Family Refuge Center executive director receives state award

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Kenosha Davenport

Family Refuge Center Executive Director, Kenosha Davenport, was recently awarded the 2017 Diane Reese Award from the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence at their annual Purple Gala held in Charleston.

Diane Reese left a legacy during her 14 years of service as a Team Coordinator for the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence and was active in numerous statewide and national projects to improve services for those affected by domestic violence. Diane was a true advocate, helping others to realize their own potential and living by the principles of empowerment and equality. The Diane Reese Award is given each year to honor someone who exemplifies the outstanding commitment to social justice and advocacy for victims of domestic violence that Diane showed throughout her life. Past recipients of this award include Trudy Laurenson and Gloria Martin.

Kenosha Davenport, Family Refuge Center’s Executive Director, received this prestigious award because she embodies the spirit of Diane Reese with her commitment to ending violence and serving the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Davenport works tirelessly at building true partnerships with local, state and national organizations, and has a deep respect for the dignity and worth of all those she advocates for. Prior to joining the Family Refuge Center, Davenport’s past service within the gender based violence movement has included rape response coordinator, volunteer coordinator, domestic violence shelter relief worker, nonprofit consultant, as well as serving as executive director at agencies in Alabama and North Carolina. As executive director of Family Refuge Center, Davenport directs a staff of 25 and oversees efforts in four counties. She is responsible for the overall agency direction, fundraising, fiscal oversight, programmatic oversight and managing external relationships and collaboration.

“As advocates, we often downplay and minimize the awesome work we do, but not tonight,” Davenport said in her acceptance speech. “Tonight, I invite you to celebrate with me! Tonight, we recognize the work of so many great advocates in West Virginia, past and present; we celebrate your hard work, your passion and your commitment to the domestic violence movement. Tonight, we won’t apologize for recognizing ourselves when we celebrate our successes and accomplishments. We will celebrate, loud and proud!” In closing, Davenport left those in attendance with a final thought, “If no one knows about the great work we do, how will we inspire the next generation of advocates?”

Family Refuge Center provides shelter and supportive services for victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, stalking and elder abuse in Greenbrier, Mercer, Monroe and Pocahontas Counties. There is never a cost for shelter or services provided.

If you would like more information about Family Refuge Center, please call their administrative office at 304-645-6324.