OUR MISSION

We engage communities, organizations and individuals through quality research, community organizing, advocacy, training and model programming to advance the rights of girls and young women, especially those in the justice system.

Established in January 2013, the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center is the outgrowth of the girls’ reform movement that began more than 15 years ago.

Starting in the late 1990s, statewide programming for girls in the juvenile justice system faced repeated threats of elimination in the Florida state budget.  A public awareness counter-offensive to stop these proposed devastating budget cuts was led by Dr. Lawanda Ravoira, current president & CEO of the Policy Center, and Roy Miller, president and founder The Children’s Campaign Inc.  They launched a focused reform initiative for justice-involved girls and young women throughout Florida.

This reform initiative led to the publication of two of the largest research studies specific to girls ever conducted in the country.  Funded by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Educate or Incarcerate (2000) and Rallying Cry for Change (2006) documented girls’ pathways into the Florida system and provided specific recommendations for reform.

In 2004, Ravoira and Miller spearheaded a legislative effort resulting in Florida becoming the second state in the country to pass legislation (HB1989/SB2727) requiring gender-specific services in the juvenile justice system.

In 2007, Ravoira and Miller, along with Linda Alexionok, were catalysts in the creation of the Juvenile Justice Blueprint Commission.  Simultaneously, the Florida Bar Foundation funded a statewide reform initiative led by Ravoira and Miller to address the disparate treatment of girls and young women in the justice system. This resulted in publication of The Florida Justice for Girls:  Blueprint for Action co-authored by Ravoira and Miller, which chronicled the girls’ reform movement in Florida and provided a detailed call to action grounded in research and best practices.

Shortly after, the Women’s Giving Alliance underwrote the Justice for Girls: Duval County Initiative, staffed by Ravoira and Miller, to help transform Duval County and Northeast Florida into a national model for effectively addressing the multiplicity of girls’ needs in the justice system.  Led by the citizen-driven Justice for Girls: Duval County Initiative Leadership Council, a comprehensive strategic plan was adopted that focused on the creation of model programming and advocacy initiatives specific to the local community.

In 2008, through a partnership with the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD), Ravoira sought private funding from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund to open a national Center for Girls and Young Women. This partnership with NCCD provided an extraordinary opportunity for creating a Center for Girls and Young Women in Jacksonville, Florida.

The NCCD Center for Girls and Young Women opened in 2009 and had remarkable success in the development of cutting edge, research-based curricula, providing training and technical assistance throughout the country, establishing the National Girls Institute for the federal government, and developing and implementing researched-based direct service programs for girls in detention and elementary schools.  However, a different structure was necessary to expand the work in the direction needed to bring about systemic lasting reform that could transform how Duval County and Northeast Florida responded to girls.

In 2012, a proposal was developed for Delores Barr Weaver that married social science and political science with the goal of creating a national model for lasting reform that would focus on the disparate policies and practices in Duval and the surrounding counties.

A longtime advocate for girls and women and a member of the Justice for Girls: Duval County Initiative Leadership Council since its inception in 2007, Mrs. Weaver supported the request to open the Policy Center and graciously agreed to have the center named in her honor.

Opened in 2013, the Policy Center uses political science strategies that integrate the lived experiences of girls in the juvenile justice and child protection systems.  The advocacy platform addresses the policies, processes and practices that result in disparate treatment of girls. The core services of the Policy Center are grounded in rigorous research initiatives to inform the advocacy platform, training and technical assistance, and the development and implementation of direct service model programming along the continuum to provide prevention, court diversion, treatment, and residential and re-entry services for girls in the juvenile justice system.

Our mission statement is to “Engage communities, organizations and individuals through quality research, community organizing, advocacy, training and model programming to advance the rights of girls and young women, especially those in the justice system.” Our mission is guided by Girl-Centered Practice.

Girl Centered Practice uses a strength-based approach that is grounded in three core principles and six elements:

Core Principles

Girls as Experts:  Acknowledge each girl as an experts of her life and her relationships

Mutuality:  Sit where a girl sits and seeing what she sees

Lived Experiences: Honor and value each girl’s lived experience, knowledge, culture, ethnicity and language

 

Elements

Theory: Ensures that programs are guided by gender relevant theories

Connections: Focuses on the importance of girls’ connections (family, friends, schools, and others)

Community: Recognizes the dynamic community in which girls live, play and learn

Intersectionality: Focuses on the intersectionality of gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, age, ability and education

Reflection: Uses reflective practice and listening without judging

Activism: Promotes activism and informed advocacy

Developed with Barbara Guthrie, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., Northeastern University

DELORES BARR WEAVER

Delores Barr Weaver is a lifelong advocate for girls and young women and among the leading philanthropists in Jacksonville and the Southeast.  Her philanthropy has transformed Jacksonville.  Her generous support led to the establishment of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center, providing a permanent resource supporting girls in the juvenile justice system, and girls whose circumstances are likely to lead them into that system.



TEAM

vickyb

Inderjit Vicky Basra, L.M.S.W. – Senior Vice President

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AlyssaB

Alyssa Beck – Advocacy Specialist

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AlaniB

Alani Beck, B.A.W. – Girl Expert

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Cindy B

Cindy Brakefield – Office Manager

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Jacqueline B

Jacqueline Brown, Ph.D. – Psychologist

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DeeAnne-C

DeeAnne Crookham, M.P.A. – Director of Program Development

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Beth-D

Beth Daniel – Vice President of Operations

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MDegnan

Macy Degnan – Communication & Development Specialist

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Kim G

Kimberly Gallon- Care Manager

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RachelH

Rachel Han – Joan Amery Van Vleck Research Fellow

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SarahH

Sarah Helms, Ph.D. – Psychologist

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TyJ

Ty Jones, L.C.S.W. – Mental Health Professional

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Jenna K

Jenna Kramer, R.C.S.W.I. – Mental Health Professional

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MichelleL

Michelle Lasky, L.C.S.W.- Regional Advocate

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Conchetta W r

Conchetta Latimer – Care Manager

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Tayloe M

Tayloe McDonald – Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

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KristinM

Kristin Murray – Care Manager

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Vanessa P

Vanessa Patino Lydia, M.P.A. – Vice President of Research & Planning

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lawanda

Lawanda Ravoira, D.P.A. – President & CEO

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JamieR

Jamie Rosseland – Survivor-Mentor

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KateS3

Kate Sanchez – Grant Compliance Coordinator

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Nekea-S

Nekea Sanders – Research Assistant

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Biannela

Biannela Susana – Program Development Assistant

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MelanieV

Melanie Varney, M.A.E. – Clinician

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RachelW

Rachel Weinstein, L.M.H.C. – Clinical Director

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BlytheZ

Blythe Duckworth Zayets, M.A. – Research Project Manager

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MilaZ2

Mila Zayets, B.A.W. – Girl Expert

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dog-pete

Pete – Office Greeter/ Loving Therapist

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BOARD

AudreyM

Audrey Moran – Chair

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DGrey

Dane Grey – Vice Chair

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Kay-C

Kay Cunningham, CEBS – Secretary, Treasurer

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IngerLG

Inger Loftheim Geraghty

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BarbaraG

Barbara Guthrie, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N.

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SherryM

Sherry P. Magill, Ph.D.

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JohnT

John C. Taylor, J.D.

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JUSTICE FOR GIRLS: DUVAL COUNTY INITIATIVE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL

In 2007, the Children’s Campaign, Inc. partnered with Dr. Lawanda Ravoira to engage the community in developing a comprehensive reform agenda developed by citizens and key stakeholders in Duval County to address girls’ pathways into the local juvenile justice system. Through a grant from the Women’s Giving Alliance, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and private donors, they launched the Justice for Girls: Duval County Initiative.  The goal of this initiative was to identify and examine policies, procedures and practices that shepherd girls from Duval County into the juvenile justice system and determine points in the process where girls could be prevented from entering, diverted or appropriately referred to services based on individual needs and public safety risks.

Reform recommendations are advised by research and the lessons learned by the Children’s Campaign’s 5 Promises to Florida’s Children, the Justice for Girls: State of Florida Blueprint for Action and, most importantly, by the recommendations of girls and their families.

The Leadership Council’s specific responsibilities include:

  • Using the information provided by Policy Center staff to gain an understanding of how Duval County girls enter the juvenile justice system and why change is required.
  • Critiquing recommendations for systemic change.
  • Determining the priorities that are most prudent and viable based on the community assessment that creates long- term systemic change for justice-involved girls and their families.
  • Using community connections and expertise to help raise awareness in the community and inspire meaningful action.
  • Assisting with the execution and/or implementation of the final recommendations by leveraging relationships and resources within the community.

The Justice for Girls: Leadership Council’s work culminated in the opening of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center.  Today, the Leadership Council serves as an advisory council to the Policy Center and VOICES for Florida Girls.

Leadership Council

  • Bill Adams
  • Clanzenetta “Mickee” Brown
  • Peggy Bryan
  • Lakesha Burton
  • Nancy Chartrand
  • Lisé Everly
  • Steve Halverson
  • Yvette Hyater-Adams
  • Kiki Karpen
  • James A. Kowalski, Jr.
  • Trisha Meili
  • Heather Moore
  • Peter O’Brien
  • Susan Remmer Ryzewic
  • Peggy Schiffers
  • Karen Estella Smith
  • Julia W. Taylor
  • Joan Van Vleck
  • Delores Barr Weaver


FAQs

1. What is the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center?

The Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization that is partially funded from a multi-year grant from the Delores Barr Weaver Fund through The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.  Mrs. Weaver is our greatest supporter and champion in advancing the rights of girls and young women, especially those in the juvenile justice and child protection systems. For more information about the Policy Center’s mission and story, visit “About Us.”


2. Are you only working in Duval County?

Our work is focused in the following counties in Northeast Florida: Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, Baker and Clay.  Our goal is to create a national model by engaging individuals, organizations and local communities in advancing the rights of girls and young women, especially those in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.


3. What services does the Policy Center provide to girls?

The Policy Center offers a variety of services for girls and young women in the community, including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy (SAVVY Sister groups)
  • Care management
  • Girls Leadership Council opportunities
  • Volunteer, internship and fellowship opportunities
  • Referral services
  • Advocacy

For more information, please email info@seethegirl.org


4. How can I find resources to help a girl in trouble?

Please visit the Resources section of the website, or email us at info@seethegirl.org


5. How can I help?

Visit “Get Involved” for more information about the multiple ways to further the Policy Center’s mission.


6. Boys need help, too -- what are you doing to help them?

We agree that advocacy is needed for all children. Research shows that boys also have risk factors that demand attention, including: trauma, violence, family conflict, substance abuse and more.  Programming to meet boys’ needs should also be available, and as we make progress from our focus and expertise in highlighting and addressing the gendered experiences of girls, we believe these efforts can serve as a catalyst for others to consider practices with boys.  For example, preliminary evidence from working with girls and school administration to reduce suspensions at our target elementary schools suggests that suspensions have decreased throughout the school, for both boys and girls.


7. Do you fund organizations or projects?

Though we welcome opportunities for collaboration, we do not directly fund organizations or projects independently.


8. Are you available to be a speaker or make a presentation?

Staff members of the Policy Center are available for speaking engagements and presentations.  If you are interested in learning more, please contact Tayloe McDonald at tmcdonald@seethegirl.org


9. Who did the photography for the website and who are the girls?

All girls pictured are volunteers and are not receiving services at the Policy Center.  Photography by Tiffany Manning.


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904-598-0901
40 East Adams, Suite 130
Jacksonville, FL 32202