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CFJ Grant Supports Art for Advocacy Exhibits At Four Local Colleges

Bridgeport, CT. – The Center for Family Justice was awarded a federal grant which supported the launch of a series of victim-centered Art for Advocacy exhibitions and related events on four local college campuses during the 2022 National Crime Victims’ Rights Weeks. 

CFJ was the only organization in CT to receive the funding for this traveling campus-based awareness project from the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators (NAVAA) through a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC), within the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, to promote community awareness of crime victims’ rights and services during the 2022 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

The awarded funding will be used to support Art for Advocacy as part of a community awareness project on campus at Fairfield and Sacred Heart universities, the University of Bridgeport, and Housatonic Community College. The project is part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, an annual observance that takes place April 24-30, 2022. 

“The support from NAVAA and OVC for our 2022 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week “Art for Advocacy” project will help us help crime victims,” saidDebra A. Greenwood, President & CEO of The Center for Family Justice.  “Members of our community—especially those on our local college campuses-- are encouraged to help promote justice through service to crime victims by joining our 2022 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week activities and supporting victim assistance programs on a daily basis.”

Greenwood added that this project makes it possible to highlight the work of CFJ’s Campus Advocacy Team, which provides free, confidential services to students on local college campuses who have experienced domestic and sexual abuse. “As a parent and grandparent, it’s hard to think of college students experiencing these types of very serious crimes,” said Greenwood. “But the reality is that statistics show young adults actually experience some of these crimes at higher rates than the general population. So, this creative and highly engaging traveling project will help remind college students we are there to support them if they need us.” 

CFJ’s Campus Advocates Salaha Kabir and Geanella Suarez have been instrumental in curating and producing the art-centered awareness events being held with support of the grant.

The traveling exhibition, which features art created by survivors and students, will travel throughout the month of April, which is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

It will be on display at the following times and places:

  • April 4 and 5 at Fairfield University
  • April 6 through 12 at the University of Bridgeport
  • April 18 through 22 at Sacred Heart University
  • A keynote event at Housatonic Community College on April 26 which will include a panel discussion and launch of the exhibition which will continue for the next week.

First designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week increases general public awareness of, and knowledge about the wide range of rights and services available to people who have been victimized by crime.  The theme for 2022 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is “Rights, access, equity for all victims”.

Since 2004, the NCVRW Community Awareness Project has provided financial and technical assistance to more than 1000 community projects that promote victim and public awareness activities, and innovative approaches to victim outreach and public education about victims’ rights and services during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week. (Name of program) was one of the 50 recommended by NAVAA and selected for funding by OVC for 2022 from the 240 applications that were submitted nationwide. 

For additional information about 2022 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week activities or about victims’ rights and services in Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Monroe Stratford, and Trumbull please visit centerforfamilyjustice.org For information about national efforts to promote 2022 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, please visit the Office for Victims of Crime website at www.ovc.gov. 

The National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators is a non-profit organization that represents the 56 state agencies that distribute money from the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Crime Victims Fund to more than 4,000 direct victim assistance service providers. The money in the Crime Victims Fund comes from fines collected from offenders convicted of federal crimes and not from U.S. taxpayers.

PHOTO by Fairfield University student journalist Peyton Perry.

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