The mission of generationFIVE is to end the sexual abuse of children within five generations.
We work to interrupt and mend the intergenerational impact of child sexual abuse on individuals, families, and communities.
Through survivor and bystander leadership development, community prevention and intervention, public action, and cross-movement building, generationFIVE works to interrupt and mend the intergenerational impact of child sexual abuse on individuals, families, and communities.
We integrate child sexual abuse prevention into social movements and community organizing targeting family violence, racial and economic oppression, and gender, age-based and cultural discrimination, rather than continuing to perpetuate the isolation of the issue.
It is our belief that meaningful community response is the key to effective prevention.
Chris Lymbertos: (Organization Director) is a queer immigrant born and raised in Iran whose
parents are Syrian and Armenian. Living deeply in the contradictions and challenges of her transcontinental and exiled identity in the U.S. since 1976, she has
dedicated her work to changing the conditions that contribute to individual and collective trauma and oppression both here and in her homelands.
She believes that transformative justice is essential in order for us to build strength and power as a movement for justice that responds to immediate and long
term needs, heals the legacies of violence and trauma individually and collectively for the sake of liberation.
Mia Mingus: (Program Director) is a queer physically disabled woman of color, korean transracial and transnational adoptee writer, organizer and community builder. She was raised in St. Croix, USVI, lived 12 years in Atlanta, GA and has recently moved to Berkeley, California. Through her work on disability justice, reproductive justice, queer liberation, and transformative justice; she recognizes the urgency and barriers for oppressed communities to work together and build alliances for liberation. She believes in community, building queer family, healing and transformation. She knows that love, care and how we treat each other (including ourselves) are political. As her work for liberation evolves and deepens, her roots remain firmly planted in ending sexual violence.
Our Leadership Team and Board Members:
Leadership Team Members:
It takes a tremendous amount of time and resources to create social change. There are innumerable people and organizations that help make generationFIVE and our vision possible…from foundations and donors to local and national organizers, community based organizations and national social justice movements. We wish to thank our partners and supporters for their commitment and for making this all possible!
We are not able to thank all of the supporters who make gen5 fly. Below is a limited list people and organizations we would like to acknowledge.
A special thanks to all of our monthly and annual donors! Whether listed here or not, we give a heartfelt thanks to all of our generous allies and donors!
In 1995, a group of San Francisco Bay Area activists founded by Staci Haines and calling them selves "runriot!" gathered to do direct action on child sexual abuse. The intention was to bring child sexual abuse into the public eye through concrete, public displays. Members organized for public marches, such as the Gay Pride parade in San Francisco, demonstrated at False Memory Syndrome events, and developed political networks among survivors.
Runriot! soon found themselves struggling with surprising obstacles to effective action. While some of these obstacles were familiar from other organizing work, some were specifically related to activist work on child sexual abuse - an issue associated for many with isolation, silencing, and shame - and an issue that has been de-politicized and seen as only an individual "healing issue".
Being public about child sexual abuse was a very intense experience: taking a deeply silenced issue out into the public, at events and marches, while also politicizing the issue, was hard. Runriot! activists experienced being wiped out after a direct actions. Going from direct action to direct action proved unsustainable. In addition, these tactics did not have the desired long-term strategic impact of preventing child sexual abuse which was ultimately the goal.
As runriot! looked to allies in the field to see how other activists were solving the unique problems posed by working collectively on ending child sexual abuse, a very confusing picture emerged. Some local and national activists were engaged in innovative work, but were operating in relative isolation, with little collaboration or communication regarding successful programs, political strategies, or available resources. It became clear that the overall climate of child sexual abuse activism was more oriented towards crisis management, than growing a confident movement aimed at changing the future.
In 1997, Staci, Gillian Harkins and other key runriot! activists took the next step in growing a more strategic and sustainable approach to ending child sexual abuse. They convened the Child Sexual Abuse Strategic Action Project. The intention was to find out how to effectively organize to end child sexual abuse. Over nine months more than 150 community leaders from communities of color, adult survivors of child sexual abuse, LGBTQI communities, religious leadership, people from the therapeutic, social services, health and legal fields and social justice movement leaders gathered to consider:
Through these many meetings it became clear that the only way to create long-term change would be through community-centered and led, culturally relevant solutions grounded in a broader commitment to social justice. Participants developed a Social Action Plan as the blueprint for mobilizing and organizing to end child sexual abuse and the work of generationFIVE was born.
Sara Kershnar brought with her an analysis of the racism and poverty that increase vulnerability to harmful policies associated with both drug use and many forms of violence. As a founding member of the Harm Reduction Coalition she had seen the direct link between child sexual abuse, drug use and people being targeted by drug policy for their histories of trauma. Survivors with access to some healing often ended up in therapy, while those without access to support often ended up in prison for trauma or survival "crimes", or were targeted by other public systems.
Gillian Harkins, Ph.D. brought her thorough work researching child sexual abuse, the social construction of family and the many roles of violence in maintaining power. She helped to ground the analysis of systemic oppression and child sexual abuse as an outcome of these systems. Gillian wrote many of the early documents and text clarifying gen5's approach.
Staci Haines brought her extensive study and work in trauma, Somatic (mind/body), healing, and community resilience and resistance. Also, through her work as a sex educator she helped to ground gen5 in a sex positive approach, countering the many ways child sexual abuse is used to promote homophobic and sex negative agendas. Her deep commitment to intersecting personal and social transformation and the impossibility of addressing child sexual abuse without them both has informed gen5's approach.
Early staff member Cindy Wiesner's experience with independent labor, anti-imperialist and anti-racist organizing are deeply reflected in gen5's analysis and programs. We also want to acknowledge the contributions of Raquel Lavina, Alan Greig and Akaya Windwood in shaping generationFIVE.
Based on generationFIVE's beginnings and all that we have learned since, we have developed and are committed to Transformative Justice—a liberatory, community centered response to ending child sexual abuse. We believe child sexual abuse is intimately linked to other social justice issues and movements and work to highlight those connections. Through our Board, staff and community organizers, generationFIVE continues to integrate diverse cross-movement and cross-community experience, analysis and strategies into our organizing.