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On Wednesday evening, May 9, 2012, the Joyful Heart Foundation staff, Board of Directors and hundreds of supporters gathered in downtown New York for the Fifth Annual Joyful Revolution Gala. And joyful it was. From the moment guests stepped into the vast space of Cipriani Wall Street from the dreary rain, joy was everywhere. It was in the voices of the choir full of young people whose powerful voices filled the room. It was in the stories of the young students who spoke up about how they do their part to turn towards these issues by speaking up, volunteering and rallying their classmates, teachers and school administrators to do the same.
Created in June 2010, the Honolulu 5K For Kids is a local not-for-profit event that helps promote health and fitness for Hawai‘i's children, as well as their families, to create a more active and healthy lifestyle.
We were so grateful to get up and get moving as part of this day with families across Honolulu and Zippy’s Restaurants, a leading sponsor of the event and corporate partner in the One Strong ‘Ohana campaign. Zippy’s generously donated their booth at the finish line to the campaign, where we were able to provide information and resources to families about preventing child abuse and neglect in Hawai‘i.
Denim Day is an award-winning annual sexual violence prevention and education campaign started by our Los Angeles-based partner, Peace Over Violence. It grew out of a 1990s Italian Supreme Court case in which the Court's decision overturned a rape conviction because the victim wore tight jeans. The judges reasoned the victim’s tight jeans meant that she had to have helped her assailant remove them, implying consent. People all over the world were outraged, and wearing jeans became an international symbol of protest against erroneous and destructive attitudes and myths surrounding sexual assault.
Earlier this month, we on Joyful Heart Foundation’s Healing & Wellness team had the pleasure of traveling to Washington DC to attend the Second World Conference of Women’s Shelters. The historic gathering brought approximately 1,500 advocates from 96 countries to the United States. The goal was to discuss strategies for helping the one in three women from around the globe that will be affected by gender based violence during their lifetimes. The week was filled with thought-provoking conversations and cross-cultural connections. For me, it was a time of reconnecting with old colleagues and forging new partnerships with advocates from the U.S. to Australia to Africa who are all dedicated to ending violence against all women and girls.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the Joyful Heart Foundation hosted our very first Los Angeles fundraising event, Joy Rocks, at the home of all things rock, the House of Blues. We gathered to honor the men who are playing such an important role in the movement to end sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse and to celebrate the work of our LA community.
The Verizon Foundation, a leader in engaging men to end violence and abuse, presented Joy Rocks and WOLF Films served as the event’s underwriter. The event was also graciously hosted by our Los Angeles Committee, which is made up of a group of passionately dedicated individuals who believe in Joyful Heart’s mission and shared vision for our community.
On Tuesday, January 17th, over 100 individuals gathered for the unveiling of the One Strong 'Ohana campaign. The Joyful Heart Foundation—together with the Hawai'i Children's Trust Fund—coordinated the effort with the generous support of the Hawai'i Community Foundation, which hosted the event in downtown Honolulu. The press conference-style event commenced with welcoming remarks from Aileen Deese, Program Director of Prevent Child Abuse Hawaii and member of the Hawai'i Children's Trust Fund's Advisory Committee. Aileen commented on what a powerful message it was to have representatives from the government in attendance, including Lt. Governor Brian Schatz, Bruce Coppa, Chief of Staff to Governor Neil Abercrombie and the Director of the Department of Health, Loretta Fuddy.
On October 27th, in honor of National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we were proud to partner with our friends at Bank of America and the Verizon Foundation on a powerful screening of Telling Amy’s Story--the first screening of this film by a major financial corporation. When Joyful Heart first began talking to Bank of America about hosting an event to raise awareness of domestic violence, we immediately thought of engaging our partners at Verizon and sharing Telling Amy’s Story as a platform to ignite discussion.
With the support of LEAD, Bank of America's internal women's group, the event was held at Bank of America’s headquarters in New York City. It drew a crowd of nearly 75 women and men from commercial banking, private banking, retail, risk, compliance, human resources and other lines of business.
As the sun dipped gracefully into the Pacific Ocean, 25 leaders and philanthropists from the Honolulu community gathered at the Kahala Hotel and Resort to learn how to join the Joyful Revolution in Hawai‘i. The event was organized by the Hawai‘i Hearts, a group of women dedicated to promoting the mission of the Joyful Heart Foundation through building connection and raising awareness about JHF’s work in the local community. Guests were greeted by members of the Hawai‘i Hearts and JHF Board member Dr. Kalei Kanuha then invited to mingle on the lawn against the panoramic backdrop of the eastern coastline of O‘ahu. The cocktail reception featured Hawai‘i-style appetizers, gentle ocean breezes, views of Koko Head crater and many joyful moments of togetherness.
On June 15, 2011, representatives from Joyful Heart joined a statewide coalition of advocates, law enforcement officials, survivors and policymakers in Albany, New York State’s capital city, to advocate for legislation to expand New York State’s DNA Databank. We met with representatives from both political parties in the Senate and Assembly, as well as members of the press.
We went with a simple message: pass legislation to collect DNA samples from more convicted criminal offenders.
On May 17, 2011, hundreds of supporters of the Joyful Heart Foundation gathered for an evening of celebration, of hope and of spirit at the Fourth Annual Joyful Heart Gala at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. At this year’s Gala, we asked the question "How Will You Join the Joyful Revolution?":
In 2009, at Joyful Heart’s Second Annual Gala, the Joyful Revolution was born: a movement of our collective vision for a community that collaboratively ends the cycle of violence and abuse by turning toward the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. At last year’s Gala, the Revolution Continued as we honored the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which changed the way violent crimes against women are prosecuted and prevented. And this year, we celebrated how far our Joyful Revolution has come and looked to the years ahead by asking How Will You Join?