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Janine  Latus

Janine Latus

Journalist & Author


Janine Latus is an award-winning journalist, author and advocate, best known for her memoir, If I Am Missing or Dead: a sister’s story of love, murder and liberation, but Latus has had a long career of satisfying curiosity – her own and her readers’. She has crawled under George Washington’s mother’s chair to count chisel marks and busked on the streets of Chicago to write about what it’s like to sing for your supper. She has galloped the beaches of the Dominican Republic, studied the science of oyster farming and given over an entire evening to the pleasures of a perfect night of sushi, all to gather the kind of you-are-there details that make a story sing. Read More >

Her work has appeared in O, the Oprah magazine, More, Woman’s Day, Family Circle, Parents, All You, American Baby and the inflight magazines for US Air, American Airlines, Continental and TWA. Her commentaries have aired on Public Radio International’s Marketplace, and she routinely speaks at conferences, workshops and press events on things as far apart as domestic violence and the joy of selecting the perfect verb. She has taught at the Missouri School of Journalism and at East Carolina University, and at writing workshops in Missouri, North Carolina, Wisconsin and now in Virginia.

She continues to have magazine story adventures while working on a new book. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Promo Video

TEDTalk: We Need to Talk

Avalon Voices: An Interview with Janine Latus

If I Am Missing or Dead

A Story of Domestic Violence

I Didn't Save Amy

Amy's Courage Fund

Speech Topics

I Am Why

Are your frontline workers burned out? Do you want your donors to dig deeper? In her I Am Why presentation, Ms. Latus tells a story so compelling that it reminds audience members why they do the hard work they do. Audience members will leave appreciated and recharged.

We Need To Talk

It's time to find the courage to tell our stories so that other people have permission to tell theirs, because the old idea that what happens in the home should stay in the home is getting us killed, and the belief that a victim of sexual assault should feel shame leaves rapists free to rape again. By telling the truth we connect with others, so that they're no longer isolated as they try to identify and escape from abuse or intervene to help someone else. By telling our stories we empower those who follow our lead, whether they're students, potential donors or employees. The bottom line is simple: we need to talk.