Hello! I'm Ashley.

I'm passionate about loving Jesus and partnering with my husband in bring the flavor of His kingdom to the world. I seek to do this through promoting truth-seeking expeditions, advocating gender equality, educating the Church on abuse, and aiding the rescue of men, women and children from spiritual, emotional and physical poverty.

What To Expect At The Courage Conference

What To Expect At The Courage Conference

So, you bought a ticket to The Courage Conference, or maybe you are still considering it, but you’ve been wondering: “What can I expect at The Courage Conference?”

Let me give you a rundown of all of the relevant details!

Day 1: Friday Evening October 28th

5:00PM EST

You will be traveling to the Riverviews ArtSpace located in downtown historic Lynchburg, Virginia. Your first task will be to secure a parking spot. We will have several parking attendants ready to direct you to the designated parking locations. 

After parking your car, you will walk a short distance to the Riverview Artspace. The Artspace is a particularly lovely building, typically full of local art displays. The doors will open at 5:00pm EST. Seating is first come first serve, so I recommend getting there as early as possible.

Upon your arrival, you will need to show your ticket confirmation. Please have your printed ticket or mobile ticket prepared and ready to show the attendants welcoming you at the door. After you are confirmed, you will be given a booklet containing the event agenda, speaker notes, relevant resources, and information about the organizations sponsoring the event.

5:30PM EST

Dinner starts at 5:30pm sharp and will be provided by Celeste & Co. Catering. Celeste & Co. Catering will have prepared three, delicious, gourmet dinner selections included in the cost of your ticket. 

6:15PM EST

After everyone is served, the event will begin at 6:15. 

The agenda for Friday night will include two of our inspiring speakers, followed by a Q&A session will the full speaker panel. See speaker topics below.

9PM EST

Friday night officially ends at 9pm. But for those who are interested, we will be showing a documentary called, "Pursuit of Truth: Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Seeking Justice". This film chronicles the struggles of survivors who seek to hold their abusers accountable under the law. This screening will start at 9:15pm for all who wish to stay. 

Day 2: Saturday Morning October 29th

7:30AM EST

Doors open bright and early, 7:30am, again at the Riverview Artspace. A delicious breakfast will be served with the first speaker beginning at 8:30am sharp.

During this morning meeting you will be inspired, equipped, and resourced by our remaining five speakers. 

11:30AM EST

The Courage Conference will include a lunch provided by UpRooted, an organic and local farm-to-table operation. 

12PM EST

The Courage Conference speaking sessions will close out at 12 o’clock noon, but not before inviting survivors to a private meet-up with several of our speakers. This will be a great time to meet other survivors and ask any additional questions you may have for the speakers on a more personal level. 

Pastors and church leaders will be invited to a short, exclusive gathering to connect with other like-minded ministers, inquire further with some of the speakers, and gain exposure to resources relevant to your ministry.

Speakers and Topics

These amazing advocates and professionals will offer one-of-a kind conversations that will double as encouragement for survivors of abuse and those who love them, as well as education for church leaders and those in the Christian community who are looking for training on abuse prevention and response. 

Ashley Easter This Is The Justice Generation

Professor Boz Tchividjian Reflecting Jesus:  Preventing abuse and Responding with Excellence

Jory Micah How Tradition & Theology Can Contribute to Abuse 

Monica Daye Till It Happens To You: The Aftermath of Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence

Natalie Greenfield Chase The Morning Sun: My Story of Sexual Abuse & Shaming, And My Journey To Healing

Rachel Williams-Jordan Responding to Sexual Violence in the Community  

Thomas Edward Hi-Five: Prolong or Accelerate Your Healing Journey

Things You Should know

  • We will have breaks in between speaking sessions, both Friday and Saturday, giving you time to stretch your legs, use the restroom and take a look at our excellent resource tables.
  • If you should feel triggered or overwhelmed at any point during the conference, we will have a quiet space for you to rest and empathetic supporters (including professional counselors) if you wish to talk with someone about how you are feeling.
  • The media may attend this event, but be assured that they have been given a strict set of rules to prevent them from interfering with your experience of the event. They will not be allowed to video or photograph those in attendance without express permission from the individual. Their cinematic allowance is to take footage of the speakers ONLY. Additionally, there will be a designated safe seating area to ensure the privacy of those who do not want to be videoed or photographed, even from behind. 
  • We will also have our own video and photography team ready to capture the event for those viewing online. Again, this will be done with much sensitivity for your privacy.

Facebook Group

If you are coming to the event and you would like a chance to connect with some of the other attendees please feel free to join our Facebook group. Here you can establish connections and make requests such as, “I’m looking to share a hotel room or Airbnb with someone, is there anyone who would like to split the cost with me?” or “I’ll be in town early on Friday, who wants to join me for an outting?”

Click here to join.

Out Of Town Guests

Lodging 

The local university is hosting an event in Lynchburg during the same weekend as The Courage Conference. This event should not interfere with our own, however there may be a shortage of hotel options close to the event.

Our suggestions would be to search for hotel rooms just outside of Lynchburg City, or to take a look at the local Airbnb options. My husband and I have had several positive experiences at Airbnbs. Not only are these a unique and homey choice, but they are often much more affordable staying options. (I have had someone share with me that hotels and Airbnbs are difficult for those who are survivors of sex trafficking. To you, I offer my deepest apologies. If anyone has a less triggering option to recommend, please do so in the comments section.) 

If you would like to find a roommate please join the Facebook group mentioned above.

After Conference Meetup

If you are an out of town guest and would like another opportunity to spend time together, my husband and I will be having a casual dinner at CiCi’s Pizza at 6:30pm Saturday night. You are welcome to come and join us (in town guests can attend as well). If you decide to come please let us know in the Facebook Group.

What To Do In Lynchburg

If you are an out-of-town guest coming to Lynchburg a little early or staying a bit later please take a look at this list of things to do in Lynchburg, VA. If you are a history buff, Appomattox is not far and The Peaks of Otter is a great location for outdoorsy individuals and should be lovely this time of year.

Looking for good food in the Lynchburg area? Check out these restaurant options!

This really is an event that you are not going to want to miss! Sign up today and share with your friends. We have both on-site and online viewing options, as well as a Scholarship Program (get a free ticket if you can’t afford one) with limited space.

-Ashley Easter

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