Vanessa Timmons

Sometimes, the word “revolution” brings to mind a kind of violence, the kind associated with wars and revolts and massive uprisings. But for others, the real revolutionary work is the work that goes into preventing violence — and helping its survivors heal.

vaneesa2bOne such person is Vanessa Timmons, executive director of the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, a nonprofit organization that works throughout the state to end violence in all communities. Timmons is also a mother, a grandmother, a survivor of sexual abuse, and one of the speakers at this year’s TEDxSalem.

“I really see domestic violence work as revolutionary work,” Timmons says. “Revolution happens in a community when all individuals are able to thrive.”

For Timmons, the revolution lies in the community, not just in the individual. She sees healing as a community-wide action, not just something that individual assault and violence survivors must do.

“My talk is focused on resiliency for activists and self-care as acts of revolution,” she says. “It’s really looking at how we sustain bravery and be engaged in revolutionary acts. How do we keep our bravery and resiliency and vision vigorously engaged while we’re in that effort of changing the world.”

Timmons further explains that a lot of her work is characterized as anti-violence, anti-racism or anti-oppression. But it’s also pro- work, too; it’s working toward a better world for everyone.vanessatimmons

“The weariness of people as we’ve gone through this election cycle, in a lot of ways that weariness inhibits our ability to sustain and maintain our efforts,” she says. “I am really hoping that people walk away from my talk with some practical skills that I use to sustain my own bravery and resilience in times of difficulty.”

Get your tickets for TEDxSalem IV

Tickets are on sale now for Salem’s annual TEDx event Saturday, January 7, 2017. Tickets are $50, $40 for a student. The all-day event includes talks, performances, refreshments, lunch and a swag bag. Follow us on Facebook for the most up-to-date news from our community, and check our website regularly for new information. You can also reach us at