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Conversations with Ella Fairon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ella Fairon.

Hi Ella, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My work on SafeBAE began six years ago during the filming of the Netflix Doc “Audrie and Daisy” when I met a group of fellow sexual assault survivors from around the country. We formed SafeBAE as a way to address sexual violence and harassment among middle and high school students. We knew the film would be a success, so wanted to use that platform as a way to start to reach kids and provide them with free materials and programs to change the culture of their schools and learn about preventing dating violence. We have grown more than I could have even imagined back then and already reached millions of students, but want to continue to grow our programs as well as reaching even more students.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It has most definitely not been a smooth road. There has been resistance to us doing this work with younger students. There has been little to no financial support to allow us to more effectively reach more kids. But even more than that, as a group of survivors ourselves, we have struggled individually and collectively with our ongoing healing process and last August 4th, we lost our co-founder Daisy (Cat) Coleman to suicide. It has been unimaginably hard to recover and heal from that loss and keep doing this work, but I am so proud of our whole team for working hard to carry on her legacy.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m most proud of starting my no-profit organization – SafeBAE – but even more so, I am really proud of the creative ways we have worked to fund our programming in order to make sure students don’t have to pay to access it. This year, I created a ‘consent panties’ clothing line and launched it in order to help support our programming. It has been super successful so far and it has been so fun to integrate my creative ideas for the clothing line and using it as an educational vehicle to talk about consent with kids.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
There are entirely too many people to credit, but I will always dedicate my work to Daisy (Cat) Coleman. Without her, none of this would be possible. I am also incredibly grateful to my other co-founders, Jada Smith, Charlie Coleman, and Shael Norris for all of their amazing work in bringing this organization to life.

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Ella Fairon

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