January 2012

Seth Schalet Joins the Board of WOMAN, INC!

Seth Schalet is originally from the east coast by way of New York, Philadelphia and Boston before moving to the Bay Area in 1998.  Along with his wife and son, Seth lives on the peninsula.  He graduated with a degree in communications followed by an MBA with a concentration in Finance.  After twenty-five years in the business and technology worlds, Seth’s mid-life crisis lead him to pursue nonprofit activitiesand wanting to make a contribution to causes and programs he is passionate about.  Regarding his role for WOMAN INC, Seth states “Domestic abuse takes many forms and cuts across social, economic and cultural barriers. The need for supporting survivors and their families is critical, especially at a time when public funding is harder to come by.  "I am passionate about lending my experience to help WOMAN INC continue its mission and flourish and expand its services”.
Seth is currently an advisor and board member with three other nonprofits-Lifting Up Lives-also a domestic abuse based organization, Sunday Friends LLC, focused on economic self-sustainability helping to break the cycle of poverty for lower income families and SPARK, providing mentorships for “at-risk” youths in seventh and eighth grades throughout the United States. 

Strong Field Project welcomes Jill Zawisza

Jill Zawisza, our very own Program Services Director, has been chosen to take part in the Strong Field Project’s Leadership Development Program and graduate as a member of their second Cohort. Funded by the Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Strong Field Project is an initiative aimed at strengthening the network of domestic violence prevention organizations in California. Their innovative Leadership Development Program specifically focuses on enhancing individual leadership skills with peer coaching, networking and educational seminars. It is an intensive, eighteen-month curriculum, created by the faculty team of CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and the Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Domestic Violence, targeted towards “producing a critical mass of individuals equipped to inspire others, make smart business decisions, and consider new ways of service delivery.”
Congratulations Jill and thank you for leading the way!




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New Immigration Sub-Committe Co-Chair
Late last year, our Program Services Director, Jill Zawisza, became the co-chair for the statewide Immigration Sub-Committee. The Immigration Sub-Committee is housed at the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, and strives to better services for immigrant and limited English proficient survivors. 

Newest Volunteers Matriculated!
WOMAN, Inc.  wrapped up another successful collaborative 40 hour training with the Riley Center in late November, and have several new volunteers helping out on our 24-hour crisis line, with the Latina Program, the Children's Program, and providing Community Outreach. Congrats!
The next 40 hour training begins February 25th. The deadline to apply is February 8th. For more information and to apply, please contact Lily Krutel at volunteercoord@womaninc.org


DVIRC Goes Live
On November 9, 2011, WOMAN, Inc. celebrated the successful launch of the Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC) at Togonon Art Gallery in San Francisco.  
Attendees gathered to enjoy food and wine, and listened to a special performance by singer/songwriter Lalin St. Justice. During the festivities, Executive Director, Roberta Toomer and DVIRC Coordinator, Mariya Taheer, explained the project’s history, current state, and future expectations. Attendees were able to preview the website and hear testimonials from Domestic Violence agencies already accessing the system. This online, interactive database contains continually updated information necessary for DV agency staff to provide effective, efficient and appropriate client referrals. Currently, many domestic violence service organizations rely on hard-copy lists of resources that are time-consuming and inefficient to update.  This new centralized database aggregates and organizes information into up-to-date, easy-to-search lists, a service that will help domestic violence agencies provide more accurate service referrals. The DVIRC also allows the domestic violence field to access best practices, training resources, and other materials to help strengthen services provided to Domestic Violence Survivors. This project was developed by WOMAN, Inc. and Force by Design. It is funded by The Women’s Foundation of California, The Verizon Foundation and Blue Shield of California. Participating DV agencies from the 9 Bay Areas also contributed to the development of the DVIRC.

Helping CUAV End Unfair Profiling 
We are pleased to announce that we have teamed up with CUAV (Community United Against Violence), the nation’s first LGBTQ anti-violence organization, to stop the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s use of S-COMM. S-COMM, or “Secure Communities” is a program launched by the ICE and created to aid in the deportation of criminal immigrants who pose threats to public safety. “Secure Communities” lets the FBI automatically send fingerprints of arrested individuals to ICE databases and check whether they are unlawfully present in the United States. Unfortunately, this program will have a devastating impact on LGBTQ immigrants, specifically those who are survivors of violence. Authorizing the use of S-COMM greatly endangers the safety of LGBTQ haven communities by breaking apart families, instilling fear and worsening poverty. Additionally, these detrimental ICE programs tend to scapegoat LGBTQ immigrant communities by unfairly labeling them as “criminals” and marginalizing the importance of finding lasting solutions to these critical problems. All immigrants struggle to find safe housing, healthcare, employment and education while living in fear of deportation. Help us fight against S-COMM and give these communities a chance for survival.

Please visit http://www.cuav.org/ for more information!

Collective Training on Human Trafficking
Hediana Utarti from Asian Women's Shelter and Hyun Mi Kim from Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach facilitated a collective training on Human Trafficking in January. Advocates for survivors of domestic violence see a great deal of overlap between trafficking and domestic violence. This training equipped staff and volunteers with the skills to recognize it and provide appropriate support and referrals. It was also a great chance to meet folks from other agencies belonging to the Domestic Violence Consortium!

2011 Call to Action a Huge Success!
WOMAN, Inc. welcomed 150 guests to its annual Call to Action event on November 2nd at the Parc 55 Wyndham Hotel in San Francisco.  The event was designed to educate participants about domestic violence and the work being done by WOMAN, Inc. and to encourage support of its services.  The program for the event included special recognition of Fiona Ma and John Avalos for the contributions they have made to supporting survivors of domestic violence; entertainment by Singers of the Street and Music by Maestromind; showing of the new WOMAN, Inc. Call to Action video; two WOMAN, Inc. clients shared their stories of survival and empowerment; Executive Director, Roberta Toomer spoke about our vision; and Board Member, Lija McHugh presented our “call to action.”  Genentech sponsored the event, providing food, drinks and gift bags for all the guests.  A huge thank you goes out to all of our volunteer "Table Captains" who invited friends and aquaintances to the event!

Self-Care Manual Debut
In January of 2012 WOMAN, Inc. will be rolling out its first self-care/anti-vicarious trauma manual.  We hope this manual will institutionalize self care and help create a sustainable movement by creating a healthy environment for seasoned staff, volunteers and interns.

Q&A for Advocates National Institute
In late February of this year, staff from WOMAN, Inc. will be attending the10th Annual National Institute for building strategies for advocacy and organizing in response to abuse in Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans, and Gay communities. Information derived from this conference will help WOMAN, Inc. staff to focus in on better serving members of the LGBTQ community who are survivors of domestic violence.

Wish List

The following in-kind gifts (new or gently used) will help WOMAN, Inc. to support survivors of domestic violence in a holistic and relevant manner:
  • Brochure Display Stand
  • Digital camera with video
  • Foam fold-out sleeper chair
  • Coffee Maker
  • Gift Cards for Walgreens, Safeway, Ross, local restaurants, etc. (For survivors and children who must flee without funds).
  • Motel Vouchers (for those survivors who may only need one night in a confidential location until they can find a shelter or leave town).
  • Muni Passes, Muni Passport or Muni single ride tickets, or BART tickets

To learn more about contributing to our wish list or making other types of donations, call Grace Aroha at 415-864-4777, Ext 311.