Theatre lights dimmed and popcorn bags crinkled quietly as over 230 people settled into their seats, preparing for the night’s premiere. Throughout the feature, moviegoers were riveted to the events on the screen, sometimes nodding, sometimes laughing, and sometimes crying. As the credits rolled, featured cast members appeared on the stage to a standing ovation from the audience.
This may sound like the world premiere of a blockbuster hit, and for many in attendance, it was. On September 26, Darkness to Light (D2L) officially launched the much-anticipated new version of Stewards of Children®, featuring updated statistics, contemporary issues, and a new cast of survivors and experts.
This program involved nearly two years of time and effort, and included contributions by child sexual abuse survivors, childcare and advocacy professionals, youth serving professionals, prevention experts, and parents. Authorized facilitators and professionals from diverse backgrounds participated in advisory and feedback groups, shaping the program from inception to release.
To mark the training’s global launch, D2L premiered the program’s narrative teaching documentary at a red carpet event held in its headquarter city of Charleston, South Carolina. Program supporters, funders, and facilitators attended the event alongside survivors and experts featured in the program.
Following the event, the survivors featured in Stewards of Children were honored with D2L Voice of Courage awards recognizing their contribution to the film and to creating safer communities for children. We are particularly grateful to these courageous individuals: Guerry Glover, Sylvia Goalen, Keisha Head, Margaret Hoelzer, Wesley Hogue, David Moody, Jr., Souraya Christine Pinkston, and Marilyn Van Derbur and Holly Austin Smith (awarded in absentia). Thank you for sharing your stories to help create a culture where children are better protected from sexual abuse. Thank you for showing the world that sexual abuse can be prevented, stopped, and overcome. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
For information on the new Stewards of Children, visit www.D2L.org/Stewards or e-mail Stewards@D2L.org.