Jill Zawisza Named WOMAN Inc Executive Director
We, the Board of WOMAN Inc, are excited to announce that we have selected Jill Zawisza, an outstanding leader and domestic violence advocate, as our next Executive Director. Jill has been with WOMAN Inc for 5 years, serving as Crisis Line Co-Manager, Program Services Director, and most recently, as Interim Executive Director.
Jill has been a critical member of our organization and community for a long time, and her contributions have been significant. Over the past several years, she has built up and strengthened WOMAN Inc’s programs, including increasing the quality of the 24/7 crisis hotline, therapy and support group programming, and community education and outreach. In addition to implementing and executing such powerful initiatives, Jill also is a magnetic leader - she has been able to recruit and retain an incredibly gifted, capable, and experienced team whose talent has enabled WOMAN Inc to increase its impact each year as it serves more and more survivors more effectively.
Furthermore, Jill demonstrated extreme grace under pressure over the past six months as she served as Interim Executive Director. She approached the role with patience, creativity, and dedication, and has guided our organization through a time of transition so that we could move away from surviving and get back on track toward thriving. The board has been incredibly impressed with Jill’s leadership and management skills, effective problem-solving approach, and ability to build momentum and motivation amongst the staff during times of uncertainty and change.
Most importantly, Jill is a true advocate for domestic violence survivors. Her passion for this work is evident in every speech she gives, every grant she writes, every conversation she has, and every time she picks up the phone to answer a crisis line call.
On behalf of the WOMAN Inc Board of Directors, staff, volunteers, partners, and the women and children survivors in our community - thank you, Jill, for your amazing service! We are so lucky to have you at the helm of WOMAN Inc, guiding us toward our vision of ending abuse - in the Bay Area and beyond!
Running to End Domestic Violence - The Final Race
December has arrived and with it the end of my Running to End Domestic Violence Quest campaign. I ran the 6th
half marathon on December 2nd
in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Over 40,000 people ran along the Las Vegas strip to finish either the half or full marathon that day. Fluorescent signs lighting up the strip at night sprang forth messages of encouragement and congratulation to the runners. It was an encouraging sight and a wonderful way to end this fundraising quest to support WOMAN Inc and the survivors of domestic violence the agency serves. The campaign raised around $4,000, which will be matched by our Board Chair, Lija McHuge. That means that with the support of my friends, family, and other community members, we were able to raise $8,000 in the last six months. Wow!
The end of the campaign also means that I have run over seventy-eight miles (not including training runs). There were a few bumps along the way, including spraining my ankle, but all in all, I feel that the Running to End DV Quest was successful in not only raising awareness of the services provided by WOMAN Inc in the San Francisco Bay Area, but also to prove to myself that I am strong and capable of reaching any goal I set for myself.
Thank you to all those who have supported me. For those who would still like to contribute, it's not to late!
Click here to DONATE
If you would like to learn what my journey entailed, check out the video created by our volunteer Amelie Booska by clicking here Running to End Domestic Violence Quest- The Journey
Verizon Foundation Funds Domestic Violence Prevention Services
WOMAN Inc is happy to announce that our agency is the recipient of a grant from the Verizon Foundation for “Prevention Services”. This grant will aid WI in its mission to end domestic violence by funding critical anti-violence programs for youth and families.
We know that abuse is learned behavior. Unfortunately, it is often learned at an early age. The good news is that with careful attention, violence can also be “unlearned”. For this reason, anti-violence has become a core message throughout WI’s prevention programs.
Each service provided by WI serves to interrupt the cycle of violence. Children’s Support Group at WI offers a safe, nurturing space for children to heal from the effects of domestic violence and to gain the tools needed to create peaceful relationships. Additionally, family therapy at WI addresses parenting skills and healthy relationship-building. This decreases the likelihood of these children and teens engaging in violent relationships as they enter adulthood. Outreach programs to schools help youth learn alternatives to violence in all kinds of relationships.
Thanks to the generosity of the Verizon Foundation, WI is eagerly planning for the expansion and improvement of key services. Anti-violence curriculum for youth will be incorporated not only into peer groups, but into therapy sessions, peer counseling, and all services that reach children at WI.
¿Cómo Quieres Que Te Recuerden? Está en tus manos
On December 5, we marked the end of the domestic violence prevention campaign “¿Cómo quieres que te recuerden? Está en tus manos” (How do you want to be remembered? It’s in your hands) with a community forum and press conference at City College of San Francisco – Mission campus. It was the closing event of the 2.5-month long campaign organized by the Mexican Consulate in collaboration with WOMAN Inc, POCOVI, and La Red Latina, that aimed to bring awareness around domestic violence among Mexican and Spanish-speaking communities.
The campaign was launched on September 25 with a press conference at the Mexican consulate with the participation of the Consul Carlos Feliz Corona, WOMAN Inc’s Executive Director Jill Zawisza, District Attorney George Gascon, Senator Leland Yee, and representatives from POCOVI and La Red Latina. The campaign involved reaching the community through posters, radio and TV interviews, and presentation and trainings for advocates and leaders in the Mexican communities around the Bay Area.
The closing event was a community forum that gave the public the chance to meet with representatives from participating agencies, connect with services, and take information back to their communities. During the community forum, our Latina Program Manager participated in the press conference while Veronica Escobedo, a Latina Program volunteer offered information and talked one-on-one with people who approached the WOMAN Inc informational table.
Even though the closing event was on December 5th, the collaborative nature of the campaign continues. The Department of Protection at the Mexican Consulate, as well as WOMAN Inc, POCOVI, and the agencies that form La Red Latina are fully committed to fighting domestic violence in our communities.
WOMAN Inc Wellness Group to Begin in the New Year
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 life styles, 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 welcomed. If you are interested in attending or helping to organize the group, contact email@example.com
Take the WOMAN Inc Community Survey
WOMAN Inc is undergoing an effort to understand our agency’s outreach efforts to the community. Please take our Community Survey to help us in this endeavor. The survey will take 5-10 minutes to complete. Your feedback on what types of information to provide and in what forms (social media, e-mails, etc) regarding our agency’s anti-domestic violence efforts would be much appreciated. Survey results will be collected until the end of the year.
Click on the link to access the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7ZM25BZ
DVIRC Expanding in Santa Clara County
WOMAN Inc met with the Domestic Violence Advocacy Consortium of Santa Clara County on November 15th to discuss how the five domestic violence shelters in their county can utilize the Domestic Violence Information and Referral Center (DVIRC) to strengthen services given to survivors. WOMAN Inc will be meeting with the Consortium over the next year to ensure the DVIRC, an information sharing database, is implemented successfully at each agency. The results of this project will help WOMAN Inc to understand if the system can be replicated at anti-domestic violence agencies located in other counties throughout California.
Peace At Home Campaign
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joined other top city officials and advocates against domestic violence on December 13, 2012 to launch a new campaign called “Peace at Home.” The kick-off event featured an original flag comprised of images, words, and symbols from the 24 anti-domestic violence agencies, including WOMAN Inc, funded by the city. The event is the first in a year-long effort to heighten public awareness and pursue a policy agenda to combat domestic violence.
WOMAN Inc top 7 Finalist in 7x7 Magazine's Favorite Charity Contest
After months of voting in 7x7 Magazine’s Favorite Charity Contest the competition is over. Thanks to all those who voted for our agency, WOMAN Inc made it to the top 7 finalist! On December 11th, at a reception held at the Fairmont Hotel, our agency was presented with a $2,000 check by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) for being a finalist. WOMAN staff were able to mingle with 7x7 Magazine and PG&E representatives, as well as the other finalist agencies, which included Upwardly Global, Rocket Dog Rescue, Larkin Street Youth Services, Meals on Wheels SF, SF Smiles, and Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco. It was a wonderful honor to be included in this list of agencies providing essential social services for the community. Thank You 7x7 Magazine and PG&E.
Peet's 27th Annual Holiday Donation Program Supports WOMAN Inc
It was an unforgettable and empowering evening that included fantastic art, a silent auction, cocktails, light hors d'oeuvres and music.We look forward to more S&T’s to come. Thank you Stephanie and the Phenomenal Women!
Every year, the staff of every Peet’s Coffee & Tea store picks a different non-profit organization that they want to support during their Peet’s Annual Holiday Donation Program. This year, the Peet’s store located at 555 9th street in the SOMA district picked WOMAN Inc to support. Peet’s 27th Annual Holiday Donations Program will be held December 17-24th. Store employees will collect contributions from customers and Peet’s will match up to $1,000 collected per store. Visit the Peet’s store located at 555 9th street to participate and support WOMAN Inc today!
Staff Highlight: Jill Zawisza
How long have you been working at WOMAN Inc?
As of April 2012, I've worked at WOMAN Inc for 5 years.
What do you do at WOMAN Inc?
I'm the Executive Director, and that can mean different things at different agencies! At WOMAN Inc it means that I concentrate on helping the agency become cutting edge, and ensuring that the team is at the table when it comes to decision making, agency evolution and budgetary considerations.
We have symbiotic roles at WOMAN Inc. As a front line worker, your job is to advocate for the client. As a manager, your role is to advocate for the team. As an Executive Director, I think your role is to advocate for the agency. If an Executive Director can help ensure that the agency is secure via funding and community engagement, it bolsters everyone's ability to succeed in their area of focus as well. I'm new to this role, but I'm hoping that I'll play a part in making everyone's jobs (relatively) easier!
How did you come into this profession?
When I was a Women's Studies major in college, I started volunteering at an agency in Ventura County. The agency offered services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse/assault. It just boggled my mind that someone who says they love you one moment could intentionally harm you a moment later. The injustice of it all resonated with me, and I felt compelled to stay a part of this field long after I left school.
What are you looking forward to as WOMAN Inc continues to grow?
As I've progressed in this field, I've realized that much of our movement focuses in on gender--serving women as the survivor and men as the abusers. Over time, we've found that when we are dealing with cisgender, heterosexual couples, that tends to be the case. However, we need to see the issue holistically and understand that domestic violence impacts LGBTQ communities as well. All survivors deserve (physically & emotionally) safe spaces to access services and to be a part of a community that values them. I'm extremely proud of the fact that the WOMAN Inc team is mindful of this. We focus on offering services to all survivors of domestic violence. I'm looking forward to strengthening these efforts at WOMAN Inc. Our little agency has changed lives, and impacted system change. Working here is exciting, challenging and extremely gratifying.
What do you enjoy most about working at WOMAN Inc?
Pretty much everything I do. I even enjoy the things that aren't inherent strengths of mine. I like leaning into my discomfort, and this new role has offered plenty of opportunities to do so! Otherwise, I really enjoy our team. Words can't express my gratitude and respect for them as advocates, team members and who they are as individuals. I love using this new role to ensure that they feel supported and heard.One of my favorite parts of working at WOMAN Inc is enjoying the levity and fun atmosphere. I think people are sometimes shocked at how jovial we are! After 15 plus years doing this work, I've found that laughter is part of what keeps me going.
Stephanie has been volunteering with WOMAN Inc since July 2012. She actively supports the Crisis Line, the Latina Program and drop-in support hours. We appreciate how positive and reliable Stephanie is! She's always eager to help out, take on new responsibilities, and to help other volunteers out. She also volunteers with SF Women Against Rape, making her an extra fierce advocate for survivors of violence. We're so grateful she is part of our team!
Gabby started volunteering with us in September 2012 through a college internship. She didn't waste any time, jumping in to help wherever needed. Gabby has helped to keep our office organized through lots of transition, supported our efforts towards paperless database systems, assisted in prepping for our 40 hour training, and has generally been such a pleasure to work with. Having completed the 40 hour training recently, she is trying out the Crisis Line and Children's Program before heading back to school. We so appreciate all she done this semester!
Jaymie joined WOMAN Inc in October 2011, and has shown such a commitment to the organization and this field ever since. Jaymie helps to coordinate our Outreach efforts, works with the Children's Program and recently started volunteering on the Crisis Line. We love how enthusiastic Jaymie is to try on different roles in the agency, and her dedication to supporting staff and other volunteers. She is such a valued member of our community!
Karaoke Fundraising Night
Saturday, January 12, 2012
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
The Mint Karaoke Bar, 1942 Market Street (between Laguna St. and Guerrero St.), San Francisco, CA 94102
Sing the night away at "The Mint" while helping to sustain services for survivors of domestic violence! $5 Well Drink Specials all night!
or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/127599110731498/
for more details!
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 Stanford Vagina Monologues
Coming April 2013
More information coming soon! The show will be performed by Stanford students and is open to the public. Proceeds will benefit WOMAN Inc.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.