This picture was taken after leaving the Champions of Change award ceremony and conference at the White House today. The work I heard about from all the other Champions of Change was inspiring. Here is what I said on the grounds of our White House to the hundred members of the staff and leadership of the justice department and administration.
I carry with me into this hallowed space the gratitude of a community comprised of hundreds of women who have survived violence, prostitution, traumatic childhoods, prison and the streets, and who bear witness to the truth that love is the most powerful force for change in the world. Thank you for recognizing the work of Magdalene, and its social enterprise, Thistle Farms. We began 15 years ago with a single home and invited 5 women to live free for two years. With no federal or state money, we have relied on individual gifts and grants and have grown into six homes. Thistle Farms currently employs 35 graduates and residents of Magdalene as we manufacture and distribute all-natural bath and body care products to 200 retail outlets. We have partnerships and sister programs scattered throughout the world and share this model with cities throughout this nation. This work is my joy and this honor gives me renewed courage to keep seeking that hallowed space in which the universal issues of violence are born on individual backs and love still endures and heals. Thank you.