REACH Hosts 2019 Annual Meeting

On Thursday, May 23, over 100 supporters of REACH joined staff and Board members at the Massachusetts Medical Society for REACH’s Annual Meeting.  This event is an opportunity for volunteers, activists, donors, survivors, community leaders and service providers to come together to share the successes and challenges of reaching beyond domestic violence.  

During the reception hour, in addition to a light dinner generously provided by the Massachusetts Medical Society, tables were positioned around the room highlighting how we do our work through the lens of the Full Frame Initiative’s Five Domains of Wellbeing model and why it matters. REACH staff engaged guests in conversation about these domains of wellbeing: Social Connectedness, Stability, Safety, Mastery, and Meaningful Access to Relevant Resources. REACH uses the Full Frame Approach to support survivors in identifying their concerns, access resources to address concerns and goals, and enhance safety.

From left to right: Stephen Langlois, REACH Board Chair, Katya Fels Smyth, Mary Young Award recipient, Kathy Brophy, Ruth and Virginia Bigwood Award recipient, and Laura Van Zandt, REACH Executive Director

The program for the evening included remarks by Executive Director Laura Van Zandt, updating on the organization. In addition to welcoming new members of REACH’s Board of Directors and saying goodbye to those stepping down, Van Zandt also highlighted how we truly believe that change is possible and how we can all impact change through the words we use, the actions we endorse, and the choices we make. 

Following the annual update was the presentation of the 2019 Voice for Justice Awards honoring two amazing women who have partnered with REACH. Katya Fels Smyth, who received the Mary Young Award, is the founder and CEO of the Full Frame Initiative, described on their website as “a social change organization that partners with pioneering organizations, systems and communities across the country to fundamentally shift their focus from fixing problems to fostering wellbeing.” Our work as a domestic violence intervention and prevention organization has been shaped by our collaboration with the Full Frame Initiative and we were honored to have Katya join us.

Kathy Brophy, the recipient of The Ruth and Virginia Bigwood Award, has been in service to youth and school communities for decades. Kathy has been in the Health and Wellness field for the past 26 years and is in her 12th year as a Fitness and Health Teacher at Wellesley High School. Kathy has worked closely with REACH Beyond Domestic Violence through the facilitation of the “Power Up” class offered to students at Wellesley High School. Power Up, which is centered around “Confidence-Power-Safety,” is a semester long class built on a self-defense framework.

Art work created by Wellesley High School students who participated in the “Power Up” class facilitated by this year’s Ruth and Virginia Bigwood Voice for Justice Award Winner, Kathy Brophy, was also displayed during the reception hour. 

REACH Board Chair Stephen Langlois closed the meeting with gratitude and an invitation to get involved.

Photos from the 2019 Annual Meeting can be viewed here.