© 2024 WXPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Local musician Kelly Jackson uses music to 'Impact Change' in awareness campaign about violence against women

Kelly Jackson Facebook

Lac du Flambeau singer and songwriter Kelly Jackson recently released a music video for her song “Don’t Speak” in hopes that the video will spark broader conversation about the prevalence of sexual violence, particularly in indigenous communities.

Kelly Jackson wrote her song “Don’t Speak” about a decade ago in response to a personal encounter with sexual violence.

“Music, at least for me individually, has always been that medicinal and healing component of my life,” she said. “I wrote ‘Don’t Speak’ because I’m a survivor. It was my way of putting into music what my own emotional recovery was.”

When she started performing the song for audiences, she quickly realized it resonated with a lot of people.

“People would come up to me and say, ‘oh my gosh, I’m a victim of sexual violence when I was in college’ or ‘this happened to me,’” Jackson said. “It really invoked freedom and flexibility on the part of folks who wanted to share. Part of that is because the tagline in the song is ‘I am not alone. You are not alone.’”

In hopes of opening up this conversation further, Jackson recorded a music video for the song which released last month.


It’s the centerpiece of a fundraising and awareness campaign to raise attention to violence against women, an issue which disproportionately impacts indigenous people. Jackson is calling the effort “Impact Change.”

Her music video features a cast of real-life indigenous survivors, from a military veteran to a college student to a wife and children.

In the video, each woman stands alone as her world literally turns upside down.

“We had this beautiful set and the whole room itself literally tipped backwards 90 degrees,” Jackson described. “Everything falls. It’s like that point where you find yourself lost in the chaos following a traumatic event. I think watching everything come back up and the women dusting themselves off and the powerwalk forward was very moving for me.”

The women walk off stage alone but reemerge together.

“You are not alone,” Jackson sings in the video. “You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone.”

Proceeds from Jackson’s campaign will help her nonprofit assemble emergency care packages for victims of violence.

She encourages people who want to support the cause to simply start a conversation with family, friends and community members.

“People need to be more aware of what’s happening in their own communities, but also the disproportionate effects that are currently carried out in Indian Country,” she said. “I think part of the conversation is just having a conversation.”

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
Up North Updates
* indicates required
Related Content