Together, we’re stronger.
The challenges of 2020 are a result of the injustices that have always been present in the systems of oppression we seek to tear down. Our state has been devastated by wildfires, seen growing cases of COVID-19 amidst this ongoing pandemic, and continues to reckon with racial injustice — all of which affect survivors and our work. Even in the midst of all these struggles, the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, our Members, and allies strive toward resiliency, choosing to celebrate change and pursue needed growth. These bright spots have been born from our resilience:
Witnessing how quickly the field was able to adapt, especially in response to COVID-19.
Being able to accelerate needed innovations in order to help survivors and our Members.
Addressing inequities in the field and recognizing the need to self-reflect on the harms our movement has caused.
Putting philosophical discussions into practice and letting actions speak louder than words.
Collaborating with organizations throughout the state to build a network out of necessity — because none of us can do this alone. And together, we are stronger.
Throughout this report, we invite you to see how we’ve put these bright spots into practice this year. We resolve to continue down this path of growth in the years to come.
Discussions on the Intersections Between Racial Justice and Prevention
This year has been a critical time in our history that has forced a spotlight onto the prevalent racial inequities in our country that have for too long, been ignored. It has become apparent how racism in the movement to end relationship and sexual violence has added another layer of hurt and complication for Black, Indigenous and Native, and Survivors of Color.
Upon reflecting on what needs to be done to dismantle white supremacy in the domestic violence field, we have determined that we first had to recognize that Black, Indigenous and Native advocates, preventionists and survivors of color have carried the load of racial justice work for decades—often to great professional and personal risk.
Like many, the loss of George Floyd’s life to discriminatory policing was a catalyst into realizing that this year we must do even more as an organization to address these inequities. Mr. Floyd’s death was one of far too many Black lives lost to police brutality and the harmful systems of inequity that allowed this to happen have been ignored by the field for far too long. A hashtag is not enough. For this reason, we increased our ongoing efforts to create racial equity. We issued a statement on Black Lives, but we’ve also done the work to ensure that equity continues to inform our work as we move forward. A great example of this work from this year can be seen in these clips from the Prevention Peer Network’s webinar.
Addressing Inequities in Our Movement | Colsaria Henderson, Leadership Development Specialist, Center for Excellence in Nonprofits
The Intersection between Racial Equity & Preventing Relationship & Sexual Violence | Tonjie Reese, Founder at eleven24
Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month
Over the past few decades, prevention has become a key component to ending cycles of sexual and domestic violence, especially for future generations. The Partnership has come to recognize that our role is not to deliver messages to youth — but instead to provide opportunities for their voices and feelings to be heard by people in power, so they can learn about the root causes of violence, support peer-to-peer youth education, and become allies in building strong, equitable communities to shift social norms.
This became the inspiration behind our Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAPM) Campaign: Youth in the Lead for TDVAM 2020. This year, the Partnership worked to lift up young people’s wisdom and expertise in the work to prevent teen dating violence, promote healthy relationships, heal from trauma, and engage in connected forms of social justice. If this movement is to become more equitable, it is important for allies in this work to adopt a learning mindset and affirm the power of what many young activists across the globe have been able to accomplish.
Orange Day Rally Youth Voices: Healthy Relationships | Julian Suh-Toma, Youth Leader at Center for the Pacific Asian Family
The Partnership also recognizes that through an equity lens, young folks should be acknowledged as leaders throughout the year and not just during campaigns such as these. Sarah Khan, Youth Leadership Advocate at STAND’s Youth Against Violence program, shares her thoughts on leading prevention efforts in her community and among her peers.
Making events equitable through increased access
Choosing Transformational Shifts Over Incremental Change
Long-overdue calls for racial justice have created an urgent need to leap toward transforming structural issues in our movement; to be intentional and radical in building a world with values based on equity, on Beloved Community. After releasing our statement on Black Lives, the Partnership offered our Members an opportunity to be in community with peers who wanted to honestly evaluate their structures, challenge current policies, and be self-critical in responding to the cultural inequities. A Peer Learning Circle emerged through participation in the Cultural Responsiveness Organizational Self Assessment (CROS), and became a space where each participant engages in a critical exploration of topics like patriarchy and white supremacy culture—and their impact in shaping behaviors, relationships, policies and practices, and outcomes. This continues in service of interrupting old ways based on inequality and a scarcity mindset and instead promoting relational ways based on interdependency and equity.
Courageous Conversations: Culturally Responsive Collaborative
By existing, the Collaborative is shining a light on the need for equitable, inclusive practices needs in our field and calling for moving towards change. We are delivering the framework by engaging with the DV field in a community-centered way. The Collaborative would not exist if advocates in the field didn’t feel the need for these practices to be enacted within organizations and our field of work.
Creating Community, in Spite of COVID-19
With our Support-and-Share Calls, the Partnership’s Capacity Building Team facilitated connections between Members throughout the state. Two Members in the Far North region reflect upon the ways Mercedes Tune, Capacity Building Project Specialist, helped create a sense of community.
Building a Community that Holds Each Other Accountable
Challenging inequities and recognizing the work that Black advocates & preventionists have been doing.
In efforts to amplify and hear the voices of Black, Indigenous, and Survivors of Color, as we discussed in our Black Lives statement, we developed a blog series to learn from their experiences. Racial justice is an integral part to supporting and seeking justice for survivors of color and understanding the unique challenges they may face. To learn more about some of these challenges, please read the blog post by Carolyn Russell MA, MSW: Racial Injustice, Domestic Violence and the Shelter Movement.
Federal advocacy through CARES Act.
The Partnership pushed Congress to do more and do better to address the needs of sexual assault survivors and communities of color. Terra Russell-Slavin, Deputy Director Policy and Community Building at the Los Angeles LGBT Center made sure CARES Act funding went to LGBT programs as well as all domestic violence organizations.
Support the Movement at Every Level: Donate to Sustain Local And Statewide Work
The truth is that our campaigns have looked much different this year than years past. This experience of quickly pivoting in order to adapt to the year’s unique challenges has been universal to many of our Members as well. Physical distancing, a recession, wildfires, and deep inequities have created real barriers to safety and community building.
What changed for local organizations when COVID emerged?
Jennifer Ponce, Prevention & Education Manager at Laura’s House explains the several changes that her agency implemented with the help of the Partnership in order to adapt to COVID-19 regulations. To continue to provide resources to our Members, like Laura’s House, consider making a donation to support the Partnership.
The Partnership supports partnership!
We’re a coalition for a reason — teamwork is crucial to this movement. This is why we also want to show our support for our Members. Use our searchable map to find your local domestic violence organization and consider supporting their work as well.
Expanding Our Distance Learning Platform
Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic created major roadblocks in offering trainings to volunteers and colleagues that fulfill the State’s requirements for Domestic Violence Counselors, the Capacity Building Team's Cibonay Jimenez and Jasmeen Kairam took action: they added new modules and acquainted many organizations with the Distance Learning Platform this year.
Since these changes were rolled out, there has been an increase in use of the Distance Learning tool. Following its debut last year, 64 organizations and 800 advocates have now been enrolled.
Fostering Non-Traditional Partnerships for COVID-19 Relief
With COVID-19 creating a greater need for financial assistance, the Partnership pushed the Governor’s office to provide emergency funding and secure aid from non-traditional partners, such as Uber & AirbBnB.
This effort was made by the possible by the quick mobilization of our Policy team. In the words of our Public Policy Director, Krista Niemczyk, this is how the Partnership was able to use these new relationships in order to help survivors:
As we expand our understanding and practices of what it means to heal violence, we worked to deepen funding support for partners whose mission are the same: to end the multitude of systemic harms that contribute to domestic violence. Organizations not typically considered DV organizations, but that are doing this critical work all the same, were recipients of these awards. This is what two grant recipients had to say about receiving relief funds:
Healthy Manhood and Fighting for Gender Justice in Our Communities
This year, the Partnership collaborated with the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color to host the workshop HEALING TOGETHER: Healthy Manhood and Fighting for Gender Justice in our Communities.
Together, we analyzed ways to expand the movement to become ever-more inclusive, because we believe that everyone has a role in ending domestic violence. There were rich discussions between domestic violence advocates, Members of the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, youth of color, and boys and men of color—exploring gender socialization as a means to challenge controlling behavior among their peers, while they simultaneously confront the oppression of white supremacy on a daily basis.
Workshop attendees anonymously shared their feedback on what their greatest takeaways were from this workshop:
In what ways were you able to take the Healing Together learnings back to your work, especially in the area of engaging boys and men of color?
Creating Space for Prevention In Spite of an Uncertain Future with Funding.
The Partnership and California Coalition Against Sexual Assault called on Governor Newsom to protect $5 million for sexual and domestic violence prevention—funding that had been promised to organizations last year, but was jeopardized in the May Revise. As a result of our policy advocacy, the Governor and legislature reached a budget agreement that protected it. In the face of COVID-19, determination from not only our staff, but members was required in order to keep the efforts of this movement ongoing. The following quotes demonstrate the insight and courage that was at the core of this push for securing funding, from both of these perspectives.
Alejandrina Carrasco, MA, Interface Children & Family Services explains how the SD grant impacted her organization’s work, and also commented on why it is essential for policymakers to make funding for prevention efforts ongoing: “It’s essential for policymakers to make prevention funding an ongoing priority, prevention is not a one and done effort. To truly end violence in our communities, we all need to consistently work together to adopt prevention as a way of life, a way of being and engaging with our community to see ongoing change and maintain this change. We need to be consistent with our efforts and remain hopeful and patient with the process of change.”
Strengthening Economic Supports for Paid Leave
As a result of COVID-19, workers across the state and their families felt the impact on their jobs and income, making the need for paid leave, unemployment, and other related benefits more apparent than ever.
This disparity was bravely addressed by our Prevention Team who worked with our partners at the California Work & Family Coalition to increase access to these benefits — especially among immigrants and low-wage earners —through a network of community leaders, and came together to provide access to and advocate for trainings, resources, and benefits that are accessible and timely. Jenya Cassidy, Director of the California Work & Family Coalition further explains more about this campaign:
July 2019 - June 2020
Funds Awarded to Members
% of Expenses
Blue Shield of California Foundation
Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Women’s Foundation of California
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families, Administration on Children, Youth & Families, Family & Services Bureau, Family Violence Prevention & Services
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
THE PARTNERSHIP BY THE NUMBERS
Number of People Trained
Responses to Help Desk Inquiries
Social Media Impressions
Alejandra Aguilar, MA
Statewide Prevention Program Specialist
NATALIE DIAZ MONDRAGON
Interim Executive Director
Michell Franklin, MA
Capacity Building Program Manager
Capacity Building Coordinator
Director of Programs
Meeting & Events Specialist
Public Policy Coordinator
Capacity Building Program Coordinator
Krista Niemczyk, MPP
Public Policy Director
Prevention Program Specialist
Capacity-Building Program Specialist
Colsaria Henderson, President
Leadership Development Specialist, Center for Excellence in Nonprofits
Anna Conti, Vice President & Los Angeles Regional Representative
Executive Director, Su Casa - Ending Domestic Violence
Aiko Pandorf, Secretary
Gayle Guest-Brown, Treasurer
Executive Leadership Coach, Trainer and Speaker, Guest Brown Impact
Saara Ahmed, Bay Area Regional Representative
Community Resource Coordinator, Asian Women's Shelter
Policy & Communications Manager, Contra Costa County Alliance to End Abuse
Alejandrina Carrasco, Central Coast Regional Representative
Prevention Services Program Manager, Interface Children & Family Services
Cristal B. Gleason, Central Valley Regional Representative
Emergency Services Manager, Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus
Senior Attorney, Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice
Domestic Violence Program Manager, Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI)
Housing Manager, Stand Up Placer
Senior Media Researcher, Berkeley Media Studies Group
Rebecca Nussbaum, Southern Regional Representative
Associate Director of Programs, Community Resource Center
Executive Director, Project Sanctuary
Prevention & Education Manager, Laura’s House
Gina Roberson, North Regional Representative
Chief Program Officer, WEAVE
Jeanne Spurr, Far North Regional Representative
CEO, Empower Tehama
The Partnership affirms that the best ideas come from having everyone at the table in our Theory of Change. This year, we welcomed new folks to the table and also would like to acknowledge those who have moved to another table, but will always have a seat at ours.
Melanie Choy - Administrative Coordinator
Marcella Maggio - Prevention Coordinator
Megan Tanahashi - Communications Coordinator
NEW BOARD MEMBERS
Hisham Alibob - Policy & Communications Manager, Contra Costa County Alliance to End Abuse
Cristal B. Gleason - Central Valley Regional Representative
Amanda Jancu - Senior Attorney, Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice
Dina Polkinghorne - Executive Director, Project Sanctuary
Jennifer Ponce - MSW, CHES, Prevention & Education Manager, Laura’s House
Gina Roberson - North Regional Representative, Chief Program Officer, WEAVE
FORMER STAFF - THANK YOU!
Melanie Choy - Administrative Coordinator
Neha Malik - Administrative Assistant
Allison Stelly - Development Specialist
FORMER BOARD MEMBERS - THANK YOU!