Dear Friends of 180,
Most of us remember Rosa Parks as an iconic woman in the civil rights movement for her refusal to give up her seat on the bus to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Her brave act was a catalyst for change. What you may not know about Rosa Parks, is that she survived an attempted rape in 1931. After the assault, Rosa later worked at the National Association of Colored People (NAACP) where she provided support, legal aid and advocacy to Black sexual assault survivors.
Rosa’s work to promote civil rights and justice for sexual assault survivors resonates especially with 180. As a female, Black sexual assault survivor and advocate, Rosa was an exceptional resource and a relatable voice for the Black community. Her shared experience and understanding of the unique challenges faced by the Black community helped to mobilize justice and made her a fierce voice for victims of injustice and violence.
Acknowledging and addressing the unique challenges faced by the Black community as it relates to domestic and sexual violence is paramount to 180’s work here in Monmouth County. All of our Counseling Programs including the Shore Regional Outreach Program (link here) strive to meet the unique needs of every family. Our client-centered, trauma-informed and culturally sensitive approach is evident in all we do as service providers, and in our work to mobilize activism throughout the county.
As we celebrate National Black History Month, and the achievements of all African Americans, we honor the bravery and service of individuals like Rosa Parks whose history continues to inspire our mission to empower survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault to have the strength and courage to turn their lives around.
Anna Diaz White, Executive Director
Brian M. Nelson, Board President