The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) announced today six (6) 2021 Recognizing (Y)Our Resilience: Revive, Renew, Restore award recipients, who will be honored for their commitment to a national culture where we are all safe, empowered and free from domestic violence at NCADV's conference. Awardees include Jessica Woolbright (Lifetime Impact Award), Judith Naraine (Survivor Activist Award), Kiahnna Patterson (Media Award), Alice Miles (Media Award), and Global Rights for Women (Policy Change Award), with honorable mention awarded to Jaret Martino. Awards will be presented at NCADV's award ceremony and soiree on Monday, September 21, 2021 at the in-person conference in Washington, D.C.
“We are always pleased to take a moment to honor those who raise their voices as survivors and for survivors, and especially coming out a period of time in which advocates and survivors were were even more challenged to tap into their resilience.Through this conference and other efforts, I hope that ALL who do this work by contributing to the effort of eliminating domestic violence and using their survivor voices are appreciated and acknowledged for their powerful actions,” said Ruth M. Glenn, President/CEO of NCADV.
Recognizing (Y)Our Resilience: Revive, Renew, Restore marks the 20th national domestic violence conference NCADV has hosted over the past 40 years and is known for its cutting-edge content and survivor-centric focus. The conference is intentional in that it is convened to delve deeper into the causes of violence and its impact and effect on individuals, communities and our nation.
For more information about Recognizing (Y)Our Resilience: Revive, Renew, Restore and NCADV, visit www.ncadv.org
Jessica Woolbright (Recognizing (Y)Our Resilience Lifetime Impact Award)
Jessica has been a pillar of the DV victim service provider community in St. Louis for over 21 years. As a licensed clinical social worker, she served as the Children's Program Director at St. Martha's Hall for over 15 years before accepting the position of Executive Director in 2020. Her leadership led to a coordinated effort with a network of organizations to support a Court Watch Project to push the local courts to enhance their response to DV victims and organized volunteers and community members to observe weekly dockets for several years before finding permanent funding for the project. Along with all of the daily challenges of running a women's shelter, she maintains an active presence in the social justice work on a larger scale. She serves on multiple committees for the Missouri Supreme Court Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking commission and coordinated a DV advisory council with the new prosecutor in St. Louis County. She is the only state-certified expert witness for DV in the state of Missouri and advocated with multiple prosecutors offices for the use of expert testimony in DV criminal cases. Jessica has served on multiple committees with the state coalition and assisted in writing the standards for Batterer Intervention Programs in the state. During the start of the pandemic, she led the effort in St. Louis to build COVID-19 procedures for shelters that were used as a template by the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and was one of a few safe shelters that remained open during the entirety of the shutdown. She leads by example and advocates strongly for the safety of women and children.
Judith Naraine (Recognizing (Y)Our Resilience Survivor Activist Award)
Judith Naraine is a dedicated and passionate domestic violence advocate and activist. Her passion is born of her own experiences as domestic violence victim cum survivor, and thus her desire to help other victims has become her life's work. After migrating from Suriname and earning her nursing degree, she very quickly transitioned from working as a home health aide to working with domestic violence victims at a shelter in Brooklyn, called Victim's Services.
Judith was enthusiastic to help in any way she could, holding various positions within the organization before moving on to Volunteers of America, where she utilized her domestic violence self and work experience to assist the organization in the launching of their first Domestic Violence Program. She has been working there ever since. Always willing to help in any way that she can, Judith is best known for being a strong client advocate. She consistently ensures the residents of the domestic violence shelter are able to celebrate important events such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Mother’s Day, by collaborating with her team and strong connections within the community to provide meals, services, and toys for residents and their children. For the last 14 years, Judith has played a vital role in the initial development and continued organization of the agency’s Domestic Violence Conferences.
Judith’s resiliency and activism has transformed her into a strong advocate for people in need to the extent that she has become a face of her community; she cannot walk through the neighborhood without being warmly greeted by numerous Brooklyn residents. Judith is also well known in local Brooklyn politics, working with counsel-people and congress-people to ensure that Brooklyn is a safe community for everyone, especially so for the abused. As well, Judith is well known at the 75th Police Precinct in Brooklyn for her tireless work in creating greater collaboration among the community, the police force, and domestic violence services. She has worked with the police department at times to assist victims of domestic violence, including transporting victims to shelters, helping them settle in and access needed services and assistance. It is an asset that she is a Chaplain and brings to her efforts a connection that is often highly appreciated by those who believe. Although she does not seek awards, her work has brought her to the forefront as a resilient domestic violence survivor, determined activist and passionate advocate and her efforts have been recognized with the 2017 CPI Medgar Evers Head Start Certificate of Appreciation, Beacon of Hope Award in 2018, Civility Ambassadors Award from I Change Nations in 2019. She also co-facilitated the Brooklyn Caribbean Women Health Association HIV/AIDS Education Series.
On a more global scale, Judith is an active member of the United Nations. Working closely with Surinamese Ambassador, Henry McDonald, Judith promotes his anti-domestic violence “HeforShe” movement and is a strong voice in the United Nations for global women’s rights and safety. She regularly attends United Nations events as an intersectional representative for women, immigrants, victims of domestic violence, and women of color. Judith’s desire to help people in general and domestic violence victims in particular, brought her to The Caribbean Voice (TCV), an NGO engaged in suicide and abuse prevention in the Caribbean and the Caribbean Diaspora. Through TCV, Judith has continued to speak out at various fora, sharing her own experiences as a domestic violence survivor, inspiring other survivors to speak out and victims to seek help. As well she is a liaison for the Surinamese American and wider Caribbean American and Brooklyn community, and for Suriname, seeking to extent TCV’s outreach, so increasing numbers of people can access the services – sensitization and awareness building, training, lobbying and advocacy, information dissemination, counseling and collaboration building. Judith is a leader, a role model, a strong woman, and a compassionate advocate. Her professional and community success is a clear testament to her resiliency and activism. Making connections with all whom she encounters, Judith works tirelessly to improve the lives of all people, and to let domestic violence victims know that in her they not only have a voice but someone who is on their side and would do whatever necessary to help them transition from victims to survivors.
Kiahnna Patterson (Recognizing (Y)Our Resilience Media Award)
Kiahnna Patterson is a passionate advocate for domestic violence awareness and a relentless ally for survivors. She has made it her personal mission to end domestic violence after losing a close friend to this unforgiving epidemic.
Kiahnna has used her platform to raise awareness in ways that many survivors/advocates do not have access to do. She has covered story after story, from the heartbreaking to the inspiring, all with the same unwavering dedication to make a difference in her community and beyond. She is not afraid to ask the tough questions or tackle the tough topics, nor is she afraid to offer her shoulder to a survivor brought to tears after recounting her experience.
Kiahnna Patterson’s voice is necessary for the fight against domestic violence. Her heart is necessary for the fight for survivors.
Alice Miles (Recognizing (Y)Our Resilience Media Award)
Alice has spent her time working with Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence dedicated to educating her local community and the global communities they reach about how domestic violence affects men, children, indigenous peoples, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Working together she often brought new perspectives to the table to ensure various voices and populations would be heard and provided with the resources they need to escape domestic violence and thrive in their lives afterward. Not only has she been dedicated to teaching others about domestic violence in the LGBTQIA+ community, but she has also made herself available to talk with members of the organization and community who aren't familiar with the barriers they face along with a quick reference guide on terms. She was made the Teen Dating violence spokesperson for BTSADV and has been on KRDO 11 for TDVAM Month, The Domestic Violence podcast to speak on teen dating violence, and interviews several times for teen dating violence. She has a particular passion for advocating for male survivors as well, something not often seen as it's typically a gendered issue and focused on women. I believe she will go so far in domestic violence advocacy, that she deserves recognition as a young survivor herself who has taken her own story and began a life of serving domestic violence survivors.
Global Rights for Women (Recognizing (Y)Our Resilience Policy Change Award)
Since its founding in 2014, Global Rights for Women (GRW) has worked in over 40 countries, including the USA, impacting 65 million women across the globe. GRW is recognized as an international expert and leader in legal reform on violence against women.
GRW’s expertise is grounded in international, regional, and national laws and policies that have proven records of success in achieving safety and equality for survivors and accountability for violent offenders. This work draws on the collective experience of survivors and women’s rights advocates around the world who are developing promising practices in systemic and legal reform. This collaborative approach is the cornerstone of GRW’s international trainings, research, and other contributions to ending violence against women and girls. GRW is considered the “go-to” authority for the UN Women’s work to address legal reform on domestic violence.
GRW work is unique in improving systems to more effectively end violence against women and girls. They follow the specific model of long-term sustained partnership with leaders locally and around the world to:
- Create, reform, and enforce laws
- Provide training by judges, prosecutors, and police to their counterparts in other countries
- Build local advocacy and public support for ending domestic violence
- Monitor implementation of law, policy, and practice
GRW’s approach to ending the pandemic of violence against women and girls is innovative in these primary ways:
- Having a laser focus on violence against women and girls facilitates unique and deep expertise in this area
- Knowing that laws cannot be effective without community coordination
- Drawing on decades of experience in tested strategies for effective interventions to promote survivor safety and offender accountability
GRW believes in a future where women and girls can exercise their human right to a life free from violence. The past decade has seen both advances and backlash in achieving women’s equality all over the world. At the same time, communities have become more aware of the pervasiveness of violence against women, and the need to improve legal and law enforcement systems’ intervention in these massive human rights abuses. Specifically, now, with COVID 19, experts have referred to violence against women and girls as a ‘pandemic within a pandemic.’
In just the past three years GRW’s work has improved laws, policies, and practices alongside the United Nations or local partners in Moldova, Guatemala, Macedonia, Kosovo, Georgia, Morocco, Fiji, Ethiopia, Gabon, Thailand, India, Haiti, Bahamas, Iran, Minnesota, Maine, New Zealand, and Australia.
In Minnesota, GRW’s work has included collaborating with the Minnesota Department of Health, Female Genital Cutting Prevention and Outreach Working Group focusing on Minnesota’s immigrant populations and presenting ongoing public education about women and girls’ human right to be free from violence through local and virtual speaking engagements at universities, forums, and community events.
GRW has been invited to work in collaboration with Minneapolis city leaders and advocates to analyze and understand the gaps in the Minneapolis Police Department’s response to domestic violence calls and make recommendations.
Also in Minnesota, GRW has a Batterer’s Intervention Program, Pathways to Family Peace, which is a direct service program. GRW’s staff facilitates remote anti-violence programs for men and training for service providers.
GRW’s work is rooted in Minnesota’s legacy of leadership on addressing violence against women and positions GRW as a uniquely effective force in partner collaborations. This legacy is powerful, including passing the first laws in the world on domestic violence, the creation of the Duluth Model of Coordinated Community Response, and the Power and Control Wheel. These are globally recognized tools of transformation that lead to new understanding of violence against women and girls as a root cause and consequence of inequality.
Without a doubt, Global Rights for Women, its founder, Cheryl Thomas, and the dedicated eight staff members demonstrate exceptional leadership in developing and implementing innovative policies related to domestic violence. They have gone above and beyond to create new and unique policies to serve survivors, hold offenders accountable, and actively prevent domestic violence.
Jaret Martino (Recognizing (Y)Our Resilience Honorable Mention)
Jaret Martino is an actor, director, producer, activist that just released his first feature film called Donna: Stronger Than Pretty, a film that follows his mother’s life as she battles with and triumphs over domestic violence. Jaret is not only a talented filmmaker, but he himself is a survivor of domestic violence. For the past seven years, he has made a point to share stories deserving of attention, stories that are difficult to talk about and often get swept under the rug. He has partnered and worked closely with the NCADV and The Retreat and has also started Love Wins Film Festival, a festival that sheds light on heart-centered content such as LGBTQ+, domestic violence, and much more. He is now working on a documentary called “Holding Onto Hope'' about pancreatic cancer.
About The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) envisions a national culture in which we are all safe, empowered and free from domestic violence. NCADV’s mission is to lead, mobilize and raise our voices to support efforts that demand a change of conditions that lead to domestic violence such as patriarchy, privilege, racism, sexism, and classism. We are dedicated to supporting survivors, holding offenders accountable and supporting advocates.