Angela Rose ’02

2010 Forward under 40 Award Honoree

Angela Rose '02

UW Major: Sociology
Age: 31 | Chicago, Illinois
Founder, Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE)

“I worked in a warehouse doing physical labor when I was fourteen or fifteen – I was the only woman in the warehouse and I put the guys to shame! I’ve never been afraid of hard work!”

At seventeen, Angela Rose faced a crisis that would have broken many people. She was kidnapped near her home, bound and sexually assaulted. But instead of letting that experience destroy her life, she used it to find her calling – working to aid the victims of sexual assault.

“After I was kidnapped, my grandmother, Lorraine, was the first to call me,” Rose says. “She told me that I was strong enough for this, that I could make a difference.”

Inspired by her grandmother, Rose set herself on a path to becoming politically active. As a student at UW-Madison, she sought out student organizations that work to combat rape, and though she found a variety of services, she didn’t find the group she was looking for. “There was a lot of great one-to-one counseling for victims, but nothing that did grassroots organizing or that tried to engage men in the effort to stop sexual assault,” she says. And so, in 2000, she formed her own group: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment, or PAVE.

In the decade since PAVE first began, it’s grown far beyond Madison and now has chapters in fifty-five cities and three countries. The growth of her organization has surprised even Rose. “It was powerful to me,” she says, “even at seventeen, to see a community take this issue to heart.”

As the head of PAVE, Rose now spends up to half her time on the road, working with groups around the nation to try to prevent sexual violence. Recent efforts include launching several arts-based initiatives, including an exhibit at New York City’s Aytia Matia artists’ collective, and writing her autobiography, Bound and Beyond, which she hopes to have published this year.

For more information about PAVE, see the organization’s Web site at pavingtheway.net

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