As we rush headfirst into the holiday season, the Women’s Fund team has been reflecting on Feast Table of Our Future, the spoken-word poem Women’s Fund commissioned from Manon Voice to demonstrate the resiliency of women in our community. The Feast Table of Our Future is the inspiration behind our December blog series. We chose to highlight several grantees and talk with them about our collective table.

This year has been hard. For many women and girls in our community, their Feast Table may not only be missing the people they love but may also be missing a nutritious meal. Maybe they don’t even have a table or a safe, affordable place to call home. It’s impossible to hear Manon Voice and not be filled with wonder at the resiliency of the women in our community.

Here’s what we know about the resiliency of Domestic Violence Network (DVN) and their thoughts about our table.

DVN is working to change the culture that leads to domestic violence through advocacy, education, and collaboration. DVN does not provide direct service to victims and survivors, so their work was not significantly impacted by the pandemic. Fortunately, they were able to deliver prevention resources and facilitate trainings for youth and adults by shifting their programs online. While funding remains a challenge for all organizations during these difficult times, DVN has received support from Women’s Fund and others in the philanthropic community, which has allowed them to continue their work.

In the face of the pandemic, DVN has focused on the safety, health, and well-being of its staff members so they can remain strong for the individuals they serve. Leadership has implemented mental health days, mailed care packages to team members, and reminded all staff to give themselves grace during this time. To date, the DVN team has remained healthy and strong for which we are so grateful.

Women’s Fund values its long-time partnership with Domestic Violence Network and asked Kelly McBride, DVN Executive Director, what it means to be together at our community table.

Q.          In your opinion, what does the Women’s Fund table look like?

A.           It’s an inclusive table focused on women and girls. It’s filled with people who care about ensuring that the women and girls in our community have a great future. It’s filled with members of their team, other grantees, funders, and community members. The Women’s Fund table is open to anyone interested in enhancing the quality of life for women and girls.

Q.          What does the DVN table look like?

A.           We have the longest table in the world filled with anyone and everyone who stands against domestic violence. It’s filled with law enforcement officers, social workers, educators, school administrators, business leaders, DV advocates, funders, survivors, and more. It’s diverse and inclusive.

Q.          What do you hope our community table looks like in the future?

A.           A diverse, inclusive, and equitable table that supports and respects one another. A table that allows for everyone to have a voice and to share their experiences. A table filled with people who work together to elevate the voices of all women and girls.  

Q.          How can DVN play a role in supporting more women and girls at the community table?

A.           DVN will continue to do its part through education, collaboration, and advocacy. We will continue to carry the voices of those who need to be heard. Through our Equity Plan, we will focus specifically on the intersections of the experiences of Black and African American women and members of the LGBTQ+ community as they relate to domestic violence. We will offer real action to effect change.

Women’s Fund is committed to creating a true “feast table for our future” with organizations like Domestic Violence Network. We invite you to join us at our table and help make a difference in the lives of women and girls in central Indiana.