DALLAS – Oct. 12, 2017 – This evening, Mary Kay Inc. will honor unsung heroes in the fight against domestic violence at the Mary Kay Ash Heart of Courage Awards. The inaugural program will be held at the Rayburn House Office Building, a congressional building for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C., and will recognize trailblazers from across the country as they share their successes, as well as challenges, in ending this epidemic.
“For decades, Mary Kay has been committed to ending domestic violence. This awards program recognizes those we stand alongside in this fight by bringing awareness and recognition to their tireless efforts,” said Anne Crews, board member of The Mary Kay Foundation℠ and Vice President of Public Affairs for Mary Kay Inc. “During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, we come together in our nation’s capital to honor the passionate individuals and organizations who inspire us to continue to address this crime which impacts one in four women.”
The Mary Kay Ash Heart of Courage Awards Steering Committee, which is comprised of leaders from the National Network to End Domestic Violence Hotline, Break the Cycle, Futures Without Violence, the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, voted to honor the following individuals and/or organizations in five categories:
- Trailblazer Award – Kathleen Buhle Biden – a domestic violence advocate and strong supporter of her former father-in-law, Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who worked to pass the Violence Against Women Act. She currently serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships for the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project whose mission is to provide pro bono legal services to domestic violence victims.
- Digital Champion - Beverly T. Gooden – a social activist, speaker and creator of a viral Twitter movement. #WhyIStayed was named by TIME as one of the Top 10 Hashtags That Started a Conversation. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and NBC’s TODAY to name a few.
- Media Visionary – Melissa Jeltsen – a senior reporter at HuffPost where she covers domestic violence and other issues related to women’s health, safety and security. She has published blunt, impactful articles shedding light on the issue of domestic violence.
- Leader in Prevention – Day One – since its launch in 2003, Day One has become a primary voice of expertise in New York City on the issue of dating abuse and domestic violence among youth. Since its inception, it has educated more than 75,000 youth about how to identify and maintain heathy relationships.
- People’s Choice: Voice of the Year – Charmagne Helton – a domestic violence survivor who was three months pregnant the first time her husband beat her, bursting her eardrums. Today, she is a zealous fundraiser, organizer and public speaker for domestic violence issues.
“The Mary Kay Ash Heart of Courage Awards shines a much-needed light on those working every day to prevent and end domestic violence in our communities,” said Katie Ray Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and a member of the Mary Kay Ash Heart of Courage Awards Steering Committee. “It is gratifying when corporate leaders like Mary Kay recognize the often unseen efforts of domestic violence advocates while continuing the conversation about this nationwide epidemic.”
Mary Kay’s steadfast commitment to help end domestic violence includes prevention, education and crisis intervention programs. In advance of domestic violence awareness month, The Mary Kay Foundation℠ announced $3 million in grants once again committed to ending domestic violence. The company also released its Truth About Abuse survey results revealing a startling new epidemic in the space – digital abuse. To date, Mary Kay Inc. and The Mary Kay Foundation℠ have given $57 million to domestic violence prevention and awareness programs in an effort to end the cycle of abuse.
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