Center for Victims CEO, former Womansplace leader, garners award
By Daily News
Published: Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 4:41 a.m.
Center for Victims CEO and President Laurie MacDonald has been named the Dignity & Respect Champion of Greater Pittsburgh.
For 10 years, she worked at Womansplace, a domestic violence center headquartered in McKeesport. In July, that organization merged with the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime.
She was nominated for the award by co-worker Nicolas J. Hartman.
“Through Laurie's commitment to acknowledging the diversity of crime and victims of crime, we now have an agency providing services in a comprehensive fashion while appreciating and respecting the diversity of the victims it serves,” he wrote in the nomination letter.
Hartman said in the letter that MacDonald has a “personal approach to working with her employees, never shy to say hello and ask about your well-being. Laurie truly wants her staff to feel appreciated and enjoy the work that we do.”
Reflecting on her work, the honoree said it is rewarding to get to know so many different people. The daughter of an Arab immigrant, MacDonald said she remembers growing up in McKeesport two blocks from where Womansplace was established and being marked by gender and racial discrimination.
“I learned a lot about discrimination and prejudice,” she said. “Female suppression was huge. You were expected to graduate high school and become a secretary.”
Although that atmosphere has changed, she knows people are still hurting one another. In the past decade, she admits she has not seen “even a modest decrease” in the number of women seeking shelter from violence. She has seen the women she serves become more diverse.
“Domestic violence happens to everyone,” MacDonald said, “but the way it's dealt with in the community is different. It's not as taboo to seek help now.”
Womansplace reached an underserved community that was less likely to access resources based in the city, she said. Center for Victims casts the net wider, she said, offering men and women in Allegheny County a 24-hour help line for victim advocacy, crisis intervention, counseling, and community education programs for those impacted by all forms of violence and crime.
“It's good for our clients,” MacDonald said of the merger. “It's more of a one-stop shop.”
The Dignity & Respect Campaign is an awareness initiative designed to join individuals, community leaders, community organizations, educational institutions, businesses, and corporations under the common notion that everyone deserves dignity and respect.
A Dignity & Respect Champion is someone nominated by a co-worker, family member or friends who embraces diversity, embodies compassion and demonstrates mutual respect.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Family, McKeesport community grieves for girl, 14, killed by truck
- Lincoln Way work finally set to begin
- Clairton Seuss Cafe just what doctor ordered for love of reading
- McKeesport-area officials on lookout for landslides
- AIU forum bashes governor’s education budget
- License transfer paves way for new restaurant in McKeesport
- McKeesport mayor answers critics of emergency timing
- Army band Volunteers to rock Palisades stage
- Wilmerding Y surviving Ice Plant shutdown
- Biology students learn about genetics through fruit fly project
- McKeesport declares state of emergency