I first met Melinda while volunteering at our children’s school. We immediately clicked. I have always been in awe of her ability to throw herself wholeheartedly into her career, her family, and her work in the community. She’s not only a fantastic mother, but an astute business woman and a staunch advocate for children and parents. I am so excited to have Melinda as the chair of our board. I have no doubt that under her helm we’ll be better, stronger, and can make great strides toward our goal of ending child abuse in San Francisco. Meet Melinda.
About a month ago at our annual Blue Ribbon Luncheon, I shared our vision with the 600+ supporters and advocates who filled Grand Ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Together, we not only raised more funds than ever ($750,000+) to support the work of the Prevention Center, but the energy around our mission of preventing child abuse and our goal of ending it in our city was palpable. It was a truly special day.
To all who joined us on May 12, thank you. To our chairs Wayne Osborne and Jill Woodman, and to our auction hosts David Glickman and Richard Pio Roda, thank you. To our keynote, Wes Moore your words will forever inspire me and call me to not just compassion but action — thank you. To each and every one of you, thank you for joining us in this work.
For those who were not able to be in the room with us, I would like to share with you my remarks — why it is I believe we can end child abuse. You can read them right here.
As a long-time community leader and volunteer, Cathy worked tirelessly to help parents and caregivers create a safe world for their children. She volunteered two decades at the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center’s TALK Line, a 24/7 phone support line for parents in-crisis. Cathy deeply understood what families needed and the importance of listening and simply being there in times of crisis and joy. She was the person to whom everyone went — stabilizing the lives of children and providing safety and acceptance to parents. She was the helping hand and the supportive voice for so many struggling families in our community. Cathy also co-lead the Prevention Center’s board of directors for many years, helping to steer the organization forward during a critical point in its history. Under her guidance, a strong stable organization persevered and will endure for years to come.
What can I say about Natalie? She is unquestionably one of the most dedicated advocates for children and child abuse prevention that I have the privilege of knowing. From her time volunteering in the Playroom as a high schooler to her time as chair of our Board of Directors with children of her own, Natalie and the Prevention Center have grown up together. Natalie, thank you for your service, your passion, and your commitment. I have no doubt that you and your family will stay part of the Prevention Center for many years to come.
Dear Friends of the Prevention Center,
“What do we tell our children?” Our clients and community have been asking us this question and trying to understand its meaning after the unanticipated results of our national election. Many members of our community — women; immigrants; people of color; Muslims, Jews, and other religious minorities; LGBTQ people; people with disabilities — felt directly threatened by the words spoken during this election season. Fear exists of what might happen now.
This article is cross-posted from Huffington Post, read the original here.
Over the past few weeks a barrage of articles, blog posts, and conversations have been posted, recorded, and published about the Super Bowl and sex trafficking. Some say that the “Super Bowl [is a] hotbed for human trafficking” while others rebut, saying there’s no evidence to prove it. Regardless of this debate, one thing is certain: the Bay Area community is thinking and talking about human trafficking — and that’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing because we know that this evil exists, but it’s only a hum in the background — of our minds, our society — which we all ignore. We rationalize by saying, it’s not our children, our community, or our problem. Thankfully the Super Bowl has brought it to the forefront of our consciousness, and it can’t be ignored any longer.
Continue reading It’s not about the Super Bowl
How many children should live in harm’s way?
We had to ask ourselves this very question last year as we undertook to create a five year Strategic Agenda. Our mission was, and will continue to be, to prevent child abuse and reduce its devastating impact, but it was finally time to determine a number we would hold ourselves accountable to in the coming years — will we leave behind 50 percent of San Francisco’s children, or 25, or 10.
This article is cross-posted from Olive Grove.
Maria was in second grade when her grandfather was arrested for forcing her to have sex with him almost daily in a bathroom at a neighborhood playground. After enduring months of abuse, she was brave enough to tell her teacher. Her teacher called child protective service and a social worker came to talk with Maria. She was then taken to the police station where she told her story again; then to the hospital where a doctor examined her and she told her story once more. Then, the district attorney interviewed her; then a therapist; then a case manager; the list continues. Maria told her story 10 times to 10 different adults. Each time, she was forced to re-live this real-life nightmare. Each time, Maria revealed less of her story, making it difficult to gather evidence needed to prosecute her grandfather.