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Steering Committee


Antonia VannAntonia A. Vann, CDVC
Asha Family Services, Inc., (ASHA)

Antonia A. Vann, CEO, a Nationally Certified Domestic Violence Counselor, is Chief Executive Officer and founder of Asha Family Services, Inc., (Asha) a comprehensive family violence intervention and prevention agency located in Milwaukee, WI. Asha, the first and only recognized culturally specific family violence intervention and prevention program in the State of Wisconsin employs methods specific to many African American, Latino and Native families. Asha (a Swahili and Indian word meaning "Life" and "Hope") is a private, non-profit, spiritually based agency. Asha holds State license operating a full-scale outpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment clinic that includes HIV/AIDS education and counseling. Asha employs a holistic family approach and strives through collaborative efforts, to provide effective, family violence, mental health and substance abuse intervention and prevention. Ms. Vann, a formerly battered wife and survivor, began studying violence against women and children since 1985. Ms. Vann researched and developed Asha's programming through her life experiences, listening to authentic experiences of "like" women, her spiritual convictions, and training under the guidance of an academic Board of Directors and host of national recognized experts in the field. She has helped change lives working directly with 1000's of battered and abused women of all racial and socio-economic status. Her efforts are to provide redress and healing for those individuals who have suffered the long-term effects of partner and family abuse. Ms. Vann has worked with female victims in 3 prison systems. As well, she continues to work directly with incarcerated men for the past 14 years in multiple prisons across the State of Wisconsin. Currently she works to develop formal transitional housing for incarcerated male and female offenders re-entering the community. She actively contributes to local, State and national efforts speaking in efforts to bring awareness to and end violence against women and children. Part of that commitment includes advocating for the inclusion of culturally specific treatment approaches (when appropriate) for victims and perpetrators of domestic violence who are people of color.

In 2002, Ms. Vann was the recipient of the Wisconsin Correctional Association's Dr. Juliette Martin-Thomas Award for Commitment and Excellence in the field of Human Services. 1998, she received the "I Am My Sister's Keeper" award from the I Am My Sister's Keeper Annual Pastoral Women's Conference. In 1997 she received an award from the (U.S. DHHS) - National Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community for her work with Batterers and in the field of domestic violence. She received the ONI Award from the New Jersey based International Black Women's Congress for her commitment to the protection, healing and upliftment of lives of people of African ancestry. Ms Vann's involvement's include: Commissioner - Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault; Member - National Steering Committee- Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community; Board Member: National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence based in Austin Texas; Board Member: Horizon House, Inc. a halfway house for women in Corrections and The American Correctional Association.

Some of Ms. Vann's publications include:

Vann, A.A. Developing Culturally Relevant Responses to Domestic Abuse: Asha Family Services, Inc. 2003 (National Resource Center, Feb., 2003)
Rodgers, B., McGee, G. Vann, A.A. (2003) Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence - Stories of Practitioners That Address the Co-Occurrence Among Battered Women Journal on Violence Against Women, An International and Interdisciplinary Journal (Sage Publications)
Vann, A.A. , Proceedings of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Washington, D.C. ; Chapters in: May, 1995, June, 1997, June, 1999, June, 2000;
Aborampah, O.M., Vann, A.A. (2000) The State of Black Milwaukee . The State of African American Families in Milwaukee: Three Decades of Radical Changes As We Enter The Millenium. p. 39-56.
Vann, M.D., and Drew, A.A. African American Youth: A Culturally Specific Curriculum Guide Milwaukee County Fighting Back. 1992