The New York Asian Women’s Cen-ter, a leader in providing innovative and award-winning multilingual and culturally responsive services to survivors of domestic violence, human trafficking, sexu-al violence and later in life abuse, officially changed its name to Womankind at a press conference in Manhattan on Tuesday.
“We changed our name to create an identity that speaks to the power of our unique ways of thinking and doing – chang-ing paradigms, building and healing,” said Larry Lee, executive director of Womankind. “And to show that we are more inclusive and transforming. We changed because we had outgrown our name.”
For 35 years, Womankind has helped Asian women and their children rise above trau-ma and build a path to healing through coun-seling, safe and confidential emergency hous-ing, immigration and legal services, economic empowerment programs and so much more.
Representatives from the organization also revealed the trailer of a short film by di-rector Benjamin Ross called “Rise Above,” which premiered during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, last weekend. The virtual reality (VR) film focuses on Brit-tany, a South Asian youth survivor of sexual violence, and was produced by Oculus’ “VR For Good” initiative.
“It was great to be able to tell my story of abuse through the medium of virtual real-ity and to be able to share the film through social media,” said Brittany. “I hope the film encourages more people from my genera-tion to report abuse and speak out against violence.” The “VR for Good” initiative will make its rounds through the film festival cir-cuit and will, eventually, be available to view in its entirety on the organization’s recently revamped web site, www.iamwomankind. org. The organization also announced the opening of a new community office in Brook-lyn, which will allow advocates to provide services for double the number of victims from that community. The Brooklyn Center makes for a total of THREE community of-fices and TWO emergency residences that Womankind manages in New York.
Indie rock artist Queen V ended the press conference on a high note by perform-ing her rendition of “Broken Wings,” which is now available on I-tunes. Proceeds from the sales will benefit Womankind.