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4th Annual Allies in Change Awards Luncheon

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Each year, DASH recognizes those community partners who have made a difference in the lives of women and children facing homelessness due to domestic violence.

This year we are excited to welcome back Erika Gonzalez of NBC4 as our Mistress of Ceremonies.

And we are thrilled to have Yvette Cade as our keynote speaker who will share her inspirational story of survival as she escaped domestic abuse.  Ms. Cade was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey show and has focused her survival on speaking out against domestic violence in communities around the country.

Join us on April 2nd as we honor those who continue to be an ally in the community to amplify our mission and work to ensure that every home is a safe home for survivors of abuse.

Purchase a ticket or be a sponsor!

When:  Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at 12:00PM to 1:30PM

Where:  Hyatt Regency at Capitol Hill, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC

For more information on the Allies in Change Awards Luncheon, please contact Tameka Martin at tmartin@dashdc.wpengine.com or Meghan McDonough at mmcdonough@dashdc.wpengine.com.


SPOTLIGHT ON ALLIES IN CHANGE AWARDEES: A WIDER CIRCLE AND MARK BERGEL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Thanks to the leadership and support of Mark Bergel and A Wider Circle, families moving into housing with DASH had their new households fully furnished and equipped, ready for them to easily and quickly move into their new homes and begin rebuilding their lives. When DASH doubled the number of families housed through our Empowerment Project, A Wider Circle provided everything needed to help them move into their apartments seamlessly. With the simple mission of helping children and families lift themselves out of poverty, A Wider Circle does so much more. They ensure that families who have escaped abuse, leaving everything they had behind them, not only have a safe place to live but everything need to make it a home.

We would like to honor Mark Bergel, the Executive Director of A Wider Circle, with our Building Brick Award. In construction, the building brick is that which makes up the substance of the structure. A Wider Circle’s help to ensure that the families at DASH are provided with more than just a safe place to run, but the ability to establish new homes – quickly, easily, and comfortably, the way a home should be – helps change lives. Read the interview with Mark Bergel below, and remember to buy tickets to the Allies in Change Luncheon here:

I believe that we can end poverty, that it is the single greatest blight on our society and on our world. I believe that poverty leads to so many other destructive forces and I am deeply devoted to working to end it.

My relationship to our nation’s capital is simply that it provides the perfect opportunity to show what is possible when people come together to address a major problem. I have spent many, many days in all parts of our capital city and am always shocked that we allow poverty to endure and two worlds to exist side by side in the same land. I think we owe it to every ideal on which this nation was born and every ideal we hold sacred in our lives to end poverty. To me, DC is a metaphor for the connection that is needed in this world.

If you are doing anything of importance in this city, you will hear about DASH. It was
fairly early in the life of A Wider Circle, the organization I founded in 2001, that I came across DASH and forged a relationship with its leadership.

I believe that the work that DASH does – and the way it is done – is a real uplift. DASH and its leadership represent truly the best in social service, and we need to serve in an extremely high-quality and dignified way. That is what I see with DASH.

A mutual desire to serve well – that is what brought us together. A Wider Circle’s relationship with DASH is a true partnership. They provide support in many ways for our work, and we respond with urgency when a family from DASH is in need of our support.

While it may not sound unique, what stands out about DASH to me is the exceptionally
professional manner in which is it is managed and in which its programs run. It may not seem unique to be a consistently high-quality and first-class operation, but the way in which DASH is managed makes me feel good about how the women and families they serve will be supported.

Unfortunately, domestic violence is almost synonymous with poverty, so I am connected with domestic violence much more than I expected to be. In fact, I always say that it would be difficult to meet a woman who was born and raised in poverty and did not face some form of violence. Every conversation is heartbreaking, but at the same time, motivating. So, to be a part of what DASH is doing, and to partner in the effort is among the most important things that I and A Wider Circle do. We are deeply committed to confronting the issue of domestic violence and to making sure that those who have been victims of it can realize a future filled with positivity and joy.


Spotlight on Allies in Change Awardees: MOI and Jennifer Lee

DASH’s longtime corporate community partner, MOI, is this year’s recipient of the Keystone award.  MOI not only works with DASH to build awareness and support for the cause of safe housing and safe lives through events, they also donate their time volunteering and organizing much-needed drives for DASH’s women and children.  MOI has also donated endless amounts office furniture for DASH staff and its staff has helped design our office spaces.  Jennifer, Senior Consultant for Commercial Interior Solutions, explains more about this wonderful partnership below, and remember to buy tickets to the luncheon here:

My name is Jennifer Lee, I’m a Senior Consultant at MOI. MOI is a Commercial Furniture Dealership with 30 years of experience providing clients with comprehensive furniture solutions.

I work and play in DC!  I first heard about DASH back in 2009 when we hosted an art show that raised funds and awareness for DASH. It also gave members of the industry an opportunity to showcase our artistic talents.

When DASH was renovating the Cornerstone building MOI donated furniture as well as our services for design, labor, and project management for their staff offices.

DASH knows firsthand how large the need is locally for safe housing and support services. They bring vital awareness needed to educate others on the cause and effect relationship between domestic violence and the prevention of homelessness.

Their low barrier policy and the passion that their team has for the mission along with their unbridled resolve to give their residents the tools/skills needed to rebuild their lives with the respect and kindness they deserve.  DASH addresses the need for services and local housing for victims and assists with getting them into safe, supportive environments, where they can find success at their own speed. DASH is nationally recognized for their best practice model organization.

I feel passionate that women and children should be protected from violence and sexual abuse. Having a sense of security and safety in your home…this is the most basic need most of us take for granted. All women should have an alternative housing solution to living in an unsafe environment or on the streets.

“We” in the global sense, are ALL affected by domestic violence, sexual abuse, and homelessness.


Spotlight on Allies in Change Awardees: Sasha Carter

On April 24th, DASH will hold its 3rd Annual Allies in Change luncheon, honoring individuals and community partners who have supported the organization’s work to provide relief to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, through emergency and long-term safe housing, and innovative homelessness prevention services. We are doing a series of interviews of our awardees beforehand to share a bit more about them. This blog focuses on The Red Derby, a local, neighborhood pub, and its wonderful and generous founder and owner, Sasha Carter. The Red Derby provides DASH with incredibly generous donations throughout the year,  making sure every single DASH resident has food and gifts for every holiday, big and small, and school supplies/backpacks when the kids return to school each year. And the Derby’s generosity doesn’t end there! Two of their wonderful staff, Ann-Marie VanTassell and Beth Hansen, have also started an After School Art Group for DASH kids ( to read more about this wonderful group, click here).

Remember to buy tickets to the luncheon here.

Sasha Carter had the following commentary on The Red Derby’s iinvolvement with DASH:

D.C. has been my home since I moved here in 1988.  Over five years ago, my husband and I opened the Red Derby, a local, neighborhood pub in the Petworth section of D.C. Upon opening, one of our friends, Jordan Fitzgerald, told us about DASH and asked if she could host a fundraiser at the Derby.  We said, yes, of course.  Remembering back to that first event, although there was a rain storm combined with an unexpected street closure, the fundraiser was a success.  That was when we first started to learn about DASH.  A couple of months later, with Mother’s Day on the horizon, we thought it would be a great idea to host our own fundraiser for DASH.  We pulled our staff and our regulars together, and made it happen.  That was the first of many fundraisers we were to give.  Since we have been open, over the years we’ve focused on the following events for DASH:  Halloween costumes and candy, non-perishable food for Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas gifts, Easter egg baskets, mother’s day gifts, and a back-to-school drive over the summer (for back packs and school supplies).  We have tremendous support from our staff and our regulars for all the DASH fundraisers we host.  In fact, this February two of our staff members began a pilot after school arts class at DASH.

Why do we host a DASH fundraiser every couple of months?  Because we wholeheartedly believe in and support DASH and we want to help in any way we can.  With the tremendous growth D.C. has experienced over the past ten years, DASH provides an invaluable component to D.C.’s landscape; it helps make D.C. not only a vibrant world class city, but also a community that cares.

Moms and kids are the nucleus of our society.  We must be a community that takes care of, protects, and helps to grow this nucleus.  Domestic violence and sexual abuse are full on attacks to the safety of this nucleus.  By providing safe housing for up to two years and access to a whole range of social services, including financial counseling to help restore damaged credit and regain financial footing, DASH makes sure we are that community who takes care of our own by helping our own to rebuild their lives on their terms.

As a local, neighborhood pub, that is part of the D.C. community, the Red Derby wants to support DASH to succeed in its extremely important goals and mission.  We are honored to be able to help in any way possible.


Spotlight on Allies in Change Awardees: Jamila Larson

On March 28th, DASH will hold its Allies in Change luncheon, honoring individuals who have supported and amplified the organization’s work to provide relief to survivors of domestic and sexual violence,through emergency and long-term safe housing, and innovative homelessness prevention services. We are doing a series of interviews of our awardees beforehand to share a bit more about them. This blog focuses on Jamila Larson, who has brought her work with the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project to DASH’s community. Remember to buy tickets to the luncheon here!

We are pleased to introduce Jamila Larson. Ms. Larson came to D.C. in 1996 from Wisconsin and has been running the Playtime Project as a volunteer since its founding in 2003. She assumed the role as first fulltime Executive Director in September 2009. Her experience as a licensed clinical social worker running a mental health and after school program and as a policy researcher at the Children’s Defense Fund helped inform her leadership of the Playtime Project. “We are fortunate to have the most amazing volunteers and dedicated supporters s who recognize the unlimited potential in the children and families we serve and make a commitment to protecting a child’s right to experience joy.”

Below is the interview we conducted with Ms. Larson. We are grateful to have her as a partner and friend, and are looking forward to honoring her and others March 28th!

Jamila Larson and Lars from Homeless Children's Playtime Project

“My friend from the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless told me about this great group of women starting DASH and recommended we consider bringing our Playtime Project model to their new housing program. I jumped at the chance because we know many of the children we serve in family shelters have experienced domestic violence, but to be able to partner with an agency that specializes in this population is something we’d really like to do.

I grew up in rural Wisconsin but moved to DC in 1996 right out of college to work for the Children’s Defense Fund on national policy issues effecting children and families. Discovering how many local needs there are in this city made me passionate to stay and learn about the needs of children and families locally and serve here.

I think there should be a domestic violence fatality review team, similar to child fatality review teams, that analyzes what was done and what was not done by the authorities and service providers in order to fine tune interventions in high risk cases. More police escorts and relocation assistance is needed especially around the time protection orders are filed to ensure families survive dangerous transition times. Education for teen girls and boys in middle school and high school is also critical to help break the cycle as young people are experiencing their first relationships.

We educate our volunteers about the likelihood that many of the families we serve in non-domestic violence shelters have experienced domestic violence, and we work to create a safe environment for all the children we serve. It’s important to give children an environment that gives them therapeutic tools to work through their feelings and experiences (like doll houses, play doh, puppets and art supplies). We want to equip all of the children we serve with coping skills against violence and to make sure they feel safe to relax and express themselves.

Jamila and her newborn

I am a new parent to a darling 5-month-old boy, and it makes me think a lot about how to raise a wonderful man in this world. I read something recently about how respecting children when they tell us “no” helps teach them to respect others who tell them no. This makes a lot of sense to me, to help relatively powerless children find their voice. Check back with me in a year…I will put this consciousness to the test when he starts talking back!”


DASH Featured on Channel 9 News

Note: Some content may be triggering due to graphic descriptions.

Last night, DASH was featured in a lead story on Local Channel 9 news (CBS) about safe housing for survivors of domestic violence, a story that was prompted by the murder on Tuesday in Kensington, MD of Heather Lynn McGuire by her estranged husband, who then committed suicide.

Journalist Gary Nurenberg interviewed DASH Executive Director Peg Hacskaylo, as well as three residents of DASH’s Cornerstone Program, to learn more about safe shelter and how victims of domestic and sexual violence can escape abuse to establish safe, independent lives.  The story, which also included footage of the safe housing apartments DASH provides its residents at Cornerstone, was the centerpiece of the feature, which also highlighted the story of the tragic murder/suicide, an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw, and an interview with Yvette McCade, a local survivor of an attempted murder by her estranged husband.

Click here to view the broadcast and read the accompanying story, click here: WUSA 9 DASH Story

If you would like to learn more about DASH and support the work we do to help women and children in our community, our 2nd annual DASH Allies in Change Luncheon is March 28 (2012) at 12:00pm at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. The lunch is open to the public and tickets can be purchased here: Allies in Change. You can also visit www.dashdc.org for more information or to make a secure donation online.

DASH extends its gratitude to WUSA Channel 9 and Gary Nurenberg for its attention to and coverage of this important issue and the work that DASH does to help survivors and their families.


Spotlight on Allies in Change Awardees: Andrew Lazerow

On March 28th, DASH will hold its Allies in Change luncheon, honoring individuals who have supported and amplified the organization’s work to provide relief to survivors of domestic and sexual violence,through emergency and long-term safe housing, and innovative homelessness prevention services. We are doing a series of interviews of our awardees beforehand to share a bit more about them. This blog focuses on Andrew Lazerow, who provides DASH with legal support. Remember to buy tickets to the luncheon here!

Andrew Lazerow, Allies in Change Awardee

DASH is happy to introduce Andrew Lazerow. Mr. Lazerow is of counsel in the Covington & Burling LLC’s  Washington, DC office.  He has extensive experience representing clients in numerous industries in alternative dispute resolution proceedings, antitrust class actions, securities fraud class actions, and complex commercial disputes.  He litigates and tries complex matters in federal court.

Below are comments Andrew had about his relationship to DASH and to the District of Columbia:

I grew up just outside the city, in Bethesda, Maryland.  However, I went to law school in DC, and lived in Adams Morgan for a number of years.

I have had the privilege of acting as quasi outside counsel to DASH for a few years now.  I truly enjoy working with DASH’s executive staff to ensure that DASH operates safe facilities.  It is obviously critical that victims of domestic abuse not suffer a second injustice.  DASH offers that refuge, and I hope that my small part furthers DASH’s mission in this regard.

DASH is proud to honor Mr. Lazerow for his ongoing contributions to the organization.


Spotlight on Allies in Change Awardees: Paul M. Aguggia

On March 28th, DASH will hold its Allies in Change luncheon, honoring individuals who have supported and amplified the organization’s work to provide relief to survivors of domestic and sexual violence,through emergency and long-term safe housing, and innovative homelessness prevention services. We are doing a series of interviews of our awardees beforehand to share a bit more about them. This blog focuses on Paul M. Aguggia, who provides DASH with legal support. Remember to buy tickets to the luncheon here!

Paul Aguggia

Mr. Aguggia had the following commentary on his involvement with DASH:

“I am extremely proud to serve as outside legal counsel for DASH.  I hope to help serve the community that DASH serves by providing support for this wonderful organization. I grew up in NYC but have spent most of my adult life in DC.  I like to think I have become “connected” to DC in many ways … but I still love New York.  I believe strongly in DASH’s mission.  I commit to that mission with my time and I urge others to find their own way to help these women and their families. I am proud to be able to assist DASH in some way.  Peg Hacskaylo and the DASH team are truly extraordinary.”

Paul Aguggia focuses his practice on public and private capital raising transactions, corporate reorganizations and restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, federal securities reporting, federal and state securities compliance matters and general corporate law. He provides strategic advice and counsel to public and private companies. Mr. Aguggia also advises private investors, including private equity funds and hedge funds. He has experience with proxy contests and shareholder relations matters. Mr. Aguggia frequently advises boards of directors and committees of boards of directors on corporate governance matters, including compliance with the provisions of Sarbanes-Oxley. Mr. Aguggia has extensive experience in the representation of financial institutions and has frequently represented mutual financial institutions with respect to mutual-to-stock conversions, mutual holding company reorganizations, charter choice and depositor/member issues. Mr. Aguggia received his J.D. from Duke University School of Law and a B.A. from Colgate University.


Spotlight on Allies in Change Awardees: Dr. Kathleen Maloy and Heather Burns

On March 28th, DASH will hold its Allies in Change luncheon, honoring individuals who have supported and amplified the organization’s work to provide relief to survivors of domestic and sexual violence,through emergency and long-term safe housing, and innovative homelessness prevention services. We are doing a series of interviews of our awardees beforehand to share a bit more about them. This blog focuses on Dr. Kathleen Maloy and Heather Burns of the Live to Give Charitable Trust Fund, a philanthropic endeavor established to make strategic and catalytic gifts that support community oriented efforts focused on promoting social justice, equity and human rights. Dr. Maloy speaks to us here on behalf of Live to Give. Remember to buy your tickets to the luncheon here!

Dr. Kathleen Maloy and Heather Burns, Live to Give Charitable Trust Fund

“We learned about DASH from our good friend Jane Pittman who prepared a short film for DASH.  We were so impressed during our conversation with Peg Hacskaylo, DASH founder and ED, about the DASH philosophy and programs to support women and their families leaving domestic violence.  This inspired us to contribute support to DASH and to the building that can provide a safe and healing haven for women and their families.

Both Heather and I grew up in New England but have lived in DC for last two decades.  We both are committed to supporting organization that contribute to creating healthier communities for vulnerable populations, especially women and their families.

We think that services like the ones that DASH offers, i.e., services that support that availability of safe and peaceful spaces where women and their families can start to recover from the experiences of domestic violence at their own pace and in accordance with their own needs are very important.  Too often the deep impact of experiencing domestic violence is not understood.

Heather and Kathleen at Habitat for Humanity build in Egypt, 2010

Because of the prevalence of domestic violence, as well as the frequency of insecurity and uncertainty for women and their families, it is so important to expand programs and services that secure safety and peace for women and their families.  The long-lasting impact on children mean that these program and services are key to securing the future for our country.

We love DASH and the principles that DASH stands for.”

Dr. Kathleen Maloy has worked for 30 years to improve the lives of low-income and vulnerable populations by engaging in research, policy, and advocacy focused on health equity and social justice. Her expertise include Medicaid, Medicare, healthcare financing reform, state health and mental health policy, intersection of health and public health policy, and the social determinants of health.

Heather Burns recently retired as the Senior Vice President with Booze Allen Hamilton, having successfully led the firm’s health care business. Since leaving Booze Allen, Heather and partner Kathleen Maloy have created the Live To Give Charitable Trust Fund. She is also the Executive Producer of In Your Hands, a film about two people’s journey to reintegrate into society after incarceration.

Thank you, Live to Give!


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District Alliance for Safe Housing | PO Box 91730 Washington, DC 20090
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