Fall 2015 Ethnic Minorities Section update
Janice Abbott, CEO of this award-winning, not-for-profit community-based organization, will present on the organization's growth from a purely feminist-identified organization to one of action and advocacy. Atira, as a harm-reduction organization, is feminist identified and anti-oppression, trans-inclusive, and allied with sex workers and other victimized women. Despite the hate speech this has attracted over the years, the organization has continued to remain resilient, as illustrated in their mission statement "…Through education, advocacy and outreach, Atira is an active voice in the struggle to end violence against women and their children…" (Atira Women's Resource Society, Mission Statement, 2004).
Atria may have started off as one transition house in a quiet suburb, but over the past two decades this organization has seen tremendous growth and development. With 15 housing facilities, 11 programs and five projects across multiple cities, this organization works with women from diverse communities across the lifespan.
What sets Atira apart from other community-based organizations is the fact that it is based on a philosophy that sees women as the experts of their own experiences. Not only does Atira Women's Resource Society provide women and their children with housing, advocacy, direct support and programing, but it empowers women by validating their experiences in an oppressive society.
Given this year's conference focus on "Conflict, Violence and War: Family Risk and Resilience," the Ethnic Minorities section felt it fitting to highlight a local not-for-profit organization that is making a difference in the lives of women and children.