News & Events

MSW Student Rita Shah Selected As WOCN/FVPSA Fellow

December 5, 2013

Second-year MSW candidate Rita Shah was recently selected to be a Fellow for the WOCN/FVPSA Expanding Leadership Opportunities for Underrepresented Groups Project.  

A collaboration between the Women of Color Network (WOCN) and the Family Violence Prevention and Service Offices of the Department of Health and Human Services (FVPSA), the 36-month fellowship was created this year to enhance the leadership opportunities and capabilities of individuals from underrepresented groups seeking to end domestic violence.  

This past summer, WOCN and FVPSA conducted in-depth surveys of advocates and programs in the states of Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Oregon, and West Virginia in order to properly assess the needs of domestic violence advocates and programs within each state. Up to 5 Leadership Fellows were selected in each of these five states.  

Fellows will undergo an 18-month training program through May 2015, after which they will serve as Peer Mentors for a further 18 months. Throughout the 36-month term, fellows will enhance their abilities as leaders and change agents and learn about cutting-edge theories and practices regarding the prevention of and intervention in domestic violence. They will also study the ways in which domestic violence effects underrepresented groups, including Native American Tribes, LGBTQ communities, and individuals with disabilities.

Ms. Shah's selection as one of only 25 Leadership Fellows will allow her to continue the work on issues of Domestic Violence she's started at the Simmons SSW and put her in position to become a future leader in the field.