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We’ve heard it a million times. Every day, every kid in every backseat wants to know when the long journey to the grocery store, to grandma’s house— to wherever—will end. At the Joyful Heart Foundation, and in this collective movement, we are also on a journey. The destination? The end of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. We, too, ask, “are we there yet?”
On May 29, 2014, we were joined by our community of supporters at the Joyful Revolution gala, a celebration of our 10th anniversary—what you’ve made possible along our journey, what is to come, what the end of violence and abuse looks like.
In collaboration with A CALL TO MEN, a leading organization working to get men involved in ending violence against women, Joyful Heart hosted a two-part series of events called Talk Story. Our goal was to educate and engage our community in Hawai‘i on men’s role in ending violence.
Our first event—for our community of philanthropic supporters—was hosted at the home of Rick Blangiardi. A CALL TO MEN's Ted Bunch presented to approximately 70 attendees on the socialization of men and men’s responsibility in ending violence against women, focusing in particular on how parents can teach their sons to be respectful. The following day, we hosted a community event in Honolulu with over 80 attendees froma broad cross-section of community members and service providers.
Members of the Joyful Heart team, including our Founder & President, Mariska Hargitay, were honored to be in Detroit to celebrate this progress and address the work that is yet to come.Our visit included an event to help raise the funds needed for the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office to fully investigate and prosecute leads generated from rape kit testing, an educational visit with and speech by Mariska to members of the Michigan legislature and a press conference to update the community on the incredible progress being made in Detroit. But the true highlight of our visit was meeting with the deeply dedicated community members, who are putting not just their time and expertise—but their hearts—into ending Detroit's backlog.
On Wednesday, Mariska and I joined Vice President Biden on his trip to visit the headquarters of the National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) in Austin, Texas and commemorate National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Authorized in 1994 as part of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Hotline operates around the clock to provide free and confidential support to victims of domestic violence, just recently answering its three millionth call. Our visit included a tour of the Hotline where we met with nearly 100 advocates and members of NDVH leadership, as well as its corporate funders. We also we watched a demonstration of the new online chat feature funded by Verizon, which expands the lines of communication for those seeking help and information in a digital world, or to anyone who may not have access to a phone or the privacy needed to make a phone call safely.
On the evening of Thursday, September 26, 2013 at our biennial Los Angeles event, JoyROCKS, the Joyful Heart staff, board, LA committee members and 350 of our dedicated supporters turned out to celebrate Joyful Heart’s work and the launch the NO MORE PSA campaign. Only our second-ever gala in Los Angeles, it was an unforgettable night, made possible by our co-chairs Shelli Azoff, Adi Greenberg, Helen Kinnear, Christa Miller, Heather Mnuchin, Christina Noonan, Noelle Wolf and Joyful Heart’s LA Committee. Sponsored by GTE Agency and Wolf Films, JoyROCKS was made even more remarkable by our venue, Milk Studios, which holds a special place in our hearts and in the history of the NO MORE PSA campaign.
Following the success of our February Los Angeles event with LANVIN, Joyful Heart and the couture fashion house partnered again in July for an event in the Hamptons. Joyful Heart Board Member, Carrie Shumway, graciously opened her beautiful home in Southampton, NY, and the adjoining beach provided the perfect setting for a social afternoon. Nearly 100 women gathered from both the east and west coasts to support and learn more about Joyful Heart’s transformative work. The event was hosted by Nina Davidson, Susan Dunlevy, Lise Evans, Mariska Hargitay, Heather Mnuchin, Mary Kathryn Navab, Sukey Novogratz, Carrie Shumway, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Adelina Wong Ettelson and Caryn Zucker.
On May 9, 2013, Joyful Heart staff, board members and supporters gathered to celebrate the Joyful Revolution at our 2013 annual gala. This year’s theme was YES RISK JOY. These words were borrowed from a poem by Louise Glück called snowdrops, and this theme echoed throughout Cipriani 42nd Street that night—from the beautiful installation at the entrance of the space that brought written word to life, to the moving story of our work, told by the evening’s host, Peter Hermann. Mariska Hargitay, Joyful Heart’s Founder & President, was so proud to honor Joyful Heart board member Sukey Novogratz with this year’s Heart of Gold Award.
On March 13, 2013, Joyful Heart joined our partners in Washington D.C. for the public launch of NO MORE, the nation’s first unifying awareness symbol to end domestic violence and sexual assault. It was an electrifying and historic day, bringing crucial discussion and unprecedented light to our issues. NO MORE Day of Action came on the heels of the President’s reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, 400 days after the bill’s expiration and subsequent debate in Congress. For members of the field who work with these issues, the timing of the day underscored the necessity to come together as a united front to say NO MORE to bystanding, silence and violence against women and children.
A gorgeous, sunny day—the kind that exist only in southern California—set the stage for the LANVIN collection preview and luncheon to benefit the Joyful Heart Foundation and to toast Mariska’s birthday. The event was hosted by the LA Committee along with Jenny Belushi, Helen Kinnear, Crystal Lourd, Heather Mnuchin and Noelle Wolf and took place on February 1st at Heather’s home of in Los Angeles. This collection preview and luncheon provided a wonderful opportunity to bring together some of the LA’s most influential women and share the tremendous importance of Joyful Heart’s work and how the vision of one woman—Mariska—has transformed the lives of so many women and children.
Never was the beauty and magic of our Hawai‘i community more evident that on the evening of September 1st, when we celebrated Joyful Heart’s inaugural Hawai‘i gala, an event we called our “Joyful Mele.” It was the culmination of a year’s worth of planning and the fulfillment of an inspired dream that our Founder and President, Mariska Hargitay, had eight years ago. The event was hosted at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, an idyllic venue positioned at the end of the Kahala neighborhood, just to the east of famed Diamond Head and hugged by the beautiful waters of the Pacific Ocean.