The Rachel Coalition
Jennie Willoughby was the Keynote Speaker for our Rachel Coalition Women to Women Luncheon on October 30, 2018. Jennie is an excellent speaker. She is confident and articulate. She immediately connected with the audience of 150 women. She told her strikingly disturbing story of domestic violence with sensitivity and openness. She has a warm and affable manner. We received uniformly positive feedback.
(Los Altos, CA)
I’m so grateful to [Jennie] for taking the time to come out and speak at our 3rd annual gilded cage fundraiser. Almost every guest amongst the 200 who attended raise their hands when asked who knew of someone who had experienced domestic abuse—not just the more obvious forms like physical and sexual violence but the more subtle forms, like emotional abuse that do such long-term damage to a survivor’s mental and physical health. [Jennie] addressed this more subtle form of abuse beautifully and with deep thought and clarity. Men and women alike were deeply moved by [her] remarks. Thanks [to] Jennie for [her] work, for [her] generosity of spirit and for [her] courage in speaking for so many women looking for validation and hope.
It was IVAT's honor to have Jennie Willoughby provide a keynote address at our 23rd International Summit on Violence, Abuse and Trauma in San Diego, CA in September 2018. Her story not only touched the hearts of us all but provided a powerful discussion of the impact of privilege and domestic violence which offered a unique perspective through the testimony she shared. Attendees appreciated how her story emphasized the range of actions that constitute domestic violence, how she discussed the less physical side of abuse, and how her presentation showed the way privilege can be a part of the abuse, making it difficult for victims to feel they can come forward. We felt an overwhelming appreciation for how Jennie shared her personal experience to increase our understanding of the dynamics involved in this form of interpersonal violence and how to help advance society's work to better assist survivors as they move along their journey of healing. Jennie is a powerful and inspirational story teller and speaker who is eloquent, compelling, courageous and genuine. Her presentation was informative and eye opening and challenged our Summit attendees to think more deeply about this topic.
IVAT Centers, International Summit on Violence, Abuse & Trauma Across the Lifespan
Principal, Virgil Middle School
(Los Angeles, CA)
Jennie Willoughby has a combination of experiences and education that make her the perfect presenter for building health and wellness at schools. As a former classroom teacher, she understands first hand exactly how difficult the profession of teaching is. As a student of meditation and wellness, she shares both personal anecdotes and hard science to build credibility and buy in with school audiences. It is my belief that the information that Jennie shared will prove to be a powerful catalyst to improving teachers’ quality of life both inside and outside the classroom. When teachers are happy and empowered students will be happy and empowered!
Jennie encourages and supports people to find a new and healthier perspective on everything going on around them and “to” them. She helps create a new dialogue they can use with themselves and others that promotes strength. She shows people the path to walk to discover the power they have had all along. Jennie gifts people a new set of beliefs about themselves and their situation. She shows them they are beautiful and strong.
(New York, NY)
You could hear a pin drop during [Jennie's] presentation. [Her] message was so on point for this audience. Jennie’s presentation to our luncheon audience was profoundly moving. Not only did our audience gain an important understanding of the causes and dynamics of abusive relationships, they also heard about Jennie’s personal story of courage and survival. Jennie was particularly empathetic and patient with the many women who approached Jennie after her presentation in order to share their stories, for which we are extremely grateful.
Mary Lee Kiernan, President & CEO at YWCA Greenwich
When I experienced several personal crises this year, including 2 major health crises and a loss, I knew to reach out to Jennie for counsel and support. She has lived a life that showed her the way to personal resilience, and I hoped that consultation with her would all me to draw up her wisdom. It did, and I am so thankful for her presence in my life. Jennie has been practicing Vipassana meditation for 12 years, and she has been actively studying the effects of meditation and positive thinking/empowerment on the mind/body, the healing process, and the journey through suffering. I find consultation with her invaluable. She believes in what she says and she lives it. You can feel this in talking with her. I recommend her highly as a woman who can inspire and liberate through her well-cultivated sagacity.
Jennie is one of the strongest people I know and one of the most beautiful human beings you will ever come across. Her mental attitude and focus is resilient and her upbeat personality is contagious. She has helped me focus on my goals in life by helping me prioritize what's really important and what I really want out of life. Her positivity revives the human spirit and encourages you to push forward and keep going through whatever challenges you may be facing. She gives you hope when you need it most.
I want to thank her for being an open book and a true role model in our society. She is very easy to speak to and an honest human being who really cares to make a difference. If there were more Jennie's in the world, the world would be a more beautiful place.
In the years that I have worked with Jennie, she has positively contributed to my life in a countless number of ways. As many would agree, high school is a fairly brief period of time during which individuals witness significant changes in themselves and in others. Sometimes these changes are not easy to grasp. Having such a level-headed presence like Jennie by my side amidst so much chaos and uncertainty, was beyond comforting.
Although I do not look back on my high school years fondly, the gradual process of self-discovery has made every bit of adversity worthwhile. As I consider my next steps, Jennie continues to play a huge role in this growth process. Her ability to listen and provide constructive and thought-provoking feedback is unparalleled. Granted, at times the advice she gives me is not what I want to hear, but it always proves to be what I need to hear.
Jennie has taught me that bettering oneself is a life-long journey and, above all, a choice. No one is able to truly evolve overnight. Jennie is extraordinary because she is able to support me and encourage me to be the best that I can be, while simultaneously reminding me that I am ultimately the one that holds the reins. Jennie's ability to have not only made it through adversity herself, but to now be in a position where she is able to share her knowledge with others, is truly a constant inspiration to me as I continue to learn and grow myself.
(St. Petersburg, FL)
Jennie just all of a sudden appeared in my life, and she unapologetically inserted herself and hasn't left since - and I couldn't be more grateful for her tenacity and persistence. I can't envision my journey without her unfiltered, honest reflections and unabashed support. She is both pragmatic and whimsical; intelligent and heart-centered; intentional and spontaneous.
She is one of my biggest cheerleaders, as well as one of the most provocative individuals I know. She has no problem challenging my stories, and yet she always assists in the most tender of ways- stretching without pushing, provoking with intention and curiosity and openhearted tenderness.
She is not some guru reigning down from a boho chic meditation cushion of enlightenment, judging your stories. She is working the same steps, navigating through this messy life with the same playful, intelligent, mindful approach to her own life. It is refreshing and encouraging, as are her witty insights and words of support. I am always grateful for a chance to talk over my current life adventures and obstacles with Jennie.