Empower Mini-Mag Issue 1

Even though our In-Person Series has been pushed back to later this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Safer-at-Home orders, we wanted to share with you all the first edition of our Mini-Mag, Empower! We are so proud of our cover woman, Ali Schrapf and her journey! In this issue you can hear from our Executive Director, find out more about our Weekly Series, and read more about Ali’s journey! Look for our next issue coming in May!

Fond du Lac women’s empowerment series shifts to virtual forum amid coronavirus pandemic

From Staff Reports, USA TODAY NETWORK- WisconsinPublished 10:08 a.m. CT March 25, 2020 | Updated 8:59 p.m. CT March 28, 2020

FOND DU LAC – The Women’s Empowerment Series, which serves women and their children from all walks of life struggling with emotional distress, is launching a virtual mini-series on March 26, to continue to support women in the community as its in-person 12-week series is postponed due to COVID-19.

The 12-week series, which was set to begin March 12, was the first program as part of the Goebel Family Foundation after two years with Fond du Lac County. The series will now be available through Facebook Live segments.

Led by local community leaders, the nine-class virtual mini-series aims to empower women during the current global health crisis. The weekly segments will cover topics ranging from maintaining calm in the household, wellness at home, scheduling and the importance of routine, communication while socially distanced, and beyond.

The series will be posted to the Women’s Empowerment Series Facebook account at facebook.com/womensempowermentfdl.

As the program transitions to online, it is also moving through its transition to the Goebel Family Foundation. The move was a natural next step and allows the series to be even more impactful to the women and their families, Menting said.

“It’s amazing how this series started as an idea just a few years ago,” said Menting. “Thanks to loads of community support, we have been able to build this program from the ground up and have really evolved into something that is impacting not only the women and children in our community, but also all of those involved, from committee members, mentors and office volunteers, even our donors are seeing the direct impact the program has.”

Additionally, under the Goebel Family Foundation, the series was able to invite 18 community-minded women to serve as an Advisory Board, focused on: fundraising and fund development, marketing and public relations, programming, and planning and evaluation.

Green Bay Packer and Senior Vice President of University Relations at Marian University George Koonce serves as an ambassador for the program, and will focus on community involvement and awareness, as well as fostering diversity in the series. Dr. Jeneise Briggs will focus on mentor training, and will offer her expertise on understanding business and poverty, and expanding diversity. 

Domestic Violence Awareness Week

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Series understands the importance of healthy relationships. We support any event or activity bringing awareness to this topic, especially during the month of October. The S.U.A.V.E (Students United Against Violence Everywhere) group at Marian University recently coordinated a program for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. We are so proud of our two series graduates who were asked to share their stories for this event.

Over the last 18 months, first series graduate (and current WES volunteer) Carrie has had several opportunities to speak publicly about her life and her candor, determination, and sense of humor make her an incredibly impactful speaker. Learning of the progress she has made and the ways in which she now supports others is both impressive and encouraging.

Jacara was also a graduate of the first series and she chose to write a poem about her experiences with domestic violence and present it during the program. Her words were incredibly moving and we could hardly believe this was the very first time she shared her poem for an audience. Jacara joked a bit about being nervous before she began her reading, but she had nothing to worry about: she was wonderful.

After Carrie and Jacara finished up, they ran a Question & Answer session for everyone in attendance. They offered words of encouragement and advice on how to best support a friend or family member who may be living through experiences similar to their own. The evening wrapped up with a short candlelit vigil to honor those who have lost their lives to domestic violence.

Survivors of domestic violence who are willing to open up about some of the most painful parts of their lives are doing a much needed service. They are working to get rid of the stigma surrounding domestic violence and to prove to people currently living in violent situations that there is a way out and they can work for a brighter future – just like Carrie and Jacara have.

***Trigger Warning*** This video contains elements of domestic violence.