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Domestic Violence Symposium Honors Jordan Center

Posted on 10/18/2023 5:22:30 PM

Cabrini’s Barbara and John Jordan Center for Children of Trauma and Domestic Violence Education held its 13th Annual Domestic Violence Education Symposium on Wednesday, Oct. 11 on Cabrini’s campus. This year’s symposium honored the leadership of Barbara (HON’08) and John Jordan, the Center’s founders, and Director Colleen Lelli, EdD (’95), Professor of Education, as well as the Center’s many partners and friends.

Lynn Rosenthal

Lynn Rosenthal, Director of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence for the US Department of Health and Human Services and longtime friend of the Center, served as keynote speaker and received its Resiliency and Advocacy Award.

“Walking into this room this morning, I was so overcome by this feeling,” she said. “It is that education with love, it is that heart of love, it is that common ground, it is that sense of community that Cabrini has given as a gift to the world.”

Rosenthal recalled that when she first met the Jordans in the White House years ago, she was impressed by their clarity of mission: to help children who had experienced the trauma of domestic violence.

“They were perfectly clear that we all had a role to play in ending this violence,” she said.

Since its founding in 2017, the Jordan Center and Cabrini have done their part to end domestic violence, providing education and training for over 7,000 educators and professionals in health fields, the business sector, and nonprofit agencies, according to Lelli. She estimated that, in the past decade, Cabrini has also educated more than 1,500 pre-service and in-service teachers and 10,000 students through core curriculum offerings about issues of domestic violence.

Kevin SteeleMontgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele spoke about the Jordan Center’s involvement in Senate Bill 1092, which received unanimous approval in 2018 and made it a crime to commit domestic violence in front of a child.

“Bipartisan support does not happen very often,” said Steele, expressing his appreciation for the Jordan Center’s support and research.

Also during the program, Tracey Davidson, NBC-10 news anchor, and Lelli’s former student Rachel Maxey (’18), a licensed social worker, expressed their appreciation for the Jordan Center along with their shared commitment to its mission. Prerecorded messages of support were shared from others who have been connected to the Center:

  • Troy Vincent, Executive Vice President of Football Operations for the NFL and 2022 symposium keynote speaker.
  • Tammy and Andy Reid, Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach and former Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach. The Reids have been involved with Laurel House, a Jordan Center community partner and Montgomery County, PA, agency that works to end domestic violence.
  • Bill Mitchell, whose daughter Kristin’s death in 2005 was due to dating violence. The author of When Dating Hurts and host of a podcast with the same name, Mitchell served as a guest speaker at the Domestic Violence Symposium in 2018.

Before the program concluded, Barbara and John Jordan offered an emotional address.

“To Colleen and your Cabrini team, you are our heroes,” said John Jordan, speaking about the importance of the Center’s outreach and noting that 1 in 3 families are touched by domestic violence and 1 in 5 girls are sexually abused (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). “All of us involved with the Jordan Center share a common bond with a goal to end domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse.”

The symposium ended with words of appreciation from Lelli to the Cabrini community, the Center’s community partners, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, her students, and the Jordans.

“Thank you to the masterminds behind designing [the Jordan Center] and walking alongside us as a community every step of the way,” she said of the Jordans. “You’re both always in my heart.”


Photos: Ezras Tellalian