Mark Twain wrote, “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear.” Chanel Miller embodied courage long before writing her powerfully moving book, Know My Name. As “Emily Doe,” she courageously testified against the man who sexually assaulted her and read her victim-impact statement in court, looking right at him. “You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, my own voice, until today.” And when her statement went viral, she gave millions of survivors their own “today.”
An artist and writer and only 27 years old, Chanel will make many more beautiful things. She will make the world a better place, and she will make all of us a bit better.
Chanel, you truly are everything you told us to be: “you are important, unquestionably, you are untouchable, you are beautiful, you are to be valued, respected, undeniably, every minute of every day, you are powerful and nobody can take that away from you.” Chanel, we are with you. Thank you.
Ford is a professor at Palo Alto University and a fellow at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences