EOT 353- Lux & Weekly News

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In this episode, Jeanine Ikekhua interviewed Catherine and Emma Grace about their Non-Profit Lux. Lux is a non-profit dedicated to providing sexual violence survivors with legal aid. We will also be hearing some weekly news from Abigail and Avery.

Jeanine Ikekhua 0:00
The views and opinions expressed during Eye on the Triangle do not represent WKNC or NC State student media. Your dial is currently tuned into Eye on the Triangle on WKNC 88.1 FM HD one. Thanks for listening.

Hi, my name is Jeanine Ikekhua, I'm the Public Affairs Director at WKNC radio. On today's episode, we're going to be hearing two new stories. The first one will be weekly news with Abigail and Avery. And the second one is going to be an interview that I did with Emma Grace Barnes and with Katherine Carter. And they are actually the founders of a nonprofit called Lux.

Avery 0:40
Hello, and welcome back to Eye on the Triangle. This is Avery Davis, the technician news editor here with

Abigail 0:49
Abigail Ali, I am the technician, Assistant news editor.

Avery 0:53
And we are back with our segment weekly news where we talk about different things happening in North Carolina, in Raleigh, and at NC State. The way this show works is Abigail and I each pick three news tidbits and we present them to each other and we have some live reactions and conversations about those things that are going on in the area. So without further ado, we'll get started. I will go ahead and start with the first one. The first one is kind of a fun activity that is happening this week that you can attend. On March 2, you can go stargazing on the Willard Rooftop downtown. So the Raleigh Astronomy Club is hosting the event for free, and that is on Wednesday, March 2, and the club will have telescopes and hobby astronomers there to guide stargazing and answer any questions. And there will be a fireplace and rooftop heaters, and basically, the winter constellations are on their way out. And you can catch glimpses of the constellations, Orion, as well as others- and the hunting dog star Sirius. And I just think that would be something really fun to do if you are a fan of the stars. Personally, I love stargazing, we don't always have the best stargazing in Raleigh. It's not exactly like we're huge city, but it's no not as great as it is out in the country. And that will be from 7 to 9pm March 2 for free. So that's super exciting. Abigail, anything to say?

Abigail 2:36
Wow, it looks like I might have some new plans for March 2. I love stargazing too, just because, you know I'm from Eatonton. It's a lot flatter, a lot more rural, and at night, you can see so many stars and it's one of my favorite things about that place. So I have also noticed that in Raleigh, it's not great for any kind of sky gazing. There's a lot of hills, a lot of trees, a lot of buildings. So you can't really see the sky at night, so I kind of think this is awesome, and then like rooftop heaters, come on. That's so good.

That's so good. Yeah, so that's super exciting. That'd be fun to do with your friends with the date are by yourself Hey.

So guys, my first tidbit is because spring is coming and I love spring, and if you're anything like me, you are super excited about being able to get outside and fix your gardens and see what you can manage to keep alive this year. With the spring vibes in the air, I figured I would shout out to local plant shops that I know you will love and where you might find me and my mom pretty soon. The first place I wanted to shout out is Fairview Garden Center. This place is crazy. They have so many plants and literally all kinds. The staff are super helpful and knowledgeable and the plants are conveniently divided into groups based on their living needs. I went to Fairview a few times last year and I was so shocked by how many plants that were there, and as someone who doesn't know much about all the different kinds of plants like honestly, if you just tell me a type of plant, I have no clue what that is. So having the plants organized by their needs and similarities was so helpful. Another really cool place is Urban Pothos. This one is specifically for the house plant girlies. They are a small shop that specializes in houseplants. Their IG bio calls them a plant boutique, which is the cutest thing ever. I actually haven't been to Urban Pothos yet, but it's been on my radar for a while so I am really excited to check them out.

Avery 3:45
Awesome. That's really cool. I'm excited to check out Urban Pothos because I love a house plant. We love a plant boutique. That's really cute. And I'm looking at pictures right now and it's so cute on the inside.

It really is and I think If you already have a plant that's kind of outgrowing its pot, I'm pretty sure you can call them and they will repot it for you with their fancy soil concoctions.

Oh my gosh, that's so dope. Okay, cool. That's very exciting. Um, yeah, like you said, springtime is coming, it's time to cultivate life people. So speaking of plants, a new plant based COVID-19 vaccine that will be made in Research Triangle Park has been approved by health officials in Canada, and the government has agreed to buy millions of doses. So the vaccine developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Medicago will begin manufacturing the vaccine later this spring, and a contract to supply 76 million doses of the vaccine to Canada has been signed. And so basically, Medicago uses plants to produce virus like particles that mimic the COVID-19 virus. And clinical trials showed that it was 76% effective against all variants except the Omicron, because when they were doing the testing, the Omicron had not rolled up on the scene yet. But they are going to continue testing for that variant in the upcoming weeks. So I just thought that was really cool that this big new plant based vaccine is going to be coming out of RTP. And I think that this makes it a little bit more accessible for people who can't have the normal types of vaccines. But basically, some people can be allergic to the vaccines that are made with that have like chicken proteins in them. So this is just exciting that they're having this new vaccine, and it's coming out of RTP. So that was my little segue from the plants to plant based vaccine.

Abigail 6:55
Oh, that sounds so interesting. I didn't know they could do that. What a cool way- I don't know, that's just science. Yay!

Avery 7:03
Woo go science, love to see it!

Unknown Speaker 7:06
Women in STEM! On a less health based note, I am going to be talking about sharks. So okay, me and my sister have had, been having this conversation lately about sharks endlessly, because I have this crazy fear- I don't think it's crazy- It's a fear of swimming and large bodies of water due to the chances of being attacked by a giant fish or a shark. Yes, that's it. Basically, I watched too much TV when I was little, and now I'm scarred for life, and I'm always terrified of being eaten by something. Anyways, we grew up in a coastal community and spent most of the summers in big bodies of wate so I always went swimming, but that thought has never escaped me. But anyways, this is gonna be a fun summer for me, because according to news and observer, there is a study going on right now off the coast of the Carolinas, to find evidence that on the coast of the Carolinas is where great white sharks gathered to breed every year. For this project, sharks are being caught and having their blood analyzed to check reproductive hormone levels, as well as other tests on like reproductive signs. If the theory that Great White Sharks mate on the coast of the Carolinas is true, it will mean that for about two months out of the year, the Carolina coast is brimming with great whites. Fortunately, those two months are suspect, suspected to be from late January to early March. So when I'm swimming, I'll probably be fine. Also, if this is proven true, this will be the first time that a great white breeding place has been found, so it's kind of like groundbreaking news if this happens.

Avery 8:47
I remember reading about this and being very surprised. I had no idea that Great White Sharks were even like around North Carolina, but maybe I just don't know anything about sea life. But yeah, there was a couple a few weeks ago who found a six foot great white shark dead on the beach at the Outer Banks, and so that's super interesting. I don't know if you saw that in Australia, there was a man who got killed by a shark in the water and it was really brutal. I feel like normally- I, maybe I shouldn't be telling you this but I feel like normally when you hear about a shark attack, it's very, it's like, they bite the person and swim away. Or, I don't know, it's not super brutal, but there was a great white shark attack in Australia a few weeks ago and it just like really went in on the guy and unfortunately the man died. And yeah, so that's exciting to hear that we might have our own fun great white population here in North Carolina. So it is between January and March, so if any of you guys are going to the beach with your friends and want to take any polar plunges, look out watch your toes. And the last tidbit that I have for you guys today is that NC State has been named as the best large employer in the state, and so they're number one and this number increased from fourth place in 2021 and ninth place in 2020. So an anonymous surveys conducted by Forbes for businesses with over 1000 employees, and the large employer category is for those with 5000 employees or more. And respondents were asked about working conditions, development opportunities, compensation, and if they would recommend working at that place to a friend. And in 2020, the UNC system conducted a similar survey, with 84% of respondents agreeing that they were proud to work at NC State. And there's going to be a follow up survey on March 28. So we'll see how things have changed in the past two years, but it looks like they're doing pretty well. And so I just thought that was really interesting. It's good to know that NC State is a good place to work. Not that it's perfect. No place is perfect. But I mean, it's one of the best in the state, I mean, it beat out like Duke University, as well as like Duke Energy and a bunch of other big companies. So that's pretty cool. And then something else that I thought was really cool is that nationally, NC State ranked above Apple, Space X, Sony and Tesla. So, okay!

Abigail 11:48
Wow, NC State is hopping the charts! That is so impressive, honestly. And I'm kind of not surprised just with being in news and stuff, you talk to a lot of the professors and a lot of the people that work at NC State, and so many of them are so excited about what they're doing. So like, yeah, it's pretty cool to hear that that actually is the case and they're not lying to me. For my last tidbit, I figured we could end this episode without bringing up that NC State is making masks optional in most spaces on March 7. This is about a week after the community standards update, saying that masks are optional in places like hallways and Talley, face coverings are still welcomed and encouraged, as well as vaccinations and boosters. But we kind of know how that goes, students are probably, they're not too worried about that they're probably just excited to no longer have these things. Testing is still going to be available on campus, but it is no longer mandatory for unvaccinated individuals or those who have not submitted their vaccination documents. I felt like this was important to bring up because it's been so long since the panini press started, and so long since at least in Raleigh, that masks are not required in most spaces. So I just wanted to say to have empathy and patience with one another and respect people's choices. It's been a crazy few years. So let's just show people some grace with where they are and what they're comfortable with. But yeah, no more mandatory masks as of March 7.

Avery 13:30
Yeah, that's, you know, regardless of if you're going to continue to wear your mask if you're not, it's obviously an interesting development and it shows that, you know, hopefully, things are trending in a good direction that cases are going down. And this is a good step forward, which is exciting. But yeah, I just kind of agree with what Abigail said that, you know, people are going to have different opinions and might make different choices than you, but we just all need to respect each other, whether you're wearing one whether you're not, we're all still people at the heart of things. So, yeah. Well, this has been the weekly news with Avery and Abigail Ali. And we just want to say thank you so much for tuning in. We hope that you enjoyed we hope that you learned a little something about the triangle area, and we will talk to you guys soon. Bye!

Abigail 14:26

Jeanine Ikekhua 14:28
Next, you'll hear the interview that I did with the cofounders of Lux, Emma Grace Barnes and Catherine Carter. Lux is a nonprofit dedicated to providing legal services for survivors of sexual assault. In this episode, we're going to be talking about how they founded their nonprofit and the current work that they're actually doing. And also they will be having a pop up on March 27 and I will leave details in the bio on our podcast, enjoy.

Today I am joined with the founders of Lux Emma Grace Barnes and Katherine Carter, and we're going to be talking about their new nonprofit. Thank you guys for being here so much.

Katherine 15:05
Thank you so much for having us.

Emma grace 15:07
Yeah we're so excited to be here.

Jeanine Ikekhua 15:09
Great. So first of all, I want to start off by, just let the audience know a bit about yourself.

Katherine 15:15
Of course, so my name is Katherine Carter. I'm a sophomore at NC State majoring in political science and minoring in Spanish. I grew up right here in Raleigh. So excited to stay at state and stay close to home.

Emma grace 15:32
Yeah, and I am Emma Grace, I am a sophomore as well here at NC State. I'm majoring in neurobiology and minoring in social work, and I'm originally from Charlotte. And yeah, I'm just like I said before, I'm really excited to be here talking to you all.

Jeanine Ikekhua 15:49
So we are here because of Lux. Now, I know the first time when I heard looks like I automatically thought of luxury, which is probably not what Lux is. So I want you to tell us. So what exactly is Lux?

Katherine 15:59
So Lux is a nonprofit that Emma Grace and I started last year together. Our mission is to provide support for survivors of sexual violence through providing legal resources. And we chose the name Lux, because it means light in Latin, and that felt like what we wanted to incorporate into our nonprofit because our goal is to bring light to an incredibly under resourced community, and a community that often has a lot of stigma and shame surrounding it, when there should not be any at all for survivors. So our resource is our website. The idea is that where the first stop after violence happens, because when something like that happens, it's incredibly personally traumatizing, and the idea of doing research on top of your personal healing is incredibly daunting. So we've done the research so survivors don't have to, they come to our website, all the resources that they might need are laid out there, and they have that information that they can pull from, rather than having to spend hours upon hours looking for that information. But we are expanding in the near future and hoping to be able to provide practical legal aid to survivors, rather than being a resource that then sends them to other organizations.

Jeanine Ikekhua 17:20
So I know you talked about like you started locks and looks because you were able to help sexual assault survivors. So I wanted to know, there are multiple ways that you can help them, but why did you feel that it was important to start an organization by itself that provides help?

Emma grace 17:42
Yeah, so I have had personal experiences when it comes to the legal aspect of like these kinds of situations. And so, for me, especially I remember my interactions with the legal system when it came to my experience with sexual assault. And it did, it was not as comprehensive as I wish it had been. It didn't go in my favor. And there were a bunch of holes that I saw on the system. And when I talked to Catherine, she completely agreed, had the same concerns. And so we wanted to be an organization that could fill those holes and kind of fill that gap within the system to provide more cohesive and comprehensive care to survivors, when they choose to pursue that.

Jeanine Ikekhua 18:28
First of all, I just want to congratulate you and just talk about how brave you are for the fact that you were actually able to take that step. So give yourself a very big pat on the back because that is an extremely rude thing to do. I know we talked about the resources that locks up that looks offers. But can you dive a bit more deeper into that and like specifically talk about the type of aid that it offers?

Katherine 18:53
Absolutely. So like I said, our resource right now is our website. And we have a bunch of different sections on our website for different types of resources. There's an education section for anyone who wants to learn more about the effects of sexual violence and how you can help things like that. There's a section specifically about how you can help if you're interested in getting involved in this field. And then there's a resource section for survivors for information directly after they come to our website after violence has happened, like I said, and then we also have a resources section for allies. So if somebody you're close to has come to you and said, This happened to me and you don't really know how to handle it, you can come to our website, there's literature you can read. But there's also just like information about how to handle that if somebody comes to you and the ways to support them that not a lot of people are aware of. And then we also have other sections on our website, just more general things for people to come and hopefully become more knowledgeable about this field that again, like I said, is incredibly underrepresented and not talked about very often in society.

Jeanine Ikekhua 20:04
Okay, I'm gonna take you fast forward five years, we're gonna do a nice little jump. Now, of course, Lux is in its beginning stages. But I want to know, like, where do you see this nonprofit going in five years?

Emma grace 20:20
Yeah, so that's a great question that is honestly something that Catherine and I not change our minds about frequently. But we constantly have more and more ideas about what we the direction that we want Lux to go. And so, Kat, if I miss anything, feel free to just jump in and add it. But, in five years, we would love to be kind of a service in an organization that is seen and used nationwide. So that we were able to help survivors from a variety of different like geographical locations. But also just like within our hometowns, but also everywhere. So that is definitely a goal that we have, obviously, we want to have a bunch of lawyers or legal practices, a variety of legal aid available to the survivors for the use, or for their use, and kind of just streamline that whole process. Because of course, when we start, it'll be different now than it looks in five years, so we won't be able to streamline that whole thing. And yeah, Cat if you could add anything else,

Katherine 21:28
I would just second everything Emma Grace has said, at its core, Lux is meant to help survivors in any way that we can. So I think in five years, we could go in a lot of different directions, depending on the best track that we see to help survivors the most. But like Emma Grace said, we're really hopeful that we can just expand a, our presence and b, the legal aid aspect of our organization. And personally, I plan to go to law school after college so I'm very hopeful that like with that degree, I'll be able to change my role in this organization to provide a little bit more of that aid, like from my own standpoint.

Jeanine Ikekhua 22:16
So I know, we've been talking about how the legal system does not do a good enough job when it comes to helping like survivors of sexual assault. So I wanted you to shed some light, like what are the specific problems and issue like with the legal system?

Katherine 22:30
We do not have time to get into all the problems of the legal system, with sexual violence. To be candid, the system was designed to protect the perpetrators rather than to bring justice to the victims. To begin with, 95% of rapes go unreported. So before we even get to the legal system, they're not being reported, they're not being brought to the legal system in the first place. Once you do get to the legal system, regularly, your first stop is going to be the police office where you go to report something traumatic that has happened to you and police officers are not trained on how to handle a situation as delicate as that one. In rare instances, sometimes you go to the police station to report something, and another assault will happen. Once you get to the courtroom, I hear all the time about cases where somebody gets off because the perpetrator was drunk, because you would never do that when you're sober, things like that, where the victim is not treated like somebody who had a crime occurred to them. They're treated as somebody who was just a little sweaty that night, who had too much to drink who wanted it and now she's going back on it. And they're treated as somebody who's done something wrong, rather than somebody who has had an incredibly traumatic thing happened to them that is against the law and needs to be brought to justice. Something that we talk all the time about in our nonprofit is the book "Know My Name" by Chanel, Miller. It was a really, I was a very famous rape case a few years ago, the Brock Turner rape case, if you remember that swimmer who went to Stanford. And I think that situation just like, encapsulates perfectly what is wrong with the legal system. It took her years to get a verdict. It took her standing in front of a courtroom and having to relive her trauma. It took people telling her that she was in the wrong that he had done nothing wrong that she wanted it that because she was drinking it was her fault. And even though she did get a guilty verdict, he went to prison for only six months- and well he was sentenced to six months and then was let out after three months for good behavior for raping a woman. So I think like that encapsulates and I just so much of what is wrong with the legal system, and I could talk forever about it. But when we started Lux, the goal was to close a little bit of that gap, and honestly, just to bring as much light as possible as we could to this situation, so that people talk about it, and it's not as stigmatized. There's a quote in Chanel Miller's book, I'm just gonna say it off the top of my head, so forgive me if I get it wrong but "Denying darkness does not bring anyone closer to the light, when you see a victim of sexual assault, beneath all the gore and police reports, there's a whole beautiful person looking for ways to be in the world again", and that's kind of what we're trying to do. Like, beneath the gore in the police reports, there's a whole beautiful person. And a lot of the time in the legal system, that person gets washed away.

Emma grace 25:52
Yeah, and on top of all of that, and yeah, Catherine and I are both so that we could talk about this for hours. There, the way that the legal system works, the way the justice system works right now is that the perpetrator, it's seen as like a blip, a blip in their life, like, oh, it happened once it was one instance move on with your life. But for the person that had happened to for the for the survivor, it is not a blip, it can't it just takes over their whole life. It's something that has changed who they are to their core, the core of their being, it's not. So sorry, it's not just a blip. It's not just a single instance. It's not just something that you can forget. And the legal system sees it as that they see it as a mistake, they see it as a one time occurrenc, they see it as something that happened last week, that doesn't influence this week, that won't influence next week. And that just mindset in itself is so detrimental and so traumatizing to so many survivors. And especially when those mindsets influence verdicts. It's just it fundamentally is wrong.

Jeanine Ikekhua 27:03
So we've been talking about like the importance of Lux and like the gap that the legal system has created, and Lux been able to help fill some of that gap. And obviously, we know that it's a very important organization. So I want to know, what are some ways that people can support your organization?

Katherine 27:22
This is an awesome question. We really appreciate publicity, if that's something that people are able to do just resharing our posts, financial donations are really helpful as well. But honestly, the biggest thing that we're asking of people is just educating themselves on the topic, we want to dismantle the societal stigma around sexual violence. So learning about what it looks like learning what to do, if somebody comes to you and says, this horrible thing happened to me, learning how to notice it in real life, if one of your friends looks like she's been acting really differently lately, or he looks like he's in a really uncomfortable situation at a party, being aware of it and looking for it and knowing what to do if you do encounter it. And then lastly, trying to dismantle that stigma inside yourself so that when you hear about sexual violence, you don't like you aren't ashamed of the survivor, and in actuality, you look at the perpetrator as somebody who has committed a crime and deserve to be brought to justice. So individuals really have a huge part to play in the fight against sexual violence because if you learn more about it, you're much more likely to to hopefully stop it if it happens to somebody else, and to respond well. And then the more this is brought to light, the less perpetrators are going to be able to get away with hurting other people.

Jeanine Ikekhua 28:55
So we talked about how people can support the organization, but the organization was built for, is built for people who have been sexually assaulted for sexual assault survivors. So I want to know, if somebody who has been sexually assaulted, like they come across this podcast, and they want to seek help, like, what is one of the first things that they should do? Like who should they contact? Or what are the type of people that they should go to?

Emma grace 29:19
Yeah, so I want to preface this with every single person's kind of path is going to be different because it's going to be based on what works for them and what they're comfortable with. So there's not really a like a one stop shop, kind of a one singular path you would go down for that. But depending on the person's comfort level, you know, listening to this. It is really important to have a really strong support network, especially if you whether you decide to pursue legal action or not. So the first thing I would say just based on my own experience and kind of others experiences I would reach out, I would talk to someone that you trust, and you confide in, because support is one of the best things that people can give others. And then also, check out our website, of course luxresources.org, we have a bunch of different steps on there on how to go about pursuing legal action, if you so choose. And also, you can always reach out to us our, our emails and the Lux email, which is also on our website. But really, I would say, regardless, you would definitely want to build a big support network, and one of the biggest things, and this is a really hard thing, but if you decide that you do want to pursue legal action, it is really, really important to document anything that has happened to you. Because eventually, when it comes down to it, when there is a case, when you're in the courtroom, that evidence will be some of the only things that can actually prove that what happened to you did happen. And while your experience is completely valid, we want the system to see that as well. And so being able to document what has happened to you is a very, very vital part of it. But again, that can be very, very traumatizing for some people. So I highly, highly recommend if anyone is listening to this podcast, and something like that has happened to them, or even if you think it did, please confide in someone, please build a support network, because that is genuinely the best thing that you can do for yourself starting off.

Katherine 31:26
I would just highlight, again, anything that Emma Grace and I can do for anyone who is going through this, like we built our website so that survivors can go there, but also absolutely reach out to us if that is something that you feel would be helpful and see what services we can provide. Because again, at its core, Lux is designed to help survivors in whatever way we can. So please reach out to us if that's something that you think would be beneficial for you.

Jeanine Ikekhua 31:55
My last question is, are there any future plans are there ongoing events that people should know about regarding Lux?

Katherine 32:05
We are really excited about an event that we're holding on March 27, at 1:30. It's a pop up fundraising event with other small businesses from Raleigh, you can come check it out, there'll be a bunch of vendors there, and we will be there selling our stickers and trying to raise awareness of our organization. So anyone that wants to come out, we would really appreciate that. That is our main big event coming up. In the future, we've got some really big projects that are underway right now that we're working on that aren't necessarily ready to be shared. But there's big stuff coming in the future.

Jeanine Ikekhua 32:43
Well, we look forward to seeing all the big stuff and we'll be definitely be supporting you. I just want to say thank you so much for letting me interview it has been a joy to get to know more about you and about the organization. And it is a great thing to know that there are organizations out there like you that are doing such amazing work.

Katherine 33:01
Thank you so much for having us. Um, I'll just say that our website is www.luxresources.org. That's L-U-X, so please go to our website if you have any time and check us out.

Emma grace 33:12
Yeah, yeah, again, thank you so much for having us. This has been great. And anyone out there are who is listening, whether it's through our website or not, you know, preferably through our website, but please get help, if this has happened to you because you deserve it.

Katherine 33:28

Jeanine Ikekhua 33:29
Music in this episode has been North Oakland Ecstasy by SquatterB licensed under the YouTube Audio Library. This has been Jeanine Ikekhua for WKNC Radio. Thank you for listening to today's episode. You can listen to more episodes at wknc.org/podcasts and you can also tune in every Sunday at 6pm to hear new episodes from Eye on the Triangle

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

EOT 353- Lux & Weekly News
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