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"Our membership in Jane Doe Inc. provides me with a statewide support network, particularly from people of color at all leadership levels, deepening my sense of purpose and vision on a personal, professional and organizational level that ultimately enhances the YWCA’s work with survivors." ~ Vilma Lora, Co-Director of Women’s Services, YWCA of Greater Lawrence

JDI presents Visionary Voice Award to Becky Lockwood

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                              Contact: Toni Troop
April 29, 2013                                                                              Mobile:  617-212-7571

MassachusettsLeader chosen among 23 nationwide recipients of 2013 Visionary Voice Award by NSVRC

JDI to present award to Becky Lockwood, Center for Women and Community

(AMHERST, MA):  On the last day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Jane Doe Inc. will present the 2013 Visionary Voice Award to Becky Lockwood, Associate Director of the Center for Women and Community, for her leadership and dedication to creating a world free of sexual violence.  The award is one of 23 nationwide being given by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) in 2013.  The ceremony will take place on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at the Center for Women & Community (CWC) on the UMass Amherst Campus in the New Africa House, 2nd Floor Reading Room at 2:30 PM. 

Mary R. Lauby, Executive Director of Jane Doe Inc. (JDI) along with Northwest District Attorney David E. Sullivan, and colleagues from CWC will speak.  Colleagues, volunteers and community members will be on hand to help honor Lockwood.

Lauby said, “The process of nominating someone for a national award requires us to evaluate not only who has shown leadership and dedication to the work but also to identify what it is we value as a movement for social justice.  Massachusetts is so fortunate to have someone with such compassion, clarity and fortitude advocating on behalf of ALL victims and survivors of sexual violence.  Becky deserves our praise and our gratitude.”

A respected and recognized leader in the area of sexual violence intervention and prevention among her peers, in her community, and across the state, Lockwood is known as a risk taker – always looking for new opportunities to support survivors and prevent violence and being an advocate for marginalized communities. Her success has been in her ability to implement innovative support and prevention programs and establish relationships with key university, community, state and national stakeholders.

Being situated at UMass Amherst creates a unique opportunity to engage the campus community in responding to and preventing sexual violence.  Under Lockwood’s leadership, the CWC has developed a collaborative partnership with local police department and university police department to provide onsite Civilian Advocate who addresses sexual assault issues and works with sexual assault victims, as well as domestic violence survivors. She also was responsible for securing both state and then federal funding to expand these services to include the Northampton Police Department.  Lockwood also participates in weekly meetings of the UMass Title IX Team that reviews reports of sexual and domestic violence and stalking and assures that resources and responses for victims are coordinated across the University.

Captain Jennifer Gundersen, Amherst Police Department lauded Lockwood for helping to break down barriers that too often keep systems and communities from working in concert toward the shared goal. Gundersen said, “Becky Lockwood has long prioritized the development of a strong and collaborative relationship between advocacy and law enforcement.  It is because of Becky’s leadership, vision and tireless commitment that the Amherst Police Department and the Center for Women and Community have been so successful in developing programs, protocols and outreach efforts that positively affect survivors of sexual and domestic violence.”   

Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Enku Gelaye echoed Gunderson’s sentiments: “The relationship between the Center for Women & Community and the Dean of Students Office is critical.  We value Becky’s expertise and the commitment of the staff to our partnership.  Becky’s leadership on the Title IX Team has also ensured that we remain vigilant about being victim centered and supportive to survivors.”

Lockwood expressed humility when notified of the award.  She quickly talked about her Co-Director gisella zuniga and the entire CWC staff, the Center’s volunteers and others when reflecting on her legacy in this work.  That legacy is indeed impressive, starting with the Hampshire County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) which brings together staff from the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, campus and municipal law enforcement, health care providers and SANE to discuss best practices in providing a victim-centered response to survivors of sexual assault.

Lockwood said, “Preventing sexual violence and supporting survivors of sexual violence is work that is never finished or done.  It requires many hands, working together. When I get discouraged or tired, I only have to think about my daughter, my co-workers children and the girls in my girl scout troop to get re-energized & refocused.  I want to be part of creating a world in which we all talk with each other and our children about respect and healthy relationships, and a world in which healthy sexuality is celebrated.”

Lauby added, “Becky is an inspiration to all of us as we strive for safety, liberty and dignity for all victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence.  She gives us hope that change is possible and justice attainable.”

An alumnae of UMass Amherst, Lockwood has devoted her career to working for social justice.   While pursuing her Masters in Social Work at The University of Connecticut, Becky worked as the Director of Youth Programs at Community Action!   She created and implemented prevention programs focused on reducing youth substance abuse, teen pregnancy, interpersonal violence and HIV/AIDS and developed and facilitated first area social support group for queer and trans identified youth.  In 2001, she started at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as the Associate Director of Rape Crisis Services and Violence Prevention Programs and currently serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Women and Community. 

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ABOUT THE VISIONARY VOICE AWARD
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) offers the Visionary Voice award, in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) each April, to recognize the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding work to end sexual violence. Each year, state, territory, and tribal coalitions select an outstanding individual to nominate for the awards. Nominees may be partners from a local community or other outstanding individuals that have worked to end sexual violence.

ABOUT JANE DOE INC.
Jane Doe Inc. is the statewide coalition of domestic violence and sexual assault programs in Massachusetts. Jane Doe Inc. advocates for responsive public policy, promotes collaboration, raises public awareness, and supports our member programs to provide comprehensive prevention and intervention services.  We are guided by the voices of survivors.  To learn more about Jane Doe Inc., please visit www.janedoe.org

ABOUT CENTER FOR WOMEN & COMMUNITY
The Center for Women & Community (CWC) is a multicultural campus-based center that has been offering a wide range of services to meet the needs of the diverse cultural and linguistic populations of the HampshireCounty, the Five Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst communities since 1972. CWC provides innovative and informed education, leadership opportunities, advocacy, and support services that build the capacity of the community to interrupt, address and transcend sexism and its connection to all forms of oppression. CWC also serves as the Rape Crisis Services program for these communities, providing free and confidential rape and sexual violence crisis services for survivors of all gender expressions.


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