On January 18th, W.O.M.A.N., Inc. presented a terrific workshop at San Francisco Public Library. Titled Write to Heal, the workshop, a brainchild of Oakland-based poet Arisa White, focused on unleashing the participants’ writerly powers through getting them in touch with their bodies. The event started with breathing exercises, and progressed through generative writing exercises that locked the participants’ attention on different parts of their bodies and pulled a plethora of varying associations. In the second part of the workshop, everybody was asked to produce a piece of writing based on the generated textual material. We heard a lot of moving and passionate work, some of which might get published on Arisa’s official website.
Please read an enlightening interview with Arisa White here.
1) When did you first get involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I first became involved with W.O.M.A.N. Inc. when I completed the 48 hour domestic violence advocate training this past summer. I have been volunteering for the organization since August 2013.
2) What inspired you to do anti-violence work?
I was inspired to do anti-violence work out of a desire to find a community that shared similar values to my own, particularly a feminist-oriented organization trying to put an end to injustice. In my eyes, W.O.M.A.N. Inc.’s mission coincides well with my personal values of focusing on equality, consent, and the freedom of each individual to make their own choices. I feel that oppression is the main component of the unneeded violence in our society, and I appreciate W.O.M.A.N. Inc.’s educating others on the critical link between the two.
3) What kind of opportunities have you been involved with here?
I take calls on the crisis line and also provide peer counseling during drop in support hours at the office.
4) How has your involvement impacted your life?
My time at W.O.M.A.N. Inc. has greatly aided in my decision to become a Marriage and Family Therapist. Being given the opportunity to see clients in person was a tremendous responsibility and has boosted my confidence in my peer counseling abilities. I am grateful for the extensive training that I have received on domestic violence, as knowledge of these issues has spread to my other peer counseling roles and has made me a more well rounded listener and advocate. Lastly, the survivors that I speak to through W.O.M.A.N. Inc. inspire me in their strength and resilience – they have taught me a new meaning for the word “survivor”. I am proud to be a survivor advocate and look forward to being a part of the anti domestic violence community for years to come.
5) What pieces of wisdom would you share with new volunteers or community members who are interested in supporting W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
I feel that the best advice I can give to anyone in the community who works with survivors is to listen. Truly listening to each survivor’s past and present is the key to helping them live a future without violence.
Transamerica® Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon San Francisco™
When: April 6th, 2014
Where: San Francisco
Details: W.O.M.A.N., Inc. has been chosen as an officially for the San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon and would love for you to join our team! Walkers and runners are both welcome. Contact email@example.com for more information.
On January 30th, the Domestic Violence Consortium of San Francisco (DVCSF) had their 3rd (?) panel meeting in Visitation Valley as part of their campaign Every Survivor, Every Zip Code, in which they intend to reach out survivors in their own community. These meetings are open to the public and are meant to introduce the community to members of the DVCSF and discuss topics ranging from obtaining a restraining order to resources that exist for families in domestic violence crisis situations to avoiding prosecution for the abuser. Seven DVC members shared all of this information and more with agency representatives and Visitation Valley community members. Many of these members represented legal aid agencies, but there were also representatives from Cameron House and W.O.M.A.N., Inc who were able to speak to residential and non-residential services for survivors. It is the goal of the DVC to host these panel meetings in various neighborhoods in San Francisco, so there will be more to follow!
1) How did you first learn about W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
Our Cole Street assistant store manager Tessa Riley adopted two families a few years back for us to help out with the Adopt a Family Program. This was our third year.
2) What inspired you to support W.O.M.A.N., Inc’s anti-violence efforts?
Cole Hardware has a very large community partner program, with over 600 schools and nonprofits as members. Year-round we help our partners with their fundraising efforts. Also, every year in December we host toy drives, food drives, and warm coat drives. Adopting a few families for the holiday gift program was a perfect fit for Cole Hardware. In addition, we were able to raise over $1000 in cash from our Spare Change Program in December, too.
3) What is the impact you hope for your support to have on the community?
We hope that we were able to make the holidays a bit brighter for a few families in our communities.
4) Can you share one fun fact about yourself?
Our founder Dave Karp will turn 98 this year! We will be celebrating with a big event in June.
1) How did you come to be involved with W.O.M.A.N., Inc.?
My husband does a lot of work through the Taproot Foundation that provides pro bono services to non-profit clients. Each time he selects a new project to be a part of, we discuss the organization and why he wants to be involved. When learning about W.O.M.A.N., Inc., we were both impressed by the level of service and commitment the organization provides to the community. I had the chance to meet the board and some of the staff at W.O.M.A.N., Inc. and was inspired by their passion for their work. I have been involved in several woman’s organizations on the business side and felt moved to give back in a way that would help benefit many more in the community.
2) Can you tell us about your professional background?
I have the privilege of working at Genentech, a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. My job at Genentech is to lead a team of trainers who train the organization on new therapeutic spaces in our pipeline. What excites me about my work is I get to play a role in bringing new medications to patients that really need it.
3) As a Board Member, what skills will you be able to bring to W.O.M.A.N., Inc.
One of the things I enjoy doing in my work is strategic planning and thinking creatively about solving problems. I look forward to helping the board think about how we can continue to grow and support W.O.M.A.N., Inc.