Womankind emerges from NYC Asian Women’s Center

New York, N.Y. On the heels of President Trump’s inauguration and historic women’s marches all over the world, the New York Asian Women’s Center changed its name to Womankind, and they say their new name has even more significance in Trump’s New America: “We have been considering changing our name for a while now to create an identity that speaks to the power of our unique ways of thinking and doing – changing paradigms, building and healing,” said Larry Lee, executive director of Womankind. “And to show that we are more inclusive and transforming.”

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The inspiring new logo. Image: Courtesy of Womankind.

The organization has been a leader in providing innovative and award-winning multilingual and culturally responsive services to survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual violence and later in life abuse for the past 35 years. Womankind has helped Asian women and their children rise above trauma and build a path to healing through counseling, safe and confidential emergency housing, immigration and legal services, economic empowerment programs and so much more.

Womankind Staff & Board MembersWomankind Staff and Board Members. Photo: Hannah Bae.

Representatives from the organization also revealed the trailer of a short film co-directed by Benjamin Ross and Brittany Neff of Co.Reality called “Rise Above,” which premiered during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, last month. The virtual reality (VR) film focuses on Brittany D, a young South Asian survivor of sexual violence and was produced by Oculus’ “VR For Good” initiative, which selected 10 non-profits from around the world to participate. Facebook, who now owns Oculus, has provided marketing support through social media advertising dollars.

Ben & Brittany @Oculus HouseCo-Directors Benjamin Ross & Brittany Neff outside
the Oculus House at Sundance. 
Photo: JINGO Media.

“It was great to be able to tell my story of abuse through the medium of virtual reality and to be able to share the film through social media,” said Brittany D. “I hope the film encourages more people from my generation to report abuse and speak out against violence.” The “VR for Good” initiative will make its rounds through the film festival circuit and will, eventually, be available to view in its entirety on the organization’s recently revamped web site, www.iamwomankind.org (watch trailer of the short film here).

Mail Attachment“Rise Above,” a short film that premiered at Sundance, features a young
South Asian survivor of sexual violence. 
Photo: JINGO Media.

The organization also announced the opening of a new community office in Brooklyn, which will now allow advocates to provide services for double the number of victims from that community. The Brooklyn Center makes for a total of THREE community offices and TWO emergency residences that Womankind manages in New York.

Brooklyn Community CenterThe new Community Center in Brooklyn. Photo: Courtesy of Womankind.

In a soulful and pitch-perfect performance, Indie rock artist Queen V ended the press conference on a high note by singing and strumming her rendition of “Broken Wings,” which is now available on Itunes for download. Proceeds from the sales will benefit Womankind.

Queen V PerformingQueen V’s performance performed at the press conference. Photo: Yinan Xia.

I know well the anguish caused by sexual abuse from my own personal journey. Womankind allows those abused to begin the transformation of healing immediately. The press conference and subsequent interviews with their dedicated staff brought up a complex mix of emotions as I remembered my childhood suffering. I am personally thankful that Womankind allows those abused to not wait half a century for closure as I did.

We should all applaud Womankind’s resilience and persistence for tackling the issue of violence against women within a culture that is taught to remain silent about abuse because of shame and social stigma. We can only hope there will not be a need for Womankind another 35 years from now.

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About Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens

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Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens
Jim Luce (www.lucefoundation.org) writes and speaks on Thought Leaders and Global Citizens. Bringing 26 years management experience within both investment banking and the non-profit sector, Jim has worked for Daiwa Bank, Merrill Lynch, a spin-off of Lazard Freres, and two not-for profit organizations and a foundation he founded. As Founder & CEO of Orphans International Worldwide (www.oiww.org), he is working with a strong network of committed professionals to build interfaith, interracial, Internet-connected orphanages in Haiti and Indonesia, and creating a new, family-care model for orphans in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

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