Letter to the Editor: Strengthening Advocacy for Societal Change

Several years ago, HELP of Door County created vision and mission statements that continue to reflect our values: 

Vision statement: We desire a world free of violence, that recognizes the uniqueness and capabilities of all persons; where all people have access to resources; where all people respect each other and appreciate differences.

Mission statement: The Mission of HELP of Door County is to eliminate domestic abuse through prevention and intervention services, and to advocate for social change.

In light of the murders of Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC), which highlighted the ongoing, unequal racial and gender system in this country and our community; and in light of the connection between systems of oppression and domestic violence, we, the board members of HELP of Door County, pledge to live into our vision and mission, particularly advocating for societal change. We will do this by:

• Diversifying our board of directors to better represent the people we serve.

• Committing to our community to educate ourselves concerning racial and gender bias and de-escalation best practices, and committing to conversations and collaboration with those who are tasked with public safety.

• Partnering with educational institutions to ensure that curricula include anti-racist and domestic-violence-prevention training. 

• Working with nonprofits and government institutions to ensure that marginalized people are afforded opportunities for employment that create a pathway for leadership positions.

It is our fervent hope that we will seize the opportunity to create a just, inclusive “beloved community” here in Door County.

HELP of Door County Board of Directors: 

Stephanie Birmingham, Ava Carmody, Jennifer Carpenter, Susan Farley, Don Heeringa, Paul Kok, Jean (Gwen) Severson (chair), Mary Ellen Smith, Dawn Volpe, Christine Webb-Miller, Kay Wilson, Moises Zahler