The mission of the Elizabeth Stone House(ESH) is to prevent institutionalization and further victimization of women in emotional distress through the provision of safe, confidential, residential and community support services for them and their children. In an environment that fosters peer support, program participants define and work toward the accomplishment of practical goals that will enable them to re-enter the mainstream of society.
Marcia Gordon makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of women and children affected by domestic violence. For her continued dedication, this Roxbury, Massachusetts native, domestic abuse survivor and Elizabeth Stone House Director of Programming and Staff Development was awarded the Sunshine Peace Award.
Marcia Gordon is being honored for her excellence in administration of programs and victim advocacy. As a recipient, Marcia Gordon will receive $5,000 with a matching grant to the Elizabeth Stone House’s domestic violence program.
The Sunshine Peace Award is a national program that recognizes extraordinary individuals who make a difference in helping to build communities that are intolerant of domestic violence and through whose work peoples’ lives are changed for the better.
According to Nancy Soward, who oversees the Sunshine Peace Award program, Marcia Gordon’s work makes a difference. “Marcia is an unsung hero, who has put her whole life into the movement on violence and is a true embodiment of what the Sunshine Peace Award represents,” said Soward. “She is a survivor and worker in this movement and she’s still going.”
Gordon said she is thrilled to be honored and validated for her work at Elizabeth Stone House. “It’s an amazing, uplifting feeling to be receiving the Sunshine Peace Award,” shared Gordon. “This award affirms that the work I have done and continue doing with domestic violence is being noticed.”
Gordon said she is going to use the $5,000 from the Sunshine Peace Award to go to college to earn a bachelor’s degree. She’s planning to attend Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Inspired from her own difficult life experiences, Marcia Gordon has focused her efforts toward raising awareness to help end the cycle of domestic abuse. Gordon said she wants women to know there is help available. “You don’t have to do it alone,” she shared. There is help and there is hope.”
Marcia Gordon is a certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, (CADAC) and is a Domestic Violence Educator. Since 1990, Gordon has worked in various capacities at the Boston-based Elizabeth Stone House. Her years of work include positions as a direct service advocate, support groups coordinator, program administrator, volunteer & intern coordinator and her new title in management.
Gordon and the staff at Elizabeth Stone House are dedicated to helping women and children rebuild their lives after experiencing mental illness, domestic violence and other forms of trauma. Furthermore, The Elizabeth Stone House provides safe shelter, advocacy, parenting classes and economic development programs. It is one of the few programs in Boston to work with battered women with additional mental health and substance abuse issues.
According to Gordon, her journey has taught her a great deal about faith and forgiveness. “I know that forgiveness has to start with self. You have to forgive yourself before you can forgive others. I think you have to get to the point when you stop punishing yourself. You need to let yourself off the hook. You don’t keep paying over and over again for something. You need to stop and forgive yourself,” Gordon explained.
Gordon shared how her spiritual growth and faith helped her get through difficult times. “I am spiritual, and in the midst of the storm I asked God for help. My help came in the form of a lot of great people who helped me. You need to find something that you believe in that becomes the source of your strength and courage. Find your own spiritual anchor.”
Marcia Gordon has experienced great satisfaction in helping people through the years. She explained how powerful it is to help others in need. “God did for me what I could not do for myself. And that one person can make a difference. A person can make an amazing impression on someone when you just listen to what they’re saying and believe what they are saying. It seems a bond of trust begins right then and there,” Gordon added further.
In her lectures, Gordon continues to share her valuable insight on issues of substance abuse, domestic violence, mental health and trauma in Massachusetts and cities across the United States. Besides her dedicated efforts at the Elizabeth Stone House, Gordon was Co-Chair of the board of “Peace At Home,” a human rights agency that addresses domestic violence as a human rights issue. Gordon also lectured on the issues of “Domestic Violence in the United States” at the Women’s Conference in Beijing, China.
Marcia Gordon is also the Co-Founder of the “Concerned Citizens Committee,” a community outreach and education program that uses music and food as tools to bring the community together to distribute information pertinent to the community’s well being. Furthermore, Gordon was featured in “Strong at the Broken Places: From Trauma to Recovery”, a film produced by Cambridge Documentary Films, which won the Vermont film Festival Award in 1998.
According to organizational history, the Elizabeth Stone House is committed to breaking cycles of violence, disempowerment and institutionalization of women in emotional distress and their children. Since being founded in 1974 by a group of former mental patients and other community women, the Stone House has served women and children from all over the country through an ever-widening array of comprehensive services. The core of the Elizabeth Stone House philosophy is that women can succeed when empowered to maintain control over their own lives.
For more information about The Elizabeth Stone House contact:
The Elizabeth Stone House, P.O. Box 300039, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.
(617) 427-9801 http://www.elizabethstonehouse.org/about.htm