Roxbury native Marcia Gordon, director of programming and staff development at the Elizabeth Stone House, has been named a recipient of the Sunshine Peace Award in recognition of her work to raise awareness about the dangers of domestic violence. She will receive the award in Wilmington, N.C. on Aug. 9.
The Sunshine Peace Award is a national program recognizing individuals that make a difference in building communities that do not tolerate domestic violence. Since 1998, only three other Massachusetts residents have received the award.
“It’s an amazing, uplifting feeling to be receiving the Sunshine Peace Award,” said Gordon in a statement announcing the honor. “This award affirms that the work I have done and continue doing [about] domestic violence is being noticed.”
This year, the Sunshine Peace Award received 160 nominations and will bestow 20 awards. Candidates are nominated and selected on excellence in administration of programs and victim advocacy. As a winner, Gordon will receive $5,000. A matching grant will go to the Elizabeth Stone House’s domestic violence program.
“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,” says Nancy Soward, who oversees the Sunshine Peace Award program. “She is a survivor and worker in this movement and she’s still going.”
As a domestic violence survivor, Gordon knows firsthand the reality of being in a relationship that included violence. Since 1990, Gordon has worked in various capacities at the Boston-based Elizabeth Stone House, which helps women and children rebuild their lives after experiencing mental illness, domestic violence and other forms of trauma. It provides safe shelter, advocacy, parenting classes and economic development programs, and is one of the few programs in Boston to work with battered women with additional mental health and substance abuse issues.
Gordon currently oversees the residential and community service program.