am not alone.

 
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Caissa Casarez

Email Caissacaissa@breakthesilence.org

Where is home for you? I was born and raised in Milwaukee, so that’s home in that sense. However, I have grown to love St. Paul/the Twin Cities since I started visiting my partner here in 2015.
How did you get involved with BTS? I first learned about BTS through listening to Sarah on Nora McInerny’s “Terrible, Thanks for Asking” podcast. The episode absolutely broke my heart, but it also inspired me to get involved in any way I could. So then I connected with Sarah, broke my silence back in August, and the rest is history. :)
What’s your “happy” song? I have quite a few, but I really love “Fearless” by Kat Perkins.
What is your greatest skill? I have what’s called perfect or absolute pitch -- where I can identify the notes/key/other details of a song just by hearing it. The same goes for alarms and similar sounds…
Is there something you wish more people knew about you? I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. My mom followed in my footsteps years later!
What do you appreciate most about BTS? The inclusivity of the community - and the push to make it welcoming for all survivors. I was assaulted by my ex-girlfriend in 2013, and part of the reason I kept quiet about it was because of the rarity of stories like mine. This makes me want to dismantle stereotypes around the entire community, so I’m happy that BTS is doing just that.

 
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Asma Mohammed

Email Asma - asma@breakthesilence.org

Where is home for you? Home is between Minneapolis and Chicago for me. I grew up in both, but am more loyal to the Twin Cities. :)
How did you get involved with BTS? I was inspired by Sarah Super’s outreach to other survivors, and decided it was time for me to find a healing space. I’ve been a huge beneficiary of Sarah’s leadership and was honored when she asked me to be a part of the board. I love this community.
What’s your “happy” song? I have MANY happy songs, but I really love listening to Valerie by Amy Winehouse and anything by Bilal Khan or Culture Shock when I’m down.
What is your greatest skill? I’m really good at synthesizing ideas and teaching! I’m a great sounding board, and my students have taught me how to be an effective educator.
Is there something you wish more people knew about you? My dream (from a very young age) was/is to move to London, marry Fred Weasley and teach Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts + start an affinity group for witches/wizards of color.
What do you appreciate most about BTS? I appreciate knowing and being reminded constantly that I am not alone. I appreciate learning the different ways in which we survive and become increasingly resilient. I appreciate being a part of a community that does not diminish the impact of trauma, and rather finds ways to foster healing.

 

 
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Sarah Colford

Email Sarahsarah@breakthesilence.org

Where is home for you? Big Lake, MN,  However I was an implant. I grew up, my first 11 years on an air force base in ND.
How did you get involved with BTS? I heard about this amazing group when I was at a turning point in my advocacy.  I had been with the same facility for 12 years (volunteer 11 years and full-time staff 1 year). I was needing to separate as it was no longer a healthy choice for me.  I was lost as this cause has been a passion of mine for years. I started working with a humanitarian page that focused on Human Trafficking. I needed more. I attended a few meet ups and finally broke my silence through a truth-telling.  I became aware of the need for moderators for the Facebook page and immediately knew I found my calling. The along came another opportunity of sitting on the board.
What’s your “happy” song? Fight Song, Brave, and anything Spice Girls!
What is your greatest skill? To help others and cook.
Is there something you wish more people knew about you? I am pretty open. I am Native American.
What do you appreciate most about BTS? The amazing community and feeling like I have people to relate to.

 

 
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Sarah Super

Email Sarahssuper@breakthesilence.org

Where is home for you? I grew up in St. Paul, but I like Minneapolis better!
How did you get involved with BTS? After I was raped, I didn’t feel like I had many options for transforming my suffering into action. I entered into this work by launching a GoFundMe to create a memorial to honor survivors. Then when I realized that talking about my rape helped me and other people, I saw the potential of creating a space and platforms where survivors could speak out if they wanted to. Break the Silence started as a Facebook page that featured the faces and stories of survivors who used their real name.
What’s your “happy” song? For me, happiness is most easily achieved by dancing...so anything I can dance to!
What is your greatest skill? I like seeing connections between ideas and perspectives.
Is there something you wish more people knew about you? Sometimes I think people know too much about me...but I am strongly motivated by passion and doing what is right. I work for causes I want more than life itself.
What do you appreciate most about BTS? Being surrounded and inspired by courageous people who understand my suffering.