Inspired by the global message to end violence against women and girls at Omega's recent conference Women & Power: What’s Possible, Mary Goggin, Jessica Sillins, and Noelle Adamo decided to act. They immediately organized an event to support local women facing violence in New York’s Hudson Valley, not far from Omega's Rhinebeck campus. In November, Jessica and her partner Julie Abrams hosted a fundraising celebration attended by over 50 people and raised $3,000 for local domestic violence shelter Grace Smith House.
Jessica told the enthusiastic crowd that she had been particularly moved by Women & Power faculty and Omega Women's Leadership Center Advisory Council member Hibaaq Osman. Hibaaq is Founder & CEO of Karama, an organization that connects women working to end of violence across the Middle East. She challenged American women to turn their attention to issues facing their communities. “In that moment," Jessica acknowledged, "this initiative was born.”
The organizers' goal is to keep this energy moving. They thanked guests and donors by saying: “Yes, we raised money. Yet more significant perhaps is the awareness and conversation that has begun. We are thrilled. Let's encourage one another to be bold enough to continue the conversation, and to take action for change, both within ourselves and in the world."
Photo: Jessica Sillins, Susan Denton, Julie Abrams, Mary Goggin, Noelle Adamo, and Sarah Urech