Center for Domestic Peace’s Board of Directors Announces the Creation of the

Donna Garske Social Transformation Legacy Fund

“Leave a Legacy of Joy and Justice”

Donna Garske served as Center for Domestic Peace’s (C4DP) executive director from 44 years from 1979 – 2024.   Donna was drawn to the organization, known originally as Marin Abused Women’s Services (MAWS), because of its statement of purpose at the time.   In Donna’s words, “it only took 11 words to change the direction of my life”.  In addition to the organization’s commitment to provide services to those impacted by domestic violence, MAWS had set a bold vision for itself from the very beginning through its commitment to “catalyze and contribute to the community effort to end the violence”.

Donna’s passion to end violence against women and girls set in motion the direction of her career that she could not have imagined.  She was one of the first pioneers in the domestic violence and sexual assault fields to develop a prevention framework and implement ground level community prevention strategies. She was at the forefront of defining theory and practice for gender-based prevention, including her groundbreaking advocacy to define domestic violence through the lens of social movement theory and the public health framework. She was selected by the Gimbel Foundation as a national violence prevention scholar and appointed to President Clinton’s Violence Against Women Task Force committee on prevention and social norm change.

To read all about her contributions, click here

In recognition of Donna’s innumerable contributions to C4DP, Marin County and the country, the Board of Directors has established the Donna Garske Social Transformation Legacy Fund.  At Donna’s request, donor designated gifts toward the Legacy Fund will be restricted.  A percentage of the interest earnings can be allocated each year to support staff training in social transformation and community prevention work.  Knowing the prevention work is often the first funding cut when state and federal funding is tight, Donna’s hope is that the day will come when a percentage of the annual interest earnings will support a full-time staff position to carry out the community change work that is so important to her.

For more details on how you can put your donor giving funds to work toward “catalyzing and contributing to the community effort to end the violence”, contact Marla Hedlund, Development Officer, [email protected] or call 415.526.2543

A reflection from Valerie Kaur, founder Revolutionary Love Project:

“In the struggle to protect our loved ones (and work for justice) choosing to let joy in is a revolutionary act. It brings us energy. If we do this right, they (our ancestors) will inherit not our fear, but bravery born of joy.”

And with those words, Donna states her parting wish: “May this, bravery born of joy, be the collective legacy we create for the future generation of activists in this movement.”