Building a world free from sexual violence is a daunting
mission. It can be easy to feel like we are always looking up the
mountain and seeing how steep the climb is.
Yet, there are moments when we are reminded that we cannot
do this work alone and that we are part of a community, a state,
a country and a global movement for justice. We look to one side
or the other and we see our beautiful partners, friends, family
and co-conspirators who stand with us and remind usthat
together we can do this. Every day we take a step further by
educating our children, practicing consent, working against
sexism, racism, homophobia and transphobia, supporting men
and boys to be part of the solution…among many other actions
Sometimes, in our team meetings, I will excitedly shout “WAY TO MEET THE MISSION!” as we share
successes, new partnerships, and the amazing work of Board, staff and volunteers who make up our
team. We laugh and share the moment. This April was such an exciting and busy Sexual Assault
Awareness Month that I almost missed the opportunity to say that to the almost 500 people who joined
us in community activism. In workshops on masculinity, in ally support, in poster making, in event
planning, in phone calls, cups of coffee donated, and in chants during Take Back The Night. This
included youth, college students and professors, men, women, non binary folks, people from many
ethnicities, languages spoken, classes and cultures, City Councilors, artists, poets, and activists.
To you I offer our appreciation from CHH and say “Way to Meet the Mission!
Isa Woldeguiorguis, Executive Director
Thank you donors, partners, and supporters!
Thank you again to our donors, partners, and
supporters who joined us on May 1st
for a great
appreciation breakfast. Connecting with you was fun
and we appreciate the opportunity to show you how
your support has reached survivors in the community,
and how it helps us MEET THE MISSION! Look right at
those people having fun! Join our mailing list through visiting our website (chhinc.org) to stay up to speed about
what we are doing and how to get involved.
Thank you to everyone who attended and to YOU,
our amazing donors/partners and supporters!
online or mail a check to:
The Center for Hope and Healing Inc.
21 George Street Suite 400
Lowell, MA 01852
NEW ថ្មី ! Linguistic Access Program
We are excited to announce our new Linguistic
Access Program, which will enhance servicesfor
the Khmer Community in the Greater Lowell
Area. With support from an Office for Victims of
Crime (OVC) grant, this program will bring
trauma-informed, culturally responsive services
for members of the Khmer speaking community.
We are excited to partner with the Cambodian
American Literary Arts Association (CALAA) and
Northeast Legal Aid (NELA) to create outreach
and servicesto reach Khmer speaking community
CHH staff member, Mana Kheang, has stepped
into a new role as the Project Manager. Mana
brings a great deal of experience managing
similar projects as well as passion and
commitment to the Khmer community in Lowell.
“This project is really important to me. As Khmer, I grew up witnessing intergenerational trauma that
many of my fellow Khmer people, my family included, grapple with every day. Through socialization, we
are taught to be discreet about our personal and family affairs. We pretend that everything is okay and
avoid talking about it, especially women. Many of us have mastered the skills of silence, submission, and
avoidance to keep problems private and accept life asit is. At the same time, it is important to
emphasize the fact that sexual and domestic violence can happen and affect all genders, not just
The healing journey is not linear. It can be scary to begin with. However, healing is a process and
healing means breaking silence — to be heard, seen and believed. Most importantly, healing is to know
that there is a community to support you. Therefore, this project is really important for the Khmer
community in Lowell to continue.” -Mana Kheang
We Love Community Partnerships!
Our Engaging Men & Boys team has been
working with the Cambodian Mutual Assistance
Association of Lowell, Inc. (CMAA) after-school
program where young men and boys are learning
about healthy relationships and being a positive
role model. The participants range in age from
Kindergarten through 8th grade and after each
session they leave feeling engaged, competent,
This work is possible through the support of the
The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).
Reflecting on Take Back the Night
Our 14th Annual Lowell Take Back the Night was a
powerful night of community and solidarity.
Thank you to all who marched, spoke, and
showed up for survivors. You are truly
Read the reflections below from UMass Lowell
students who participated in TBN.
“I was reminded by several women that
whatever we do to survive is the right way. I
feel stronger by seeing other women be
strong. I feel stronger knowing that there is a
future for me in a community where I feel
“Although the night was very heart wrenching
and goosebump giving, there were many positive
outlooks. There were common phrases said
throughout the night like, “we make each other
stronger”, “I’m not the only one”, “I have a
voice”, and “it’s okay to not be okay”. Many
survivors went up to speak after being moved by
another speaker, and told their story for the first
time. The empowerment and love throughout the
crowd was moving.”
“…it was Take Back the Night that gave me the
first feeling I’d ever had of being so
unbelievably proud, remarkably happy and
even relieved to be surrounded by a
community of strong survivors. This was the
first time in my life I had felt a personal
connection to a community this strong.”
To view more photos from Take Back the Night click here.
Board Member Highlight: Maria Garay Dodd
We are pleased to introduce you to one of our amazing Board
Members, Maria Garay Dodd!
Maria Garay Dodd is a branch manager for The Lowell Five
Bank with 23 years of banking experience. She resides in
Lowell and attended Lowell High School after moving to the
U.S. from Puerto Rico. Maria joined The Center for Hope and
Healing board in 2017. Being part of CHH and being able to
help in making a difference in survivor’s lives and their loved
ones is gratifying for Maria. In her spare time, Maria enjoys
spending time with her family, going for walks, working out,
traveling, going to the beach, and reading. She also
volunteers as recording secretary for Lowell First Church of
the Nazarene where she is a member.
Below, please find one of Maria’s favorite quotes and what she has to say about her experience at The
Center for Hope and Healing as a Board Member.
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“Being a board member of The Center for Hope and Healing (CHH) has opened up new opportunities for
me to be able to help others and make others aware of CHH. I enjoy being part of the board, and my
fellow board members are passionate about CHH’s mission, which is contagious! This year I had the
chance to attend Take Back the Night and was moved by the diversity of people attending the event. A
great way to show support and take a stand against sexual abuse no matter where you are from.”
We are so glad you are here, Maria!
Welcome New CHH Staff: Masade and Sadé!
We are thrilled to welcome them to the CHH team!
Masada Jones – Youth Programs Manager
Masada Jones (she/her) is an artist, community
builder, and youth worker. She is Founder and
Executive Director of The Kindred Project, an
organization creating visible community with
Black people in Lowell. She is the co-founder of
FreeVerse! a group focused on enriching the lives
of young people by fostering their love of poetry
and performance. Masada is a Lowell native
dedicated to investing in her people and
community. Becoming Broken, her first full-length
collection of poetry was released March 2016.
Sadé Farquhar – Community Education/Youth Advocate
Sadé began her journey as an advocate during her undergrad
studies at Salve Regina University, earning a BA in
Psychology and a minor in Human Services. Throughout her
senior year, much of her fulfillment and education came
from her internship at Day One, a sexual assault and trauma
center in Providence RI. Sadé left her university with a
promise to herself in continuing a career rooted in social
During her studies, Sadé found a passion in being a support
system for the LGBQ/T community. Her determination grew
stronger as she first hand experienced how intersectionality is
meant to be embraced. Sadé found strength in advocating
for MSM of color, and the transgender community of color at
high risk for HIV. In her last role as Outreach Specialist at
Lowell Community Health Center, she became a source for
training and the facilitation of groups for individuals living
Sadé strives to help create a focal point in which
conversations can happen around marginalized groups. She
finds her passion in creating awareness and empowering
those around her.