Gretta Gordy Gardner and Megan Simmons from Ujima: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community, discuss how systemic racism affects black survivors of domestic violence.
Gretta Gordy Gardner, Esq., is the Deputy Director and co-founder of Ujima, Inc.: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community, a project of the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Ms. Gardner’s career as a legal advisor for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault was inspired by her early work as a prosecutor in the Domestic Violence Unit of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. She has worked for two decades to help shape guidelines, policies, and procedures that local, state, and federal policy makers and college/university campuses can use to end intimate partner violence and racial bias. She is licensed to practice law in DC, MD, TX, and the Supreme Court of the United States and is a certified mediator. Ms. Gardner sits on the Board of Trustees for Garrison Forest School and belongs to a multitude of local, state, and national committees that address violence against women and their children. She is the proud mom of two boys who love basketball and make a lot of noise.
Megan Simmons, MPA/JD, is the Sr. Policy Advisor of Ujima, Inc.: The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community, a project of the DC coalition Against Domestic Violence. Ms. Simmons’ education in Women’s Studies and Political Science was the catalyst for her career in legal compliance, policy, and advocacy work. She has served as a Federal Agent and was tasked with investigating sexual assault for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). She was also collaterally tasked with representing law enforcement on various committees, including holistic approaches to combating violence against women attached to the Navy installations. She later earned a law degree wherein she combined her education and her experience by contributing to policy, and conducting investigations into allegations of sexual assault within higher education. Ms. Simmons has conducted various trainings on sexual harassment awareness, Equal Employment Opportunity, investigation execution, and diversity and inclusion. She spends her spare time cooking, bike riding, and reading.
For more information about the mission of Ujima, click here.
For more information about intimate partner violence in the black community, click here.