As survivors of sexual abuse, our founders were joined together through incredibly traumatic circumstances. They lifted each other up in their darkest moments, and now they want to be the support all survivors of sexual assault and abuse desperately need.

Created by survivors of sexual assault that was enabled by Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and the US Olympic Committee, The Army of Survivors was founded by a diverse pool of athletes competing at all levels: gymnasts, divers, runners, softball players, volleyball players, and more. Our unique history allows us to bring awareness to the systemic problem of sexual abuse of athletes; our goal is to end this culture of abuse by ensuring all parties are held accountable, creating transparency in reporting, building an environment where athletes do not fear retaliation when reporting abuse, and advocating for change to protect survivors.

Our Team


Executive Director

Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran, MSW is a leader within the field of the prevention and intervention of gender-based violence (GBV). Over 20 years ago, Julie Ann began her career in the movement to end GBV by providing direct services and advocacy for survivors at local domestic violence and sexual assault programs throughout the United States. Prior to TAOS, Rivers-Cochran worked for the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health and as Founder for Blackbird Consulting for Nonprofits, a consultancy committed to helping nonprofit organizations carry out their mission while best serving their constituency. As a survivor of childhood trauma, Rivers-Cochran is a fierce advocate, whose personal experience with the impact of sexual assault and domestic violence has translated into a lifelong goal of listening to, then advocating for survivors while holding perpetrators and the systems that support them accountable. Rivers-Cochran serves on the Advisory Committee for Safe Sport International and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Florida State University, a BA in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College, and an Executive Certificate in Transformational Nonprofit Leadership from the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

KACEY LONG, MSW (she/her)

Director of Programs

Kacey Long, MSW has worked in the field of sexual violence since 2012 at sexual assault centers, research institutions, state agencies, and within the child welfare system. Prior to joining The Army of Survivors, Kacey worked alongside global human trafficking researchers and led projects on the intersections of sexual violence and LGBTQIA2S+ populations. She has served as a member on Georgia’s Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, and as a board member of several local nonprofits. Kacey is the co-chair of North Georgia Sex Trafficking Awareness & Response Task Force and chairs the Survivor Advocacy Subcomittee. Her background consists of community education, outreach, and conducting research to create federal, state, and local policies. Kacey holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. She is an avid women’s soccer fan and enjoys playing in recreation leagues in her free time.

Phoebe Unruh (she/her)

Director of Marketing and Communications

Phoebe Unruh is a Communications and Marketing professional who joined the Army of Survivors as the Director of Marketing and Communications in 2023. Phoebe has invested her talents and skills into the nonprofit sector with the goal of creating, contributing to, and inspiring change. After surviving sexual abuse in her youth, Phoebe’s goal has been to fight for change and advocate for the generations following her, making her work at TAOS professionally and personally meaningful. Phoebe looks forward to continuing to utilize her skills in communications and marketing to serve The Army of Survivors in its mission to end sexual assault against athletes.


Executive Assistant

Holland Bankston works as an Executive Assistant to TAOS’ Executive Director, Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran, ensuring operations and administration run smoothly. Her commitment to helping others stems from her own journey as a sexual assault survivor. During her time at Texas A&M, Holland’s profound empathy for survivors of sexual assault became evident, igniting a deep-seated passion to contribute to their healing and empowerment. She also works as the Director of Client Care & Quality Improvement at Sex Ed for You, a comprehensive sexuality education practice that focuses on empowering individuals and helping trauma survivors reclaim their sexuality. Holland spends her free time painting, reading, and playing volleyball!

our board

GRACE FRENCH (she/her)

President and Founder

Grace French is a dancer, marketer, strategist, and founder. Grace currently works in Ann Arbor as a marketing professional, and also as the President and Founder of The Army of Survivors. Her passion for dance lives on through her students that she coaches at a nationally recognized youth studio in Canton, Michigan. As a survivor of the now defamed Michigan State University doctor, Grace has dedicated her life to changing the culture of sport, consent, and institutional accountability to make sure that no one has to endure sexual violence or abuse. Her work in survivors’ rights and advocacy for athletes’ rights has been globally recognized, leading her to speak at the United Nations General Assembly in 2019 to urge the passage of a Worldwide Survivor Bill of Rights. She serves as an Advisory Board member for Safe Sport International as well as the International Safeguard for Children in Sport. Grace has worked on the expert advisory committees for several global projects with the likes of FIFA, the International Olympic Committee, World Players Associations, and the Sports & Rights Alliance. Nationally, Grace has worked to pass three laws in Michigan which expanded the statute of limitations, and mandatory reporting. She also worked to pass the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020 which expanded athlete rights nationally. In Michigan, she serves as a member of the Title IX advisory board for U.S. Representative Elissa Slotkin. Grace is the recipient of the 2021 Liberty Bell award from the Ingham County Bar Association, one of the recipients of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2018 ESPYs, as well as a 2018 Glamour Women of the Year awardee. Grace received her BBA at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. 



Dr. Moore is an adjunct professor for The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Criminology department. She has learned through her experience as a Nassar survivor that going through the judicial process is traumatic in itself, thus one of her career goals is to train others, and to make that process more seamless for other survivors and their families. Dr. Moore has previous experience working as a Victim and Witness Crisis Counselor with the Department of Prosecuting Attorneys with the city and county of Honolulu. She also has experience working in correctional facilities, providing individual and group psychotherapy, trauma therapy, and conducting forensic and psychological assessments. Dr. Moore completed her Doctorate in Clinical and Forensic Psychology at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology (ISPP), Master’s degrees in Clinical Psychology at ISPP, Master’s degree in forensic psychology at the University of North Dakota, and her undergraduate degree in psychology at Central Michigan University. Dr. Moore has received The Foundation for Global Sports Development’s 2018 Humanitarian Award, the 2018 Arthur Ashe Award for Courage from ESPN, and the 2018 Glamour Women of the Year award. Through TAOS, she looks forward to using her personal and professional experience to help change the culture of sport, where the voices of the athletes are heard and listened to, and the mental and physical health of the athlete is a priority. 

MARY CAIN (she/her)

Board Director

Mary Cain is the founder of the nonprofit and professional running team, Atalanta NYC. Atalanta NYC employs professional female runners to serve as mentors for young girls while building both their career skills and training full-time. Along with focusing on her triathlon training, Mary works at New York Road Runners. After sharing her story with the world in a 2019 NY Times Op-Ed, Mary has dedicated her career to driving change in sport, with an emphasis on athlete well-being and gender equity.


Board Director

San Francisco Forty Niners Super Bowl defensive star Dwight Hicks began his stellar career at the University of Michigan in 1974, where he received All-Big Ten Conference Honors in 1976, 1977 and All American honors, in 1977. He gained national recognition for outstanding personal performances in the 1976 Orange Bowl and during back-to-back Rose Bowl appearances in 1977-78. Dwight signed with the San Francisco Forty Niners in 1979, as a free safety and was voted by his peers as the team’s defensive captain from 1983-85. His outstanding play led him to four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances from 1981 to 1984. Dwight also led his team in interceptions in 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1983. Dwight played a pivotal role in the 49er’s Super Bowl XVI victory in 1981. In 1984, the unstoppable “Dwight Hicks and the Hot Licks”(the entire secondary) made the Pro Bowl and won Super Bowl XIX (the second of two Super Bowl rings for him). Dwight was selected as a member of the 49er’s “All Time Team” by the San Francisco Chronicle. After a phenomenal career on the field, Dwight is now creating a successful career in the entertainment industry. He has most recently finished working with Berkeley Reportory’s Artistic Director Tony Caccone and Playwright KJ Sanchez on the phenomenal Living document called X’s and O’s a Football Love Story which had runs in Berkeley Repertory Theater and Center Stage Theater in a Baltimore. Dwight has been in several national commercials. He co-anchored and added his football expertise to the Bay Area’s highly rated KTVU-FOX 49er’s post game show The Point After for two seasons. Dwight appears at fundraising events for charitable organizations and participates in celebrity golf tournaments benefitting at risk youth, veterans, and healthcare organizations. He is currently working with Persevere, an organization that trains those who are incarcerated to write code and place them in jobs. Dwight is also sought after as a motivational speaker with positive results for corporations utilizing his talent.


Board Director

John-Michael, as an elite athlete, endured sexual abuse from coaches, benefactors, and medical team which resulted in years of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and even suicide attempts. Now, through writing, speaking, and consulting, John-Michael helps individuals and organizations identify the signs of grooming, manipulation, and stigmatizing of sexual abuse and how to help survivors (of any type of abuse) face the past and find their true self. His books, Surface Tension (2018), Cracked Surface (2020), and Broken Surface (2021) illustrate the sexual exploitation that he endured as an athlete and actor, and the long-term effects. He also has started An Athlete’s Silence,

Heidi lee (she/her)

Board Observer

Heidi Lee was promoted to Vice President of Development in March 2023 at Movement Voter Project where she leads the entire donor team. Her most recent previous roles include Director of Major Donor Advising at MVP, Director of Advancement at Meadows School, and Senior Director of Development at UNLV Lee Business School. All her previous work as a philanthropy professional was based in California. As a development professional, she knows that lifting the voices of women and women of color in the philanthropy world will make an enormous impact in our society.

Her experience includes over twenty years in the philanthropic environment, working with and for social justice organizations, educational institutions and political action committees. She has seen firsthand how passionate people can make a difference. Born in South Korea and raised in Las Vegas to immigrant parents, she learned at an early age that giving voice to the voiceless was her calling. After spending over eighteen years in California, she is back in Las Vegas with her spouse, son and cat.

The Women of Color Radiant Leadership Institute is a community-building, personal growth, and leadership development initiative of Women of Color in Fundraising and Philanthropy (WOC)®. It is designed to inspire and equip courageous influencers to shape and lead 21st-century organizations. The tools, theories, and strategies of Radiant have an overarching equity plan with a gender justice lens. As part of the Radiant Leadership Institute Fellowship Program, all members can participate in a one-year leadership opportunity.



Board Director

Alexander S. Rusek is an attorney with Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, PC in Lansing, Michigan. Mr. Rusek’s practice focuses on complex mass action and class action civil litigation, business law & litigation, criminal law, and appellate law. Mr. Rusek has represented established businesses, new businesses, non-profits, professionals, and individuals involved in multi-party, mass action, and class action litigation. Mr. Rusek is a graduate of Oakland University and Michigan State University College of Law, cum laude. Mr. Rusek is currently a Director of The Army of Survivors, Inc., Treasurer of the Ingham County Bar Association, Past-President of the Ingham County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, former Chairperson and Treasurer of the Ingham County Board of Commissioners Equal Opportunity Committee, former board member of the Michigan State University College of Law Alumni Association, and a member of multiple local and national bar associations, including the State Bar of Michigan Litigation Section’s Governing Council. Mr. Rusek is a 2018 recipient of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce 10 Over the Next 10 Award, a 2018 recipient of Oakland University’s Young Alumni 10 Within 10 Award, and a 2016 recipient of the Ingham County Bar Association Top 5 Under 35 Award. He has authored multiple articles that have appeared in American Bar Association and State Bar of Michigan publications and the Ingham County Bar Association’s BRIEFS, including his recent article “An Introduction to Trauma-Informed Lawyering” published in the State Bar of Michigan’s Litigation Journal.



Board Director

Devi Jags is an Entrepreneur, Writer, and Activist. She is co-founder of an Indian food brand called Sambar Kitchen and her work can be seen through her endeavors such as Chatty Monks Brewing, The Sparkle Community, and much more. Devi holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and has been published in The Washington PostVogue IndiaTeen VogueWomen’s HealthBon Appétit, and more. She was a 2023 Winter Resident of the Tin House Publishers Workshop and has been interviewed by The Washington PostUnit3d Podcast, and Newsy for her advocacy work in Title IX and sexual violence prevention. 

As an activist, Devi empowers survivors of gender-based violence and helps students navigate the complexities of Title IX through education, writing workshops, and campaign organizing. In her writing, Devi shares stories of mental health in sports, and body politics issues in the NCAA.

She uses the power of storytelling to elevate others, create social change, and above all, find solidarity for herself.


Janelle Hill (She/Her)

Board Director

Janelle Hill, APRN, PMHNP-BC is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She is the owner/founder of Refuge Mental Health Services and has over 12 years of experience in psychiatry. Janelle obtained her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing from the College of Saint Mary in 2012 and Master’s Degree in Science from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in 2016. Janelle served as the legislative liaison for UNMC during her college career and has remained involved and an avid advocate against sexual abuse and violence on the local and national level since that time. 

Janelle competed on the collegiate level in both basketball and volleyball and is a survivor of sexual abuse by her college coach. As a result of her experience, Janelle is passionate about helping other survivors find their voice and live healthy, meaningful lives. She is committed to increasing awareness regarding the prevalence of sexual abuse and is passionate about shifting the culture of sports to one that is trauma-informed and athlete centered. Janelle currently serves her local community by providing courses to survivors of sexual abuse and uses her skills as a spoken word artist as another form of advocacy. Listeners have described her as an artist that says the words everyone is thinking, but too afraid to speak. Janelle is dedicated to daily inspire, empower, motivate, and lead others along their healing journey through compassion, authenticity, and positivity. 

With Founding Board Members: Honorable Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, Senator Curtis Hertel Jr., Sara Teristi, Olivia Venuto and Louise Montag.



Public Relations Strategist

Cate McGeady recently re-joined The Army of Survivors (TAOS) as the organization’s volunteer PR Strategist. As an original TAOS team member, Cate is excited to be back supporting and generating greater awareness for the organization’s mission. Cate brings with her eight years of experience working with a range of clients including ADT, iRobot, Olympus Imaging and JetBlue. She has established strong relationships with and secured placements in publications like Modern Healthcare, Digital Trends, Mashable, TechCrunch, Vogue, USA Today, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Cate attended Michigan State University where she was a member of the varsity rowing team. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature with a concentration in creative writing, and cognate focuses on communications and art history. Cate is currently attending Lesley University in Cambridge Massachusetts as a creative writing MFA candidate and is slated to graduate in June of 2022. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and going to the beach with her husband Harrison and their dogs Darcy and Hattie, both named for fictional characters. 




Reyan Tuck was a Division 1 softball player at the University of New Mexico; she received her Bachelors in Psychology in 2022 and recently completed her Masters in Project Management. Reyan is from Portland, OR., and has played competitively since she was young. As a survivor herself, Reyan is very passionate about women’s rights and wants to spend her life advocating for equality in sports. Reyan has been an active leader in many different advocacy programs, and her experiences and skills are an important part of the advocacy team. Reyan is dedicated and passionate about advocating for women’s health and wants to use her voice to create change through public policy. 


DAnielle shelton (she/her)


Danielle Shelton is a graduate intern with The Army of Survivors and is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work at University of Georgia. Danielle graduated from Augusta University with a Bachelors of Social Work and was a recipient of  the Rowan Feldhaus Service Award for exceptional leadership.  Prior to her graduate studies, Danielle served on the Augusta Homeless task force and worked with several community partners and local government agencies to address instances of homelessness in her community. Danielle is passionate about community advocacy, trauma informed approaches, and affordable housing policy. In her free time, Danielle coaches women’s roller derby and enjoys watching scary movies with her teen son.

Headshot 1

Mary Lauren GoldeN (she/her)


Mary Lauren Golden is a current MSW student at the University of Georgia, with a specialization in macro level social work practice. This past May, she graduated from UGA with her B.S.W as well as a B.A. in international affairs, making her uniquely aware of the important relationship between global policy and social justice. During her time in undergrad she served as the program assistant at Books for Keeps, a literacy advocacy non-profit and volunteered as President of Special Olympics at UGA. Her other professional advocacy experience includes research assistance on a human rights data project and interning at a local behavioral health agency. As part of her MSW program she is also pursuing a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership and is looking forward to applying these skills while interning at TAOS. Outside of school and work she enjoys watching Georgia football, being outside, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.

Lukacs, Rachael

Rachel Lukacs (she/her)


Rachael Lukacs graduated with her undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the University of Georgia. She is currently a 2nd year MSW student at UGA. Rachael was a competitive gymnast for the majority of her life. She competed at the University of Georgia for the Gymdogs from 2019-2022. Her future goal is to continue working in the world of sports or working with non-profit organizations. She loves spending time at the beach, cooking new recipes and most importantly, spending time with family.