LEAP (Leadership Education and Advancement for Professionals) Cohort 2
Margaret SauzaSure Helpline Crisis Center
Qudsia RajaYWCA USA
Regina MalveauxYWCA of Spokane
“Regina Malveaux is the CEO of the YWCA of Spokane. She began her career as a Legal Advocate at the YWCA of San Diego and previously served as Executive Director of the YWCA of South Hampton Roads. Ms. Malveaux is recognized as a tenacious advocate for women, youth and children. Ms. Malveaux has served on a number of boards aimed at advancing racial justice and economic empowerment including the San Diego NAACP, San Diego Dress for Success, and Second Chance.
Ms. Malveaux holds an undergraduate degree in Social Policy from San Diego State University and a law degree from Howard University School of Law. During law school, sheÂ served as both a White House and Congressional Intern, for First Lady Hillary Clinton and then Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Honorable Maxine Waters. SheÂ has also worked to train a new generation of advocates as an adjunct professor in Political, Womenâ€™s and African American studies at La Sierra University, San Diego State University, and at the Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Old Dominion University and is the author of the chapter “”Women and Children First?: How Low Income Women & Children Have Fared Since the War on Poverty”” in 2014’s The War on Poverty: A Retrospective published by Lexington Books.
Ms. Malveaux is the mother of two adult children.”
Vickie Frederick-ToureDomestic Violence Project Safehouse Center
Barbara GibsonWomen's Resource Center to End Domestic Violence
Barbara Gibson is the Safehouse Director at Women’s Resource Center (WRC) and has been providing advocacy to survivors of abuse and trauma since she joined WRC in 1990.
For many years, she served as the organization’s Family Advocate, conducting home visits and providing individualized support to survivors in the community. In September of 2007, Barbara assumed the position of safe house director, overseeing all operations of the safe house and providing emotional support, goal setting and transition services to adult residents.
Barbara has appeared on a variety of radio and television programs to explain the importance of providing safe places for victims of domestic violence, including children.
Barbara is strongly committed to partnering with women to create safe and stable lives that honor their highest vision of themselves. She encourages women to challenge limiting assumptions, shift perspectives, and combine cherished values with actionable goals to create a new normal.
Barbara is a strong advocate for radical self-care and includes opportunities for practice within the Safehouse program.
Denise BurnsThe Women's Safe House
Denise is currently the Director of Residential Services at The Women’s Safe House. She is responsible for the complete oversight of residential client services, including case management, support services, food services and building operation.Â Denise also supervises sixteen residential staffÂ and maintains coverage for a 50-bed shelter facility.Â She has previously held the position of Executive Director at The Good Samaritan Services for the Homeless. Where she was
Dorothy HectorSafety Net For Abused Persons
Dorothy Hector is the Children Coordinator at Safety Net for Abused Persons.
She has work in the School District in Springfield Illinois for 9 years as a Teacher Aid working with children and adults with learning disabilities and mental illness. She then moved to Broken Arrow , Oklahoma. where she worked in the School District as a Paraprofessional, working with Special Needs Children. Dorothy also worked for Gateway Foundation for 9 years as Supervisor House Manger. She has held many positions such as, Child Advocate, Survivor Advocate, Direct Service Coordinator centered on working with children.
Dorothy is a wife mother of 2, children & 1 step-son, a grandmother to 5.
Elsa MartinezStrength United
Elsa Martinez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that received her M.S. in Counseling with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from CSUN in 2009. Elsa has been an advocate for sexual abuse and domestic violence for 9 years and has been providing therapeutic services to sexual abuse and domestic violence survivors for 8 years. For the past year Elsa has been providing services to Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC) and is a member of multiple CSEC task forces.
Kate LessardThe Center for Hope and Healing, Inc.
Kate Lessard is the Director of Programs at The Center for Hope and Healing. She holds a BS in Psychology, and currently she is completing her last year master degree program in social work at Boston University. She was born and raised in Brazil. In 1986, she set off to America accompanied by her suitcase, her dreams and her boundless curiosity. She has been part of the breakthroughs women are making in this society and she has been inspired by the strength each one of them exhibits every day in the face of adversity. Kate’s professional experience consists of working with survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and her long-time commitment to social justice is reflected in her 20+ years’ work history. In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, her young adult son, and friends. Her hobbies include soccer, singing, playing guitar, dancing and traveling.
Kena ChavezTewa Women United
Kena Leigh Chavez is an enrolled member of the Pueblo De Cochiti, NM. She is also from the Hopi Tribe from the Village of Walpi and is of the Coyote Clan.
Ms. Chavez is the Tewa Women United (TWU) V.O.I.C.E.S. Program Manager, a culturally-based response to sexual violence and other trauma related to sexual violence in the diverse communities located in Rio Arriba and northern Santa Fe counties, and the Pueblo and Tribal Nations in New Mexico. Previous to TWU, Ms. Chavez worked with both her Pueblo & Hopi Tribes. She formerly served as the Social Services/ICWA Coordinator for Pueblo De Cochiti, Project Coordinator for The Hopi-Tewa Women’s Coalition to End Abuse.
Ms. Chavez is a survivor of sexual assault & domestic violence. She shares her story openly in hopes that she can help at least one of her listeners.
She has a handsome son, Yursh age 17, and two beautiful daughters, Skada age 12 and CeCeKa age 10.
La Donna M. CombsSisters Against Abuse Society, (SAAS)
La Donna M. Combs is an author, counselor, professor and advocate with over 14 years of experience with victims and survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Dating Violence and Stalking. She is the President and founder of the Sisters Against abuse Society also known as SAAS. SAAS is a culturally specific faith-based organization that provides, hope, help and healing to victims of domestic and sexual violence within the black and African American Community. La Donna also is a curriculum specialist and advisor for the University of Minnesota’s Social Work’s Department’s African American Domestic Peace Project and also a member of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community. She is a licensed minister in the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World and is featured in the 2010 documentary, Speaking of Faith an educational tool for churches and best practices for addressing domestic violence. La Donna sits on several boards and steering committees including; Transformation Detroit and the Women of Color Task Force of Michigan. Her Organization is also a member of the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. She has been the program director for a 26 bed shelter and Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program at the AWARE Shelter in Jackson, Michigan. She has also participated and written curriculum and performed law enforcement training and working with mainstream service providers and civil entities in Michigan for culturally specific domestic violence education and services. She is continuing to do groundbreaking work in the black and African American to save the lives of women and children experience domestic violence and sexual assault.
Lisa A. AmbroseAmani Community Services
Ms. Ambrose began her career in the human service field where she started out as a social worker with social services agencies. Then later she worked for the school system as a Family Support Worker for many years as a liaison between the parents and staff. Ms. Ambrose has worked with diverse populations
Olivia AlvarezYWCA GLA Sexual Assault Crisis Services
Ms. Alvarez started as an intern/volunteer for the sexual assault program and currently serves as the Site Manager of the South Bay Empowerment Services for the YWCA Greater Los Angeles Sexual Assault Crisis Services. She has worked for over eight years addressing the issue of sexual violence in her community and recently in the South Bay area. Helping victims of sexual assault find their voice and empowering them is her primary goal. Ms. Alvarez assists victims through the 24-hour hotline, support them at the hospital, law enforcement agencies and courts, provide advocacy and community education. Additionally, she serves as a trainer/instructor on Sexual Assault and Self- Defense classes.
Rosa BeltreOhio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
Rosa is currently the Training & Advocacy Director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV). She will serve as the Interim Executive Director of OAESV on December 16, 2016.
Rosa is an ordained Minister of the Spanish Pentecostal Churches, and the Regional Social Service Director of her Faith community. She serves as a facilitator, Training Consultant and keynote speaker for organizations who seek her expertise in understanding abuse through the Eyes of the Bible, Latino Cultural Competency and Bridging the gap between faith base organizations, Community agencies and social justice.
Rosa has spent the last 15 years training, cultivating community relations, providing development to organizations and communities focused on fair housing, child abuse, sexual assault/abuse, volunteerism, financial literacy, Church Call to Action, among others. She is action driven, passionate about Women of Color empowerment, knowledge, enriching the life of others and provoking change. AGENT OF CHANGE, LIVES TO EMPOWER & TRANSFORM.
Teresa M. StaffordCleveland Rape Crisis Center
Teresa Stafford has over 20 years of providing direct service to both offenders and victims of crime. Teresa is the Senior Director of Advocacy and Outreach at Cleveland Rape Crisis Center where she oversees CRCC’s, 24 hour response to the community, advocacy and outreach programs. Prior to returning to Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Teresa was the Victim Witness Coordinator for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office where she created the Victim Witness Unit. In addition to her current role Teresa is the Cuyahoga County Sexual Assault Response Team Coordinator and Board President for Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence
Angelita Velasco GunnAWARE, Inc.
Angelita Velasco Gunn is currently the Executive Director of AWARE, Inc., whose mission is to eliminate domestic and sexual violence while promoting social change and empowering survivors by offering shelter and services.
Crystal WeaverLost and Found Christian Association
“Crystal Weaver is the Founder and Executive Director of Lost and Found Association, a grassroots organization of compassionate Christian individuals who understand tough decisions need to be made in order to produce measurable results. We have built a team of like minded individuals who walk in Christian faith and understanding the validity of biblical principles as the key to ultimate healing is the sustaining for successful breakthrough within an individual. Lost and Found Association is dedicated to saving, healing, empowering, and renewing the lives of our female clients and their children who have been in domestic violence and sexual abuse situations.
While working in management and public relations for over 15 years Crystal has developed a proactive transformational christian-based program which has become the foundation of Lost and Found Association’s collaborative approach to empowerment. Crystal has developed a comprehensive network of personal and professional contacts with key community leaders who support the mission of Lost and Found Association.”