Home > Event > Domestic Violence Awareness in Action
29 October, 2014
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
YWCA's Family Resource Center, 500 W 56th St,
New York, NY 10019
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In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, please join the YWCA of the City of New York at “Domestic Violence Awareness in Action.” Our Salon Series discussion will be moderated by award winning TV journalist Richelle Carey, and feature Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office To Combat Domestic Violence Rosemonde Pierre Louis, Co-Founder of the Man Up Campaign Jimmie Briggs, Deputy Director at the Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services of Sanctuary for Families Linda Lopez and Domestic Violence Survivor & Financial Educator Tonya Raply.

To attend the event, please RSVP here. Registration is limited: reserve your place as soon as possible.


Richelle Carey, Award Winning TV Journalist

RichelleCareyIMG_Headshot_HiResRichelle Carey is an award-winning television journalist and is currently an anchor at Al Jazeera America in New York City. Prior, in Atlanta, Carey was an anchor at HLN (formerly CNN’s Headline News) where she also served as host of What Matters, a weekly segment focused on African-American topics. Off-camera, Carey is a strong advocate for girls and women and serves as vice president of the board of directors at Men Stopping Violence, an organization whose mission is to end violence against women and girls. She is also a former board member of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, one of the largest councils in the nation.

Carey attended both Smith College in Massachusetts and Baylor University in Texas. Upon graduation, she began her career in television journalism as an associate producer for KPRC-TV in Houston. The Texas native went on to anchor morning news shows in St. Louis, Las Vegas, and other cities. Either as producer, reporter, or anchor, Carey demonstrates a keen ability to address a variety of topics, having interviewed luminaries such as Tim McGraw, Chris Rock, Chaka Khan, Fran Drescher, and Janet Jackson. As a military reporter in Waco, Texas, Carey interviewed top commanders at Fort Hood, the largest military installation in the world and spent a week in Bosnia covering the work of U.S. soldiers. Her many awards include an Emmy for consumer features reporting, a Peabody regarding coverage on the Gulf oil spill, and the “Emerging Journalist” award from the Houston Association of Black Journalists.

As a young girl in Texas, Carey watched her mother, a nurse, work tirelessly with teens in low-income neighborhoods. And during the course of her career as a journalist, she has covered numerous heartbreaking stories that involved women and girls who were victims of violence. These two life experiences had a profound impact on Carey and moved her to dedicate her life to being a champion for girls and women. She elaborates: “It is through my work in journalism that I found my life’s true calling. That calling is to not only report the powerful stories that girls and women have to tell, but to challenge that which threatens our safety and right to full equality.”


Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, Commissioner

_94A2976 (3)Rosemonde Pierre-Louis was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as the Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV) in January 2014. OCDV, established in 2001, oversees the citywide delivery of domestic violence services, develops policies and programs, and works with diverse communities to increase awareness of domestic violence. OCDV works alongside City agencies, community based and advocacy organizations, local leaders, and service providers to expand access to services citywide for victims and their children to receive the help that they need.

From 2006-2013 Ms. Pierre-Louis served as Manhattan Deputy Borough President and was responsible for overseeing several of the Office’s key initiatives related to transportation, domestic violence, food justice and security, sustainability, the environment, criminal justice, and the unprecedented reform of Manhattan’s 12 Community Boards. She was the architect of Borough President Scott Stringer’s Go Green sustainability initiatives in East Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, and the Lower East Side. Ms. Pierre-Louis was also the impetus behind The Politics of Food Conference and subsequent report Food in the Public Interest as well as the creation of the NYC Sustainable Food Charter.

Prior to becoming Deputy Borough President, Ms. Pierre-Louis served in leadership positions at several public interest and legal services organizations such as Harlem Legal Services, Network for Women’s Services, The Center for Battered Women’s Legal Services at Sanctuary for Families, and Queens Legal Services.

Ms. Pierre-Louis spent 20 years as a public interest and legal services attorney representing low-income and working poor litigants as well as survivors of domestic violence throughout the New York State court system. Ms. Pierre-Louis also served for six years as an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law. Ms. Pierre-Louis has been widely recognized as an advocate, educator, and attorney for women’s and immigrant’s rights, underserved communities, and survivors of domestic violence.

In 2004, Ms. Pierre-Louis was appointed by then Chief Justice Judith Kaye to serve on the Matrimonial Commission, which was responsible for reviewing all aspects of matrimonial litigation and making recommendations for improving how the State’s Family and Supreme Courts handle such litigation.

Ms. Pierre-Louis is a founding member and former Chair of the African American Task Force on Violence against Women and the Women’s Alliance of Harlem. Ms. Pierre-Louis is also a former Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the New York Women’s Foundation. In 2009 Ms. Pierre-Louis Co-founded and currently serves as Chair of the Haitian Roundtable, an organization comprised of Haitian-American professionals committed to civic engagement as well as philanthropic endeavors benefiting Haiti and Haitian organizations and causes.

Ms. Pierre-Louis completed her undergraduate studies in political science at Tufts University and earned a law degree at Case Western University School of Law. She is the recipient of numerous awards which include the Leon Bogues Award from the NYS Association of Black and Latino Legislators, the Women United in Philanthropy Award from the United Way of New York City, and the Women’s Leadership Award from the Mid-Manhattan NAACP. In 2010 Ms. Pierre-Louis received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations Foundation for her work and advocacy for Haiti and its Diaspora. In 2013 Ms. Pierre-Louis became the first recipient of the YWCA New York City Community Leadership Award in recognition of her work on behalf of women and children.

Jimmie Briggs, Co-Founder

Jimmie BriggsOver the past two decades, Jimmie Briggs has earned a reputation as a respected human rights advocate journalist, and lecturer.  Through extensive travels to countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, the St. Louis, Missouri-native and graduate of Morehouse College has produced seminal reporting on the lives of war-affected youth and children soldiers, as well as survivors of sexual violence. A National Magazine Award finalist and recipient of honors from the Open Society Institute, National Association of Black Journalists and the Carter Center for Mental Health Journalism,  his book on child soldiers and war-affected children Innocents Lost: When Child Soldiers Go To War won him accolades in 2005, and took readers into the personal journeys of war-affected youth. Further, Briggs has served as an adjunct professor of investigative journalism at the New School for Social Research, and was a George A. Miller Visiting Professor in the Department of African and African-American Studies at the University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana. A regular contributor to the daily news website, Loop 21.com, his upcoming book Blood Work, is a meditation on manhood and transformation through the lens of illness. For his work with Man Up Campaign and the issue of violence against women, Briggs was selected as the winner of the 2010 GQ Magazine “Better Men Better World” Search, as well as one of Women’s eNews’ 21 Leaders for the 21st Century in 2011.

Linda Lopez, Deputy Director

LopezLinda Lopez started as a staff attorney at Sanctuary’s Legal Center in 1994. In 2006, she was named Deputy Director of the Center, where she works with the Director to advocate on behalf of underserved populations. Ms. Lopez is founder of the Uncontested Divorce Workshop, through which she has trained over 600 students in five New York City law schools to help indigent battered women obtain uncontested divorces. She is an associate adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, where she teaches Fundamental Lawyering Skills. A seasoned practitioner of family and matrimonial law with Spanish fluency, she earned her law degree from the City University of New York Law School, where she participated in the Battered Women’s Clinic.

Tonya Rapley, DV Survivor & Financial Educator

HeadshotJan2014Tonya Rapley is a living, breathing example of persistence and integrity. Priding herself on being financially savvy and fabulous, Tonya became a Certified Financial Educator after improving her credit score by 130 points in 18 months and significantly growing her investment portfolio and savings. My Fab Finance promotes financial freedom by supporting financial behavioral change and offering relatable information that increases financial literacy. In less than a year, My Fab Finance has grown to nearly 30,000 views per month.

Because of her ability to seamlessly tie together finances and fabulousness, Tonya has been featured on the cover of the October 2014 issue of Black Enterprise Magazine, on ABC’s Here and Now, and in Women’s Day, US News, Yahoo! Finance, and more.

Tonya isn’t your average financial educator; she is also an agent for social change in the fight to end Domestic Violence. A survivor herself, Tonya has made it her duty to keep the conversation surrounding domestic violence going. She is currently constructing an unparalleled, financial empowerment curriculum for survivors of domestic violence.

With her Bachelors in Public Administration from Florida International University and Master’s in Urban Policy and Affairs from Brooklyn College, Tonya is committed to social change. When she isn’t serving the world with fabulous, financial fundamentals, Tonya enjoys random acts of travel, the arts, and proving that frugal does not equal frumpy.