Current Award Winners
2017 Women of Peace Award Winners
Cassandra Fleck - New York - Survive To Thrive was created to ensure compensation for mental health treatment for survivors of sexual assault that do not qualify for other avenues of funding. The mental health consequences of sexual assault are vast with nearly a third of the survivors experiencing PTSD 9 months after the assault. Their vision is that no survivor will need to sacrifice their mental health/healing in order to maintain financial stability.
Aima Raza New York, NY - Aima runs Peace Project Inc., a peace education organization that creates safe, tolerant communities by increasing respect and mutual understanding between and amongst communities from different faith, ethnic and cultural traditions.
Vanessa Ferrer - St. Petersburg, FL - Vanessa founded Para Adelante, whose mission is to provide funding for degrees in higher educations to impoverished women in Latin America. The scholarships cover tuition, school fees, and supplies for their studies, as well as transportation to and from class, housing, food, tutoring services, and childcare. Both current recipients are survivors of domestic violence. Para Adelante empowers women by through education to be self sufficient and enable them to provide for their families. The recipients are required to do community service including helping other women in their community. Such recipients have volunteered in the center of the local library to empower and assist other women in the community with their business start ups.
Veronika Scott - Detroit, MI. - The Empowerment Plan is a Detroit nonprofit dedicated to serving the homeless community. We hire single parents from local shelters and train them to become full-time seamstresses so that they can earn a stable income, find secure housing, and regain their independence. Having employed 45 homeless individuals, we stand by our belief that homelessness should not be a life sentence
Bogdanova - Madison, TN - Merging both her backgrounds in health and psychology, Christina founded
Immersion Retreat, Inc. Immersion
Retreat aims to help women by utilizing the therapeutic and healing abilities of
art, music, and nature, while teaching them to live in harmony with themselves
and their situations. Since its
founding, Christina has dedicated her efforts to make sure that the Immersion
Retreat organization provides a safe, stress free, and open environment for
women in distress.
Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald - Nova Scotia - Recognized for their work in exposing the vast human rights violence suffered by women and girls, including human trafficking and non-state torture.
Yana Spencer - Cornwall, UK - After surviving lung cancer, Yana decided to leave her career in international journalism, and set up Tamu Bakery, a social enterprise empowering women affected by gender-based violence around the world through baking therapy. Her first project was working with young women in Kenya and subsequently run projects in Viet Nam, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Ukraine, UK, Montenegro, Kosovo ... she is changing the world one women and one cake at a time.
Graciela Perez Rodriguez - San
Luis Potosi - Graciela has dedicated the
past 5 years to search for her disappeared daughter in Tamaulipas Mexico. She
has rallied families searching for their disappeared children and has become an
advocate by challenging the federal and local government. She has championed
improved search and identification protocols and developed the first citizen led
DNA data banking initiative.
Cristina Avila-Zesatti - Zacatecas, Mexico - Cristina worked for large corporate media and had a brilliant career as a. journalist, but left everything to found a media that only focuses on the peaceful initiatives of the world,. She named it “Peace Correspondent”. She has faced many adversities to keep up with her journalistic initiative. Everyone told her that she would have no success, but the information media is she started has been on the air for 8 years, and has many readers. It has helped thousands of people in the world know the other part of history, solidarity and nonviolent attempts.
2016 Women of Peace Award Winners
1. Dieula Previlon, Texas - Dieula's mission is to help women find a life after trauma by finding their voice and strength. Through trainings, workshops, conferences etc., Dieula travels to areas like Haiti, where violence against women is prevalent and uses multiple resources to empower the victims.
2. Brisa De Angelo, Pennsylvania - Brisa courageously travels to Bolivia to help restore the lives of child victims of sexual violence. Work that no one else in Bolivia is doing. Her work focuses on three powerful initiatives. Brisa and the center she founded provide these precious children with free legal, social, psychological, and medical support aimed at (1) fostering healthy self-image, powerful self-esteem, and confidence, (2) reducing the long-term traumatic impact of sexual violence, and (3) providing these children the tools they need to succeed in their education and lead productive lives.
3. Mary Dailey Brown, Michigan - Mary co-founded SowHope in January of 2006 to inspire women around the world by promoting wellness, education, and economic opportunities. By partnering with local leaders and using local solutions to solve local problems they have directly impacted over 61,000 women through time-limited, outcome-based projects in fifteen developing countries. SowHope is one of the only global organizations focusing exclusively on the holistic needs of women living in extreme poverty.
4. Patricia Waschbisch (in memoriam) - Wisconsin - Patricia worked courageously and tirelessly for over 12 years assisting domestic violence and sexual assault victims. Tragically she became one of the victims and lost her life to domestic violence. We are recognizing her dedication to help others with an award to The Hope Domestic Violence Homicide Response Project that was founded in her honor.
2015 Women of Peace Winners
1. Shannon Galpin,
Colorado - Shannon, a rape survivor gave up her career, sold her home and
possessions to start a non-profit, Mountain to Mountain. Alexandra leveraged
everything to ride a bicycle around the world empowering women and girls in
conflict zones to create a voice and break the gender barriers. She encourages
the women to challenge the barriers and speak up where it is not socially
2. Alexandria Goddard,
Ohio - When a YouTube video went viral about a young woman being gang
raped by a high school
football team, Alexandria felt she needed to be the voice of "Jane
Doe". Despite having to endure threats and forced to go into hiding she continued her
investigation to get justice for Jane Doe”.
Luan Gore, Zephyrhills High School Chorus Director, was honored for her
instruction, inspiration and encouragement in engaging her students to perform a
Gospel Service at the First Methodist Church where they raised awareness and
money to help provide food and hygiene products for the Weekend Backpack
Program. The program provides backpacks every weekend to students that might
otherwise go hungry when school isn’t in session.
Candice Jackson, Delaware - Candice
was recognized for the multiple outreach programs she created and offers to
women that are homeless or domestic violence survivors. She offers workshops on
financial planning, resume writing, job hunting techniques as well as support
groups for domestic and sexual assault.
Iris Randells, New Jersey, After seeing
a need in her community, Iris used her own money to open an emergency
shelter for women and their children that are homeless or need a safe house
after becoming a victim of domestic violence. She successfully runs the shelter
with no local, state or federal funding and offers the women valuable classes
such as finance and job hunting skills to help
them get back on their feet.
2014 WOMEN OF PEACE AWARD WINNERS
1. Dianna Thomas, Dade City, FL - The Thomas Promise Foundation - Dianna heard of children going hungry on the weekends and when school... wasn’t in session when they could receive free breakfast and lunch. It inspired her to start The Thomas Promise Foundation. The foundation created a weekend backpack program that currently feeds about 800 children in 16 schools in Zephyrhills, Dade City and Wesley Chapel.
2. Jessica Ou, Berkeley, CA - Jessica is a student at UC Berkeley studying Social Welfare and Business. She is on the Executive Council of the International Youth Council, USA, founded at the United Nations Youth Assembly by the UN Secretary-General. She focuses on initiatives to fulfill the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, ranging from eradicating extreme poverty to ending violence against women. She currently serves on the Youth Advisory Council and is a counselor for the Crisis Text Line, the world's first 24/7 texting hotline for teens, which has exchanged over 3 million messages with youth. Passionate about ending violence against women, she has been involved as a peer educator for the Gender Equity Resource Center, has served on the student government Sexual Assault Task Force, and was a volunteer intern for the Women's Economic Agenda Project in Oakland. In the future, she hopes to be a social activist for women's rights and gender equality.
Johanna Crawford, Wellesley,
MA - Web of Benefit - Johanna
was 13, living in an alcoholic, abusive household, when she watched her father
try to kill her mother. The memory never left her, even years later as an adult
who had built a string of successful businesses and sold high-end real estate.
2013 Award Winners
Women's Peacepower Foundation, Inc. is proud to announce our 2013 Women of Peace Award Recipients. We would like to congratulate all winners for their exceptional work to promote peace in their community and around the world.
1. Madison Brewer, Plant City, FL - Madison is a little dynamo that has vision, compassion and a work ethic that far exceeds her years. Two years ago when Madison was 6 years old she created Madison's Mission that helps local families in need. When most girls her age are playing, Madison can be found creating a cookbook with proceeds benefiting her work or placing milk jugs in area businesses for donations. She has a blog and a Facebook page for raising awareness and money. To date she has raised over $5,000 and helped 300 homeless people.
2. Sylvia Lehtinen, Hudson, NY - Sylvia has a long history of helping women in need. While working and attending school to become a certified alcohol and substance abuse counselor, she also volunteered for a hotline for rape crisis victims. Manning the night shift for over five years, she often went to hospitals and police stations to help the victims. She created The Batterer Accountability Program. This innovative approach helps the legal system address how they minimize the impact of domestic violence and is an alternative means for the judge to hold the batterer accountable.
3. Beth Davalos, Winter Park, FL - Through her work as a social worker and Students in Transition co-coordinator for Seminole County Schools, Beth has taken raising awareness of the issue to a whole new level. Beth feels that media is a very powerful source for change. She has appeared twice on 60 Minutes with a segment spotlighting the national problem of homelessness in children. She also creates outlets in her own community to address the issue. Beth continues organizing opportunities for student and community involvement to maximize awareness.
4. Cindy Carson, Spring Hill, FL - As a survivor of domestic violence herself, Cindy used her own experience and monet to start a Thrift Store with the proceeds going to help local domestic violence victims. She hopes to start her own non-profit and open housing for Survivors to live in for up to two years.
5. Nicole Behrens, Southhampton, NY - Nicole is a survivor of ten years of ongoing domestic violence. Once she was free of abuse she rose above it to help the domestic violence victims in her community. She volunteers as a speaker, sharing her personal story to create awareness of domestic violence. The issue is part of her life's mission. Over the past decade she has volunteered with eastern Long Island's only domestic violence shelter in every capacity they needed help with.
2012 Women of Peace Award Winners
1. Princess Olufemi-Kayode -
Lagos, Nigeria - Dr. Princess Olufemi-Kayode a survivor of sexual abuse and rape, founded Media Concern Initiative for Women and Children, working in the field of prevention and response to sexual violence against women and children in Nigeria. She began creating public awareness through a national media campaign which succeeded in breaking the silence and setting off a massive number of disclosures by victims from all parts of the country. Realizing the impact of sexual violence on the Nigerian society, she also sought institutional support to meet the needs of child and adult victims to mitigate the long-term effects on the health, safety and productivity of Nigeria.
2. Linette Coats - Zephyrhills, FL
Lin doesn't let retirement slow her down. When she heard about the plight of the students in her community that were homeless she jumped into action. Recruiting her husband, Church members and anyone else she could, she began collecting clothing, health and beauty items, school supplies, food and money. Lin organized a room at her Church and a team to take shifts manning the room a couple of days a week to allow the local high school students to "shop" for whatever they need. In addition she also volunteers every week at her area Hospice Thrift Store.
3. Giselle Rodriguez - Clearwater, FL - Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking
Rodriguez is the State Outreach Coordinator for the Florida Coalition Against
Human Trafficking. Giselle trains staff members in numerous code enforcement,
law enforcement, faith based organizations, health care providers, Social
service providers, judges and prosecutors. She also speaks at local high schools
and colleges creating awareness to the issue of human trafficking. Giselle is
the Founder of the Tampa Bay Rescue and Restore and the Co Founder of the
Orlando Rescue and Restore. The Tampa Bay Rescue and Restore solely focuses on
the issue of the Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking and how to better improve the
type of services that this specific population is in need of. Due to her
knowledge and experience in the field of human trafficking, Giselle has been
able to collaborate and volunteer as a trainer for the Organization of America
States Anti Trafficking in Persons Unit. Through the volunteer opportunity
through the OAS, Giselle has been able to train law enforcement officials,
immigration officials, Judges, prosecutors and Consular officials on the issue
of human Trafficking in countries such as
4. Tammy Gwaltney - Cape Girardeau, Missouri
In 1997 Tammy brought together a group of medical, social and law personnel to address the issue of sexual violence. Since that time Tammy has put her life savings and energy into creating and organization SEMO - NASV to help the women and children that are the victims of sexual violence.
5. Alexis Moore - El Dorado Hills, CA
Alexis Moore mixes empathy and real world stories with humor to connect with clients, audiences and readers worldwide on the topic of 21st century risk management. She is a pioneer when it comes to promoting the awareness of cyber crime, and fighting for victim’s rights around the world. As a consultant, Moore has been called on to provide valuable insight to corporations, agencies, academia, law enforcement and public officials around the globe, and her published works have been used to help develop ground breaking cyber stalking legislation. Surviving her personal ordeal as a victim of stalking, identity theft, cyber stalking and domestic violence has driven her to the forefront of crime victim advocacy worldwide. Focusing her energy on studying the intricacies of the high-tech threats impacting society, and the laws (or lack thereof) that govern them, Moore is uniquely positioned when combining her experience as a high-tech investigator, survivor and crime victim’s advocate. Working as a catalyst for change, Moore brings more than just academic knowledge of risk management practices - she carries a personal connection that empowers her to speak about the following topics with conviction:
Risk assessment, mitigation and management
• Privacy concerns for businesses and/or individuals
• Organizational policies that protect against stalking, identity theft and cyber stalking
• Helping victim’s (businesses and individuals) respond effectively and efficiently
1. Morissa (Mia) Pertik - CA - Upon joining the Peace Corps Ecuador, Mia was sent to one of Ecuador's largest cities, Santo Domingo which is one of Ecuador's poorest, most dangerous, and unorganized cities. It's prime location as a "half way point" between the coast and the mountain regions, Santo Domingo is known for its bustling markets, transporting of goods, and diversity of people. Mia organized Dreaming for a Change in an effort to help the excess of street children living in Santo Domingo's streets. Many are drug addicts, starting consumption at 8 years old. As a two-part project, her organization has firstly, opened a rehabilitation center for drug-addicted street children with efforts of reinserting children back into society. Secondly, she work in prevention- stopping the outflow of children to the streets, assisting families with workshops, and community banks, and providing care for at-risk youth. Mia created a small jewelry business with a group of 20 women. The women learned to make tagua (local Ecuadorian seed) jewelry, and sell it for a higher cost than material cost to make a profit. Mia is in the process of starting a new project. It is the creation of a community bank, involucrate both women and men to raise funds to eventually provide loans to members in the community. Roughly 30 bank members contribute as little as $1 dollar a week, with hopes that after 3 or 4 months members can take out credits, repaying their loans with small interest rates.
2. Maria Vertkin - Medford, MA - Found in Translation - Maria overcame her
own obstacles of homelessness. She now works with bilingual women (who speak
English and another language well) who are low-income and homeless. She helps them transition from a
life of homelessness and poverty to a potentially lucrative career.
3. Maria DiBari - Tri-County Crisis Center - NY - Maria overcame being a victim of domestic violence to putting all of her time and energy into helping other victims of domestic violence. She has opened a center that is serving three counties in New York. Her creative initiative is setting the bar for many other agencies.
4. Julie Rae - Women and Innocence Project, TN - The Women and Innocence Network, was formed by Julie to bring attention to wrongfully convicted women like herself. She has created a blog, began an annual conference, begun developing a legal system training book and initiated other projects to assist these women.
5. Valencia Pines - Ponchatala, LA - Hannah
Leigh Foundation, Inc - Valencia
began the Hannah Leigh Foundation as a final stage of healing,
manifesting into a desire to aid someone out of her own circumstances as a
victim of domestic violence. Her own children's aspirations & desires to
grow formulated the programs the foundation offers.
6. Joan Meacham = Georgetown, SC - Family Justice Center - Joan started the Family Justice Center in rural Georgetown County to house agencies that serve victims of criminal domestic violence and criminal sexual assault. This coordinated approach currently partners 15 organizations that are dedicated to assisting victims and fighting domestic violence.
7. Cathy Neeley - Soddy Daisy, TN - Cathy spends her days working at a Senior Center where her compassion, selflessness and caring is evident. Cathy volunteers her "free" time ministering to women that are incarcerated. She strives to keep the bond strong between the women and their children. She also volunteers at a local domestic violence shelter.
8. Ashley Day - Lake Arrowhead, CA - For the past two years Ashley has been working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a small village in Northern Malawi teaching English and Life Skills. After conducting a survey of the students she found that the students were walking as far as 15 km to get to school. They would have to leave their homes as early as 4am. While this was problematic for boys and girls alike, it was of a huge concern for the girls. They cited unwanted sexual attention as a major problem. In addition, the culture mandates that girls take on almost all of the domestic work. The girls would have to wake up even earlier to cook and clean. They were expected to do similar chores when they returned home. Leaving them no time to study. Ashley held a community meeting including chiefs of 14 surrounding villages. Through her efforts she has been able to receive approval and a commitment of providing building materials from the chiefs to build a dormitory for the girls. This will enable the girls to concentrate on their education and only have to walk home on weekends. Education will greatly impact problems such as early marriage, polygamy, widespread HIV/AIDS, prostitution. To date the materials are still being collected and Ashley hopes for the construction to begin in the near future.
9. Stacey Nelson - Los Alamitos, CA - University of Florida Graduate Stacey Nelson participated in a study abroad program in Microfinance and Entrepreneurship. What she found was three decades of war had made it difficult for the child soldiers to integrate into society. The child mothers (raped and impregnated during the war) have children to feed and no occupation, while a generation has missed out on schooling due to being confined in temporary camps while the war raged. After witnessing these issues Stacey began working tirelessly to improve the job opportunities in the war-torn region of Northern Uganda.
Carol Olson - Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault, Fredericksburg, VA - Carol fights tirelessly to provide education,
prevention and intervention on sexual assault in her community. She uses her
tremendous passion and energy to help her create awareness, educate and reach
out to others.
2. Alayna Wool - San Juan, PR - Alayna is dedicated to using her talent as an artist to bring peace around the world even at her own personal risk. Her current volunteer project has been living in a rural Guatemalan village for three years, where she has been creating a photographic archive of the victims of the armed conflict in the town of Rabinal. Her efforts are helping the survivors disseminate impunity and assists with their court cases.
Lisa Baird - Murfreesboro, TN, Cannon County S.A.V.E.
- When no resources were available for victims of domestic violence or sexual
assault, Lisa took it upon herself to change that. Lisa, single-handedly
works extremely hard to run the only domestic violence and sexual assault
agency in her county. Her tireless efforts have helped many in her
S.A.V.E. - When no resources were available for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault, Lisa took it upon herself to change that. Lisa, single-handedly works extremely hard to run the only domestic violence and sexual assault agency in her county. Her tireless efforts have helped many in her community.
4. Somy Ali - No More Tears, Plantation,
FL - Somy witnessed abuse as a child and vowed to do something to make a
difference. Three years ago she started her
non-profit to help women and children that are victims of domestic violence. As
a volunteer she personally provides many services including counseling,
mentoring, advocating in court, arranging therapy, medical and legal needs. She
has even taught some women how to drive and speak English. In
the last three years she has assisted 42 women and their children. That is an
incredible accomplishment for one woman making a difference.
5. Laura Finley, Ph D., - Plantation,
FL - Laura has dedicated her time as a volunteer community peace
activist. She is committed to issues involving human rights, domestic violence,
the death penalty and promoting peace and social justice. She uses her expertise
and reputation to create awareness about causes that are often
West-Lawson - Clearwater, Florida - After working in the foster care system
for six years, Gloria quit her job to start a non-profit that helps with the
placement and care of foster children. She has opened foster homes in three
counties including her own home. Her organization offers full-service foster
homes. She provides living arrangements, car seats, cribs, child care when
needed, transportation, tutoring, counseling and mentoring. Her unique program
has a goal to help the children grow into productive adults.
. 7. Lennie Hughes - York, SC - Tender Hearts House of Hope - Although retired, Lennie spends her time and limited resources volunteering to help homeless women get back on their feet.
8. Roberta McIntosh - Dunedin, FL - Roberta's entire life has been focused on helping others. She has paved the way for all women activists in Florida. She has been involved in multiple projects over the years. From counseling battered women, her clemency work with women in prison and being a State Ombudsman for the elderly she has selflessly demonstrated a positive attitude and willingness to help others.
Rita Chaikin - Haifa, Israel - Rita has dedicated her life to ending violence against women and children through her work combating human trafficking of women.
Anicet Katsuva - Kampala, Uganda - Anicet has endured being jailed, shot and brutally raped for her extraordinary efforts to defend and report the victimization and violence against women in her community.
Shazia Parveen - Punjab, Pakistan - Shazia has spent her life advocating against child labor, bondage and physical and sexual violence. She is the only female in her community working selflessly to improve the lives of others. One project that she created has freed 150 women from bondage and taught them the skills to find employment.
Val Liveoak - San Antonio, TX - For eighteen years, Val has been an active Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, and has co-facilitated workshops in several states of the US, and in Mexico, Canada, Cuba, St. Croix, Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador. In August, 2009, she helped train 6 Colombian Facilitators to lead community-based trauma healing workshops,
Elizabeth Davis - Tampa FL - Elizabeth founded an international non-governmental organization called Project Akilah, which is dedicated to creating an arts and vocational institute in Rwanda that will serve young women.
Lorraine Gillespie - Wauchula, FL - Lorraine sold her home and personal possessions to open a shelter for women and children that have been victims of domestic violence or are homeless. At 74, she continues to provide shelter and counseling services for those in need in her community.
Rita Witt - Lee's Summit MO - Rita has spent her life helping others. She spent 15 years in the Amazon Jungle of Brazil as a youth and family counselor for abused and abandoned children and with human rights issues. She now counsels domestic violence victims and facilitates therapy groups at Hope House, a shelter for domestic violence victims.
Ashley Coleman - Minneapolis, MN - In 2007 Ashley started the DIVA/SUAVE Project which gives young people training, mentoring and the necessary skills to become small business owners.
1. Katherine and Margo Sultenfuss, Clearwater, Florida - As high school students, Katherine and Margo utilized their unique view of consumerism and their compassion for others to create a program to help feed the hungry in Pinellas County. The Gift of Food Endowment that they have established will ensure that their program continues.
1. Feeta Naaimen (Ma' Feeta), Rainbow Town, Liberia - Ma' Feeta as she is known by the children, is an amazingly resilient woman. A victim of the violent Liberian Civil Crisis, she single-handedly saved over 250 war orphans. Working tirelessly she reunited many of them with family members. Ma' Feeta continues to raise the remaining 86 war orphans.
2.Wafaa Zreik Srour and Nava Sonnenschein, Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam, Israel - Waffa was raised as a Palestinian refugee. As a young adult she moved to the unique internationally mixed Palestinian and Jewish community of Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam in Israel. Nava arrived at Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam as a pioneer while it was being built. Wafaa and Nava work side by side in the only village in Israel that is comprised of Palestinians and Jews. Wafaa is responsible for women' s programming at the School for peace. Her activities focus on meetings and encounters among Palestinian and Israeli women. Nava is a facilitator for the youth. Their work has allowed Jews and Palestinians to live, work and raise their children together.
2. C.M. Lord - Media, Pennsylvania - For the past twelve years C.M. has developed programs that are designed to help victims of domestic violence. As a co-founder of Life Beyond Abuse she has moderated support groups, helped woman regain personal worth, dignity and empowerment. C.M. teaches the victims that life change is their road to peace.
3. Annie Goeke, Venice, California - Annie is a co-founder of Earth Rights Institute. Annie understands that there is a connection between human and environmental rights. Her 20 years of community activism has covered a wide spectrum of issues. From waste to inner city children to organic gardening, Annie embodies the concept to act locally and think globally. She is always searching out ways to bring about peace.
4. Vivian Glick, San Diego, California - Vivian founded Just Like My Child in 2006 after a personal epiphany left her reeling over the poverty and diseases that plague Uganda, Africa. She has since abandoned her six-figure marketing consultant career to commit her life to affecting change "village by village". Focusing mainly on educational and wellness initiatives for young girls and women.
5. Pam Haigh, St. Petersburg, Florida - Pam went on a mission trip with her daughter and was so moved by the deplorable living conditions she saw in Nicaragua that she knew she had to do something. Relying on her years of experience as a hair stylist and owner of a high end salon, she created a beauty school for women in Nicaragua. Learning a job skill enables them to find employment and help their family out of poverty. Pam continues to raise money and awareness as she travels between the US and Nicaragua to keep the school going.
1. Megan Studebaker - Zephyrhills, Florida - Megan spent her summer vacation from school raising money and organizing backpacks filled with school supplies for needy children in her community.
Chapel, Florida - Kristin single-handedly organized a benefit fashion show to
raise money for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. She enlisted corporate sponsors,
models, entertainment and clothes. It took her six months of hard work.
1. Bessem Ebanga Arrey Bisong - Yaounde, Cameroon - Bessem coordinates, supervises and facilitates activities that help women and girls that are victims of violence through education, counseling and training in her country.
2.Sharifa Hamisi Banana - Mwanza Tanzania, East Africa - Sharifa is instrumental in aiding women and girls in her community that are victims of violence or/and are at high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. She offers counseling, education and advocacy on a volunteer basis.
2. Junnie Scott - Detroit, Michigan - Junnie is an inspiration to battered women in her area. She provides job training and 24 hour daycare for the women. She has trained over 1,000 women to become nurses Aides and computer programmers.
2006 Women of Peace Award Recipients
Triveni Balkrishna Acharya
- Mumbai, India:
Acharya raids brothels in red-light districts with police to rescue underage girls who are trafficked from Nepal, Bangladesh, and North India and sold into prostitution. She then helps the girls build a different life, starting with psychosocial counseling and then integrating them back into society with the supports they need.
2. Malalai Joya
-, Farah, Afghanistan :
Janny Beekman -
- Venice, California:
Sheehan has become the voice and face of the anti-war movement after losing her son. She began an organization, Gold Star Families for Peace, for others who have lost their children fighting in Iraq and she now represents, inspires and leads an entire movement.
Rev. Kathy Manis Findley
- Little Rock, Arkansas
Rev. Kathy Manis Findley, Little Rock, Arkansas: Rev. Findley has invested her life in promoting nonviolence and has worked with survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence and child abuse, as well as being involved in city, state and national initiatives for over 20 years. She founded The Center for Healing and Hope in 2002 to support survivors of violence and to provide violence prevention education in the community. She also founded the Interfaith Alliance Against Violence and the National Association of Victim Assistance Professionals.
- Racine, Ohio
An environmental activist for her area of Ohio, Young has organized groups of neighbors to protest the plans for new coal-burning electricity plants along the Ohio River. She has organized media tours like “The High Cost of Cheap Coal” and panel discussions at conferences. She has also raised money for a film project and worked countless hours to educate herself and others on the
issues of pollution from coal-fired electricity plants. With no higher education, she’s managed to gain the attention of media like The New York Time and The Washington Post.
- Zanesville, Ohio:
Nutter created the SUCCESS program for single mothers because she has lived her life as a single mom of two children. She worked as a grocer store cashier for eight years while putting herself through school, and then researched and wrote a program to assist single mothers on public assistance to develop the self-esteem and skills to get an education or a better job. Her project is based on a three-year curriculum that helps women ages 13 to 30 better their lives and situations.
Sherar’s dream since childhood was to work with poor women and children in Africa toward a violence-free world. She began her “Road to Non-violence Crusade” in 1997 when she founded the non-profit Opportunity Fund for Developing Countries (OFDC) http://www.ofdc.org. Since then she and other volunteers have raised almost a half million dollars to send overseas to start microcredit projects for women and sponsor education for girls. She often travels alone to remote, rural villages in Bolivia, Kenya and Nepal to live with and learn from women and families.
Tillman - Seal Beach, California
Tillman is a founding member and chief author of the Living Values Education resources, a series of activity books for use with children ages 3 to young adults, a manual for children affected by war, and other publications, the proceeds of which she donates to ALIVE, Living Values Education International, a nonprofit linked with UNESCO and UNICEF.
- New Port Richey, Florida
11. Sandy Coyne - Port
Coyne opened three halfway houses for recovering drug and alcohol addicts, using her own money to pay bills and help the people she mentors. She focuses on community-level services for women and men in need to build trust and support recovery.
Dori Brown - Tampa,
Brown quit her job to realize a lifelong dream of walking the entire Appalachian Trail to raise money for Brookwood, a 52-bed home to young girls ages 13-21, most of whom have been abused. She not only sold her house to help finance the trip, but started training for this fundraiser while she was overweight and in poor health.
Hull - Tampa, Florida:
Kara Hull, Tampa, Florida: Hull is a bright young woman who has shown remarkable initiative in helping Tampa Bay’s abused children. Now age 16, she has written, directed and produced a holiday each year since she was 8 years old. All the proceeds go to The Children’s Home, which operates a variety of family-oriented services, most notably a nationally recognized residential treatment facility for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected.
2005 Women of Peace Award Recipients
1. Jazmin Dervish, East Barnet, London - Jazmin manages a program that addresses anti-social behavior and crime among youth populations, including gang mediations. She draws on her years of experience in dance and drama to develop creative interventions, including a crime board game and graffiti arts, and has sacrificed further education and a 9-to-5 work environment to help kids on the street.
2. A. B., Austria - (Name withheld for her the safety of her continued work). A liberal multicultural feminist and licensed psychological counselor originating from Tanzania East Africa, A.B. supports grassroots multi-faith women's projects for nonviolence against displaced and sexually violated disabled women and girls from her homeland. She helped save three Somali girls, aged 4, 7 and 9, from female genital circumcision, and is now hoping to become an alternative practitioner for women's mental health with an emphasis on expressive art therapy and spirituality.
Dafna Banai, Tel
Aviv, Israel - Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom
Dafna and her organization help Palestinian women that need to cross various checkpoints within the Occupied Territories for medical and other reasons.
4. Julie Nze-Bertram, Evanston Gardens, Australia - Julie is the coordinator of Sweet Mother International -Australia. Julie uses her own resources to travel to Africa to care for poor women and girls through teaching, providing supplies, mediating disputes and leading community development initiatives.
5. Robin Lim, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, Robin Lim Support Organization – Before the tsunami of December 2004, Lim was living in Indonesia, serving as a midwife and advocate for safe birth practices and health care. She established basic sanitation and universal AIDS prevention in the hospital in Bali. After the tsunami, Lim focused her efforts on assisting emergency medical teams. Her husband and grown children, originally from Iowa in the United States, are full-time volunteers for her birthing work, and live in Indonesia.National
1. Heather Hosterman, Pleasant,
CA, 31st December Women’s Movement
- Heather taught women in Ghana about planting crops and hardwood trees in
previously deforested regions. Also, she recently returned from Bolivia where
she trained as a Peace Corps Environmental Educator and taught waste management
and environmental awareness in Bolivian schools. Her next project is to travel
to Ixhualan, Mexico, to develop educational materials on gender equality for
AUGE, a women's micro-crediting loan organization.
- Heather taught women in Ghana about planting crops and hardwood trees in previously deforested regions. Also, she recently returned from Bolivia where she trained as a Peace Corps Environmental Educator and taught waste management and environmental awareness in Bolivian schools. Her next project is to travel to Ixhualan, Mexico, to develop educational materials on gender equality for AUGE, a women's micro-crediting loan organization.
2. Pamela Wooldridge, Thomaston, GA - Wooldridge's 15-year-old son nominated her for this award after witnessing her relentless work on behalf of abused and neglected children in their area. She works with local government agencies and independently, even securing a $6,000 loan two years in a row to provide Christmas gifts for nearly 80 needy children in her community. She has also created a foundation to provide outreach services for abused and neglected children, foster children and women rebuilding their lives after domestic violence.
Alice Washington, Richmond,
VA , Helping Hands Women’s Outreach Ministries – Ceeatta House
- Alice works with women who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse, many
of whom have histories of violence, previous incarcerations, and mental health
disorders. She used personal funds to open four homes for women survivors of
domestic and sexual violence, and has tailored a program to help women reenter
their lives free of drugs, battering and family strife.
- Alice works with women who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse, many of whom have histories of violence, previous incarcerations, and mental health disorders. She used personal funds to open four homes for women survivors of domestic and sexual violence, and has tailored a program to help women reenter their lives free of drugs, battering and family strife.
Josephine Prescott, Aiken, SC, CSRA
Catchers, Josephine was shot by her estranged husband when she was eight months
pregnant, and left a quadriplegic. Now, 20 years later, he still lives in the
same area where she speaks her story as founder of the CSRA Dream Catchers
support/advocacy group. Without compensation for any of her efforts, she assists
other survivors of domestic abuse, and speaks locally for the "Love
Shouldn't Hurt" forum.
Catchers, Josephine was shot by her estranged husband when she was eight months pregnant, and left a quadriplegic. Now, 20 years later, he still lives in the same area where she speaks her story as founder of the CSRA Dream Catchers support/advocacy group. Without compensation for any of her efforts, she assists other survivors of domestic abuse, and speaks locally for the "Love Shouldn't Hurt" forum.
5. Johnnie Lewis, Oakland, CA, SISTER (Supportive, Intensive System of Treatment, Empowerment & Recovery) - Johnnie was raped at 7 years old, and grew into a woman who will not let other women make destructive choices. She gave her life savings and her home to develop a program to teach self-respect and life skills to women and girls who have experienced sexual trauma, domestic violence or prostitution, and is known for her ability to love unconditionally.
6. Jennifer Stanley, Warren, RI, Silent Witness - Jennifer is the Director of the Women's Center at Roger Williams University but also volunteers as the International Director of College Campus Projects with the Silent Witness Initiative. Her program through SWI has been recognized by the National Crime Prevention Council as one of the 50 best practices for ending domestic violence, and she does this almost exclusively in her off-time, wrangling phones, emails and volunteers to make women safe from violence.
2004 Women of Peace Awards
1. Margaret Owino, Nairobi, Kenya
Margaret travels to remote, dangerous areas in Kenya teaching solar cooking as a fuel saving and life giving skill. She is also very active in two women’s self help groups. Her aim is to alleviate women’s heavy burdens such as fuel wood collection, purchasing and preparing food and the possibility of reprisals from her husband if she doesn’t provide these well. She has helped women to empower themselves through her work.
2. Gyorgyi Toth, Budapest, Hungary
Gyorgyi is part of a women’s organization called NANE. She helped to start a Silent Witness exhibit in the 1990’s. Hungary was one of the first countries to start an exhibit outside the US. Gyorgyi risks her life in a political arena that is dangerous fighting to get domestic violence high on the agenda of law enforcement and politicians.
3. Irma (Mimi) de Maza, Ciudad de Guatemala
Mimi travels around Guatemala to poverty and war torn areas helping women with breast feeding and mother-to-mother support projects. She faces many risks in her work as women, traveling alone and helping women to feel empowered. Since corporations often try and manipulate women into using formula which creates malnutrition problems when the mothers who live in poverty can not afford to continue to use the formula.
4. Nze Marita, Lagos, Nigeria
Nze is a widow and mother of eight. Despite her own hardships, physical limitations and living in country where women are considered second class, she has a passion for women. She travels the rural areas of Nigeria educating women and girls through workshops on food and nutrition, mediation settlements of disputes, developmental initiatives and her positive approach to problems the women face.
5. Maralyn Bamabridge, Brantham, Suffolk
Maralyn founded Engalynx in response to a need she saw among families in Rwanda during the civil war in the 1990's. At first she used her photo shop as a place to gather materials such as sewing machines and bicycles to be shipped to Rwanda. Eventually she started raising money, and since retiring she has been working with orphanages and children-headed families to try to improve their lives in a number of ways including better medical treatment.
6. Jewel Cowan, Greenville, Michigan
Jewel gives of her self, her time, her home and her personal resources to help women and children leaving domestic violence situations. She also opens her home as a foster parent for special needs children. Jewel works in her community to help women and children with needed resources. She helps them in dealing with the red tape involved with getting any assistance. She helps with a safe house, and has used her personal cell phone as a 24 hour hot line for women.
Maritza de Juan,
Maritza knows first hand the trauma of living in a homeless shelter. She is an amazing women that has used her savvy to begin the process of forming a non-profit to help other women and children. She has used her own limited resources to help others. She works in her community to help women and children with needed resources. She offers classes from etiquette to business development.
Delmar, New York
Sarah has used her professional skills in culinary arts as a means of teaching domestic violence victims a job skill. She has selflessly used her own resources to start her project that enables battered women to get back in the work force. The food her "students" prepare is used to feed senior citizens in her community. In addition to the culinary arts training she has organized a group of professionals to offer emotional support, counseling, yoga/meditation and application/interview skills.
2003 Women of Peace Award Winners
1. Becky Trent, Valrico Florida -
Becky founded B Encouraged Freedom Ministries, Inc. to help women in crisis in her community get back on their feet. With the support from friends, volunteers and several Churches, Becky counsels women fighting addictions or who are just coming out of prison. She is in the process of constructing a shelter that can be a center offering services and information to help the women find employment and become self-sufficient.
2. Sister Lorraine Ryan, Boca Raton, Florida
Sister Lorraine Ryan is a one woman crusader for her community. If she isn't busy offering workshops at Women's Circle then she is tending to plots in her city's community gardens. Her Women's Circle group offers free health screenings and support group meetings such as parenting, career options and financial planning. Her community knows if there is a need for something Sister Ryan will find a way to address it.
3. Katie Alberts, Tampa Florida
Katie is a 16 year old that heard about a group at her church that was trying to raise money to buy blankets for African children suffering from AIDS. Katie organized Quilts for Kids in Africa. With her army of friends and volunteers they assembled more than 20 quilts for children in Zambia. Katie was able to deliver her quilts this past summer when she traveled to Africa with some of her classmates from school. In addition to the quilt project, Katie also volunteers at Creative Kids Count.
of Peace Award Winners 2002
Terry worked for the Department of Children and Families for 21 years and knows first hand the devastation of women and girls in crisis. She left her secure position to start the Pregnancy Care Center.
The center has an open-door policy in a home-like atmosphere. Baby and personal items are free to those in crisis. They offer cooking classes and life-management skills classes. Terry thinks sharing practical living skills can be an immense help in preparing new parents for a new life.
is sensitive to the needs of both the clients and the volunteers. Through her
training, the volunteers and the center were able to help more than 190 women in
its first year.
Jan Rodgers, Zephyrhills, FL
book "Trevor's Place" made an impression on Jan many years ago. The
story involves a young boy who sees a newscast about homeless people. Curious,
he asks his parents whether there are any homeless people in his city and can he
see where they stay. The child takes his pillows and blanket to give to the
homeless when his parents take him to that area.
the homeless has become a personal mission for Jan. Through her church, friends,
business customers and through word of mouth, she gathers clothes, blankets,
pillows and toiletries. She and a friend set up tables in the parking lot of the
Salvation Army in Tampa in January and distribute items to 35 -40 people the
first year and 175 the second year. She immediately starts collecting again for
the following year.
realizes she can't help everyone but she can make a difference to some who are
Susan Stallard, Some of My Best Friends, New Port Richey, FL
founded Some of My Best Friends in 1995 as a 12- step support group much like
Alcoholics Anonymous to help displaced women and children. A prison ministry for
women was added in 1998 that is currently helping 75-125 inmates in 8 facilities
in Florida after helping many of the children of these inmates.
focus of the organization is to show at risk youth the positive side of life so
that they may be steered away from a potential life of crime. Many of the youth
are exposed to crime through dysfunctional home lives and their parent's
criminal behavior. Her project offers them an alternative.
of the main projects is a summer camp that the children can attend at no cost.
Susan does all of this work for no pay but great rewards when she sees the
children grow into high functioning young adults that are able to stay out of
Patty Sanphy, Clearwater, FL
is a musician who has devoted many volunteer hours to supporting and educating
the public about domestic violence and raising money for women's shelters in the
Tampa Bay area. In the early 90's, as a member of the Greens, she organized two
"Take Back the Night" vigils in downtown Clearwater.
1996 she single-handedly recruited local women musicians and planned and put on
a "Take Back the Night" benefit concert on Mother's Day top raise
money for an area shelter at Skipper's Smokehouse. This has turned into an
annual Mother's Day event ever since. This year was the 7th annual
concert. The concerts now benefit 3 area shelters. Patty has raised more than
$35,000 for the shelters in her relentless mission to help battered women.
Ondria Brown, Boca Raton, FL
over a decade Ondria has been involved with programs that assist women and young
girls. She developed and taught displaced homemakers on the mechanics of
starting a home-based business. These women had been economically successful
however had found themselves abandoned by spouses with no skills or gainful
has provided youth entrepreneur ship training to a special group of youth to
provide them a hope for the future. These youth have come away from the juvenile
courts and whose parents have had difficulty finding schools that would take
has taken Take Your Daughter to Work Day to a new level. She takes inner-city
girls to meet successful women in their good paying jobs or women who own
businesses. She has matched over 25 inner-city girls with successful urban women
She diligently works with the daughters of battered women in shelter and has started a program that targets and mentors inner city and urban young girls and their moms with ongoing communications about life skills. It offers them exposure to the arts, museums and other places that many people take for granted. Conversations are used to promote their educational desires, hope of leaving their environment, obtaining viable housing, gainful employment and seeing themselves as positive role models to their daughters.
Tracey Dannemiller and her 11 year old daughter, Lesley have AIDS. Tracey contacted the disease from her former husband who died of AIDS in 1987. Lesley was born with the disease. Their mission is to help people overcome the fear factor about people infected with HIV. Dannemiller, who is a homemaker, volunteers her time to educate people about AIDS safety precautions as part of the talks she gives regularly at area churches and community centers.
survived a murder attempt by her former husband. It spurred her to get involved
with a group of survivors that went on to build the Rhode Island exhibit for the
Silent Witness display in Washington, DC. She was so moved by the exhibit and
the speech of a recovered abuser that she decided she had to let go of her
hatred and start really healing.
has coordinated domestic violence awareness marches for the last 5 years, works
on a project to connect with families of victims, hosts Silent Witness events at
all 10 of the colleges in her state, hosted 2 regional training programs to name
2. & 3. Vickie Amundson
and Jerri Miller
Witness Montana, Livingston, MT and Missola, MT
team of two powerhouse activists are changing the face of domestic violence in
Montana. They are the Silent Witness coordinators and are making sure the
Witnesses travel around their sate promoting awareness.
and Vickie personally raised the money to have a traveling trailer built to
accommodate the Witnesses. They are both active members of Business and
Professional Women and have formed networks with other BPW's to carry forward
domestic violence work in other states.
formed a non-profit organization (Silent Witness Montana) so they could get
grants to sponsor training on effective programs focusing on perpetrators,
adolescents, and court observation. Several programs have begun thanks to their
efforts including a Native American Nations training project. Both of these
tireless women work outside the home and do all this work as volunteers.
Madame Helene Tahibola Kiashiba, Street Adolescent Girls Project, Lusaka, Zambia
Laurent Desire Kabila was elected president of the Republic of Congo he created
a law that dictated that women must wear the traditional dress of the county or
be arrested, and tortured.
Madame Kashiba organized a group of women and girls to visit the president’s home so that they could present a 20-page paper outlining the economic situation for women and girls. When they arrived to meet with the president the guards prevented them from entering so they took off all of their clothes to demonstrate how marginalized women are in the Congo.
they were released from jail Madame Kashiba managed to obtain an appointment
with the president. At the meeting she
told him that females wear men’s pants because they are cheap, and the
traditional dress is expensive. She said
that if he was going to mandate women to wear traditional dress then he should
provide these dresses for everyone.
The president reversed the law and women are now able to wear what they are able to afford.
2000 Media & Amigas Award Winners
Radio Feature - USA
Morning Show hosts Skip Mahaffey, Les McDowell, Rita
Ciccarillo and Braden Gunn for
their decision to keep their programming family oriented and leadership role in
community service.The show's
consistently high ratings prove that a radio program in a country western format
can offer a family show. They use their show to encourage young people through
their “Skip’s Kids” contests and promote awareness and offer sensible
solutions on where to get help with problem issues.
Centre for the Unemployed for
their radio feature “Breaking the Silence” on domestic violence.
The format shows how two women
use their personal domestic violence experiences and their struggle to survive
to promote awareness and offer support and information.
Alexandra Gromko for her news feature “When Women Kill” that she produced and reported which highlighted the stories of battered women incarcerated for killing their partner. The series opened a floodgate of response from interested viewers and has prompted people to become involved in various ways to help the women gain pardons.
Connie May Fowler for her book “Before Women Had Wings”.
Connie is the author of several novels. She
has also been a battered woman. Her book is a fictionalized version of her own
story of growing up as the child of an abused woman. Oprah Winfrey made her book
into a movie.
Connie is the author of several novels. She has also been a battered woman. Her book is a fictionalized version of her own story of growing up as the child of an abused woman. Oprah Winfrey made her book into a movie.
Print - books - Non-fiction - USA
Michele Weldon – for her book “I Closed My Eyes”, a
Michele fell back on her years as a
journalist to write a compelling story of her own life experiences. Her work
helps thousands to understand the pervasive tragedy of domestic violence.
Michele fell back on her years as a
journalist to write a compelling story of her own life experiences. Her work
helps thousands to understand the pervasive tragedy of domestic violence.
& Abuse Crisis Center for
their “Red Flag – Green Flag” coloring book for children.
The center develops educational tools
for children. Their coloring books, videos and training manuals are used
nationally to help children learn how to prevent a dangerous situation. They
are done in a format that children understand. The success of the first
coloring book has spawned an entire line of children’s educational books,
videos and board games that deal with sexual and domestic abuse.
The center develops educational tools
for children. Their coloring books, videos and training manuals are used
nationally to help children learn how to prevent a dangerous situation. They
are done in a format that children understand. The success of the first
coloring book has spawned an entire line of children’s educational books,
videos and board games that deal with sexual and domestic abuse.
Camille Giffard for her "
The Torture Reporting Handbook ".
This book is available on the internet
and is a step by step guide to help anyone that has ever experienced, witnessed
or been told of an incident of torture. The manual provides instruction on how
to document abuse
This book is available on the internet and is a step by step guide to help anyone that has ever experienced, witnessed or been told of an incident of torture. The manual provides instruction on how to document abuseand human rights violations properly in order to prosecute effectively. Only by bringing such incidents to the attention of the international community can eradication stand a chance of success. It is arranged in a basic, easy to read format.
Author Jan Arnow for her book “Teaching Peace: Raising Kids in Harmony Without Fear, Without Prejudice, Without Violence”. This is a hands on, down-to-earth approach that explains how to combat prejudice and prevent conflict, while teaching kids the kinds of values that will help them live fruitful lives in today’s changing world.
Reinhild Boehm, Judith Golec, Ruth Krahn
and Dianne Smyth for their book “Lifelines:Culture,
Spirituality, and Family Violence.
A four woman editorial collective of
stories on abuse and community workers sharing stories, experience and
knowledge. The book examines the healing process, which evolves through pain and
mental anguish. It offers a way of helping, gives a message of hope and a
celebration of healing.
A four woman editorial collective of
stories on abuse and community workers sharing stories, experience and
knowledge. The book examines the healing process, which evolves through pain and
mental anguish. It offers a way of helping, gives a message of hope and a
celebration of healing.
for their development of www.warwidows.org
that serves as a living memorial for war widows to record and share their
stories to highlight the devastation of war.
FreeB92 for their radio broadcasts
despite all attempts to silence them.
Radio FreeB92 has existed in Belgrade
for 10 years. During the recent NATO intervention in Yugoslavia the police
occupied their premises and confiscated all of their equipment and transmitters
as well as more than 50,000 editions of books published by the radio station.
They also lost their complete musical CD production along with all
documentation, money and bank accounts. Despite all of the efforts of the
Slobodan Milosevic regime failed in taking over one thing: all of the dedicated
people that worked for FreeB92. "From the cleaning people
Radio FreeB92 has existed in Belgrade for 10 years. During the recent NATO intervention in Yugoslavia the police occupied their premises and confiscated all of their equipment and transmitters as well as more than 50,000 editions of books published by the radio station. They also lost their complete musical CD production along with all documentation, money and bank accounts. Despite all of the efforts of the Slobodan Milosevic regime failed in taking over one thing: all of the dedicated people that worked for FreeB92. "From the cleaning peopleand technicians to the journalists we refused to be silenced". With the help of allies they used any and all connections presented to them to continue broadcasting the news and a message of tolerance.
photographer Mika Fowler for
his photographic portraits and stories of domestic violence survivors in
Florida. Through his work he tries to put a face on violence against women and
to dispel the stereotype that violence is a distant problem.
Documentary Video - USA
Producers Holly Fisher and Katherine Pieratos for "Burma Land/Scapes", a documentary that highlights protection of women’s rights, respect for cultural and environmental diversity and the advancement of human rights via political empowerment in Burma. The rough draft of this film premiered at the Hague Appeal for Peace.
Angela Martinez - Land 'O Lakes, Florida
a long marriage, Angela found herself divorced and needing a job.
She taught herself how to do basic construction and ended up working with
The Center for Women in Tampa to help start the SHIP program.
The SHIP program's goal was to teach women who needed job skills how to
do basic home repairs. Single handedly
Angela helped save hundreds of homes by fixing up homes owned by elderly people
who were poor and facing eviction. After
retirement she started volunteering her time to teach dancing and sculpting to
Alzheimer patients. She also is the main
character in "PowerStories", a show about her life, and other strong
women from Tampa Bay.
Jennifer Pedraza - Tarpon Springs, Florida
didn't just coordinate Florida's activities for The National Million Mom March,
She wrote news releases, organized meetings and hosted the one hundred
people who traveled by bus to Washington D.C. She
helped with the march because she wanted to help since her mom was too busy with
her other 7 children and working on her Ph.D. She
felt strongly about the issue of gun violence because of the violence her
siblings have seen in their short young lives. During
her last couple of high school years she has served as a youth ambassador with
People to People and traveled to Australia and New Zealand.
She also serves a youth facilitator for Federation of Families and is a
high school student.
founded Creative Kids because she needed to do 22 hours of community service to
fulfill a middle school requirement. The
first phase of the art project was for children staying at The Spring, a
domestic violence shelter in Tampa, Florida. Eventually
she expanded the project to include Tampa Children's Hospital, Tampa General's
Children's Unit, The Children's Cancer Core Center, The Children's Home, A
Brighter Community and the YMCA. She now
has a small army of friends and family who assist her with Creative Kids.
They help pack two hundred and forty-five art bags for distribution each
month. She is a high school student.
created a sculpture of an 8-foot stick figure holding a limp child.
Her goal with the sculpture was to raise awareness of family violence
issues. She takes the sculpture around to various high profile places to create
conversation and awareness.
Cheryl Chandler – Sandy, Utah
over two years Cheryl has volunteered her time to teach a 16-week course on life
dynamics at the Utah State Prison for women. Her class helps women make healthy
Sandy Murphy – Houston, Texas
Sandy has dedicated her life’s work to helping others through her weekly TV talk shows. Her facial scars from domestic violence help her to get across the themes she discusses honestly and openly.
Naomi Berman–Potash – Mequon, Wisconsin
is a director of sales and marketing for hotels and was inspired to start
Project Debby by a newspaper article about battered women’s shelters lacking
space. Project Debby allows women to stay in area hotels for up to 3 nights.
Katina Johnstone – New York, New York
Katina's husband was murdered she co-founded New Yorkers Against Gun Violence,
organized three national silent marches to bring attention to fun violence.
She is co-filer of a landmark, successful lawsuit against 15 gun
manufacturers to mandate handgun registration and childproof locks.
Smith – Howard, Colorado
founded Dreams of Freedom, Inc. in 1999 with her own money.
Her program offers an interactive newspaper that inmates create,
furnishings for children’s meeting rooms at prisons, personal hygiene items,
as well as music and nature videos for their libraries.
Marissa Maurer – Washington, DC
volunteers with World Organization Against Torture USA. She works diligently to
advocate for women who have been abused (or may be abused if deported) and are
Ndofor Magdalene Bingum & Asong Teresia Ajab –
two women are volunteers who help battered women. They have worked to abolish
corporal punishment in the primary school system, as well as to eradicate child
abuse and to establish equal pay for women.
developed a community-based project that became the blueprint for Sunflower
Recycling. Against all odds and poor health she created awareness and a culture
to encourage recycling in her community. She has generated jobs for women and
improved the quality of life for the disadvantaged. With her help and guidance
many other women’s projects have emerged in Ireland.
husband was killed by the RUC during the Northern Ireland "troubles"
and was left to raise her 6 children in a community filled with fear. She has
worked hard as a role model developing both herself and her community to become
aware of its issues and how to create a better life for families.
and a small team of supporters converted a derelict building owned by the City
Corporation to create the first after school facility for Dublin's inner city
children. This community based after school project has now spread to many more
sites and is staffed almost entirely by previously unemployed mothers and single
parents. Staff is trained in special skills associated with playcare,
sports, arts and safety.
Nana Semidi IV – Logba, Ghana
has risked her life to change violent customs such as female genital mutilation,
widowhood rituals and domestic violence. She founded the group Logba Mother and
Child Health Group.
6. Tara Upreti – Kathmandu, Nepal
is an attorney who runs a battered women’s shelter in Nepal. She provides free
legal support and counseling to victims. She also works tirelessly to help women
wrongfully imprisoned in a country where women can be arrested, tortured and
sometimes murdered for being accused of being a witch.
7. Larisa Vasilyeva - Chelyabinsk, Russia
founded and leads the "Women of the 90th" who are
businesswomen helping women and their children who are at risk to becoming part
of Russia's sexual trafficking industry. Their goal is to stop sex trade
Nina Burwell, Sarasota, Florida
volunteered her time to create and initiate a program at a Sarasota housing
project. The program teaches children the
benefits of cultural diversity, peacemaking skills for conflict resolution and
tolerance for different points of view. Nina’s fortitude and endurance along
with her ability to form liaisons within both the black and white community has
resulted in a very successful program, which helps to develop global citizens
while providing a safe place for children to learn.
Dade City, Florida, Diana over came great odds as a farm worker to become a
Sister Rosalie Hennessy,
OSM, Sun City Center, Florida, Sister
Rosalie, a Catholic nun, founded a program to help pregnant women in crisis in
Tampa. Her work has grown to include providing counseling, clothing items to
pregnant women in need and has recently added transitional housing. She has
helped hundreds of women on the streets that were pregnant and given their
babies a life with a healthy start.
Wendy Loomas, St. Petersburg, Florida, Wendy is the Violence Prevention Coordinator at the Pinellas County Health Department. She also has been volunteering her time for over 15 years in the area of non-violence and advocacy work. She has organized demonstrations against violence, worked with the press, spoken to organizations, as well as provided training to groups in consensus decision-making and non-violence. Her latest project is teaching people how to safely intervene when they see a child in their neighborhood or community that is being abused, neglected or in any other kind of danger and offering no-cost mediation services to the community outside the court system to prevent disagreements from escalating.
Myriam Mezadieu, Miami, Florida, Myriam, a Haitian citizen, works tirelessly preparing immigration forms
such as family petitions, appeals, motions, asylum applications and interviews, requests for employment authorization and handles office contact with INS and US Embassies in foreign countries. She founded a program, which deals with the multi-faceted problems teens face, including pregnancy. The organization also addresses the needs of victims of spousal and child abuse. They provide comprehensive outreach to those who are in need of social and medical services and legal representation. Myriam screens and counsels clients, conducts necessary immigration work, provides legal services and acts as a referral to other services that may be needed. Through her single-handed efforts she has improved the quality of life for many Haitians living in Miami-Dade County.
Angie Thompson, Deerfield, Florida, After traveling to Romania to do relief work with her church group and witnessing all the children growing up without parents, without homes and without education Angie gave up her high-paying job in Silicon Valley; sold everything she owned and started an organization to help the street children of Romania. She brings them food, clothes and gets them much needed medical attention and a hug from possibly the only adult that has ever cared for them before in their lives. She takes home any children that are willing to give up the streets. Based out of an office in Florida, and with a partner in Romania, Angie has opened two orphanages for the children who are living in sewers and on park benches. Angie offers them a place to live, education, and the chance for a better life. With an estimated 2000 children living in the city streets of Bucharest, Angie knows she can't save them all. But she plans to save all she can.
Lupson, Silver Springs, Maryland, Pat
became involved with Silent Witness because her daughter
Peterson, Tucson, Arizona, Diane
participated in the Silent Witness March in Washington in 1997.
She appeared on stage with her husband John, who gave a talk on how he
had been an abusive husband, but was now committed to helping other men heal.
Diane stood quietly as he spoke, holding his hand.
Many people said it was the single most poignant moment of the entire
march. When her husband died of lung
cancer last year she continued to carry on her work as a volunteer with Silent
Witness in Tucson, AZ. She has continued
to focus on men’s treatment since that was what John felt so strongly about.
She serves as a mentor to others around the country.
Wilcox, Sultan, Washington, Rosaleen
has dedicated her life to keeping youth out of trouble,
Dublon, New York, New York, Dina is the
CFO of Chase Manhattan Corp. but she gives equal
Childs, Kansas City, Kansas, Kristy
worked in street prostitution for 18 years. A
little over 8
Juliette Engel, Seattle,
Washington and Moscow, Russia, Juliette, a 53-year-old radiologist sold her
six-figure practice in Bellevue to found MiraMed Institute in 1991. By
recruiting full-time volunteers to help teach computer, language and vocational
skills at Russian orphanages, she is trying to establish new, and in some ways
more significant dimensions. When orphans “graduate,” they are expected to
find a new life on their own, but all too often, Engel said, they founder and
wind up on the streets, sometimes fueling the growing ranks of the Russian mafia
and prostitutes. “Basically, the children have no choices and no hope,”
Engel said. “Without education, family or resources, little is left to them
but to drift into the cities and to find a place in the growing underworld. We
want to establish the orphanages as places of learning and hope instead of
isolation and despair.”
Orta, Paris, France, Lucy was greatly
influenced by her experiences seeing people on the edge of survival. She used
her talents as an artist to launch a Refuge Wear, which mixes fashion with
social protest, after she saw the plight of Kurdish refugees during the US
invasion of Iraq. She was moved by the
idea of collective action and public debate and has collaborated with shelters,
prisons, foster homes, universities and high schools.
Her work aims to draw attention to issues of public welfare that fail to
meet the media’s imagination of marginalized communities. She designs clothing
that can serve multi-use, as a thermal sleeping bag by night and a rucksack by
day. Pockets are made to hold objects
such as water supplies, food, portable stoves and documents. The wearer can use
an attached whistle to call for assistance when under threat. She has also used
her talents to teach workshops on uses of used clothing through the Salvation
Army. Her work to draw attention to the
plight of the homeless and the war torn is bold and relentless.
Atieno Onyango, Oyugis Kenya, Jecinter has dedicated her life to finding
solutions for the
Nepal, In 1995, floods washed away Sushma's village. Her family had resorted to
sleeping under a plastic sheet when a village woman asked her if she wanted to
make money working in a garment factory in Katmandu. At age 14 and less than 5
feet tall, Sushma, the youngest of five children and never having been to
school, jumped at the chance. The woman sold her for 2,000 Indian rupees or
about $50 in US to three men who owned a brothel in India. For 13 months she was
a prisoner in this house until the police raided it. She made her way back
across the border and found a women's shelter. She found out she was HIV
positive. While staying at the shelter she happened to be looking out the window
and saw two of her captors. She screamed for help and went running outside after
them. All the women at the shelter chased them down and dragged the men to the
police station where they were arrested and jailed for 3-5 years. This action
inspired Sushma to go back to the border and watch the border traffic for
suspicious men lurking to take innocent young girls. She has been instrumental
in preventing the smuggling of many young girls. Nepalese police credit her with
having 4 men successfully arrested and saving 15 girls so far this year. Armed
with only a determination to save other young girls from her fate she daily
risks her own life and health to put an end to this problem.
Helena Stuart, Portadown, Northern Ireland, Helena gave up a well-paid job to implement a cross-community (Protestant and Catholic) project she created. The project serves the whole of Portadown and the surrounding area. Women and their children who are under stress due to the political strife in Portadown or parents who are having difficulty relating to their children use this facility to help ease the stress and strain of their situation thus helping to provide a future for children to grow into healthy fully integrated, productive adults. The root of the trauma (political war) does not know the barrier of religion or culture and people come from all over the district to gain Helena's counseling and guidance. The people are socially and economically disadvantaged and receive these services at no charge. With no budget and the help of one other volunteers Helena serves as many women and children as she can doing her part to move beyond the "troubles".
India, Mary grew up
very poor. She is now a social worker who has been working since 1980 to help
impoverished women and children in over 800 rural villages in India. She has
organized women into committees she then trains so they can help her to fight
for social, economical, moral, political and human rights in their respective
villages. Since she began her work she has been instrumental in having rape
cases prosecuted, fighting alcohol abuse and unfair wages, preventing dowry
deaths, harassment, and implementing change in traditional widow customs. No
matter what the issue she is a brave one-person organizer that motivates her
committees to assist her in tackling all cases of injustices and atrocities
1999 MEDIA AWARD WINNERS
In September of 1999, the first annual Peacepower Media Awards ceremony was held at a residential home in Palm Harbor, Florida. Winners in seven media categories were chosen by a Peacepower committee. Each winner was given $250 to donate to a non-profit project chosen from a pre-selected list of projects.
Arts and Entertainment Winner: John Jennings
John Jennings is a producer, folk artist and songwriter whose title track “I Belong to You” tells the story of a couple trapped in a physically abusive relationship. Best known as Mary Chapin Carpenter’s producer and guitarist, John has two solo albums with Vanguard Records.
Television News Feature Winner: Gayle Sierens, Steve DeGregorio and Bob Hansen
Reporter and news anchor Gayle Sierens has been with the WFLA-TV Newschannel 8 station of Tampa Bay, Florida, for 22 years, and joined with producer Steve DeGregorio and photographer Bob Hansen to create the feature "Profile of a Rapist." Sierens says the informative features sends an empowering message to women.
Television Public Service Announcement Winner: Erin Gray and Mara Purl
The actresses’ work with the oldest battered women’s shelter in the country, Haven House of Los Angeles, and their activism for women’s lives led them to create a PSA that they share with any domestic violence shelter in the country. They’ve also shared a good deal in their own lives, collaborating to create PurlGray Enterprises and, most recently, a book they co-authored called Act Right, which gives tips and anecdotes from their acting careers. Mara’s name and face are familiar from her stint on Days of Our Lives and from her award-winning radio soap opera, Milford-Haven. And Erin (top right) became a household name in the 70s and 80s with TV’s Buck Rogers and then Silver Spoons, and has since starred in many movie roles.
Print News Winner: Amy Ellis
Amy Ellis has been writing about family violence topics for the St. Petersburg Times in Florida for the past four years. She’s the social services and education reporter, and her numerous articles about domestic violence have educated her community and given the Times a focus on women’s lives.
Radio Public Service Announcement Winner: Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault
The Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault is a small organization and, from what they’ve said, they were amazed that the message of the radio PSA they created on sexual abuse reached as far as Florida. Peacepower heard about the powerful PSA radio campaign, and chose to award them for their efforts to educate radio listeners about the dangers and lasting effects of acquaintance rape.
Radio News Winner: Debra Latham
Debra Latham co-founded Radio for Peace International in 1987, and has been a voice for alternative media ever since. Radio for Peace International is a non-profit short-wave radio station on the campus of Costa Rica’s University for Peace, which was created by the United Nations. Debra moved there from Oregon, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oregon State University.
Internet Winner: Clare Warmke
Clare Warmke’s online magazine for teen girls, Jessie Mag - Where Girl Talk Gets Serious, was created because Clare felt there was more to girls’ lives than what to wear to prom. Her feminist magazine, which often focuses on issues of violence in girls’ lives, gives teens an outlet and a friendly network for both their writing and their activism.
1999 Amigas Award WINNERS
This dedicated activist has volunteered with the women’s human rights group "Losinj" in Croatia since it was established in 1996. She has been committed and courageous in her efforts to help women from Croatia to become politically active even though this has placed her in a dangerous position. She has also lobbied for better domestic violence laws for women in a country that has only 5% of its political positions held by women. Through her efforts to educate women about politics she hopes to encourage them to become involved in the political system and decision making process that can be the only way to accomplish change.
2. Girl Scout Troop 47, under the leadership of Linda Bratcher , Shawnee Girl Scout Council, Keyser, West Virginia
This Girl Scout Troop developed a Domestic Violence Awareness Patch Program for their council that is now being used Nation wide. Requirements to earn the patch include: the troop must invite an advocate from a local domestic violence program to come speak to them about domestic violence and learn what to do if someone they know is being abused. Scouts must also complete several other activities to be eligible for the patch, such as learning about domestic violence laws in their state, developing a safety plan for themselves in case they face a violent situation; or completing a service project that will benefit victims of domestic violence or a local shelter. The troop voted to use the award money to promote the patch. They will purchase the patches for troops who have limited funds. In choosing this option they will encourage other girls to learn about domestic violence and to help to break the silence.
Vianca got involved with the National Conference YAR program when she was a 16 year old student at Tampa Bay Technical High School. She serves as a board member to Youth as Resources, a community service grant program for young people, and reviews all grant applications and attends interviews with each applicant group. She also meets with other youth leaders in Hillsborough County to identify community concerns and to brainstorm on potential solutions. She applied for a grant to present a multi-cultural fair to the preschool children in the school’s childcare program. She surveyed the student body and determined the top 25 nationalities represented. She then set up booths featuring each culture. 4. Dr. Virginia Irving – Happy Workers Day School, St. Petersburg, Florida
Dr. Irving recognized that very young children commit violent acts and instituted an innovative peace education program. She and her staff catalogued the violence committed at their school and then developed and implemented a "Children are Peacemakers" program. This program includes peaceful songs and activities for the children in her program. The program also includes "homework" activities for the children to take home to share with their parents and siblings.
5. Roberta Longfellow and Michele Carpenter – Haven of Hope, Cambridge, Ohio
These two gracious and compassionate women are totally dedicated to serving the victims of domestic violence in their community. They are a true team and their enthusiasm is contagious. In addition to working as victims advocates they also work as group facilitators and have expanded the children’s program to include preschoolers. They are constantly thinking of ways to expand services to domestic violence victims.
6. Serene Chakma – Kapo Seba Sangha, Rangamati Hill Tracts, Bangladesh
Serene has been a volunteer since 1993 when she completed her education in Women, Development and Advocacy. She is involved in conflict resolution, prevention of domestic violence and violations of women’s human rights in her community. She works to improve the lives of battered women and children by organizing workshops, seminars, meetings and encouraging other women to help in raising awareness by forming groups in the various villages. She also works tirelessly to prevent the trafficking of women from her village. Her efforts are paying off since the trafficking rate has dropped considerably since she started her awareness campaign.
7. Jan Arnow, Institute for Intercultural Understanding, Louisville, Kentucky
Jan is founder, director and one-woman staff of this organization doing incredible projects to teach peace to children and adults. She believes adults need to develop a keener awareness of the influences in their children’s lives. She has several uncanny methods of raising awareness of violence in communities. One method she uses is to take adults on a bus tour of their own neighborhood and show them all the violent influences in the neighborhood and in every home. She points out potential problems in each place. Contrary to what most people think it happens in every socio-economic neighborhood as the tour points out. Jan has also worked closely with educators to develop the criteria for a high school credited course aimed at teaching peace and conflict resolution. One unique aspect of the criteria is the high school student is teamed with an adult from a community service group. The pair must attend the classes together for the duration of the course. The mentor must then take the course back to teach to their sponsoring community service group. Although still in it’s early stages the program is successful.
8. Margueritte Midodzi – CIRCUIT, B. P. Togo (West Africa)
Forced to drop out of college in her last year due to financial hardships Margueritte began farming pepper with her parents. Being conscious of their poverty, she organized a group of 30 women involved in pepper farming and started a co-op. As a result the idea continued to broaden and created sensitizing and strengthening of women for their economic self-promotion. The process has helped emancipate the rural women and girls. The program she started has 3 main objectives: self-promotion of the woman for her integral financial and personal development, rural women’s use of the same legitimate right as men in society and to bring peace in the family and home.
Dr. Baer has given tirelessly of her time and expertise for over four years to an effort to create a systematic approach to hunger in the Tampa Bay area. Since 85% of the hungry population is women she considers this a women’s issue. She participates week after week in meetings, writing and editing proposals, planning ways to help generate the political will to enact the recommendations and being vocal in her efforts to promote awareness of the issues of hunger in Tampa Bay.10. S. D. Uma Maheswari, Yerrupalem – Khammam District, Andhra Pradesh, India
Growing up in poverty in a rural village Uma was able to attend an urban college. From her own experience with the vulnerability she faced moving to an urban area she has since dedicated her life to helping women from rural areas that relocate to urban areas from being sexually exploited. She has formed support groups for these women and works closely with police in securing their safety. She continues her work despite the dangers she faces daily.
11. A.Vaidehi Lalitha – Raghavarajapuram, Cuddapah Dist. India
This social worker has single handedly waged a campaign to promote equality of women in India. In a culture that believes women are second class, she tirelessly continues her education of women to their rights, promotes awareness of the atrocities against women and finds rescue homes for some of the victims to go to for safety. The danger she faces daily in her work never stops her from helping other women and children. She continues to organize immunization clinics and education classes for children, self-help and career opportunity groups for women as well as distributing much needed supplies to fire victims.
12. Eunice Justice,Tampa, Florida
"Mother Justice" as she is lovingly referred to by many is 77 years old, but that doesn’t stop her from feeding and sheltering women in her Tampa home. She calls her shelter Dorcas House after the Biblical woman who made clothes for the poor. Every Tuesday she feeds the homeless and sets out extra food for the taking all week. Donated clothes in bins are also placed out on her porch for the taking. She struggles to keep the taxes paid and the door open but has somehow managed that for over 20 years now.
13. Mary Corina, Anbu Illam, Tamilnadu, India
Mary has worked silently for over 10 years in various groups working to bring peace and power to women in distress either from abuse, financial issues or from being homeless. She helps organize conferences and conventions for women to promote awareness of problems such as rape, dowry harassment, wife beating, rehabilitation of deserted women and working women in the unorganized sector.
Wilma at 77 spends her afternoons teaching some of the children that show up at her after school program basics they’ve missed at home and school, and doling out tough love in a storefront in the city of St. Petersburg’s oldest housing project. This safe haven for neighborhood children who have fallen through the educational cracks has artwork decorating the walls, computer stations and a reading room in back. She calls it Agape House as a memorial to her daughter who was slain. She runs the program completely on donations and anything she can contribute herself and volunteers she can find to help her teach the children. "I’m planting seeds for the future, and I’m trying to keep those kids out of harm’s way. Those are mean streets out there", Green explains.
15. Celestine Njaka, Human Dignity Promotion Program, ACCRA – Ghana
Celestine has been a volunteer for the women’s reproductive health and women’s rights project since 1996. She helps to educate rural women about HIV, AID’s STD’s and how to prevent them through meetings and a targeted education campaign. She also is a campaigner of the eradication of early marriage among these rural illiterate communities. Through one of her campaign activities, the village head of one of the rural communities known as attiogun in Togo was able to denounce female genital cutting among new female births in the area.
16. A. Vijaya Lakshmi – Balagangadhara Youth Organization, Cuddapah, India
She was raised in a poor family and became a social worker who immediately set her goals for helping other disadvantaged women to better themselves. She has played a pivotal role in tackling cases of atrocities against women and in the process brought credit to her work and peace to the women involved. She has the reputation of improving the lives of battered women and children in the villages she serves.
Women's Peacepower Foundation, Inc. Grants for 1999
Sunrise Alumni received a grant to help fund the second annual Women’s Information Fair to be held in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This event serves to inform, educate and empower formerly battered women with self-help information covering a very wide range of topics.
Jessie Mag is a new online publication for young girls. It offers girl’s aged 12 – 19 input into the magazine’s content through their submission of stories they think are important to other teens. Jessie will give girls a more serious alternative to the magazines on the market. It discusses and asks for involvement in solutions to issues such as family violence.
The founder, director and one woman staff of this organization uses many methods of teaching peace in the community. One of her methods is to take adults on a bus tour through their own neighborhood pointing out all the places that are potential problems to children. Another program partners adults with school students in a yearlong class and mentoring program aimed at teaching peace.
Mary Joan and Jerry Park founded Little Friends for Peace in 1981. The organization is dedicated to teaching skills of nonviolence to young children. They have started peace clubs in area schools in addition to peace education classes and a summer camp. They have requested a grant to help defray expenses for underprivileged children that can not afford to attend the summer Peace Camp.
ESSAN works with women over 18 in 20 rural backward villages . Their goal is to identify women with leadership qualities who are willing to organize women in their own villages. They do this through: conducting street theaters; forming village level women forums; holding monthly meetings; offering training on leadership, finance management, saving money, bio-intensive gardening, environmental sanitation, organic farming and animal husbandry; providing health checkups for women and children and generally creating a self-help group in each village.
CITAL is aimed at generating additional revenues to improve the living conditions of women, their children and families. By focusing on the women, the project is more likely to help the women solve their own elementary subsistence problems and those of their children. The program will enhance their self- esteem and strengthen their confidence within their communities and help them to cultivate democratic principles and become active against social and economic injustice.
This organization works to educate the community and create awareness on the harmful effects of traditional Female Genital Mutilation through workshops, seminars and parties. They do this through using traditional practices and by convincing boys to consider marrying girls who have avoided mutilation.. They train peer educators on domestic violence issues and will intervene on a victim’s behalf. They teach people how to "stand firm and talk against the practice (this includes mutilation and family violence) otherwise he/she becomes an outcast".
AMIGAS WINNERS 1998
Honored for self-less work on behalf of peace with a $250 prize.
1. Carolyn Johnson, FL
HIV Outreach Worker/Volunteer Nurse Carolyn Johnson volunteers 3 Saturdays a month at la Casa de Esparanza y Salud, the Farmworker’s Self-help health clinic. Over many years ("too many to remember") she has worked in a variety of settings for the farmworkers, including organizing the first black health fair at James Irwin Park.
She feels, "Lucky that I was raised with a father that never saw color of people. When I was in the fourth grade the first black child came to school. I couldn’t understand why they were so mean. I had to ask my father why they were prejudice."
2. Alice Thomasson, Raiders Against Prejudice (RAP), OHIO
Alice Thomasson used her position as a teacher at Morgan High School to assist students in forming the group RAP to answer the question, "Why is racism such a persistent problem and what can be done to counter it?" Their activities include a fair on holiday celebrations from various cultures, and workshops on appropriate discipline by school administrators.
3. Sandra Barnhill, Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers, Georgia
Sandra is Executive Director and founder of Aid to Children of Imprisoned Mothers, Inc. (AIM). Sandra, a lawyer, founded AIM in 1987. One Saturday a month volunteers participate with the children of incarcerated women in recreational activities or a service project, followed by lunch and transportation and supervision to take the children to visit their mothers. AIM also runs a week of summer camp for the children and supplies mom’s with two self-help manuals with information on parental rights and responsibilities.
4. Sister Claire LeBoeuf, C.S.C., Everyday Blessings, Tampa, Florida
Years ago Claire LeBoeuf, a Catholic nun, began dreaming of a program where children who had been removed from the custody of their parent/s due to abuse or neglect and their mothers, most of whom were teens and young adults, could lived together in an intensive educational environment. In 1986 she began New Life Dwelling Place where women and children can live and experience, many for the first time, a loving, safe environment where the mothers are challenged to grow daily. They are taught parenting skills, improve their educational level so they can provide financially for their children and receive counseling.
In working with and counseling these mostly young unwed women she found many of them struggling with raising their children, having custody problems due to neglect or abuse and the children being placed in foster care.
With her love for children and the difficult decisions these mothers face in mind in 1998 she started Everyday Blessings. This is a cooperative open adoption agency that gives the biological mothers and adoptive parents a chance to participate in the choice of adoptive parents for their children.
5. Roxie Dillon, New Port Richey, Florida
Roxie is a woman who inspires others with her example and encouragement. She has been President of United Methodist Women, American Association of University Women, and League of Women Voters over the course of her life. She graduated from West Virginia University in 1932 and worked for them as an extension agent. She was the Dean of Women at Fairmont College until she retired in 1970. She moved to Pasco County Florida and helped found the League of Women Voters going in Pasco County
6. Michelle Foss, Positive Opportunities Program, OHIO
Michelle has almost single handily reduced the violence in her school and community through her efforts as Director of Positive Opportunities Program. Incidents of fighting and violence in her school have been cut in half this past school year due in large part to her intervention efforts. Positive Opportunities Program is a unique program that creates a group of 30 students that are ½ at risk and ½ at low risk students. The strength of the program resides in Michelle’s ability to form successful relationships with kids and families. The results are students grades and attendance have improved while incidents of court referrals have decreased. She reduces violence one student at a time through her willingness to listen and love kids that need to be heard and supported.
7. Mabel Kunzman, Port Richey, Florida
Mabel expected to spend her retirement doing all the things she never had time for when she was working. But as she worked her way through the social service agencies in her county for a college course project , she found a need that put both her retirement and classes on hold. She began Spouse Abuse, Inc. in Naples, FL to help stop the pattern of violence that children learn in an abusive home.
At 80 years old she is still volunteering with Project Vision facilitating a support group for people who are going blind or who are recently blind. She lost her sight about 3 years ago. She offers peer support, mostly with the elderly.
8. Holly Consol, Portland Oregon
Holly Consol spent her adolescent years in a domestic violent household before escaping at the age of 14. Witnessing brutal beatings including the use of weapons and near death strangulation, she knows intimately the effects these images have on children of battered women. As a speaker and artist Holly tries to pass on the hope of recovery from these images and the destructive role they play in adult decision making to women and children who doubt their ability to capture peace of mind. Holly’s art is dedicated to bringing about awareness and hope for the survivors of abuse. She has done a 6 foot by 3 foot tri-fold panel called "The Good Wife" that tells a composite story of a domestic violence victim. The back of the memorial has been prepared for those who wish to sign it in remembrance of a loved one victimized by domestic violence. She has also designed the "IMOM" (In Memory Of Many) and uses it in jewelry, Christmas decorations, stationary, coffee mugs etc.. IMOM items and her other art work are used as a means to raise money for domestic violence projects. Her art work is a traveling memorial lending support to organizations wanting to educate the public about domestic violence.
1998 United States Grants
Sunrise Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Center, Dade City, Florida
Sunrise Alumni received a grant to help fund the first annual Women’s Information Fair to be held in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This event served to inform, educate and empower formerly battered women with self-help information covering a very wide range of topics.
Meeting of the Minds Conference, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida
The conference focused on cultural diversity issues related to family violence, both in Florida and in Hispanic nations and the Caribbean. Peacepower has contributed to the travel expenses of Ana Carcedo of Costa Rica to attend the conference. She also received an award for her outstanding public service in the area of domestic violence.
Central Florida Women’s Resource Center, Orlando, Florida
WRC is a clearing house run by volunteers for women’s issues and programs. A few of the projects they raise money for are PACE Center for Girls, Clothesline Project, The Women’s Residential and Counseling Center, a clothing project for homeless women. They run a mentoring program that is aimed at helping welfare women enter the workplace. They monthly hold dinner at a different ethnic restaurant. While they share a meal with other volunteers they discuss diversity, cultural differences, problems that may be particular to that ethnic group. They received a general operating grant.
Urgent Action Fund, Fairfax, California
UAF is a global network of people committed to a world of equality and justice, provides immediate financial support for unanticipated and time-limited opportunities to advance the human rights of women. Their focus is in areas where armed conflict has recently occurred or there is significant threat of armed conflict, closed environments where women’s freedom of movement and access to information are severely restricted by government policy or customary law, or unusual breakthrough opportunities that may emerge in areas outside their focus.
They have provided grants to such groups as the Women in Solidarity in Haiti are trying to rebuild a neighborhood clinic for women that served victims of rape and other forms of political oppression during the recent coup. The clinic was destroyed and padlocked by the local police. The grant helped them to reopen a clinic and The Horn Relief/Somalia Women’s Peace Initiative who are working to gain representation in policy and decision making in ongoing peace negotiations between clan fighting over territory and the charcoal production rights before it escalates into another civil war. Urgent Action was awarded a general operating grant.
Clio Florida Archives of Women’s History Gulfport, Florida
Clio was started by a history teacher that saw that there were not many women in textbooks. It was as if women had made any contributions. To ensure future women know about past contributions Clio began collecting oral histories from women. This is a challenging task and time is of the essence to preserve these accounts. For the most part they are only open to qualified researchers. Clio runs on a shoestring with a core group of volunteers and donations of $1,000 in 1997. They were awarded a general operating grant to further their oral history project.
Just Organization For Natural Growth (JONG), Tamil Nadu-India
JONG uses office equipment and sewing machines to teach battered or homeless women job skills training, they provide counseling and economic empowering programs to help them obtain their rights and dignity in their family and in society.
At great risk to the organizers, JONG works in 60 different villages and has found that what the women really need most after shelter, counseling, personality development, and educating women and children on health and reproductive health. They were awarded a general operating grant.
Autonomous Women’s Center Against Sexual Violence, Serbia, (former Yugoslavia )
Created by dedicated feminists at the beginning of the war in 1992 this organization helps survivors of sexual violence, refugees, women raped in the war, and battered women. They provide a safe environment and support for women survivors of all forms of violence. Services extend to women from both urban and rural areas, including those living as refugees or in exile, and of all ethnic origins and nationalities. The Center provides individual and group psychotherapy and counseling, a Hotline service, and ongoing educational projects. They work in conjunction with two shelters, a safe house, and a legal aid group. They were awarded a general operating grant.
Association Of Women of the Mediterranean Region, USA/Mediterranen
This organization is comprised of women from 18 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Through research, education, and joint actions, they work for justice, equality and peace in the Mediterranean and the world as a whole. They promote health and well being of women and children, work toward demilitarizing and denuclearizing their region, abolish sexual discrimination, oppression, exploitation and all forms of violence against women and promote education for justice, equality, and peace at all levels, with special attention to the family, schools and media.
They have written and published "Nobody Can Imagine Our Longing - refugees and Immigrants in the Mediterranean". and a new collection of essays, "Paths To Peace". The grant awarded is in support of their annual meeting.
Lithuania Centre for Human Rights, Lithuania, Vilnius, Lithuania
LCHR is a non-governmental non-profit organization that participates in national and international projects as well as organizes scientific research, lectures, seminars, courses, public awareness events and educational services. In addition, the Centre gathers information and documentation on human rights, mobilizes public and professional efforts in the field of human rights. The Centre is constantly undermined by the media that glorifies prostitution as appropriate work for women and work environments that are fraught with socially-accepted sexual harassment.
Funding was given for new girls rights education project that aims to conduct research on the legal system that protects girl’s rights, prepare a manual about girl’s rights for education purposes, acquaint girl’s with their basic rights provided by law, provide legal assistance to female orphans and girls of socially supported families. Their target area is 8 boarding schools around Lithuania and schoolgirls from special education and a warship homes.
Association for the Protection of Human Rights in Romania Bucharest, Romania
APADOR-CH is a non-profit organization aiming to protect and promote civil and political rights for women in Romania. The status of Romanian women has declined over the last decade following the Romanian revolution of 1989. APADOR-CH project goals are to help women’s rights advocates appreciate the relevance and importance of human rights laws and mechanisms in the promotion and defense of women’s rights, provide information on how to use the human rights system at local, national, regional, and international levels, outline key advocacy strategies that can be used to promote women’s rights and demonstrate, through individual cases and legal expertise, how women’s human rights advocates are already using the system to enforce women’s rights. All material gathered during this project will be translated and available in both Romanian and English to allow it to be used internationally.
Print a copy of the nomination form by following this link
Peacepower Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 1618
Zephyrhills, FL 33539
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