Bios/Other Voices

Parfait Bassale

Parfait! Smilesis a Portland based singer/songwriter, performer, educator/speaker, empathy activist and was one of Lou’s musical heros.  He is the director of the Colombe project – transforming classrooms through story and song.  From his website:  “The genesis of my musical journey goes back to my teenage years when I started using rhymes and rap music to express my frustration with society.  At 13, after migrating from one West African country to another, I felt the ostracizing effects of being labelled “a foreigner.”  Quickly, music became a tool for protest against man-to-man cruelty.  The music continued to evolve after I packed my suitcase for the most transformational journey of my life yet: moving to the United States of America, to chase after a nebulous musical dream. There at 24, I picked up the guitar and began writing songs to help process and document the experience.  My life story as an inspiration, motivated by a genuine love for music and influenced by an array of musical traditions, I sketch through words and melodies, my most naked introspection.  Each song is therefore a reflection of my hurts, hopes, faith and humble insight into issues of life.”  Find out more about his recorded music (CD’s available for download) at www.parfaitonline.com 

Melanie Blow

Andrew & Melanieis a passionate advocate for child abuse survivors and for policies and laws that prevent child abuse. She is a survivor of incest.  Melanie served on the Board of Directors for Prevent Child Abuse NY for over a decade especially in legislative advocacy.  She provided testimony at hearings and vetted dozens and dozens of bills aimed at reforming CPS.  After watching CPS collapse in Erie County NY, a county near her heart and home, she designed a plan to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences in the county, using evidence-based best practices. She convinced people, from the families of the murdered children, to professionals and advocates, to elected officials in state and county government, to invest in primary prevention of abuse and maltreatment, rather than growing CPS indefinitely and complaining about the consequences of abused children taking their toll on the county.

Melanie is always willing to talk about child abuse, its prevention, our work in Erie County and about the survivor experience.  She can be reached at melanie.blow@stopabusecampaign.org

Rhonda Case

Rhonda 10:02:15 photo

is Louis’ mother and is editor of the book Free As The Sun.  She has designed this project in Lou’s memory.  Rhonda continues to believe in her beautiful child and to be amazed by his courage.  The love they shared has not died; it is what inspires this project.  Full Bio page under “Contact” on this website.

Randy Ellison

randy-1is the author of Boys Don’t Tell – book and blog.  Randy is a victims’ advocate and activist for cultural change regarding child sexual abuse.  He was one of the 200 male survivors featured on Oprah’s Landmark show “200 Adult Men Who Were Molested Come Forward.”  He has testified before the Oregon State legislature and lobbied regarding changes to our legal system needed for the benefit of victims and survivors. He was a co-founder and served as Board President of OAASIS (Oregon Advocates and Abuse Survivors in Service) based in Portland, Oregon.  Randy served with Rhonda Case as co-coordinator of “We Will Speak Out” in Oregon, a campaign to bring faith communities into the movement to end sexual and gender-based violence, a project of IMA World Health and is a member of the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force in Oregon.  He successfully brought suit against the United Methodist Church in Oregon which brought about policy changes for awareness and protection for children.  Randy was represented by the late Kelly Clark, J.D. whose work nationally on behalf of child victims was essential breaking the silence around child sexual abuse.  Randy is married and is the father of two daughters and five grandchildren.  He lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife of 44 years, Helen.    www.boysdonttell.com

Neal C. Lemery, J.D.

Neal-Lemery

is a retired judge and lawyer and the author of Mentoring Boys to Men: Climbing Their Own Mountains. Born in Tillamook County, Oregon, Neal is a fourth-generation Oregonian. He served in Tillamook as justice of the peace, as the municipal judge in five Oregon cities, as pro tem circuit judge in three counties and was the juvenile alternative court judge in his home county for many years. He currently mentors a number of young men incarcerated at the Tillamook campus of the Oregon Youth Authority, encouraging young people in his community to change their lives and achieve their dreams. Follow Mr. Lemery’s adventures on his blog at www.neallemery.com

Click here to read about Neal in the October 8, 2015 edition of Street Roots News.  “Why DOES a retired judge mentor boys in prison?”

Tyler Tully

Tyler Tully Familyis an American author, blogger, and theologue based out of San Antonio, Texas whose work has been featured in local and national news sources including Real Clear Religion, Young Anabaptist Radicals, the Mennonite World Review, and Al Jazeera America.  A graduate of Our Lady of the Lake University (a Hispanic Serving Institution) with a BA in Religious Studies and Theology, Tyler is currently pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree with Chicago Theological Seminary, exploring the theology of trauma and suffering Proud of his Cherokee, Choctaw-Chickasaw, and European heritage, Tyler often finds inspiration for the future by looking through the experiences of the past. He was named as one of The Irish Echo’s “Top 40 Under 40: Irish American Leaders” in 2013.

Academically, Tully is a member of the Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the American Academy of Religion. His interests include investigating the encounters between things religious, political, historical, literary, and embodied.  Tyler blogs at www.thejesusevent.com  You can read his guest blog post from December 4, 2013 about his own experience of childhood abuse and healing here:

http://www.femonite.com/2013/12/04/tyler-tully-in-search-of-healing/

 Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis - Believerwas born in Hong Kong, schooled in Great Britain, served as a Captain in the British Army.   A survivor of child sexual abuse, domestic violence and suicide, Andrew is now dedicated to ending abuse and alleviating the suffering of those involved.  Formerly a global integrated communications leader for global brands (IBM, American Express, HP, Citi, and the Royal National Institute for the Blind) Andrew has been recognized with both creative and marketing effectiveness awards.  He now leads the Stop Abuse Campaign.  www.stopabusecampaign.org