As we embark upon our 35th year, the team at WOMAN Inc has taken ample time to reflect on where we've been and where we would like to be. A huge element of this conversation has centered on the importance of sharing decision-making processes, transparency, and cultivating staff to ensure their work experience at WOMAN Inc is a holistic one. In order for us to serve the community, it is best that each of us feel empowered as we embark upon our difficult work.
Letter from the Executive Director: What's been going on at WOMAN Inc?
Currently, we are concentrating on creating a Cultural Praxis Handbook. The handbook will flesh out specific practices that will institutionalize philosophies into practice. One such philosophy is the importance of self-care. To ensure that this philosophy is put into practice, we have established processes of debrief, peer support, and flexed time when staff have had difficult interactions with clients.
This work takes care, attention, and time. It is not always easygoing as we need to make safe space for the team to express their opinions, ideas and dissent. However, it is important work that will strengthen our infrastructure, our service provision, and our professional skills as individuals.
WOMAN Inc Executive Director
WOMAN Inc Program Highlight--Therapy Program
For many survivors of domestic violence, therapy offers a wonderful avenue for healing and growth. Therapy at WOMAN Inc, offered in Spanish and English, is provided by MFT (marriage and family therapist) interns and trainees from various universities in the Bay Area. Our unique program focuses on the strengths of the survivor, offering non-judgmental support for their individual journey. It is a safe space for survivors to share their experiences, gain a greater understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence, and learn invaluable skills needed to live a life free from violence.
In addition to individual therapy, WOMAN Inc offers family therapy for survivors with children. In this venue, parenting skills and other family dynamics are addressed. This not only improves family relationships, but serves as a violence prevention tool as it teaches children models for non-violent, healthy relationships.
Our trainees and interns are an integral part of the WOMAN Inc team. They participate in all aspects of agency services, including the provision of crisis line counseling, support group facilitation, and program planning and development. They are greatly valued and appreciated for the amazing work they do for survivors.
Catherine Connor-Moore joined WOMAN Inc in September 2010. Since then she has contributed so much to our Latina Program and Crisis Line! Catherine is a fluent Spanish speaker, always willing to help, has great work integrity, and is a tremendously intelligent and funny addition to the volunteer community. Though still a dedicated volunteer, Catherine has also stepped into the role of an After Hours Advocate and Crisis Line Back Up, being a strong source of support for survivors accessing our line on evenings and weekends. We are especially grateful for the support Catherine has shown to everyone here as we weathered a time of transition, and for her continued support and friendship!
Emily Zoellner came on board in June 2011, and though she has long since fulfilled her volunteer commitment, she still continues to support WOMAN Inc on a regular basis. Emily is also a fluent Spanish speaker, and she has been a calm and consistent presence on our Crisis Line on evenings and overnights. In addition to providing weekly coverage, she has also been part of our Language Support Advocates pool, providing on-call support to Spanish-speaking survivors in their native language. We so appreciate what a dedicated, grounded and reliable volunteer Emily has been and continues to be!
Adilia Preciado joined WOMAN Inc in June 2011. In just a few months' time, she has really shown us what a rockstar volunteer she is. Adilia volunteers at least 12 hours a week with the organization, helping to support monolingual Spanish-speaking survivors through her work with the Latina Program and supporting folks who call our 24-hour Crisis Line or who come in during our drop-in support hours. Adilia has been such an engaged and friendly presence in our office--we are so glad she is a part of the team!
Moving to End Domestic Violence Wellness Group to Host Inaugural Event
With the conclusion of the Running to End Domestic Violence Quest, WOMAN Inc is seeking to create a Wellness Group to continue to connect with the community, encourage healthy lifestyles, and support WOMAN Inc services. Wellness is a holistic concept that takes into account both physical and mental wellness. With this in mind, the Wellness Group will promote wellness through physical activity, eating healthy, greater connection to community, and healthier relationships.The kick-off event will be held on Friday, January 25th from 2pm to 5pm and will include a walk or run around the Mission District and a potluck afterwards. All community members are welcome. Please check the facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/512908862086880/
If you are interested in attending or helping to organize the group, contact email@example.com
Donor Highlight--LinChiat Chang
How did you first learn about WOMAN Inc?
I don't remember exactly; but it may had been a poster on a bus-stop in the Mission showing a badly hurt woman with a black eye and a message implying that domestic violence is rarely quite as obvious as that! I am not even sure if it was a WOMAN Inc poster, but it prompted me to learn more about how I can support local organizations fighting domestic violence.
What inspired you to support WOMAN Inc's anti-violence efforts?
To me, the most inspiring aspect of your program is the focus on survivor empowerment--recovery from abuse by people we trust and love is never easy; much courage is needed at times when we are emotionally weakened; and we may falter or make awful mistakes even while extricating ourselves from those relationships. I believe WOMAN Inc makes a huge difference because you help survivors realize they are not alone if they reach out, that it is possible to regain control and efficacy in their lives, even when it seems oh so hopeless and terrifying sometimes. Your support groups and crisis line advocates empower survivors by giving them options and resources to which they may not otherwise have access.
What is the impact you hope for your support to have on the community?
I know you have outreach programs to raise public awareness; that is a good thing as it should enable people to recognize less obvious signs of abuse in their own lives as well as the lives of others, and hopefully be better informed on how to handle abusive situations.
Can you share one fun fact about yourself?
Well, recently I have learned how to bake cookies, and it is so much fun! Some nights I have trouble falling asleep because I cannot stop thinking about possible ingredients I could use to make my next batch of cookies!
Staff Highlight--Ina Moon
How long have you been working at WOMAN Inc?
About 8 years.
What do you do at WOMAN Inc?
I am a Clinical Services Manager, I supervise the interns and trainees who provide therapy services.
How did you come into this profession?
I've always known that I wanted to be a therapist. Supporting the people who do direct service grew as a passion because I love the idea of mentoring and encouraging. I have specifically worked with survivors of domestic violence for more than 20 years, beginning in a shelter in east Tennessee.
What are you looking forward to as WOMAN Inc continues to grow?
New ways to directly support survivors. Working more with families in the area of prevention. Expanding therapy support group services for all communities.
What do you enjoy most about working at WOMAN Inc?
The supportive team approach and the shared philosophical views about domestic violence.
Karaoke Night Fundraiser at The Mint
Is there one thing (or two, three, or more things) that you love doing so much for no other reason than because it makes you happy? For me, singing is that one thing, the mechanics of which could simply be broken down to different pitches of your voice coming together. Such a simple act and yet, it can also give voice (literally) to such complexities in life.
One of the many important things I have learned thus far as a volunteer for WOMAN Inc is the importance of giving VOICE to survivors of domestic violence. Many survivors are often silenced not only by their abusers, but also by their family and community members.
I hosted a Karaoke Night fundraising event this past Saturday, January 12th, 2013 at The Mint Karaoke Bar in San Francisco as a fun way to weave these two concepts together whilst raising awareness about WOMAN Inc and similar services. It was my very first time hosting an event; I was more apprehensive about people “showing up” than I was about being on stage. In the end though, with the help of my lovely WOMAN Inc-ers, Mariya and Julia, I gained a lot of support. I am extremely grateful for all the people that came out (and those that learned about/ ended up “attending” the event the day of). And, of course, we want to express our sincere gratitude to the donors who provided the prizes for our raffle: Trader Joe's, Philz Coffee, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Asian Art Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Thank you!!
Hope to rock out to for a second annual Karaoke Night event in support of DV survivors!!
~ Gina Li, WOMAN Inc volunteer and Karaoke Night organizer
WOMAN Inc 40-Hour Survivor Advocate Training
WOMAN Inc and The Riley Center are very excited to continue working together to provide a shared 40-hour training to their volunteers and other community members committed to supporting survivors of domestic violence. We are proud of the inclusive and ever-improving curriculum, and eager for new folks to join our community of volunteers. Our next round of training begins on February 15th, and the deadline to apply is January 31st. For more information or to apply, please email Lily Krutel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Echando Pa'lante Celebrates the New Year
Last week, WOMAN Inc’s survivor empowerment group Echando Pa’lante celebrated the beginning of 2013 with a dinner and a party. Through an art activity, we shared our projects, goals, and hopes for the new year. The artwork that you see above was created by a community member who recently applied for a U visa (a visa given to immigrants who are survivors of crimes). She is expected to get it in the next six months. The art piece also expressed her hope to go to Mexico for the holidays (hence the Christmas tree on the left). She hopes to bring her kids to the US and get her own home here (see picture on the right).
The main objective of the Echando Pa'lante meeting was to connect with old and new friends, share resources and information, and plan our 2013 meetings. Throughout the year we invite presenters from different community agencies to offer training to Echando Pa’lante members, therefore at the beginning of each year we draft a list of most relevant topics. This year's trainings and workshops will focus on parenting, self-esteem and self-care, women’s health, public speaking, and developing a strong resume and work interview skills. During the celebration we also honored the new Echando Pa’lante members who graduated from the Latina Program in 2012. Congratulations compañeras!
Staff and Volunteer Appreciation Night at Asiento
On January 11th WOMAN Inc staff and volunteers met for a happy hour at Asiento on 21st Street. It was a great chance to catch up and build community outside of our usual work. We are so grateful to the wonderful owner and staff of Asiento for their generosity! The group really enjoyed the atmosphere, tapas, and house-made sangria. Cheers!
WOMAN Inc Wellness Group Kick-Off Event
Friday, January 25th
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
WOMAN Inc, 333 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Join us for a walk/run around the Mission District and a potluck event afterwards.
The Vagina Monologues--A Performance to Support WOMAN Inc
April 25-27 (subject to change)
CEMEX Auditorium, Zambrano Hall, Stanford University. 641 Knight Way, Stanford, CA 94305
Stanford students present a performance benefiting WOMAN Inc. And what a performance it will be: the famous Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler! Stay tuned for more details.
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:
Small rolling luggage case for laptop
Digital camera with video
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
People willing to throw a Party With Purpose Party for WOMAN, Inc. For more details, please contact email@example.com or leave a message at (415) 864-4777 ext 317
WOMAN Inc Facebook Followers - https://www.facebook.com/WOMANInc
To learn more about contributing to our wish list or making other types of donations, call Jill Zawisza at 415-864-4777, Ext 306.