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Vanessa McNeal

Vanessa McNeal MSW is an award winning documentary filmmaker, national speaker, and 2x TEDx
speaker. She travels and speaks nationally about her personal story, social injustices, sexual violence, trauma, leadership, personal development, and overcoming adversity.
At an early age, Vanessa experienced sexual abuse and neglect, ultimately resulting in educational
challenges and a short time in foster care. At age 15, Vanessa was sexually assaulted at a college
prep program and overcame the many faces of rape culture. Her life experiences have fueled her passion to educate, inspire, and empower others.
In 2017, Vanessa founded her media company McNeal Media, with the goal of creating social change
through the art of storytelling. She is the Director of the internationally recognized documentary,
“The Voiceless”, which features the stories of male survivors of sexual violence. She won "Best Director
" for the documentary at the Newark International Film Festival. At Indiefest she received Women Filmmaker Award of Recognition. Vanessa won the 2017 YWCA "Woman of Tomorrow" award and won the 2018 STATEment maker award in the entrepreneurial spirit category. January 2019 she received an
Outstanding Anti- Trafficking Service Award presented by the Governor. Vanessa was the first in her family to graduate high school and went on to pursue her Bachelor’s degree at Iowa State University. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Northern Iowa.She most recently Directed "Gridshock", a documentary focused on the demand for sex trafficking. The film was made possible after Vanessa raised $45,000 in a 60 day fundraising campaign.

My Speakers Sessions

Tuesday, August 20