By Vaidehi Joshi
Danielle Reydon came to Sakhi to turn theory into practice. While obtaining her undergraduate degrees in History and Anthropology from Brooklyn College, Danielle became cognizant of the disconnect between academia and lived experience. A few months before graduation, Danielle took on a three-month internship at Sakhi in the Development department. “I wanted to try and do something more substantial,” she explains. Danielle has since transitioned into the full time role of Program and Development Associate.
A crucial aspect of the work of any community-based organization is maintaining financial support for the services it provides for the community. Danielle’s new role is, in essence, an integration of two different aspects of working at an anti-domestic violence organization. Danielle describes her position as a link between Sakhi’s survivors and Sakhi’s donors; emphasizing the importance of coalition-building, as well as its significance as a tool for community outreach. By integrating her experiences from Sakhi’s various programs into grant proposals, Danielle exposes our philanthropic partners to the work that Sakhi does so that they can understand how Sakhi affects both the individuals it serves, as well as the diverse components of our community at large.
The programming aspect of Danielle’s job requires that she collaborates with Sakhi’s Direct Services team to plan workshops as she builds financial support for the programming that Sakhi is providing for survivors. Sakhi’s upcoming Arts and Activism Workshop is one example of such cooperation. Danielle comes to Sakhi with more than two years of experience in the arts sector. Her past role as a gallery assistant introduced her to drafting press releases and maintaining gallery databases and exhibitions. She intends to integrate this past experience as she curates an exhibition which will show the final product from this arts workshop series.
In her short time here at Sakhi, Danielle has already had to face many challenges; stating that learning “the language of funders” itself can present a difficulty because it requires translating on a conceptual level the work that we do with individual women facing abuse. She explains the complexity of working in Development, stating that even though she doesn’t work directly with survivors, she is still “struck by the reality” of domestic violence. Despite the challenges, Danielle has already seen much growth and progress at Sakhi, and is excited to participate in the revitalization of the Women’s Health Initiative and the launching of the Restorative Justice Project.
Danielle’s future plans are evidence of her passion for Sakhi and its mission. Her long term goal at Sakhi is to create an open dialogue with survivors about sexual assault, plan for coalition building within a global framework, and address the issue of dating violence. Danielle plans to attend law school and obtain an MA in history in the near future. We welcome her to the Sakhi Team!
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