Current Award Winners

2016 

   wpe7.jpg (6573 bytes)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 helpBrisa.JPG (5567469 bytes) 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.jpg (43568 bytes)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 assaultTrish.jpeg (12877 bytes) 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

Shannon.jpg (47509 bytes)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 acceptable.

 

 

1.2015.jpg (20087 bytes)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”. 

 

 

 3.  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.jpg (43743 bytes)4. 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_001.JPG (1567755 bytes)5. 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 schoolHero-Dianna-Thomas-1219.jpg (45091 bytes) 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.

 

 

jennifer ou.jpg (725309 bytes)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.

 

 

3. Johanna Crawford, Joan Crawford.JPG (3905128 bytes)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. In 2003, while volunteering at a crisis shelter, Crawford broke a rule and gave $40 out of her own wallet to a victim who arrived with two young children – petrified and penniless, and without the documents needed to apply for aid. There she saw a gap in what the government and domestic violence agencies were providing, and what the victims really needed in the moment – emergency cash grants as the first step to rebuilding their lives. The woman ended up using the $40 to pay a government fee to access her own records. A year later, Crawford launched her encore as the founder and executive director of Web of Benefit. Her Transition to Self Sufficiency and Good Works Programs assists survivors in developing skills for economic and personal independence and ensures each grantee adheres to her “Pay-It-Forward” philosophy. Web of Benefit has directly given grants to more than 1,400 survivors totaling over $750,000, touched the lives of more than 5,000 survivors, and partners with more than 80 organizations in Boston and 25 in Chicago. Says Crawford, “I believe women working together can change the world.”


 

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. 

 

Madison Brewer.jpeg (66164 bytes)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. 

 

beth davalos.png (42736 bytes)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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

NicoleBehrens2.jpg (613130 bytes)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.

 

 

 


Past Award Winners

 

2012 Women of Peace Award Winners

 

Dr.+Princess+Olufemi-Kayode+2+(1).jpg (72284 bytes)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 Coats.JPG (23193 bytes)

 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. 

 

 

Giselle Rodriguez.jpg (15310 bytes)3. Giselle Rodriguez - Clearwater, FL - Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking

 Giselle 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 Jamaica , St. Kitts and various other countries throughout the Caribbean . Giselle has also coordinated several street outreach events throughout the Tampa Bay area. During one of the outreach events in Wimuama, Giselle and her volunteers were able to identify 3 potential labor trafficking victims. These 3 men in turn lead Giselle and The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s office to an additional 4 male victims.  Giselle was also the event coordinator for the outreach event that took place during Superbowl 43 in Tampa . During this particular outreach event, over 40 volunteers participated and numerous leads on potential cases were provided to local law enforcement.  The Superbowl outreach was such a success that is was conducted during Superbowl 44 in Miami , Superbowl 45 in Dallas , Texas and Superbowl 47 in Indianapolis .  In 2010, Giselle decided to do a similar type of outreach during the Florida Classic in Orlando. This event was successful as one young woman was rescued and various other leads for law enforcement were produced.  

 

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. 

 

49tu.jpg (206208 bytes)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


 

2011 Women of Peace Award Winners

Mia Pertkek.jpg (34672 bytes)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. 



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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, TNwop2011 julie rae.JPG (2499531 bytes) - 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. 

Joan Meachum+Picture.jpg (376402 bytes)

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.

 

 

 

Cathy Neely 06.jpg (28609 bytes)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 smallAshley Day.JPG (372631 bytes) 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.

 

 

2010 Women of Peace Award Winners

1.    1.   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.  

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        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. 

 

 

 

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4.     3.   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 community.  

 

 

 

 

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 4  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. 

 

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         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 controversial.
 


   

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       6. Gloria 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.
    

 

 

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.      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.

 

     

 

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       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.

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2009 Women of Peace Award Winners

International

Rita+Chaikin.JPG (257180 bytes)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.

 

Ms.+Shazia+Parveen.jpg (17314 bytes)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.

 

 

United States 

wpe3.jpg (6490 bytes)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,

 

 

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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 thatLorraine.jpg (29748 bytes) 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[1].JPG (659559 bytes)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.

 

 

Youth

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. 

 

 

2008 Women of Peace Award Winners

 Youth Awards

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.

International

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.    

United States 

1. Anna Rodriguez, Clearwater, Florida - Anna is the founder of the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking (FCAHT). Since 2004 Anna, at great personal risk, has helped rescue victims of human trafficking as well as created awareness to this horrible crime. Anna's work helped create the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. 

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.


2007 Women of Peace Award Winners

 Youth Awards

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.

 2. Kristin Hermansen -Wesley 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.

International

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. 

United States 

1. Cindie Alwood - Lansing, Michigan - Cindie has been a champion for battered and sexually assaulted women in her community for over 20 years. 

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

International

1. 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 :
 
Joya is a 27-year-old member of the Afghan Parliament and speaks publicly against the domination of warlords in her home country. She has survived four assassination attempts and travels in Afghanistan under a burqa and with armed guards. She heads the non-governmental group “Organization of Promoting Afghan Women’s Capabilities.

 

children in Kabul[1].jpg (50367 bytes)3. Janny Beekman - Houwerziil, Netherlands:
Beekman has been devoted to the cause of peace and the role of women for years, and currently works with on Middle East issues with a Dutch organization called United Civilians for Peace.  Together with women from Afghanistan, she established a refugee home in Kabul for women escaping violence in their homes, and provides them with a job and income.

United States Cindy Sheehan wearing a Veterans for Peace t-shirt

  1. Cindy Sheehan - 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.  

 

5.  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.

  1. Elisa Young - 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.

  1. Valerie Nutter - 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.

 8.  Nia Z. Sherar - Salt Lake City, Utah
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.  

dianetillman06.jpg (12935 bytes)9. Diane 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.

Pegpeterson.jpg (33329 bytes)10. Peg Petersen - New Port Richey, Florida
A volunteer and mentor with Some of My Best Friends organization that helps women in West Pasco County, Florida, Peterson is using her expertise and commitment to women leaving prison, who are homeless or recovering from domestic violence or addiction to alcohol and other drugs. She teaches conflict resolution, problem solving and goal setting skills, and is on call 24 hours a day for emergency services.

      11. Sandy Coyne - Port Richey, Florida:
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.

     12. Dori Brown - Tampa, Florida :
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.

   Youth Award

13. Kara 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

International
     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 Photo I.jpg (763973 bytes)

 3. 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.

     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.jpg (212682 bytes)                         3. 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. 

 4.  Josephine Prescott, Aiken, SC, CSRA Dream 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,johnnie.jpg (185126 bytes) 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. 

  Jennifer Stanley.jpg (620500 bytes)                          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

International
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.  

United States

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.

7. Maritza de Juan, Tampa, FL

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.

 8. Sarah Longley, 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 - beckytrent.jpg (305217 bytes)

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. 

lorraineryan.jpg (265969 bytes) 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.    

 


Women of Peace Award Winners 2002

Tampa Bay

  1. Terry Luna, Pregnancy Care Center, Zephyrhills, FLterryluna.jpg (90370 bytes)

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.

  With her Church's support she used her work experience to create the Pregnancy Care Center in Zephyrhills. The center offers counseling, childbirth and parenting classes, and assistance with physical needs. The center also provides information about abortion and its alternatives, fetal development and the value of human life. Free pregnancy tests are available to anyone in crisis situations, such as domestic violence or substance abuse.

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.

Terry 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. 

2. Jan Rodgers, Zephyrhills, FL

The 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.

Helping 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.

Jan realizes she can't help everyone but she can make a difference to some who are in need.

3. Susan Stallard, Some of My Best Friends, New Port Richey, FL

Susan 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.

The 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.

One 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 the system.

4. Patty Sanphy, Clearwater, FL

Patty 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.

In 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.

Florida

1. Ondria Brown, Boca Raton, FL

For 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 employment.

She 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 them.

Ondria 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 mentors.

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.

  1. & 3. Tracey Dannemiller and Lesley Clementi, Lakeland, FLLesleyTracey.jpg (69054 bytes)

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.

She and her current husband, Timothy (his previous wife died of AIDS in 1993) are writing a book about their experiences, and a group of Lakeland High School students are filming a documentary on Lesley’s version of being HIV infected as part of their television production class.

Lesley participates with her mother at the speaking engagements “because I know it will make a difference in peoples’ lives. I tell them what I’ve been through…It’s difficult. I have to take medicine and go to doctors all the time.”

United States

  1. Nancy Rafi, Silent Witness Rhode Island, Newport, RInancyrafi.jpg (58188 bytes)

Nancy 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.

She 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 a few. She is a prime example of passion at work and using your own healing experiences to heal others.

2. & 3. Vickie AmundsonVickie Picture.jpg (29270 bytes) Jerri's.jpg (169463 bytes)

and Jerri Miller

Silent Witness Montana, Livingston, MT and Missola, MT

This 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.

Jerri 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.

They 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.

International

helene.jpg (13507 bytes)1. Madame Helene Tahibola Kiashiba, Street Adolescent Girls Project, Lusaka, Zambia

When 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.

When 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

1. Radio Feature - USA

wqyk.jpg (71459 bytes)WQYK 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.

2. Radio Feature - International (Ireland)

Galway 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.

3. TV News Feature - USA

alexa.jpg (34519 bytes)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.

4. Print - books - Fiction - USA

connie.jpg (40827 bytes)Author 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.

5. Print - books - Non-fiction - USA michele.jpg (77243 bytes)

Author Michele Weldon – for her book “I Closed My Eyes”, a non-fiction memoir. 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.

6. Print - Manual or Handbook - USA

redflag.jpg (134690 bytes)Rape & 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.

7. Print - Manual or Handbook - International (England)

Author 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 and 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.

8. Print – Personal Growth - USA jan.jpg (28847 bytes)

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.

 

9. Print – Personal Growth - International (Canada)

lifelines.jpg (98753 bytes)Authors 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.

10. Internet - USA

War Widows Website 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.

11. Internet - International (Yugoslavia)

veranaward.jpg (29163 bytes)Radio FreeB92 for their radio broadcasts on www.freeb92.net 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 and 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.

12. Arts & Entertainment - USA mika.jpg (41800 bytes)

Artist/ 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.

13. 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.


~ Amigas Award Winners - 2000 ~

USA

Angela.JPG (13571 bytes)1. Angela Martinez - Land 'O Lakes, Florida

After 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.

2. Jennifer Pedraza - Tarpon Springs, Florida jenniferpedraza.jpg (21323 bytes)

Jennifer 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.

sasso.jpg (21340 bytes) 3. Jennifer Sasso - Tampa, Florida

Jennifer 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.

4. jj.jpg (24936 bytes)JJ Watts - Tampa, Florida

JJ 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.

5. Cheryl Chandler – Sandy, Utah cheryl.jpg (73015 bytes)

For 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 life changes.

 

sandy.jpg (9028 bytes) 6.          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.

 

 

7. Naomi Berman–Potash – Mequon, Wisconsin naomi.jpg (6732 bytes)

Naomi 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.

 

 

Tina.jpg (4675 bytes) 8.            Katina Johnstone – New York, New York

After 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.

 

9. Christine Smith – Howard, Colorado christine.jpg (21363 bytes)

She 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.jpg (6266 bytes)

10. Marissa Maurer – Washington, DC

Marissa 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 facing deportation.

 

International

1. Ndofor Magdalene Bingum & Asong Teresia Ajab – Cameroon

These 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.

bernie.jpg (4416 bytes)2. Bernie Walsh- Dublin, Ireland

Bernie 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.

  1. Bell Mc Guiness - Belfast, Northern Ireland bell.jpg (2720 bytes)

Bell's 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.

  1. Irene Boucher- Dublin, Ireland

Irene 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.

5. Nana Semidi IV – Logba, Ghana

She 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.

tara.jpg (10218 bytes) 6.      Tara Upreti – Kathmandu, Nepal

Tara 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 larissa.jpg (11631 bytes)

She 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 traffickers.

 

 


Amigas Award Winners 2001

Tampa Bay

Nina Burwell, Sarasota, Florida

Nina 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.

Sandra Richardson, Zephyrhills, Florida, For the past 9 years, virtually 24 hours a day seven days a week Sandra has dedicated her life to helping women and children who are victims of abuse find a way to survive. She lives in the shelter with the women and offers them a safe haven and help obtaining a GED or finding a job. Her generous spirit is reflected in the success of the women she helps as they move on to live peaceful and productive lives.

Diana Sanchez, Dade City, Florida, Diana over came great odds as a farm worker to become a certified nursing assistant. Her job enables her to serve as a role model for women who formerly thought they had no way to improve themselves educationally and professionally. As a volunteer she is often called upon for Spanish-English translation in crisis situations, some of which have involved domestic violence victims. Diana is forever positive and energetic, always willing to find resources to bring food to a family with nothing, to find shelter for a family who is homeless, and to give support and genuine caring.

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.

Florida

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.

Bunny Sewel, Naples, Florida, Bunny worked three jobs while raising 3 kids alone. She has volunteered for more years then anyone remembers to help reduce domestic violence in her community by offering individual counseling, group counseling, hosting free weekly workshops and discussion groups. Bunny opens her home up once a week for a family fun night. She isn't afraid to take a stand and speak out about injustices to battered women and children. The many women she has helped say she is "non-judgmental and confident".

U.S.

Pat Lupson, Silver Springs, Maryland, Pat became involved with Silent Witness because her daughter and two grandsons were burned to death in their home by her son-in-law. In 1997 Pat carried the figure of their daughter in the first Silent Witness March in Washington, DC. She goes to prisons on a regular basis to tell her story to inmates, letting them know how the ripple effect of murder has affected their lives. She also developed a web site that is visited by thousands of people each year. Pat flies around the country to various Silent Witness cities to talk to communities about how her involvement with Silent Witness has helped in her healing.

Diane 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.

Lucinda Fulkerson, Zanesville, Ohio, Lucinda was stabbed over 27 times by her abuser and left for dead. She recovered and broke the cycle of violence in her life by determining that she was going to help other people who were experiencing violence in rural Ohio by sharing her own experiences as a battered woman. She speaks to groups on violence and recently founded a new project, Common CENTS – Community Efforts Needed to Survive. The role of her program is to facilitate a volunteer support group for women experiencing violence in their lives. She gathers clothing and household items for people who are leaving their violent situations and created a lending closet. Lucinda said, “I’m taking the negative and turning it into a positive. Because if I don’t who else will?”

Rosaleen Wilcox, Sultan, Washington, Rosaleen has dedicated her life to keeping youth out of trouble, which is no easy task since many of the kids she tries to help have parents in prison. She volunteers for Girl Scouts Behind Bars, which unites young girls with their imprisoned mothers by driving across the state each month to pick up the troop members for their meetings. She also brings together young people and prisoners to learn first-hand about the wrong choices the prisoners have made. She worked with other volunteers to establish Safe Stop for middle and high school students. Every Saturday evening in the middle school, Wilcox and others provide chaperoned fun for youth – athletics, board games, arts and crafts, and video viewing among other activities. The program has resulted in a 60-65 percent drop in Saturday vandalism and domestic violence calls.

Gail Hollar, Arlington, Texas, Gail, a dentist who was surprised to hear that the students in a patient’s second-grade class were so poor that they didn’t even own toothbrushes. Gail said, “Some of these kids were in constant pain from tooth decay and were having trouble eating and sleeping. Gail says that severe decay leads to lethargy, irritability and an overall inability to thrive. Gail spent $1,500 of her own money on toothbrushes for kids. Soon after, she joined a group of dentists to form a not-for-profit organization in Arlington, which set, up a free dental clinic. Since 1993 the organization has helped over 40,000 children. Gail set up its preventive-education program, giving toothbrushes and oral-hygiene instruction to 5,000 kids a year. She sold her practice to devote herself solely to aiding the indigent.

 

Dina Dublon, New York, New York, Dina is the CFO of Chase Manhattan Corp. but she gives equal weight to helping others: Her volunteer work with refugees in general, and those from Rwanda and Afghanistan in particular, as part of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, has had a global impact, increasing awareness of the plight of refugees and raising money to help them. Dina says, “I feel a responsibility as a role model to use the microphone for purposes other than to discuss business. I try to be an advocate for people to become involved in this important issue by giving them information and telling them what they can do to help.”

Kristy Childs, Kansas City, Kansas, Kristy worked in street prostitution for 18 years. A little over 8 years ago she left prostitution and dedicated her life to assisting women in everyway that she can by working with Veronica’s Ministry. She runs a 24-hour crisis line, a support group, and speaks to countless organizations; churches and halfway houses about the reality of life women on the streets endure. She regularly cruises the heavily prostituted areas and stops when she sees women soliciting. She offers them a hug, a gift bag of toiletries and information about the program. Kristy is working with a police consortium to start a “John School” in which men caught for soliciting prostitution will be mandated to attend an 8-hour session in which they receive education. Most of the fines placed on “johns” will go to assist Veronica’s Ministry. Kristy has turned the tragedies of her life into triumph and gives hope to many women who have none.

Dr. 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.”

Dr. Anele Heiges, O.P., New York, New York, United Nations, Julliette Engel joined forces with Dr. Anele Heiges, O.P., in 1999 and formed the Angel Coalition in the former Soviet Union. The coalition is fighting the trafficking of women and children in a country so poor that the advertisements for work abroad are appealing. They have mounted a huge multi-media campaign to create awareness of the problem and educate the public to some of the tactics used by the traffickers to lure their victims. The issue is so large-spread that it caught the attention of members of the United Nations. The UN has asked for the input of Angel Coalition to address this global issue. Dr. Heiges is MiraMed Institute's representative to the United Nations in New York and visits the MiraMed Russia sites frequently. Both women hope their work will put a large dent in the trafficking problem in Russia.

International

Lucy 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.

Lizi Sagie, Shikmim, Israel, At great personal risk for teaching against long held religious and cultural beliefs and with sheer dedication and vision, Lizi Sagie founded Ta-ir, an organization dedicated to providing support to victims of sexual assault and abuse. Ta-ir, which means, “to bring to light,” operates a support center for women who come from a multitude of countries including the Middle East, Israel, North Africa, Ethiopia and the former Soviet Union. The sex roles and lack of education on women’s issues contributed to the taboo of addressing the issue of sexual violence in these communities. Ta-ir has changed all that by not only providing front line support to victims of sexual assault through emergency hot lines, escorts to hospitals, assistance with police, the courts and various other governmental agencies but also work to educate society in hopes of changing the way Israelis and their neighbor's views sexual attacks on women. Ta-ir organizes workshops and lectures for students, teachers, advisors and the persons who work with sexual abuse victims. At Ta-ir, there are Jewish and Palestinians working together, poor and rich, devoutly religious and secular, native and immigrants, all work together to achieve a united goal.

Jecinter Atieno Onyango, Oyugis Kenya, Jecinter has dedicated her life to finding solutions for the problems facing women and children in Kenya. Jecinter works as a volunteer in an organization she founded to help women whose rights have been violated, counseling them through, not only the emotional devastation of the violation, but also the confusing and often overwhelming legal system. Her male counterparts do not favor her mission. In fact, by lobbying for changes in the laws of Kenya and educating against violence against women and children, she risks her personal safety on a daily basis. Fighting against ignorance, encouraging the education of female children and seeking the empowerment of the women of Kenya, Jecinter’s teachings have wide spread ramifications, both locally and nationally. Jecinter is dedicated to fighting against gender inequality, including the fight to allow women to own property, inherit monies, and gain political and social equality; her goals include eradicated rape, sexual abuse, forced marriages, and horrendous child labor abuses. Locally, the rate of domestic violence has decreased, and nationally, by helping to educate Kenya’s future leaders.

Mandisa Monakali, Capetown, South Africa, At the height of apartheid Mandisa grew tired of seeing the men in politics fighting and paying lip service and the women afraid to interfere or risk becoming the victim of domestic violence. Mandisa, at great personal risk, started a program to educate women and ran it out of her own home. Capetown was rife with an ungovernable government and widespread civil unrest. Most black townships had strict confinement and curfews. Mandisa was arrested and spent 18 months in jail for organizing women to protest apartheid. Upon her release she lived underground for a year before it was safe for her to be reunited with her family. Her organization is still going strong assisting women and children survivors of domestic violence. She offers support and education around violence against women and children. She also started training programs and workshops centered on individual and community development and the legacy of apartheid. Her grassroots group now has 8 offices in various areas in South Africa and employs 20 counselors. Her group is credited with finally having women hired as police officers. The female officers are now involved with special units that deal with victims of rape and abuse.

Sushma Katuwal, Katmandu, 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".

Mary Alphonsa, Chilkalguda, 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 against women.

Judith Oyugi, Kissi, Kenya, Judith is a nurse that volunteers in her spare time to run a clinic for women and children. In spite of the personal risk she offers free medical services to women and girls. She helps those that have been raped, had unsafe abortions, been forcefully circumcised and are battered by their husbands. She holds weekly health talks on various topics including the dangers of female genital mutilation and its health implications and complications, awareness of the AIDS epidemic, prevention and control of diseases such as cholera, bilharzias, malaria, typhoid, immunization and vaccination, abortion, and women's rights. She also campaigns for women's' inclusion in medical schools and careers.


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

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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

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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

img_ErinMara.jpg (101797 bytes)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

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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

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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

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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 ani_heart.gif (4940 bytes)

  1. Jagoda Gajic – Croatia

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. Troop 47.jpg (65717 bytes) 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.

  1. Vianca.jpg (121732 bytes) Vianca Burger, Youth As Resources, Tampa, Florida

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 irving.bmp (41398 bytes)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.jpg (13066 bytes) 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. JanArnow.bmp (2672526 bytes) 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. Midozi.jpg (135004 bytes) 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.

  1. Robbie.jpg (36742 bytes) Dr. Roberta Baer – HALT, Tampa, Florida

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. .bmp (798154 bytes) 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. Lalitha.jpg (61145 bytes) 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. Justice.jpg (82453 bytes) 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.

  1. Wilma Green, St. Petersburg, Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida

    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.jpg (29380 bytes) 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. Lakshmi.bmp (735474 bytes)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

National

  1. Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center, Dade City, Florida

    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.

  2. Jessie Mag, Eastlake, Colorado

    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.

  3. Institute for Intercultural Understanding, Louisville, Kentucky

    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.

  4. little Friends for peace.jpg (393100 bytes) Little Friends for Peace, Washington, DC

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.

International Grants

  1. Education & Social Service Association (ESSAN), Tamil Nadu, India

    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.

  2. CITAL, Lome Togo

    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.

  3. kenya.jpg (88917 bytes) Women Welfare Project (Ntanira Na Mugambo Tharaka), Meru, Kenya

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

ani_heart.gif (4940 bytes) 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.

INTERNATIONAL GRANTS

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

Women's Peacepower Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 1618
Zephyrhills, FL 33539
e-mail
: peace@womenspeacepower.org

 

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