The Jenesse Center recently hosted a star studded celebrity gala.
- The Jenesse Center is a domestic violence shelter funded by five black women who are themselves DV survivors.
- The services offered are culturally competent.
- They pay attention to the needs of children as DV survivors (not every DV shelter acknowledges that children should be handled with care, and treated as DV survivors as well)
- They serve populations that are typically underserved. <3
- The mission statement is pretty awesome, IMO (it mentions that men have to be part of the conversation, and that women and children are their “primary” clients, but not exclusive)
The gala itself featured several black stars, and stars with connections to black artists. The main attraction of the gala was Halle Berry, who worked at the Jenesse Center for her community service 11 years ago when she was involved in a hit and run. She became passionate about Jenesse and has stayed involved ever since. Her current Jenesse project is upgrading facilities and getting designers to make them more modern and comfortable. Such details may sound trivial, but living in an institutional-looking place doesn’t make for an auspicious new beginning – a more homey shelter may cut down on people giving up and returning to abusers for fear they can’t make a new start that’s worth making. From this article: “Greene said, “What is so special about the “What A Little Love Can Do Project” is that it really grew out of Jenesse’s philosophy that when women feel valued, they feel self-empowered and when they feel self-empowered, they know they can leave their past behind them and conquer the world.”
Halle Berry is herself a survivor of domestic violence. In the interview I just linked to, she talks about her mother’s experience as a battered woman and her own experiences as a child growing up in an abusive household. Her volunteering, I think, highlights how savvy Halle Berry is as both a social entrepeneur and compassionate person.
The Center also offers a variety of opportunities for leadership experience for area youth.
- Volunteer if you’re local.
- Donate (money or resources) if you’re not.
- Spread the word by linking to them.