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Domestic violence group honors community advocates


By Edward Henderson | California Black Media

As the ink dries on the California state budget recently signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, many special interest organizations have been left frustrated by the omission of their initiatives from the state spending plan, but their important work in California communities continues.

The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV), a coalition representing over 1,000 survivors, advocates, organizations, and allied individuals, was one of the organizations whose proposal for funding was omitted from the budget. Nonetheless, they remain dedicated to seeking recognition for individuals and organizations that are creating safe havens and providing services for individuals affected by domestic violence, the group’s leadership says.

At their annual membership meeting, they presented the ‘2022 Partnership Awards’, a ceremony honoring seven women who have challenged root causes of domestic violence and infused equity into the ways they’ve engaged survivors and communities.

LaRae Cantley (recipient of the Bravery Award) advises the nation’s largest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD Continuum of Care, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), on the creation of their lived experience boards. With deep roots in Los Angeles, Cantley’s voice has been heard across the state and nationwide in her systems change work.

“I’m living proof of how the truth will bring a change about you,” Cantley reflected upon hearing the news of her award. “The organization I’m working with, the Full Frame Initiative, continues to pursue brave efforts as we partner to build a world where everyone has a fair shot at wellbeing.”

Other awardees included Dr. Amber Gray (recipient of the Equity Award), of Lake Elsinore, who started the Volunteer Services Unit at Gray’s Trauma-Informed Care Services Corp, which allows individuals to earn volunteer hours while resourcing domestic violence agencies with the staffing they need.

Cat Brooks (recipient of the Partnership Award), of Oakland leads the Anti Police-Terror Project and Justice Teams Network, providing survivor-centered interventions designed to decrease criminalization and focused on ending cycles of violence.

Colsaria Henderson (recipient of the Karen Cooper Beloved Community Award), of Newark is a leader in local, statewide, and national anti-violence, anti-poverty, and racial justice advocacy efforts. As Board President of CPEDV, she helps ensure that a diverse coalition strategically unites to promote the shared goal of ending domestic violence in California.

Yojo Kim (recipient of the Cultural Responsiveness Award), of San Francisco has provided consistent case management, emotional support and survivor centered advocacy for queer and transgender survivors of domestic violence at the Asian Women’s Shelter.

Lidia Salazar (recipient of the Equity Award) co-facilitates organizing work to end criminalization at Community United Against Violence, as well as programming and community-based training in Healing Justice that raises consciousness and allyship across the broader San Francisco Bay Area.

Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (recipient of the Bravery Award) was one of the founders of Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County in 1977. Jackson, who served in the California State Senate from 2012 to 2020 representing the 19th District in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, was a steadfast champion for survivors and a range of issues impacting women and girls while in government.