NJCASA Honors Exemplary Leaders from Sexual Violence Programs at Third Annual Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2020

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – The New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) will honor standout advocates and leaders from N.J.’s county-based sexual violence programs during the third annual September Celebration of Champions.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s September Celebration will take place virtually on Friday, September 25, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Attendees will hear from NJCASA’s leadership and board of directors as well as the six honorees, and will view a screening of NJCASA’s most recent public service announcements.

“While we’re gathering in a different way this year, we are no less thrilled for the opportunity to highlight those who serve survivors every single day,” said Patricia Teffenhart, executive director of NJCASA. “Our honorees this year have a direct impact on survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. They have worked creatively to adapt during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that critical direct services didn’t skip a beat. We can’t wait to share more about these champions for change with our attendees this year.”

The 2020 honorees are:

  • Jamie Bernard, Chief Executive Officer, Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Intervention Services, Sussex County;
  • Pamela Johnson, Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate, SAVE of Essex County;
  • Dr. Rebecca Vazquez, Assistant Director, the Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA) at Rutgers University – New Brunswick;
  • Minu Mathew, LCSW, Counselor, Sexual Assault Support Services, Somerset County
  • Benedette Nnodimele and Helene Zinckgraf, Finance Director and Contract Administrator/Grant Writer, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Crisis Center of Warren County

The September Celebration of Champions is made possible by event sponsors: Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Uber, Zero Abuse Project, Lyft, the Vin Gopal Civic Association, PSEG, the Lakewood Blue Claws, Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation, Advocacy and Management Group, Planned Parenthood of Northern, Central, and Southern New Jersey, Investor’s Bank, Your Part-Time Controller, Health Professionals and Allied Employees, Lawrence Law, and Delta Dental.

ABOUT NJCASA: NJCASA (www.njcasa.org) is the statewide technical assistance, and capacity building organization that represents New Jersey’s twenty-one county-based rape crisis centers, and the Rutgers University Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance. NJCASA elevates the voice of sexual violence survivors and service providers by advocating for survivor-centered legislation, training allied professionals, and supporting statewide prevention strategies that work to address and defy the socio-cultural norms that permit and promote rape culture.