Laura C. Cowan, a Mother of 3 - is an award-winning speaker, educator, and activist. Her tale of survival and heroism is one that will be forever etched in California's history. Escaping from an abusive polygamist husband, Laura and her 3 children endured unimaginable abuse. Locked away and held captive in a cold dark garage with no heat, food, and water or plumbing. Laura was repeatedly raped, beaten and starved, alongside her children. Stripped of everything but the will to survive, not only for herself but for her children; Laura would then decide to do the unthinkable. Fearing that she would never make it out of that garage alive, she began to meticulously keep detailed accounts (via pieces of scrap paper she found throughout the garage) of the horrific daily abuse that she and her children endured. However, it would not be until an unplanned outside visit to the post office with her capture, that her life would forever be changed. On that faithful day, Laura was able to pass a note pleading for help to a post office clerk, who was then able to alert the proper authorities. Two days later, detectives would emerge onto her capture’s doorstep, where she and her children were finally rescued.
Today Laura is a graduate of Bryant & Stratton College, and presently serving as a Resident Services Liaison with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA), working in Resident Services as their Domestic Violence Advocate. Laura assists CMHA Residents by empowering, educating and advocating Residents for justice to end domestic violence and child abuse by providing workshops, materials, guidance, and emotional support.
Laura is heavily involved with several organizations such as the Coalition for a Better Life, Peace in the Hood, Black on Black Crime Inc, Positive Plus Support Group and a member of N.A.N (National Action Network). She is a former member of the National Congress of Black Women, the Greater Cleveland Chapter and volunteered for 9 years, at the Domestic Violence and Child Advocacy Center of Greater Cleveland.
Awarded in 2014 - Crain’s “Women of Note”, 2015 - Women of Color Foundation “The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Courage Award” and has appeared on Anderson Cooper Live, Meredith Vieira Show, Anderson Cooper “360”, ID Investigation Discovery: “House of Horrors”,
TVOne’s: Justice By Any Means with Malik Yoba, The Los Angeles Times Multimedia Piece, Dr. Phil, local news, TV, radio, just to name a few.
Laura is the CEO and Founder of The Laura Cowan Foundation for battered women that have served over 350 women since 2016.