Photo credit: Liam Knox
Walker Bristol was organizing workshops on sexual violence at Tufts University, but felt like their work was isolated on a college campus. Walker took the BARCC volunteer training with the intention of doing prevention work on a broader scale. Three years later, their incredible knack for connecting to audiences of all backgrounds has earned them the title of volunteer of the year.
Walker volunteers with BARCC’s Community Awareness and Prevention Services (CAPS) team. They facilitate workshops and trainings around preventing and raising awareness of sexual violence. CAPS volunteers also accompany members of the BARCC Survivor Speakers Bureau to provide information and audience support during their events.
“I was drawn to CAPS because there is a lot of important work that can be done to support survivors after they’ve been assaulted and to be able to intervene,” said Walker. “Prevention work is so important, especially prevention work that spans age and background.”
Sharon Schiffer, who coordinates the CAPS program, describes Walker as modest about their talents and amazing at facilitating trainings. Sharon said Walker was nominated to be one of BARCC’s volunteers of the year, an honor that is recognized at the annual Champions for Change Gala & Auction, for the warm welcome they give to all new CAPS volunteers and for making everyone in the room feel comfortable and safe.
“It’s clear from their attitude and thoughtfulness that BARCC is very important to Walker,” said Sharon. “They are always willing to take on last-minute engagements and go above and beyond to facilitate trainings.”
The people who work and volunteer with BARCC are Walker’s favorite part of being a CAPS volunteer.
“CAPS volunteers are thoughtful, engaging, and wonderful. I also love the opportunity to collaborate and present with others on a mission that I’m so invested in,” said Walker. “We are all brought together by this common mission [to end sexual violence], and I think BARCC’s volunteers stick around because we intentionally build relationships and a community built on trust.”
Walker wants people to know how much fun volunteering has been. Sexual assault prevention and awareness are serious subjects, but the team has fun together and learns a lot.
“We do difficult work and and we go into darker places, but at the same time we have a really celebratory atmosphere,” said Walker. “In CAPS we believe in ourselves and our work and that prevention work is important to cultural change.”
Learn more about volunteering with BARCC and the Community Awareness and Prevention Services program.
BARCC offers free and confidential services to survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. Learn more about our services or call our 24-hour hotline at 800-841-8371.