Just last week, I went to a New Beginnings staff meeting to talk about the Move to End Violence vision and pivots. New Beginnings is where I started my “domestic violence career” – I was hired in 1982 to be a graveyard counselor in the shelter. The organization is now large and successful, and mostly unrecognizable to those of us who remember its humble, rundown origin. Whenever I go to visit, I always tell whoever is there that, for me, it’s like going home. This time, as the 30+ staff were launching their strategic planning discussion, I talked about the importance of having home, especially in this work where we encounter so many who do not.
New Beginnings is the home of a great deal of my learning: about a feminist analysis of violence against women, about stretching and applying minimal resource for maximum benefit, about the real impact of violence on those who live with it and those who work because of it, about women’s leadership, women’s struggle, and women’s endurance, and about the internal and external life of social justice non-profits.
I have found a new home, of sorts, in the Move to End Violence. In taking Move to End Violence to New Beginnings, I was struck by how deep and strong the connection is between new home and old. The elements of critical mass are already in place. There are thousands of New Beginnings out there. Our task is to connect them, be them, and know them as home.
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