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Passion and Privilege: How I became involved with CALICO

Shilpa Rao’s life was changed when she met a woman named Priscilla. This encounter not only changed how she viewed herself, it ignited a passion for helping women and children which led her to CALICO’s Board of Directors.

I never considered myself a very privileged person. I always assumed privilege meant a specific skin color, gender, or socioeconomic class that was home to a majority. As brown-skinned daughter born to immigrant parents, I definitely checked the minority box.

Until I met Priscilla. Priscilla came from a turbulent household, where domestic violence and abuse was a daily occurrence. She also came from a cultural similar to mine, where violence in the home is dealt with privately. Turning to outside services for help is unheard of because it is considered to bring shame on the family. Priscilla and I had so much in common, yet our backgrounds could not be more different.

This is when I realized that privilege also comes in the form of opportunity and environment. I had a stable upbringing where home was a safe and healthy space for me. This was an experience Priscilla was never given at no fault of her own. Upon this realization, I became determined to ensure no woman or child was held back from reaching their full potential, due to tragic circumstances.

It is with this passion that I joined forces with CALICO. CALICO blew my mind the moment I met the vivacious Executive Director, Erin Harper. She talked me through CALICO's innovative and effective forensic interviewing methodology, invited me to tour the offices, mingle with the staff, and meet the other board members who were equally committed to CALICO's mission of offering justice for victims of child abuse. It was very clear, I had to be part of such an inspira

tional organization.

It’s the 20th anniversary of CALICO and my journey here has just begun. CALICO has served over 11,000 children and families to date, and I’m excited to be a part of its future. In fact, you could even say I’m privileged to do so.

Please join me in supporting CALICO, their 20th anniversary, and all of the children and families they help by coming to the CALICO for Kids Annual Fundraiser. All proceeds from this event go towards supporting forensic interviews and family support services. Click here to learn more about the event.

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