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Crisis Center North twice honored with international awards

May 2024

On May 3, 2024, Crisis Center North (CCN) President & CEO, Grace Coleman, was selected to receive the Purple Ribbon Lifetime Achievement Award and Joyce Lunz, CCN volunteer, was selected to receive the Purple Ribbon Volunteer of the Year Award.

The Purple Ribbon Awards are hosted by DomesticShelters.org, Alliance for HOPE and experts in the field who have combined forces to develop and launch the first comprehensive and international awards program honoring the myriad hope givers of the domestic violence movement, including advocates, programs and shelters, survivors and volunteers, Family Justice Centers, and members of the community support system. Selected award winners will also receive grants totaling $30,000 to support their work.

Grace Coleman, Lifetime Achievement Award

Coleman received the Purple Ribbon Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her 25years of service as the President & CEO of CCN, in which time the organization has grown more than tenfold and CCN has distinguished itself as a force of innovation and research in the domestic violence movement. Coleman established herself as a domestic violence expert, acting as a national commentator on CourtTV, explaining the dynamics of domestic violence during the Depp v Heard case in addition to other high-profile cases.

“Grace Coleman has spent a lifetime dedicated to the field of domestic violence and has proven her excellence time and time again to benefit the lives of those in need. Crisis Center North has saved countless lives under Ms. Coleman's direction, and I am honored to have it in my district,” said State Rep. Emily Kinkead, of Pennsylvania House District 20.

Innovative programming developed by Coleman has received national and state-wide attention, including current efforts to replicate models across the State. Examples include the PAWS For Empowerment Program (canine assisted therapy; courtroom accompaniment; trainings to animal and human healthcare professionals on the link between human and animal abuse; and animal-friendly transitional housing and emergency shelter for victims) and the Mobile Counseling Program(embedded counselors in community partner locations to reduce barriers to service for underserved populations).

“CCN may have a small geographic area of operation, but its programs have exerted influence far beyond those bounds thanks to Grace’s leadership,” said Nancy Blaney, Director of Government Affairs at the Animal Welfare Institute, one of oldest animal welfare organizations in the US.


Joyce Lunz, Volunteer of the Year Award

Lunz received the Purple Ribbon Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of her work as a volunteer Legal Advocate, meeting with victims of domestic violence in local courts, helping victims navigate the intricacies of the legal system and in completing Protection from Abuse Orders. During her time as a Legal Advocate, Lunz personally provided nearly 27,000 direct services to more than 5,500 victims.

“If every community had a ‘Joyce Lunz’ of their own, domestic violence wouldn’t stand a chance against the anti-violence movement,” said Grace Coleman, President & CEO of CCN. “Joyce’s commitment to the field is unquestionable and unwavering.”

Lunz began her time with CCN has a part-time paid Legal Advocate in 2007 and remained as such until her official retirement in 2016. At that time, Lunz decided to remain in her former position, but now as an unpaid volunteer, and continued helping victims in the Courts for eight more years.

“Joyce inspires us all with her genuine compassion and commitment to educating clients about the complexities of domestic violence. She truly champions their journey towards healing and empowers them to provide guidance every step of the way,” said Charlene Woods, CCN Data Specialist.