AWARDS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- We were honored that our partner the Center for Advancing Domestic Peace recognized Apna Ghar’s culturally competent, trauma-informed and strengths-based services addressing the unique needs of immigrant, refugee and marginalized populations at their Purple Dove gala in February 2020.
- Executive Director Neha Gill was appointed to the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues representing the 10th District in January 2020.
- Our Education and Outreach Manager, Radhika Sharma Gordon was recognized as a #FavoriteAsianAmericanLeader by the Asian American Caucus in May 2020 for more than 30 years of service and advocacy.
- Executive Director Neha Gill is a 2019 Leadership Greater Chicago (LGC) Fellow and Board President Alpa Jayanti Patel is a LGC Fellow since 2015. In April 2020, they were both highlighted by LGC for their leadership and work on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Apna Ghar staff were selected to present on several issue areas at the National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence (NCHDV) scheduled for April 2020 which was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Executive Director Neha Gill was honored with the Woman of Excellence Award for Community Service from the Women’s Empowerment Campaign in March 2019 during Women’s History Month.
- We are grateful to United Way for profiling Executive Director Neha Gill and lifting up Apna Ghar’s work in April 2019 during sexual assault awareness month in the United States.
- The Indo-American Democratic Organization (IADO) honored Executive Director Neha Gill with the Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service at their 40th Annual Gala in October 2019. The event’s keynote address was made by Chicago’s Mayor Lori Lightfoot, and the event was attended by US Senator Dick Durbin, US Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, State Representative Theresa Mah and many other public officials and community leaders.
- Our sincere thanks to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her team for highlighting Apna Ghar’s work at the first annual women’s spotlight luncheon on Giving Tuesday, December 3, 2019.
- In 2019 Apna Ghar developed a language advocacy curriculum to create language equity and ensure access to quality care and advocacy despite language barriers for our program participants and community members. We launched our training series based on the curriculum, first for our own staff, and then for staff of our partner agencies to effectively utilize their language skills to support vulnerable populations. Apna Ghar’s Program Manager Meher Rehman and Community Liaison Kavita D’Souza presented about the curriculum and the training at Northwestern University’s Center for Human Rights Conference on Language and Human Rights.
- Apna Ghar contributed to an important report entitled Trauma, Dignity and Restoration: How the State’s Crime Victim Compensation Program Can Help Heal Crime Survivors and Communities. Executive Director Neha Gill wrote about the importance of empathic listening, healthy, positive and culturally and linguistically appropriate interventions. The report was published in December 2019 and covered by WBEZ.
- Executive Director Neha Gill’s article on trauma-informed design which is about integrating the principles of trauma informed care into design with the goal of creating physical spaces that promote safety, well-being and healing was published by the Forbes Nonprofit Council in December 2019.
- Designs for Dignity’s Executive Director Jennifer Sobecki and Apna Ghar’s Executive Director Neha Gill led a national webinar on trauma informed design for grantees of the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) serving underserved populations.
- Apna Ghar’s Programs Supervisor Sara Ogawa Heidbreder presented at the Integrated Creative Arts Therapy Conference on the benefits of creative arts therapeutic interventions.
- Apna Ghar’s Education and Outreach Manager Radhika Sharma Gordon co-led a workshop on serving immigrant and refugee survivors of gender violence at a conference organized by the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
- Apna Ghar’s supervised visitation and safe exchange advocates Emily Prisuta and Sheila Shankar presented about our research-based model for enhanced supervised visitation and safe exchange services that we developed in partnership with Inspire Action for Social Change at the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ) conference in Denver, Colorado.
- Executive Director Neha Gill represented Apna Ghar at the 4th World Conference of Women’s Shelters held in Taiwan. It is the largest and most diverse global gathering on protection services and the prevention of gender violence.
- Apna Ghar’s Program Manager Meher Rehman, Development Manager Ashley Tsuruda and Executive Director Neha Gill represented Apna Ghar at the new grantee orientation in New Orleans, Louisiana organized by the Office of Violence Against Women at the US Department of Justice.
- The Club of Indian Women (CIW) has been a constant champion of ours and we were deeply honored to receive an award for outstanding social services at their 40th anniversary gala in May 2018. CIW was one of the first supporters of Apna Ghar. Prior to our incorporation in 1989, they operated a volunteer-led crisis line through which they received critically important feedback and information that led to our incorporation and shaped our mission.
- We developed and launched curricula for psycho-social education tailored to the needs of specific groups, including fathers who have used violence; children and young people; and survivors seeking support. We also developed materials for language advocates training, as well as an economic empowerment curriculum that focuses on strengthening the financial literacy and skills of our particpants. We look forward to sharing these resources and tools with our partners in the field.
- We joined members of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence in the Campaign for a Welcoming Illinois to pass the TRUST Act and then the VOICES Act, improving law enforcement’s response to immigrant victims of crime seeking certain immigration remedies. Apna Ghar had also contributed to a report by DePaul University’s Asylum and Immigration Clinic that laid the groundwork for the VOICES Act being enacted.
- We opened our new safe home in 2017 and in 2018 we completed the final phase of construction. This comprised the build-out of the lower level to create a comfortable and welcoming space that can accommodate large groups for both therapeutic and social and relaxation activities, as well as a children’s play area.
- In January, we opened our new purpose built safe home/emergency shelter that doubled our capacity to house survivors of gender violence from our previous safe home.
- Our opening was widely covered in media. We were featured on Univision, Chicago Public Radio, and WBBM CBS Radio. We were also featured in the Chicago Tribune and Columbia Chronicle.
- In March, we restarted our transitional housing program, which is a program in which survivors work closely with their case manager to achieve personal and financial goals to enhance their safety and work towards stability and self-sufficiency and we now have nine scattered site apartments for families
- In April, we participated in the national summit organized by SAALT where we continued our engagement with legislators and policy makers at the national level. We continue to grow and expand our outreach, training and community engagement efforts.
- In July, we expanded services into the suburb of Skokie through securing and opening a satelite office space co-located in Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center. We are now fully operational and provide all of our comprehensive services there.
- We implemented an evidence-based model for enhanced supervised visitation and safe exchange services that we helped develop with Inspire Action for Social Change, in which we are currently the only organization in the country working on this model.
- Executive Director, Neha Gill, received the Gender Equality Award by Chicago Chapter of the US National Committee for UN Women
- Our manager of outreach and education, Radhika Sharma Gordon, received the Community Ambassador Award from The Kedzie Center and Social Work Supervisor of the Year Award from Northeastern Illinois University.
- We expanded our medical partnership with Swedish Covenant Hospital to include having staff at the hospital every week to work with patients and medical professionals to connect to our services and refer to other available resources.
- Our staff Fauzia Mohammed and Tegest Tesfaw graduated from Chicago Foundation for Women's Advocacy Academy.
- Executive Director, Neha Gill and Apna Ghar received the Achiever Award at the first annual South Asian Womanhood and Girlhood Conference at Loyola University, Chicago, and the conference, our work and the award were part of WBEZ's Worldview program with Jerome McDonnell
- Development Manager, Ashley Tsuruda received a leadership award from the Illinois Comptroller's Office
- Apna Ghar was featured in Chicago Foundation for Women's 2015 Annual Report released in the beginning of 2016
- Apna Ghar's Second Annual art show "Collective Voices, Shared Journeys" was featured in the Medill Reports Chicago, and our art therapy services were featured in Tikkum Magazine
- Executive Director, Neha Gill and Development Manager, Ashley Tsuruda were featured on Radio Pani Poori discussing Apna Ghar's 8th Annual Taste for Life and our programs and services
- India Abroad featured Apna Ghar's positions on reproductive justice issues via the Purvi Patel case as well as on the general elections and their impact on immigrant survivors of gender violence
- DNAinfo listed Apna Ghar among the 10 most deserving causes working to end gender violence
- The Sun Times covered the family court enhancement project that we are now a part of
- A case study on Apna Ghar was published in the book "Spirituality, Culture and Development: Implications for Social Work"
- Apna Ghar participated in the domestic violence outcomes measures project to better understand the service needs of survivors in our area
- Apna Ghar was featured in Deepa Iyer's book "We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future" published in 2015 and in 2016, Executive Director, Neha Gill participated in the Chicago leg of the book tour.
- Apna Ghar received the 2015 ChangeMaker Award from South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) along with partner agencies the South Asian American Policy and Research Institute (SAAPRI), Indo-American Center (IAC) and Chicago Desi Youth Rising (CDYR) for our joint commitment to social justice at a national summit in Washington D.C.
- Former board president and longtime supporter Dr. Surinder Nand was honored with the President’s Award by the Indian American Psychiatric Association for her work in domestic violence prevention
- Board Secretary, Sugeeta Kohli received a community service award from BMO Harris Bank
- Board member, Ash Luthra was honored with the Bridge Award by Chicago United for Business Leadership
- Executive Director Neha Gill was honored with the David R Barclay Alumni Leadership Award from LEAP, Inc. (Leadership Education for Asian Pacific Americans)
- Apna Ghar received a proclamation from the Illinois Comptroller’s office marking its 25th Anniversary
- Apna Ghar’s Stride Against Violence 5k was featured on Channel 9 (WGN)
- Apna Ghar’s 25th Anniversary celebration with guest of honor, Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus was covered by media outlets in the US and India
- Executive Director Neha Gill was interviewed on Chicago Public Radio on the issue of forced marriage and by Loyola University radio on gender violence broadly
- Channel 32 (Fox) covered our response to sexual assault in South Asian and immigrant communities
- Executive Director Neha Gill was profiled in the Chicago Reporter and featured in India Abroad’s cover story on immigration
- Apna Ghar’s art show and art based counseling services were profiled in Sixty Inches from Center in a piece entitled “Challenging Silence: Making Space for Survivors in the Arts”
- Apna Ghar’s advocacy efforts related to the Purvi Patel case and reproductive rights were broadly covered by various media outlets
- Apna Ghar’s practice of cultural humility was featured in the UK’s Inclusive Migration blog and will be part of a larger research project
- Apna Ghar was featured in the Chicago Foundation for Women’s 30th anniversary video and in Deepa Iyer’s book “We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future,” published by The New Press
- Founder Kanta Khipple awarded the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Impact Award
- Board Treasurer Ramzan Dhanji and his wife, Parvin, honored by BMO Harris Bank and Loyola University for their entrepreneurship and philanthropy
- Executive Director Neha Gill recognized by the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum’s (NAPAWF) Chicago Chapter as an “everyday shero”
- Apna Ghar named in a proclamation from Governor Quinn declaring October Domestic Violence Month in Illinois
- Apna Ghar consulted on shelter policies adopted by the Kurdish Regional Government of Northern Iraq
- Apna Ghar credited with helping the Polish American Association start a supervised visitation and safe exchange program
- Apna Ghar conducted two state certified 40-hour domestic violence trainings for volunteers and professionals
- Apna Ghar developed an instructional DVD for service providers on the legal issues faced by immigrant survivors of gender violence
- Apna Ghar staff cited and acknowledged in a report on U-Visas by DePaul University and co-authored a paper for a national conference
- Apna Ghar featured in print media and on the radio. Our “Vocalo” interview on Chicago Public Radio was featured in NewCity magazine in its “Best of Chicago” section for “Best Execution of Media Activism.”
- Apna Ghar achieved record attendance at our annual events and 51% increase in outreach efforts
- Hosted and exchanged ideas for systems change with international delegations