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On a sunny morning in April, dozens of advocates from the movement to end violence—all wearing denim—gathered on the steps of City Hall in to commemorate Denim Day of Action in New York City, a day recognized across the country as one to raise awareness, support survivors and debunk myths and misconceptions surrounding sexual violence.
Joyful Heart Foundation staff members were proud to stand with advocates from the community including New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Makowitz, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and Council Member Julissa Ferreas at a press conference. Elected officials and representatives from community-based organizations called for effective community programming and education to prevent and end sexual assault and relationship violence, and both borough presidents and City Council presented proclamations officially declaring April 27, 2011 as Denim Day. We were joined by members of the media, who covered the event for local news outlets.
The Joyful Heart Foundation was honored to receive an award from the St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Crime Victims Treatment Center (CVTC) for Outstanding Service at its 16th Annual Advocate Certification and Award Ceremony.
Joyful Heart was recognized for our direct service retreat programs dedicated to healing and wellness for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Christine Vargo, Manager of New York Programs, accepted the award on behalf of Joyful Heart.
“The work that the Crime Victims Treatment Center does to empower survivors of violence through treatment, collaboration, education and research aligns well with our vision and together we can accomplish a tremendous amount towards a world that exists without violence,” Christine said in acceptance remarks. “This type of collaboration is one that we would like to model with agencies across the country.”
On March 7, 2011, colleagues, friends and dignitaries filled a large banquet hall to celebrate the life of the late, First Grade Special Victims Detective C. Lydia Martinez and to honor five recipients of the Lydia Martinez Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration Awards: Volunteer advocate Maegan Corcoran, Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner and Coordinator Glenda Guzman, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Violence Intervention and Treatment Program Coordinator Deesha Narichania, NYPD Special Victims Detective Richard Ortiz and Queens Assistant District Attorney Eric Rosenbaum.
Everyone knew Lydia for her strength, compassion, her indelible effect on the lives of survivors and the impact she had on the city’s collective response to sexual assault by law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates and medical personnel.
On a warm January evening, a group of Joyful Heart supporters gathered at a private home in Bel-Air to celebrate the work of the Foundation as well as the birthday of Joyful Heart’s founder and president, Mariska Hargitay. Over 120 guests were in attendance including Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Hilary Swank, Debra Messing, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Maria Bello, Blair Underwood, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Christa Miller, Camryn Manheim, Colleen and Bradley Bell, Kathy and Rick Hilton, Kristen Chan, Patricia and Dario De Luca, Tara Lynda Guber, Suzanne Lerner and Michael Cohen, Crystal and Blaine Lourd, Bridgette and Aaron Lubin, and Roberta Mariani. Tom Nunan, Stanley Schneider, Jill Eisenstadt-Chayet, Ashley McDermott, Neal Baer, Kalei Kanuha and Heather Mnuchin represented Joyful Heart's Board of Directors.
On December 7, 2010, Joyful Heart co-hosted the New York premiere of “Telling Amy’s Story,” a documentary that chronicles the events leading up to the death of Amy Homan McGee, a mother of two who was shot and killed by her husband. The documentary, funded by the Verizon Foundation, was created by Penn State Public Broadcasting and has aired on nearly 300 local public televisions stations, covering 85% of the US population. Mariska Hargitay introduced the documentary and took part in a question and answer session about domestic violence at the end of the film. Joyful Heart, along with a number of other partners, helped to develop the documentary.
On a cool fall evening in New York City, Joyful Heart held an intimate conversation about teen dating violence prevention to help raise awareness and inspire increased involvement from our joyful community. Generously hosted at the home of Joyful Heart Board Member Sukey Novogratz and her husband, Mike, the evening began with a panel discussion which was followed by a Q&A session. The event concluded with a night of incredible food and music—coordinated in Sukey’s incomparable style.
The program, entitled “Respect: A Conversation About Keeping Our Children, Tweens and Teens Safe from Dating Violence,” was kicked off with a gracious welcome from Sukey, who shared Joyful Heart’s vision for a community empowered with knowledge about teen dating abuse that would turn its collective attention to addressing the issue.
The Joyful Heart Foundation was honored to be a part of the 2010 National Sexual Assault Conference that convened in Los Angeles in early September. The conference is an annual gathering of sexual assault advocates, counselors, prevention activists, policy makers, community organizers, government officials and others that make up the diverse sexual assault movement. This year, over 900 people attended the conference that was organized around the theme "Building the world we want to live in."
As the sun was setting over the Pacific, a lively crowd gathered at Neiman Marcus, event host and underwriting sponsor, for an evening celebrating Joyful Heart's work in Hawai‘i.
One hundred fifty local philanthropists, business leaders, advocates and program partners joined Joyful Heart Founder & President, Mariska Hargitay, along with Joyful Heart Board Chairman, Tom Nunan, and Board members Valli Kalei Kanuha and Peter Hermann, for an event that brought people together to learn more about Joyful Heart's six years working in the community as well as our plans for the future.
On a beautiful, breezy afternoon near the coast of Hawai‘i, over 30 advocates, working in the fields of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, gathered together with the Joyful Heart Foundation to talk about the challenges of working on sexual and family violence, and the possibilities presented when different groups come together in partnership.
The guests sat around a long-oval shaped table as the late afternoon sun warmed the room just enough to make everyone comfortable. Joyful Heart Board Member and Hawai‘i Advisory Committee Chair, Valli Kalei Kanuha, started the afternoon off by acknowledging the extraordinary wisdom and expertise gathered around the table.
In celebration of Michael Stars' first east coast boutique opening in East Hampton, Mariska Hargitay, Founder & President of the Joyful Heart Foundation, along with Hamptons Magazine, hosted an invitation-only shopping event to benefit Joyful Heart on Saturday, July 24. During the two-hour private event, guests had the opportunity to mingle with Michael Cohen and be the first to shop from the Michael Stars Fall 2010 collection, featuring classic styles and fashion-forward designs and accessories.