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Serving the Latinx Community
Reaching Latinx communities in D.C. means being prepared to first learn from the community to then build a foundation of trust.
Safe Shores is committed to making our services accessible to local Latinx children and families.
Bilingual Prevention Specialists/Advocates, Alejandra “Ale” Monroy and Benny Del Castillo, MSW, have been going out to the community to introduce Safe Shores’ prevention program to nonprofit organizations, child development centers, and faith congregations that primarily serve the Latinx community.
“Ale and Benny have been working thoughtfully to connect and build relationships with organizations that serve the Latinx community. This effort is resulting in several promising connections highlighting specific needs of the community and will allow us to successfully collaborate for future trainings and outreach efforts,” says Ashley Harrell, M.A., NCC, Director of Client Advocacy, Prevention and Outreach.
Most recently, Safe Shores has conducted Stewards of Children® child sexual abuse prevention trainings in Spanish at De Colores Learning Center located in D.C.’s Takoma neighborhood and at Safe Shores.
The Latinx population in D.C. is 10.9 percent of the city’s 693,972 population, according to the latest census data. It comprises U.S.-born residents and immigrants from a diverse mix of countries across Latin America.
Safe Shores is here to serve all children and families affected by child abuse in D.C. and to prevent child abuse through education and training. We’re excited about our growing capacity to connect with D.C.’s Latinx communities.
Pack to School
This is what it looks like when more than 30 volunteers join Safe Shores in packing backpacks for more than 155 children affected by child abuse in D.C. Shout-out to All-Purpose Pizzeria (Shaw location) and Buttercream Bakeshop for donating fun food for P2S 2018!
Celebrating Our ED’s 15th Anniversary!
For the past fifteen years, Michele Booth Cole has served as Executive Director of Safe Shores. In honor of Michele’s service, Safe Shores Board Chair Rachel S. Kronowitz, together with her husband Mark Lewis, hosted a reception on July 18th at their D.C. home. So much fun! And the food…Wow! Compliments to the chef, none other than Rachel “The Barefoot Contessa of D.C.” Kronowitz.
Safe Shores Supporter Maurice McClanahan
First to Receive New Award
Being a trailblazer is not new to Maurice McClanahan, the founder of the #SantaCause giving campaign. On June 10th, the Safe Shores supporter became the first recipient of the National Children Alliance’s (NCA) brand-new Innovative Program/Practice Award.
NCA, the national association and accrediting body for Children’s Advocacy Centers, created the honor to recognize an individual or a group that has demonstrated innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness in the development and implementation of programs, practices, or public awareness campaigns in Children’s Advocacy Center or NCA Chapter. Mr. McClanahan received the Innovative Program/Practice Award at NCA’s 2018 leadership conference held in D.C. in June.
Known in the rap community as Mo Betta, Mr. McClanahan is a highly respected and talented music artist in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia region. He currently has 4,500+ followers on Twitter (@Betta_Mo) and 5,400+ followers on Instagram (@betta_mo).
In 2012, Mr. McClanahan launched #SantaCause specifically to benefit the work and mission of Safe Shores. For the past six years, Mr. McClanahan has dedicated himself between September 1st and December 31st to fundraise for this cause.
“In leveraging his vast social network and professional connections for Safe Shores, Maurice not only has raised funds but also has increased our social capital and public awareness that protecting children is the responsibility of all adults,” says Safe Shores’ Executive Director Michele Booth Cole.
Through Mr. McClanahan’s outreach, internationally-known, homegrown musicians Wale and Raheem DeVaughn, as well as local radio personalities Poet Taylor and Sunni, have engaged with Safe Shores. Ms. Taylor has even become a board member!
In December 2017, Mr. McClanahan retired #SantaCause, having raised $100,000 over six years, topping off at $33,500 in the final year. BUT, his retirement didn’t last long: in May 2018, he announced the return of the giving campaign!
In accepting the award, Mr. McClanahan said, “You know, we rappers at awards shows thank God. But, I have a real reason to thank Him. And that being for laughing at me when I said I was done.”
Life Stories, Good Music, and Festive Balloons at Safe Shores’ Cherishing Childhood Luncheon
For guests at Safe Shores’ sixth annual Cherishing Childhood event, the experience felt like a concert, motivational retreat, and seminar all wrapped into one teachable, feel-good, think-deeply moment. And yet, the event spanned less than two fast-moving hours in the afternoon of May 16th at D.C.’s Dupont Hotel.
Under the direction of Dr. Rickey Payton, the award-winning Urban Nation H.I.P. H.O.P. choir warmed up the lunchtime audience with irresistible, singalong hits while a dance artist freestyled in the foreground of a balloon-festooned stage.
Fox 5 anchor Ms. Shawn Yancy emceed the annual event designed to raise awareness about child abuse and inspire individuals to donate to Safe Shores. During her remarks, Ms. Yancy stated, “It’s up to each of us to protect kids 365!”
Former Safe Shores client Ms. Whytne Wylie, 33, told her story of trauma and healing, moving many guests to tears. At one point, she shared the heartbreaking experience she found herself in: “What do you do when you find out the man you’re about to marry sexually abused his niece and could be sexually abusing your daughter?”
Safe Shores’ Executive Director Michele Booth Cole shouted out the vast network of volunteers, staff, MDT members, and donors who support the work of Safe Shores. “One of the best parts of working at Safe Shores is that I get to be around VIPs. I love hanging around VIPs because they live with such purpose, clarity and consistency. VIP’s are my kind of people. Let me be clear here. By VIP, I mean Very INTENTIONAL PEOPLE,” she stated.
Safe Shores’ board member, radio host, and child abuse survivor Ms. Poet Taylor encouraged guests to donate to Safe Shores and courageously talked about her personal experience. “When I finally worked up the courage at age 14 to tell someone about what my father did to me, I thought the worst was behind me. I was wrong,” Ms. Taylor shared.
Cherishing Childhood ended with guests not only dancing in their seats and on their feet to the Urban Nation H.I.P. H.O.P. choir, but also pledging more than $100,000 to Safe Shores in support of our work and mission.
Sharing Our Work with D.C. Officials
Each April, we turn a conference room in the Wilson Building into a breakfast buffet for D.C. Council members and their staffs. The annual event is a great way to observe Child Abuse Prevention Month while keeping the Council informed of our mission, work, and ongoing need for support.
Council Chair Phil Mendelson, Councilmembers Brianne K. Nadeau and Brandon T. Todd, and many staffers stopped by for the annual event held this year on April 26th.
Honored to Co-sponsor Parenting Conference Featuring Anti-Corporal Punishment Activist
Dr. Stacey Patton!
Shout-out to Conference Presenter, Nation’s Capital Mothers Group
On a Saturday afternoon in April at DC Prep’s hilltop campus in Anacostia, dozens of parents heard Dr. Stacey Patton, college professor and author, explain why spanking children is NOT a good thing.
Author of Spare the Kids: Why Whupping Children Won’t Save Black America, Dr. Patton spoke on April 28th at the Parenting Empowerment Conference presented by Nation’s Capital Mothers Group and supported by a host of sponsors, including Safe Shores, DC Prep chartered schools, Ascensions Psychological & Community Services, Inc., and Giant®.
In addition to the keynote, the conference offered workshops on raising black boys and girls, the importance of self-care for parents, building the father-son relationship, responsive parenting, and internet child safety. Safe Shores’ Michele Booth Cole conducted a Stewards of Children® child abuse prevention training, as well.
International Visitors to Safe Shores
We are always pleased to take international visitors on a tour of Safe Shores and expound on the Children’s Advocacy Center model. #SpreadingTheMission
The Hon. Rosana Schaack, Liberian House of Representatives member and executive director of Touching Humanity in Need of Kindness (THINK), visited Safe Shores in June.
The Hon. Dr. David Gillespie MP, Australia’s Assistant Minister for Children and Families, visited in July.
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