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We celebrated another successful Annual Women’s Empowerment Forum on Wednesday, January 31st, at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The 6th Annual Forum centered on the crucial issue of housing in the context of domestic violence. The event was moderated by Martica Lopez, a renowned local media personality and advocate for domestic violence victims. An expert panel comprised of individuals with their finger on the pulse of community housing and domestic violence issues, including a survivor who has successfully navigated through Women In Distress programs, engaged audience members in an interesting and challenging discussion.

The forum provided powerful insights and sparked meaningful dialogue on the barriers domestic violence survivors face in securing safe housing. Highlights included a moving account from a survivor who, with support, overcame these obstacles to rebuild a life of safety and independence.

In addition to educating and inspiring community leaders, the event raised over $100,000 which will directly contribute to providing free shelter and essential services to those fleeing abusive situations. The funds will also support the continued effort to address the critical housing needs of survivors.

This year’s panelists brought a wealth of experience and expertise:

  • Marcia Barry-Smith, President of MBS Consulting Advisors Inc., a subject matter expert in Affordable Housing and a dedicated advocate for social justice.
  • Chief Constance Stanley, a respected law enforcement professional with over three decades of experience, providing a unique perspective on the intersection of domestic violence and community safety.
  • Maxwell Couture, Director of Outreach Services at Women In Distress, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor who oversees advocacy and housing programs for survivors.

Major event sponsors included: JM Family Enterprises, UKG, The Thomas Family Foundation and The Kelsey Group. Other sponsors included: Memorial Healthcare System, NSU, Holman, Harrah’s Pompano Beach, and Dana Investment Advisors.

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