As many of you know, after a brief period of shutdown this summer, the Alliance hired me as Executive Director in late October, with a charge to work with the broader gender-based violence community to restart operations in a way that is both culturally competent and fiscally responsible. The last two and a half months have been a whirlwind, and I am so grateful to the many who have offered their support and critical feedback as we work to rebuild and reform the Alliance.
Sexual assault and sexual violence impact all communities, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, or ability. Every survivor deserves access to differentiated services grounded in the unique needs of their community and a system that supports them in a manner that is both trauma-informed and culturally competent. In working to restart Alliance operations, we seek to use this time to reflect on how our work can be strengthened to better support the full diversity of survivor experiences, to develop stronger programming and organizational practices reflective of those needs, and to further invest in sexual violence prevention efforts. To accomplish this, we have taken several actions:
Community Listening Tour- The Alliance recently launched a community listening tour designed to gather critical feedback that will inform the development of future Alliance program and policy work. Data collected through interviews, focus groups, and an online survey will be used to develop a set of short and long-term recommendations for Alliance next steps that will be released in late Spring 2022.
New Leadership- The Alliance is proud to welcome our new Board of Directors, comprised of leaders in the areas of gender-based violence and nonprofit management. We will continue adding to this Board, specifically seeking out those with expertise, lived experience, and deep connections to the diverse communities throughout New York City.
While we are excited about the Alliance’s next steps, we must also acknowledge and own the harm the shutdown had on former staff, partner organizations, and the survivors that we served. A key element to our future work will be repairing those relationships and rebuilding trust that was broken. We have much work ahead of us, but I know that staying grounded in the needs of partner organizations and the survivors we ultimately serve will point us in the direction of a brighter future.
I look forward to our work over the upcoming months as the Alliance moves to fully restart and better define its mission and vision, and in partnering with many of you to do so. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions, questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me.
Emily Miles, Executive Director