Closing Session: Coordinated Community Responses Panel, “People Don’t Have Barriers, Systems Do”
Thursday, August 13th @ 2:45pm
Panel Abstract: During this panel, we will be taking a deep dive into how systems interact with people of color (POC), exploring the barriers that systems create for POC, and understanding why it’s important to acknowledge and validate the lens that POC bring when they are entering systems that are often rooted in historical trauma that either they or a loved one has experienced previously from these systems. We want participants to leave with the understanding and knowledge of why POC may not wish to interact with “traditional” systems our movement has been so firmly rooted in collaborating with, and how important it is for agencies to explore other options that lead to healing for survivors.
Victoria Parks (she/her/hers), Hamilton County Commissioner
Victoria Parks was recommended by Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune to serve the balance of his term upon his retirement in December, 2019 and appointed by the Hamilton County Central Committee January, 2020.
She served as the Chief of Staff for Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune since 2016. In this capacity she worked closely with Portune day-in and day-out as he fulfilled his responsibilities as County Commissioner. Parks represented the Commissioner on several Boards, including Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Transportation
Agency, Oral Health Commission, Transportation Improvement District, SORTA and The Port Authority.
Parks first worked with Commissioner Portune during his 2016 re-election campaign. As his campaign chairperson, she traveled throughout the County with him as he met with voters and presented his platform for growth and opportunity in the county.
Prior to her work with the County Commission, Parks served as Major Gifts Officer at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center where she fundraised and wrote grants to support its world class exhibits and programs. From 2011-2015 Parks served as the Development Director at the Women’s Crisis Center where she led award winning community outreach and fundraising campaigns to support its domestic violence and sexual assault shelters and programs in 13 counties of NKY and Buffalo Trace.
Parks started her non-profit and government career as Community Outreach Representative for Congressman Steve Driehaus from 2010-2011, having worked in the corporate world for 30 years in customer service and marketing at United Parcel Service, Mitsubishi Electric Manufacturing and Cognis Corporation. Parks is an enlisted United States Air Force Veteran having served honorably from 1976 -1980 where she earned E-4 ranking, was trained and served as Personnel Specialist. She is awarded the Air Force Longevity Service Award and Air Force Good Conduct Medal.
An avid community volunteer, Parks currently serves as Board President, AMOS Project, past Parish Council at St. Joseph Catholic Church, The Women’s Fund Advocacy Committee, past board member of The Archdiocese of Cincinnati Communication Commission, former Association of Fundraising Professionals Scholarship Director and Airport Greeter Committee, World Choir Games.
A life-long Cincinnatian, Parks grew up in West College Hill, attended Archdiocese of Cincinnati schools, St. Richard of Chichester and Our Lady of Angels, and graduated from Aiken High School in 1976. Parks received an Associate Degree from Southern Ohio College in Computer Programing in 1981.
She currently resides in College Hill and enjoys travel, reading, cooking and gardening, loves football, and spending time with her daughter, grandchildren, extended family and friends.
Andrea Burton (she/her/hers), Community Legal Aid Services
Bio: Attorney Andrea Burton is a lifelong resident of Youngstown. Graduating from Youngstown State University with a bachelors in science focusing on pre-law with a minor in journalism. She then went on to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign earning her masters in Library and Information Sciences, with an emphasis on legal research. Andrea is a graduate of the University of Akron School of Law. While there she would earn a prestigious position at the Legal Clinic under Professor Dean Carro. There she would visit inmates at the Summit County Jail weekly providing legal research, wrote and provided legal research in several hundred letters to inmates incarcerated in prisons all over the state of Ohio, and eventually began writing appellate briefs in the 7th and 9th Appellate Courts, as well as, a brief to the Supreme Court of Ohio.
Graduating Akron Law 2012, Atty. Burton began practicing in Mahoning County as a court-appointed attorney to indigent criminal defendants and as a Guardian ad Litem in the Mahoning County Juvenile Court. She was a member of the Nathaniel R. Jones Inn of Court during 2015 to 2018. Attorney Burton is on the Legal Redress Committee of the Youngstown chapter of the NAACP, seeking to provide counsel and advice to members of the community and connecting those in need with local resources.
In January 2018, Attorney Burton became a Staff Attorney at Youngstown Community Legal Aid, working on the Legal Assistance to Victims (LAV) Team. The LAV team provides representation to vitims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking in acquiring protection orders. Attorney Burton represents domestic violence victims in divorce and custody cases. She is a member of the state-wide task force (Ohio Legal Services) family law committee, where she works with other attorneys specializing in legal assistance to victims to help educate state legislators in crafting laws to better serve victims of violence. She is chair of a subcommittee which seeks to track police enforcement of protection orders and seeks to educate law enforcement of the importance of addressing violations of protection orders. She is a member of the Mahoning Valley Sexual Assault Team (MVSART) wish seeks to have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) available to meet with victims of sexual assault and gather forensic evidence in furtherance of the prosecution of those crimes.
Attorney Burton is also a member of the Columbiana and Mahoning Counties Domestic Violence Task Force.
In February 2020, Attorney Burton joined the Women of Color Caucus as a member of the Executive Board. Her focus is educating the Ohio Legislature regarding proposed legislation and its impact on people of color who are surviviors of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault. Attorney Burton will provide educated and nuanced feedback of these vulnerable populations which are typically underrepresented and mostly marginalized.
In April 2020, Attorney Burton joined the Anti-Oppression Committee for the state of Ohio, working on the policy committee in providing position statements regarding new state legislation which may affect or influence the most vulnerable and marginalized populations in the state of Ohio. The Statewide Anti-Oppression Committee (AOC) advocates for leaders and people of color in anti- violence work through actively addressing individual and institutional oppression. The AOC is convened by the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence (OAESV) and is comprised of over 20 diverse anti-violence and social justice professionals from across Ohio who are dedicated to actively addressing individual and institutional oppression.
Angelita Olowu, BSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P (she/her/hers), International Association of Forensic Nurses
Bio: Angelita Olowu serves as a Forensic Nursing Specialist with the International Association of Forensic Nurses with 12 years nursing experience. She has a background in Emergency and Trauma Nursing. In her current role, Angelita provides technical assistance on various topics related to the care of patients that have experienced sexual violence including the recommendations within both of the National Adolescent/ Adult and Pediatric Sexual SAFE Protocols. Angelita teaches IAFN Adolescent/ Adult and Pediatric Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner didactic and clinical courses, Indian Health Service trainings and courses, and provides education statewide and nationally.
Mary Culver (she/her/hers), Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO)
Bio: Trained in family advocacy, facilitation, leadership training development and community engagement Mary has been committed her career to providing education, advocacy, and support services for survivors of DV/IPV/ Stalking and Human Trafficking. She has worked in Domestic Violence Shelters, assisting on crisis hotlines, and as a Legal Advocate for the City Prosecutor’s Office for more than 10 years. She is a registered Advocate with the state of Ohio and certified in Anger Resolution Therapy.
Mary currently serves as the Sexual Violence Services Supervisor for SARNCO, the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio where she works with survivors of Sexual Assault and supports Advocates who provide direct services to survivors in local ER’s, and on the helplines.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology from Ohio Dominican University. She went on to earn a Master’s degree from Tiffin University in Criminal Justice and Crime Analysis.
Mary is dedicated to building her community by building the people within it.
This publication is supported in part by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Rape Prevention Education, by Grant No. ODH Project Number: 01860214VW0820 awarded to the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence by the Department of Health. It is also supported in part by VOCA Grant No. 2020-VOCA-132920668; and by subgrant No. 2019-WF-VA7-8919 awarded by the state administering office for the STOP Formula Grant Program. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the state or the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, the Ohio Department of Health, or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.