One Clear Voice


Airdate: May 15, 2018

Amanda Pagliarini Howard is co-founder of The Society Guide, a membership-based program that connects non-profit organizations to high net worth donors and their advisors. The Society Guide publishes The Giving Book, an annual catalog and dossier of non-profit organization members. Previously, Amanda was editor of Society Charlotte magazine and nFocus Magazine, and a freelance writer and editor. She has contributed dozens of articles and essays to publications, including The Washingtonian, Uptown Magazine, Charlotte Viewpoint and the Charlotte Observer. Amanda earned an M.F.A. in Creative Non-Fiction Writing from Queens University of Charlotte and a B.A. in Communications from George Mason University.

In this episode we explore a series of events: Amanda was sexually assaulted when she was 14 years old, she was committed to a psychiatric hospital and became suicidal, she was recruited into a cult-like group for seven years, when she left the group she lived very much on the edge, until finding her way to a new city where a process of healing began. We talk about her past and where she is now.


  • Amanda talks how she was raised, the pressures and expectations she felt growing up and why and how she rebelled as a teenager.

  • She describes being sexually assaulted when she was 14 years old, the aftermath of the assault and being committed to a psychiatric hospital.

  • Amanda talks about the death of her best friend shortly after she was assaulted and how the compounded trauma led her to become suicidal.

  • She describes becoming part of a cult-like group, being brainwashed and groomed by older men, and the phrase 'one clear voice.'

  • She talks about the difficulty of leaving the group, her life on the edge afterward, and how writing helped her heal.

  • Amanda talks about renewing contact with her teenage boyfriend and forgiving him publicly for his role in her assault.

  • She discusses the importance of her own 'one clear voice' and how she imagined the life she is living today.

  • Amanda reveals what she would tell her 14-year-old self.

plus Mark's Personal Word Essay: Release from Fear

To Learn More About Amanda


  • What struck you about Amanda's comments?

  • Have you overcome trauma?

  • What does your inner voice tell you?

  • How do you heal?

We invite your posts on our Facebook page.

This episode is sponsored by Blumenthal Performing Arts, celebrating its 25th year presenting the best in performing arts. 

Further support is provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, one of America’s leading urban public libraries, delivering exceptional services and programs, with a mission to improve lives and build a stronger community. 

And by the Arts & Science Council, Charlotte-Mecklenburg's resource hub and lead advocate for the regional cultural community, providing Culture for All.

Additional support is provided by the UNC College of Arts + Architecture, celebrating a decade of creative education in the arts and design.