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2010 Leadership Awards Online Vote

The Leadership Awards Program is the embodiment of citizen-led philanthropy.  A committee of 43 volunteers from across the region selected 10 nonprofits that embody this year’s theme: Between the Cracks & at the Intersections.  The 10 Leadership Awardees will each get a $10,000 award in recognition of their innovative work.

Now, it’s your turn to get involved!  VOTE NOW and one organization will earn an additional $5,000 to fuel their work.

Learn about each organization below.  Think about the needs and available opportunities of the women and girls in our community.  Then raise your voice on behalf of our region’s women and girls.

Vote from April 6-22nd (only once, please).

Thank you for your participation.  The poll is now closed.


The candidates are…

Beacon House Photo Small

Beacon House (Young Women on the Rise Program)

Mission: To guide and nurture at-risk children and youth, ages 5-18, through successful completion of high school equipped with the academic and social skills necessary to lead lives of financial security and personal dignity.

Impact: Beacon House provides young women and girls in Washington, D.C.’s Edgewood neighborhood with the opportunities to grow, gain self-esteem and learn new skills, all with the goal of helping this vulnerable population overcome the negative influences into which they were born.  In many ways, Beacon House serves as a substitute parent, providing daily meals, homework help, intensive tutoring, field trips to museums, parks and colleges, guidance and support.   The staff keeps the young women and girls positively engaged in school and programs, off drugs, out of the juvenile justice system, and away from premature, ill-advised sexual behavior.

Programming Focus: Beacon House’s Young Women on the Rise Program provides a supportive, non-judgmental environment in which socially disadvantaged young women, ages 9-16, can gain leadership skills, self-discipline, self-esteem, positive self images & social skills.  The young women participate in discussion groups, community-oriented activities, fashion shows, cheerleading competitions and a variety of group bonding experiences.

bhi photos 1 085 (3)Borromeo Housing, Inc.

Mission: To operate Elizabeth House, an education-first residential program for homeless, adolescent mothers (16 to 23), and their children.  Elizabeth House facilitates a young mother’s transition from homelessness and underemployment to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.

Impact: Over the course of three years with BHI, residents receive two years of sheltered care and one year of continued guidance through case management.  During these program years, trained staff members help residents grow into independent individuals by teaching them properly to care for their children, employ basic life skills and plan for the future.  To fortify self-sufficiency, BHI helps residents obtain a better education, vocational certifications, and job training. BHI offers the only full-time education transitional housing program in Northern Virginia.

Program results:

  • over 90 percent of program graduates are living independently and have created stable nurturing homes for their children
  • zero repeated unplanned pregnancies
  • increased reunification with families
  • 100 percent employment
  • decreased dependency on TANF, WIC, and food stamps
  • 85 percent enrollment in technical/post secondary educational facilities.

CAP DC Photo SmallerCity at Peace DC

Mission: City at Peace DC is a youth development organization that uses the performing arts to teach and promote cross-cultural understanding and non-violent conflict resolution.  With an emphasis on youth-led programs and artistic excellence, the organization challenges participants to effect positive community change in pursuit of a city at peace.

Impact: All City at Peace programs are designed to expose power inequities that marginalize non-power groups and continually target them for violence and oppression.  CAPDC’s process is unique in that they include as many power and non-power groups as possible, allowing them to participate in the un-learning of these oppressive behaviors and eliminate them from their lives and communities.  In particular, young women —who comprise over 60% of CAPDC’s 50 teen participants each year—learn how racism, sexism, heterosexism and class affect their lives. They are then empowered to share their experiences, including their ideas on how to change oppressive behaviors. The entire group works to change behaviors and attitudes that affect everybody, especially women and girls.

An alumna of the program recently reflected: “If we want to leave this country in the hands of people who are responsible, who are honest, who are communicative, who are positive thinkers, I believe that we have to start with a place like City at Peace.”

DCVLP Logo SmallDC Volunteer Lawyers Project (Domestic Violence Practice)

Mission: The DCVLP aims to increase the number of experienced, trained attorneys providing pro bono representation to indigent clients in the area of family law.  We do this by tapping an underused resource: lawyers who are not affiliated with law firms, including lawyers who are home with their families, have taken senior status, are employed by the government, or are seeking employment.  The DCVLP makes it possible for these attorneys to handle cases by providing free resources like malpractice insurance, office space, online research tools, training programs and mentoring/supervision.

Programming Focus: Domestic Violence Project: The DCVLP helps survivors of domestic violence achieve safety and stability in their lives by obtaining civil protection (“stay away”) orders, as well as divorce, custody and child support.  DCVLP attorneys have been successful in all CPO cases that have completed the judicial process.

Impact: To date, 100% of the DCVLP’s Civil Protection Order (CPO) clients have been women, many of whom have daughters.  DCVLP attorneys have been successful in all CPO cases that have completed the judicial process, which oftentimes means that the CPO is granted to protect the women and children from their abusers.

In a specific case, S.’s abuser was the father of one of her children.  When she attempted to end the relationship, he threatened to kill her.  S. filed for a CPO, and the abuser retaliated by having Child Protection Services remove her children from her home and by filing for custody of the children.  DCVLP helped S. obtain a CPO, which prohibited the abuser from contacting her or S.  The judge refused to grant the abuser visitation rights and ordered that he attend domestic violence and drug counseling.  DCVLP lawyers are helping S. obtain legal custody of her children.

ESF Photo SmallEducation Strengthens Families Public Charter School

Mission: To provide a high quality education for adults and children that empowers families through a culturally sensitive family literacy model.

Impact: “I’ve evolved into a confident person and gotten rid of all my mental blocks.  In India, a woman undergoes lots of restrictions.  My ESF mentors never missed an opportunity to help me build leadership qualities.”   — Aruna completed Child Development Associate training and became a Student Council leader and board member. She is now preparing for college entrance exams.   Aruna’s daughter learned English and Spanish at ESF and now performs above grade level in elementary school.

“I had little education and felt very isolated.  Now I speak English, am able to communicate with my daughter’s teachers, am on top of her homework, and get involved in school activities.  My daughter loves school and gets straight A’s, thanks to the great beginning we had together at ESF.”  — Berta, from Guatemala, is now a computer instructor.

Programming focus: ESF offers family literacy classes and Child Development Associate training to over 200 women and girls. Located in the midst of the highest concentration of immigrants in the city, ESF primarily serves low income mothers and children ages 0-7, in D.C.  Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers develop the language, cognitive, social-emotional, and motor skills needed for future success in school.  Their parents gain critical English, computer, parenting and job skills next door.  Parents gain confidence as advocates for their children through participating in parent-teacher conferences and other advocacy activities.  Child Development Associate graduates obtain employment in a variety of local day care centers and schools after completing volunteer placements.

DCFAPACORGFoster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center

Mission: The mission of the Foster & Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center is “to significantly improve the lives of children in the DC child welfare system by empowering their foster, kinship and adoptive families to advocate for their needs and by assuring the inclusion of those perspectives at every relevant table.”

Impact: FAPAC was founded by foster parents who were deeply frustrated by their lack of inclusion in the decision-making that impacted them.  FAPAC’s greatest impact has been the successful inclusion of these voices into decision-making and policies.  Through grass-roots organization and training, FAPAC has brokered the inclusion of families and empowered them to participate meaningfully to impact child welfare at the systemic and the individual level.  FAPAC benefits an estimated 3,000 children who are living in foster, kinship or adoptive families through the D.C. child welfare system or have achieved permanency through adoption or guardianship.  Although the children we serve are from the District, approximately one-half of DC’s resource families live in Maryland.  The majority of the District’s foster, kinship and adoptive parents are African-American women, many of whom are 50 years and older.

Programming Focus:

  • Systemic Advocacy
  • Individual Case Advocacy and Legal Support
  • Training and Support Groups
  • Peer Advocacy Training
  • Partnering With Other Organizations

Impact Small PhotoIMPACT Silver Spring

Mission: IMPACT Silver Spring brings people together across lines of race, class, and culture, helping them share power with one another for positive change.

IMPACT Silver Spring creates change in greater Silver Spring, MD and its neighborhoods of Long Branch and Wheaton.

Impact: IMPACT’s network of 1,500 people from dozens of different cultures is nearly two-thirds women.  Of the participants in IMPACT’s training programs, nearly 80% are women; at least 80% have acted to improve quality of life for themselves, their families or neighborhoods.

Carlita (name changed) is a Salvadorian single mother of three who has become the paradigm of homegrown leadership.  Beginning in IMPACT’s parent involvement workshops six years ago, Carlita developed long-lasting partnerships with her son’s teachers and school, which supported her son in significantly improving his grades.  She next committed to IMPACT’s year-long leadership program and initiated a tenant advocacy project in her apartment community.  Her next steps included joining IMPACT’s facilitation team, specializing in Latino family outreach and organizing immigrant parents in the wake of gang violence. Carlita is now working at a Health & Human Services neighborhood center, helping her neighbors learn about and apply for emergency services.

Programming Focus: IMPACT’s approach to community change involves:

  1. Cultivating diverse social networks that foster relationships, inclusion, and participation in civic life
  2. Conducting capacity-building programs that nurture personal empowerment, leadership development, and collaborative community action
  3. Guiding institutional change processes with diverse stakeholders

mp_logo_reduced_sizeMautner Project: The National Lesbian Health Organization

Mission: Mautner Project is committed to improving the health of women who partner with women including lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, through direct and support service, education and advocacy.

Vision: Mautner Project envisions a health care system that is respectful of and accessible to all without regard for their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  Mautner Project’s vision is a society in which all individuals are empowered with the knowledge to utilize these resources and to make appropriate choices for themselves.

Impact: Staff and 60 volunteers provide a wide range of regular direct services to a growing number of lesbians, bisexual women and transgender individuals with cancer, and to their families.  Over the past three years, Mautner has delivered over 10,000 hours of service.  Mautner Project serves lesbian and bisexual women with cancer across the Washington metropolitan area.  They also conduct educational programs and outreach.

Programming Focus:

  • Provides services to lesbian and bisexual women with cancer and life threatening illnesses, as well as their partners, caregivers and families; 20 – 25 clients, most of them low-income, are served intensively each month (transportation, home visits, child care, etc.), and hundreds of phone/email inquiries are personally answered.
  • Helps people in the LGBT community to stop smoking; built a local coalition called SmokeLess DC of to promote smoking cessation services, including “quit” groups, and ran a DC-wide ad campaign to encourage LGBT people to quit.  Is starting an ad campaign and groups aimed at reducing obesity among lesbian and bisexual women.
  • Conducts educational outreach to thousands in the DC metro area about the need for regular cancer and other screenings.
  • Sponsors community outreach, programs and education aimed specifically at African American lesbian and bisexual women.  Runs a program of peers education and peer support called EDUcate.

MCC_logo (3)Muslim Community Center Medical Clinic (Women’s Health Services)

Mission: MCC Medical Clinic provides free medical care to all low-income, Washington metropolitan area adult patients without medical coverage regardless of race, religion, country of origin, creed, or sex.

Impact: The MCC Medical Clinic has established a “Women Health Care Center” headed by an OBGYN to deal with health care and social issues concerning women. This center is supported by an experienced nurse, social worker, volunteer coordinator, and patient coordinator.  Any new female patient is first referred to the OBGYN who conducts the preliminary examination to determine the health of the female patient before referring her to another appropriate physician.  The female patient is then approached by the breast cancer coordinator and is encouraged to take a mammogram, if it has not been done recently.  The social worker conducts a brief interview to determine if the female patient has any signs of domestic violence or need help in other areas.  Our goals are to provide as many gynecological slots per year as possible; educate female patients of the advantages of early breast cancer detection; and provide them the needed support to fight against domestic violence.

Programming focus: Besides providing primary health care and the above mentioned services, MCC Medical Clinic offers specialized services and programs in the following areas:

(1)   Diabetes education, prevention, and cure,

(2)   Healthy family initiatives,

(3)   Healthy heart services

Thrive Small PhotoThrive DC (Daily Bread/Daily Needs Dinner Program)

Mission: Thrive DC works to prevent and end homelessness by providing vulnerable individuals with a comprehensive range of services to help stabilize their lives.

Impact:  Through “The Dinner Program”, Thrive DC focuses on women who are experiencing economic and housing instability.  In 2009, Thrive DC served over 14,661 life-sustaining dinners to homeless and low-income women and children.  In the last year, 783 women accessed free laundry services and 967 women took a shower.  Over 500 women participated in support groups helping to build a stronger sense of community and empowering women to make positive life changes.  In a recent survey, one woman commented, “Your food has kept me alive, and I appreciate your services and sincerity.”

Programming Focus: “The Dinner Program” at Thrive DC exclusively addresses the needs of homeless women and children by offering meals and outstanding support services aimed at increasing self-sufficiency and independence.  Staff and volunteers provide a comprehensive range of crisis services: dinner; free showers and laundry; mail, telephone, and computer access; personal care supplies; health and safety items; transportation assistance; and emergency clothing and blankets.  During “The Dinner Program”, women also have access to support services including therapeutic activities such as one-on-one counseling and Women’s Group; educational presentations on topics such as hepatitis and breast health; enrichment activities such as a book club and jewelry making; and referrals to services offered offsite such as childcare assistance and food stamps.