LOS ANGELES, March 4 Jenesse Center, Inc. is proud to salute husband and wife team, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Avis Ridley-Thomas as 2010 Silver Rose Honorees. The couple will be recognized at the 30th Anniversary Silver Rose Awards Gala and Auction, Sunday, April 18 at the Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows. The theme for this year's event is "In a Perfect World".
Chaired by Academy Award winning actress Halle Berry, the event will benefit Jenesse Center families, a nonprofit organization that provides holistic, comprehensive programs to nurture families victimized by domestic violence back to a place of mental, financial, physical and emotional well being.
Staunch defenders of human rights and the protection of the family unit, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Avis Ridley-Thomas have worked together to end domestic violence and to ensure that every person in need has access to shelter. For over 25 years, the couple has supported a range of women's issues and organizations. In 1984, the Ridley-Thomases co-founded the Rosa Parks Sexual Assault Crises Center, which offers support services to sexual assault survivors and their significant others, special training for social service providers, law enforcement and community agencies.
Notably, in 1994, Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced a motion to establish the Domestic Violence Task Force to coordinate domestic violence policy and program development. The success of this motion led to more funding for domestic violence organizations and allowed for the much needed increase in shelter services for families in need.
Avis Ridley-Thomas has dedicated years to working with community families. She served as Director of the Dispute Resolution Program for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office from its inception in 1989. The program specializes in mediation, violence prevention, cross cultural relations and has provided consultation, training and support to institutions, businesses, organizations and communities throughout the Southern California Region. Mrs. Ridley-Thomas formerly served as Consumer Services Coordinator and Victim Witness Services Coordinator in the City Attorney's Office. She chaired the California Advisory Committee on Sexual Assault Victim Services and the South Central Los Angeles Domestic Violence Task Force.
In addition to her role as Director of the Dispute Resolution Program, Mrs. Ridley-Thomas is co-Director of the UCLA Institute for Non-Violence in Los Angeles and co-instructs an undergraduate class entitled "Restoring Civility: Understanding, Using and Resolving Conflict" at UCLA for the departments of Education and Chicana/o Studies. She is the recipient of numerous awards.
"We are so grateful that the Ridley-Thomases are committed to saving families in crisis," said Jenesse Executive Director Karen Earl. "We appreciate that Mr. Ridley-Thomas has listened over the years to the insight and professional expertise of Mrs. Ridley-Thomas on protecting the family unit from domestic violence and methods of restoring families and communities back to self sufficiency and healthy conflict resolution."
For more information on The Silver Rose Weekend, please call Jenesse Center at 323.299.9496, ext. 103 or visit the website at www.jenesse.org. The event is ticketed and open to the public. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.
About Jenesse Center
Founded in 1980, Jenesse Center Inc. provides culturally sensitive programs, services and outreach efforts to families by providing a comprehensive, centralized base of support and services that ensures a transition from immediate crisis to stability and self-sufficiency.
Housing women and children from 30 days up to two years through its 156-bed emergency and transitional shelters. Jenesse also provides a variety of support services to over 2,000 families annually including mental health counseling, independent life skills classes, computer training, job referrals, after school programs for children, field trips, tutoring and legal assistance offering assistance with obtaining restraining orders for domestic violence victims.
About Mark Ridley-Thomas and Avis Ridley-Thomas
Mark and Avis Ridley-Thomas have exemplified a lifetime of excellence in community service both in their professional and personal lives. Mr. and Ms. Ridley-Thomas have been married since 1979, and are proud parents of twin adult sons, Sebastian and Sinclair, who are recent graduates of the historic Morehouse College.
SOURCE Jenesse Center, Inc.