liftUPlift is a Chicago-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization on a global mission to end violence against women. We empower good people to speak up and take action to prevent sexual violence in their communities.
liftUPlift was founded by Corielle Laaspere and Rachel Jones in 2015. To start, we explored the disconnected ecosystem of initiatives dedicated to ending violence against women. Our goal was simple: identify what’s working and what’s not.
After hundreds of conversations with survivors and other advocates, we decided to focus our efforts on empowering and allying everyone and every organization that shares our mission.
Corielle Heath Laaspere is the Founder and President of liftUPlift and a lifelong champion of women’s empowerment. Corielle became a certified sexual violence prevention educator and rape crisis hotline responder through the award-winning “Break the Silence” program at Lehigh University.
Rachel Jones is the co-Founder and Vice President of liftUPlift Worldwide. She holds a degree in Psychology from Ball State University, with an emphasis on human sexuality and sexual violence prevention.
Cindy Heath is the co-founder and Treasurer of liftUPlift Worldwide. During her 20-year career as the CFO of Inland Steel, she created safe spaces for women to talk about violence and harassment in the workplace and helped facilitate sexual violence prevention workshops for coworkers.
Kirsten Laaspere is the Vice President of Solutions for liftUPlift Worldwide. She is an outspoken survivor and advocate for early childhood sexual violence education and prevention training.
Fetesha Downs is Digital Brand Experience Officer at the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and an Advisor to liftUPlift Worldwide. She leverages her digital expertise to assist liftUPlift Worldwide with global outreach, fundraising and awareness building.
Chereesca Bejasa is Founder and Principal Consultant at Brrrilliant Startup Studio and an advisor to liftUPlift Worldwide. She leverages her expertise in startup growth and development to help our nonprofit operate as a self-sustaining business.
Nicole Vasquez is the Founder and Owner of The Shift Chicago and an advisor to liftUPlift Worldwide. She leverages her expertise in community building to help liftUPlift Worldwide build communities of trained sexual violence prevention allies at the grassroots.
Afreen Rahman is a liftUPlift Worldwide advisor and an outspoken champion of women’s rights in India and the Middle East. She leverages her international network and perspective to help liftUPlift Worldwide create resources and tools for sexual violence prevention outside of the United States.
Programs and Services
Our Bystander Intervention Trainings empower good people at the grassroots to identify early warnings signs of sexual violence and act effectively to intervene and prevent assaults before they occur.
What makes Bystander Intervention training different from previous approaches to sexual assault prevention?
- Discourages victim blaming
- Offers individuals the chance to change social norms
- Shifts responsibility to both men and women
Our Break the Silence initiative provides a forum for survivors to share their stories in order to heal and expose the full impact of sexual and domestic violence.