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7 Questions – Michele Booth Cole (Safe Shores)

Good morning, folks! And welcome to … Michele Booth Cole, Executive Director of Safe Shores. With a child-friendly and welcoming approach, Safe Shores (the DC Children’s Advocacy Center) ensures that abused children’s voices are heard in criminal investigations, their needs are placed first, and a safe space is available to them.

1. What was your most interesting recent project, initiative, partnership, or event?

In April 2011, we held a series of free community trainings for adults on child sexual abuse prevention in different wards throughout DC in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Safe Shores partnered with DC Council members Yvette Alexander (Ward 7), Muriel Bowser (Ward 4) Jack Evans (Ward 2), Jim Graham (Ward 1), and Phil Mendelson (At-large), DCPS Parent Resource Centers in Wards 1 and 7, and Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Ward 4, all of whom co-sponsored the trainings to raise awareness about this critical public health and safety issue. The trainings were attended by a really diverse and engaged group of community members who learned how to recognize, respond to and prevent child sexual abuse pursuant to the “Stewards of Children” curriculum.

2. What else are you up to?

After six years of working, we finally completed the renovation and furnishing of Safe Shores’ new home at the former Bundy building. We moved into the newly renovated space last year along with the partners from our public and private Team agencies. Safe Shores’ Board and staff are now energetically engaged in strategic planning to chart Safe Shores’ course for the future. In addition, we’ve recently adopted the Benevon fundraising model to increase the organization’s long-term financial sustainability by expanding our base of individual supporters.

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