Austin, TX (May 9, 2017)-This Mother’s Day the Texas Council on Family Violence is celebrating all the wonderful Texas moms who are making a difference in the lives of Texans.
TCFV praises the leadership of women who have made it their life’s work to empower other women. These women created remarkable services and policies, and challenge conditions that permit domestic violence to occur. These extraordinary women are also exceptional mothers. Thank you for making the world a better place.
“We are here today to honor all the mothers in Texas. The mother’s we have lost, the mothers who are here and the grandmothers who are now raising their grandchildren or never got to meet their grandchild because their mom was taken away in violent act of murder. We are here, because we believe lives will be saved and we want to help people recognize the signs of domestic violence and empower them to help friends and co-workers who are in abusive relationships before it is too late,” said Gloria Terry, CEO of the Texas Council on Family Violence.
Annette Burrhus-Clay, Texas Association Against Sexual Assault – Austin, TX
Annette Burrhus-Clay has given selflessly of her time, talents and treasures to ameliorate violence against women. Her commitment is evidenced by her remarkable 21-year tenure at the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault. Annette is a fierce activist to the core, and her work influences state and national practice and policy. While her heart belongs to her four adult children, the center of her universe are her six grandchildren: Brayden, Anaya, Beau, Camille, Ami and two-week-old Norah.
“Kids taught me that I’m more capable than I thought and had a greater capacity for love than I imagined. Grandkids have taught me to let go of the unimportant things that keep us distracted or angry.”
Connie Gray, Focusing Families – Hempstead, TX
Connie Gray wears many hats at Focusing Families – children’s counselor, prevention director, and even mom! Connie’s adult daughter, Nicole, works alongside her at the agency, inspired by her mom’s passion. Together, they work in schools to change the culture and equip young people with the tools they need to empower themselves and build connections within their communities.
Connie is a steadfast advocate for young people. As a mom of three, her kids inspire her as much as she’s inspired them. “They taught me to believe the impossible and dream big.”
Rosa Hopkins, Women’s Center of East Texas – Longview, TX
Rosa Hopkins is the BIPP Coordinator at the Women’s Center of East Texas, where she works to hold batterers accountable and teach them the fundamentals of leading healthy, nonviolent relationships. She started working with offenders as an independent BIPP counselor because she saw the need in her community.
Rosa is well-respected in the community as a gifted and committed facilitator. Working with offenders isn’t always easy, but Rosa is driven by her compassion. Her own background – she is a survivor of domestic violence now happily married and the mother of two sons – fuels her empathy and ability to build connections in her work. “They’re human beings – I’m here to be an example of what kindness looks like, what human compassionate looks like.”
Toni Johnson-Simpson, Denton County Friends of the Family – Denton, TX
Toni Johnson-Simpson’s journey towards executive leader of the Denton County Friends of the Family started as an altruistic 21-year-old college student. Her passion has never flagged since. Toni expects more from her community in regard to victim compassion, batterer accountability and access to services because she knows that all children deserve it. And while her professional accomplishments are impressive, her personal ones monumental. Toni is a mom to three: daughter Ebonie and twins Justin and Jaydah. Toni credits her children for teaching her to love and to take time to enjoy life. When things get difficult she embraces wise words from Jaydah: “I’m going to celebrate how much I DID get done because I am still fabulous.” Yes, Toni – you are.
Rosie Martinez- Victims Unit Director at Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s office
Rosie Martinez has dedicated her career of over 16 years to victim services and currently serves as the Victims Unit Director at Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s office. Victims’ services has been more than a career for Rosie; she calls it her “passion and lifetime mission,” and it shows in her leadership throughout the community. Rosie volunteers on the Hidalgo County Family Violence Task Force, Rio Grande Valley Human Trafficking Coalition, Child Fatality Review Team, Citizen’s Review Team of DFPS, and the Hidalgo County Truancy Policy Committee. A mom to five and grandmother of three, Rosie says her kids drive her work. “The sense of accomplishment that comes from hearing your children tell you that you are their inspiration, their role model, that they are proud of you and that they want to be like you is the best feeling in life.”
Texas Council on Family Violence is the only 501(c) 3 nonprofit coalition in Texas dedicated solely to creating safer communities and freedom from family violence. With a state-wide reach and direct local impact, TCFV, with the collective strength of more than 1000 members, shapes public policy, equips service providers, and initiates strategic prevention efforts. Visit us online at http://www.tcfv.org/