Looking back at our origins, I reflect on how our founding mothers got it just right when they planted the seeds of Marin Abused Women’s Services. The clarity about the problem of violence against women, the deeply felt sense of urgency from women that this violence must stop, and the bigger hope and dream that a small seed organization in Marin County would do its part as a contributor to the larger effort to end domestic violence and all violence against women was all codified in our original organizational DNA.
Today, 39 years later, the organization is still expressing itself consistent with its original seeds. When you consider the advances we have made this last year alone – including the development of the deeply-grounded theoretical work under way to address the needs of children exposed to domestic violence – it indicates to me that the right mixture of nutrients exist in C4DP’s organizational soil that are required for the continued creation of the fertile conditions necessary to support our visionary leadership, innovation, and excellence.
While the founding mothers didn’t have the capacity to fully understand the far-reaching impact their original conceptualization of women’s liberation would have on the world stage, the DNA was programmed for us to deepen our roots over time. Because of this, in addition to promoting women’s rights, we have evolved to the point where we can teach critical thinking and emotional liberation, all toward changing people’s choice of conduct to not be violent. Our DNA also blessed us with the ability to be adaptive to changing conditions and needs. Because of this, we see an organization today that is able to move, respond, incorporate, and learn from changes in our environment – changes resulting in our deeper understanding of ending violence, and expansion of our reach to be more inclusive.
That so many here, board, staff, volunteers, collaborators, donors, and participants care so deeply about the life of C4DP suggests to me that if we continue to pay attention to what the organization needs to thrive, the organization will in turn continue to live up to its promise and its full potential. At our best, we are collectively “consummate gardeners.” Paying attention to the elements required to foster our fertile soil, we allow C4DP’s continued growth to reach for those skylights and spawn new leaves.
In closing, I add that it is an honor to continue to work with the inspirational, talented, and committed individuals who make up C4DP. For all the domestic violence that exists, and the oppression of women that continues in the world, the decline of that violence is something we can all celebrate as we continue in pursuit of safety, justice, and equality for all.
Blessings to all!
-- Donna Garske, Executive Director