Annual Inspiration Dinner Honoring Donna Garske


IAS 2018 Annual Dinner Honors Donna Garske

Donna Garske speaking

The 2018 International Association of Sufism (IAS) Annual Inspiration Dinner honored Donna Garske, the Executive Director of the Center for Domestic Peace in San Rafael, California, formerly Marin Abused Women’s Services (MAWS). The dinner was held on Friday, November 2, at Embassy Suites Hotel in San Rafael with many prominent religious, political, educational and social service leaders attending.

Dr. Ali Kianfar

Dr. Ali Kianfar, Co-director of IAS, gave the opening remarks, welcoming the many, diverse guests. IAS Co-director, Dr. Nahid Angha, presented Donna with the Humanitarian Award in recognition of her seventeen years of service to preventing abuse to women in Marin County, her national and international leadership and her inspiration to the local and global communities.

Dr. LeeAnn Bartolini, Professor of Psychology at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, was the Mistress of Ceremonies. Speakers included: Allison Garske Smith, Donna’s niece and goddaughter; Janet Carter, former Vice President of Futures without Violence; and Kate Kain, Deputy Executive Director of the Center for Domestic Peace. The speakers each described Donna’s extraordinary vision and commitment to ending violence against women, her hard work, enthusiasm and humor.

Donna Garske and Dr. Nahid Angha

Donna developed one of the first transitional housing programs for battered women and their children, earning her an award from the American Planning Association, as well as an internationally replicated re-education program for battering men. She has advocated for both state and federal laws for the prevention of violence against women. Under her leadership, MAWS received the National Marshall Award for excellence in violence prevention, the Celebrating Solutions Award from the Mary Bryon’s Foundation, and she was inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame.

IAS’s Inspirational Dinner celebration began in 2000 and has continued to the present time. The honorees for these celebrations have included: theologians and writers, Houston Smith, Matthew Fox, Brian Swimme and The Reverend Canon Charles Gibbs; leaders in the arts and media including Peter Coyote, Cheryl Jennings, Nafisa Haji and the journal Sufism: An Inquiry; educator Dr. Harlan Stelmach; and community service providers Mary Kay Sweeney and the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, as well as the IAS 25thanniversary. The Humanitarian Award has been presented to individuals whose life and work embody the highest values of humanity and offer a model of engaged creativity and outstanding contributions to our community and our culture. IAS is proud to acknowledge their service to humanity.

Donna Garske and Dr. Ali Kianfar

 

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