By Zaheva Knowles, Director of Communications and Government Affairs, Time for Change Foundation
Dedicated to helping women, no matter their circumstances, to better their lives and their communities, Time for Change Foundation has launched the Center for Advocacy and Leadership Development. The Center’s curriculum draws upon the strength of the Foundation’s executive director, Kim Carter, a 2005 Women’s Policy Institute graduate with a successful advocacy background.
The Center debuted with a conference called “Leading with Strength,” held at California State University San Bernardino. Local and national domestic violence experts and fundraisers were on hand to train domestic violence providers in effective advocacy and fundraising techniques. The day-long event aimed to empower new leaders and strengthen coalitions among area hospitals, shelters, and domestic violence and sexual assault providers in the face of state budget cuts that threaten their ability to provide vital services to women in need.
“As California’s budget continues to be in dire straits, I want to make sure that those most affected – those in shelters, needing job training programs, low-income housing and other safety-net services do not continue to bear the brunt of the fiscal irresponsibility of poor tax policies, corporate greed and desensitized politicians in Sacramento” explained Kim Carter, Founder of Time for Change Foundation, and Women’s Policy Institute Fellow.
“I want to make sure that those who do advocate for domestic violence providers and shelters are able to help make public policy work for them,” Kim continued.
Over the course of the conference, speakers and participants engaged in training exercises, break-out sessions and conversations about current legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act, currently up for reauthorization. Participants explored best practices for effective advocacy, while gaining tools to strengthen their capacity to generate much-needed revenue to sustain domestic violence prevention work in these tough economic times.
Ultimately, it is critical that the women who are survivors of violence get the support they need to re-claim their personal power. Shonda Hutton, assistant director of communications and government affairs of Time for Change Foundation explained “they need to learn to be fearless, to step out on faith and take a stand about something that they want to change – whether that be in one’s own life, or in the community. That’s what it means to lead with strength.”