From the GNI Team

We care about our community and the things in their lives they may not be ready or able to discuss. This letter includes trigger words, specifically sexual assault, so please proceed with care.

A few weeks ago, we turned three (we wrote a whole newsletter about it here — so we’ll leave the birthday celebrations there). In some ways, it’s hard to believe we’re in our fourth year of writing this newsletter. In others, we feel the confidence of a rising senior — more committed to who we want to be and where we want to go, while all the while still learning and listening every step of the way.

Our most recent “senior” moment? We’re feeling more sure than ever of our mission: to help you unwind, take care, and forge genuine connections within your (and our) community. It’s this combination of self- and community care that we think is the “secret sauce” — the answer to how we take better care in the long- and short-term as we face the complexities of our modern world, from burnout to the loneliness epidemic and beyond.

This renewed sense of purpose means sometimes this year we’ll be discussing tough but important topics here, and we know it’s on us to find balance between levity and gravity when necessary.

That’s why we think it’s more important than ever to have this conversation.

After reading Know My Name by Chanel Miller, we knew we wanted a safe space to answer the question of how one even begins to take care after something as devastating and unexpected as a sexual assault.

Beginning to process and heal from an assault is difficult enough, but to then tackle questions of physical safety, fear, and identity that inevitably follow? That sounds impossible. To then have to take on a legal system that is so often stacked against survivors just doesn’t seem fair.

These are the topics that Chanel Miller surfaces in Know My Name, the book she wrote in the years that followed her own widely covered assault on Stanford University’s campus in 2015. And these are the topics that made us certain we needed to read this book together. The fact that Chanel is Asian American and a person of color only intensifies our commitment to amplifying her story (read our interview with her here) and discussing it together. 

For months, we’ve been thinking about how we can tackle these questions as a community. Then, this week — especially in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s conviction — we knew we could no longer wait.

In her book, Chanel — who was for so many years known as “Emily Doe” on newscasts across the country — works to reclaim her identity after having it chipped away at for years in the aftermath of her assault. Chanel is a beautiful writer, and many on our team have been so deeply moved by her book.

So now, we’re ready to read it with you, and this is how we plan to do it:

  1. In the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing our reading guide for the book in case you want to discuss it with friends. It will include discussion questions, resources, and some extra tips on how to take care of ourselves and each other as we tackle tough topics like this in a book club format.

  2. We’ll be inviting — and moderating — conversations about the book right here in the comments section of our posts in our journal. We ask that you participate respectfully. We’ll be keeping a close eye to make sure these discussions adhere to our community guidelines around authenticity, inclusivity, respect, and safety.

  3. We want to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us or let us know in the comments of any resources you think our community should know about. We’re here to support each other and learn together. Lucky for us, Chanel has these resources right on her site — and made this short film — for anyone who may need them.

If you’re ready, interested, and looking for a book to read, we hope you’ll read along and participate in these tough (but important) conversations with us this month. At our core, GNI is about how we take care of ourselves and each other — so this book not only seems relevant, but absolutely necessary.