The Staten Island chapter of New York State Women joined the The Sisterhood of Women’s Organizations led by the Staten Island Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and hundreds of Staten Island tweens and teens to their afternoon forum, I’m Special: Love Doesn’t Involve Pain
The discussion began with Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, Commissioner, Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, at the October conference in the College of Staten Island’s Performing Arts Center Recital Hall and was followed by gripping and poignant true accounts of domestic violence by local teens.
“One of our goals was to present messages that resonate with tweens and teens and also provide them with tools to help them make decisions that positively impact their lives,” said Beth Coleman-Oliver, 2014 Chair of the Sisterhood of Women’s Organizations and president of the Staten Island Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
“Helping our young deal with the challenges that may face them including domestic violence has long been a concern of NYS Women,” said Jill Holtermann Bowewrs, president, NYS Women-SI. “This conference sends the message to girls that they have the power to make good choices that can affect their futures.”
The afternoon events included panel discussions and former Sisterhood chairs, Bernadette Davenport, Carol Lundrigan, Jill Holtermann Bowers were moderators. Topics addressed were the “Psychological effects of domestic violence,” and “Know Your Rights: Domestic Violence.” Panelists included Christy Ekpe, LMSW, ACS, Department of Youth and Family Justice; Tiana Stomers Pearson, Associate VP of Populations and Family Initiatives, Community Health Action-Si; Dr. Alyson Beardsley, the College of Staten Island/CUNY; Peggy Figuly, MS, Behavioral Sciences, Staten Island University Hospital.
, a nonprofit NYC based organization that works with youth to recognize prevent and end dating abuse also presented at this conference. “This group solely concerns itself with teen dating violence,” said Beth Coleman-Oliver. “So many of our young believe they are not vulnerable to such abuse but that simply is not the case. Educating teens to the risk of partner violence just may be a powerful weapon against becoming a victim.”
A Girls Be Heard
alumnae were also present. Girls Be Heard is an educational program designed for middle and high school students that use theater to lead girls to find strength, realize their potential, and rise above their circumstances by allowing them to express their anger, fear, hopes and dreams so they can positively manage those emotions.
Acclaimed poet Musszett addressed teens with a piece from her latest book at the conclusion of a panel of true stories. Dana Rachlin, a Staten Island domestic violence advocate spoke on the status of the efforts to implement a curriculum that addresses teen dating abuse in NYC schools.
Resources and health information on issues important to girls, women and their families were offered. Sponsors of this very important event include the College of Staten Island, Staten Island University Hospital/NSLIJ, New York Nurse State Nurses Association, and NYSED.
Led by Staten Island Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Sisterhood organizations
About the Sisterhood of Women’s Organizations
Women’s organizations on Staten Island have a long history of providing the financial and emotional backing to support issues important to them. They volunteer countless hours of resources, time and energy to address needs and improve opportunities for women and their families.
Many of these organizations have been working for nearly 100 years advocating for change and supporting initiatives that promote the status of Staten Island women. In 2010, for the first time in our borough’s history, women’s organization responded to a call from the Staten Island chapter of New York State Women
to unite and join together as a “Sisterhood,” as volunteers to approach issues with a united voice. The response was overwhelming.
The presidents of every group met during the first year to establish guidelines and brought issues they believed to be of importance to the table. Domestic violence topped the list as an issue important to address in our community. World of Women
led the Sisterhood in 2011 uniting representatives from 16 groups into the Sisterhood Domestic Violence Task Force (SDVTF). The Sisterhood Domestic Violence Task Force, chaired by Bernadette Davenport, for two years continued to work to increase awareness about domestic violence. United, the women of the Sisterhood urged for the passage of the Jessica Tush Act, increased awareness at public forums including the annual SIEDC Conference, and participated as sponsors of two educational conferences and the Twilight Walks at the Staten Island Youth Center.
The following year, as the SIDVTF continued its work to increase awareness about domestic violence, Soroptimist International-SI
took the helm and expanded the Sisterhood agenda to address women’s health issues. A one day health conference was developed and featured medical and health experts in an effort to provide women with the information that helps them live
healthier lives. Carol Lundrigan chaired the Sisterhood conference which was held in September 2012.
The Staten Island chapter of New York State Women
accepted leadership of the Sisterhood from Soroptimist International-SI in January 2013 and addressed issues that impact the self esteem of local girls. They developed a program in partnership with the College of Staten Island Liberty Partnerships Program and invited girls and their moms or guardians to a free city-wide interactive program, Stand Up & Lead! Nearly 500 attended the November 2013 event in the Williamson Theater, in the College of Staten Island’s Center for the Arts. Internationally renowned facilitators and educators George Anthony and Lindy P. Crescitelli led this United Federation of Teachers ‘Be Brave’ campaign sponsored program. Jill Holterman-Bowers chaired this event.
SI Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority (Delta)
led the Sisterhood earlier this year and developed the free one day program, What About me? Envision your Future
, addressing the health, emotional, and financial needs of women during a May forum. They will speak to tweens and teens at the Saturday, October 25, 2014 conference, “I’m Special: Love Doesn’t Involve Pain,” at the College of Staten Island, from noon to 5p.m.
Admission is free and open to the public.
For more information about the Sisterhood contact Rosemarie Dressler, 718 226-2486, or [email protected]