On the Ground: These Women Are On The Frontlines Combatting Sexual Assault
While the ‘Me Too’ movement has increased awareness of sexual assault, these seven women-led organizations are on the front lines fighting for our communities every day. Ahead, check out what inspired them to do this kind of work and what keeps them going every day. Click here to read more by Akiba Solomon in Essence Online.

Meeting Lansing’s Next Generation of Black Leaders
The new generation of black leaders looks different. Their messages are keyed to new politics, though issues of fairness, equity and justice still hold center stage. Their outreach is as likely to be a gesture of protest at a football game as a march. Click here to read more by Eric Lacy of the Lansing State Journal.

Sexual violence advocates call for justice
“Survivors don’t actually owe anyone their stories, so while we are living in an era where survivors’ stories are out all over the place what we owe those survivors is a lot of gratitude.” Click here to read more by Michelle Jokisch Polo.

Dancing on Graves
Current State’s third Pop-Up Stories event was October 21, 2015 in Lansing at Reach Art Studio. Tashmica Torok was one of the storytellers on the theme of “Create and Destroy.”

Lansing woman honored by USA Network 
Tashmica Torok at the Soulfire 2015 Gallery Reveal. Photo credit to Matthew Dae Smith for the Lansing State JournalTashmica Torok is one of 10 winners of the 2014 Characters Unite Award by the USA Network. She’s the founder of the Firecracker Foundation, which offers counseling and other healing services for child survivors of sexual abuse. Click here to read the story written by Louise Knott Ahern.

Photo credit to Matthew Dae Smith for the Lansing State Journal

USA Network congratulates the 2014 recipients of the Characters Unite Awards!
Ten winners were selected from hundreds of nominees for their extraordinary efforts to combat hate, intolerance and discrimination, and making significant contributions to promoting greater tolerance, respect and acceptance in their communities. Tashmica Torok was one of them. Click here to learn more.

A Spark of Light
Tashmica Torok is a survivor. But after sitting with her for just fifteen minutes, anyone would know she is so much more. She is a hugger. She’s a smart, sassy, no-nonsense mom. And she’s an inspiration to hundreds of survivors of sexual trauma. She is a firecracker. Click here to read more by Ami Iceman.

The soul of a survivor
“We actually ask 12 survivors to participate in creating an artistic exploration of their experiences with sexual trauma,” Torok said. “We allow them, through that artistry to create and control their own narrative. So it’s not actually a calendar of and about sexual trauma. It’s about the survivor experience.” Click here to read more by Belinda Thurston of the City Pulse.

Michigan Jaycees to honor two Lansing Residents
Nominated by Lansing Jaycees Community Development Director Angela Clock, Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing, and Tashmica “Firecracker” Torok will receive their awards during a ceremony at the Old Town Marquee that will highlight each winner’s career. Click here to read more about this honor.

Business and body art do not usually mix, but Torok, executive director of The Firecracker Foundation in Lansing, said that one of the perks of being a self-employed entrepreneur is the freedom to uphold and accept values that she sees as worthy — including tattoos and piercings. Click here to read the whole story by Julia Nagy

Back from the dark: Survivor shares struggles, lessons learned
Standing here is its own kind of victory, the culmination of a long journey to understand what happened to her and its impact on her life. She’s three years into her own intensive counseling and is finally able to, as she puts it, lavishly love herself. Click here to read the rest of the story by Louise Knott Ahern.

Abuse survivor light’s fuse on children’s recovery
I met Tashmica Torok about three years ago. In the span of an hour I was pretty sure I’d made a friend for life. She was a hilarious, smart, driven, together, roller derby-skating wife and mom of three boys. She was real. I was friend-smitten. Click here to read more by Robin Miner-Swartz.

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