LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 26, 2015) — The Center for Women and Families (CWF) honored five Women of Distinction tonight at the center's 28th Annual Celebration of Service and Survival at Churchill Downs in Louisville. One of those outstanding women was Carol Jordan, executive director of the University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women.
“The Center for Women and Families has been recognizing outstanding women in the community through the Women of Distinction Award since 1988,” said CWF’s CEO Marta Miranda. “An individual honored as a Woman of Distinction has given a lifetime of professional and/or volunteer services that has left an indelible mark on the Kentuckiana community.”
“Women of Distinction have made significant contributions to education, health care, civil rights, the arts, human services, the welfare of children and the advancement of women,” she said. To date, 152 women have received this honor.
For 30 years, Jordan has worked in research, writing, programming, public policy and legislative advocacy to address intimate partner violence, rape and stalking. She has served as the first director of a statewide sexual and domestic violence program in the Department for Mental Health, as founding executive director for the Governor’s Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services. At UK, she was the founding director of the Center for Research on Violence Against Women, a premiere academic research center, and is now founding director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence against Women in the College of Arts and Sciences.
“When one receives an award of any kind, one is reminded of the influence and enduring support of colleagues and loved ones who helped make the success possible,” Jordan said. “I glance back over more than 30 years and feel that way today. That this award comes from the Commonwealth’s first and largest domestic violence and rape crisis program also amplifies its significance to me, so I am grateful on one hand, and inspired to continue this work on the other.”
A primary focus of Jordan’s career has been advancing legislative reform. She has co-authored 30 pieces of legislation including criminal and civil justice reforms related to domestic violence, rape, and stalking; bills to expand and strengthen services to victims; and legislation to advance victim’s rights. Many of her accomplishments have had a broad influence; however, it is the idea that those accomplishments have touched the lives of individual women that she finds most meaningful.
“It is our honor to celebrate these distinguished women. We are humbled by their contribution to our community and look forward to celebrating their accomplishments,” Miranda said.
This year’s honorees are Jordan, Pat Byron, president emeritus, Mary Byron Project; Dawne Gee, anchor for WAVE 3 News; Dorothy S. “Dot” Ridings, past president, Council on Foundations; and Audrey Tayse Haynes, Secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The Center for Women and Families helps victims of intimate partner abuse or sexual violence to become survivors through supportive services, community education and cooperative partnerships that foster hope, promote self-sufficiency and rebuild lives. The center has been serving the community since 1912, when it began as part of the YWCA. Today, it is a private nonprofit organization serving nine Kentuckiana counties and operating seven regional locations, three of which provide emergency shelter, transitional housing and/or long-term housing options. The center maintains a $4.7 million budget and provided housing, advocacy, counseling, therapy and education to over 30,000 people last year.
MEDIA CONTACT: Gail Hairston, 859-257-3302859-257-3302