End Abuse is thrilled to announce that Monique Minkens will be leading the statewide coalition against domestic violence as Executive Director, effective May 24, 2021.
Minkens is a social justice practitioner and change agent who believes service to others should include help that exposes those in crisis to options and choices that allow them to liberate themselves and live their best lives.
Minkens has experience facilitating the daily operations of domestic violence shelters, program creation and evaluation, and working with teams to deliver liberatory services to survivors and programs through prevention, program support, and systems policy and change.
Prior to working in the anti-violence movement, she worked in higher education in Student Affairs on various institutions of higher education in Wisconsin, which included supporting students experiencing intimate partner violence. She holds a Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and graduated from Mount Mary University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Communications.
“My goal as Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin and more generally as a leader in anti-violence work,” said Minkens, “is to facilitate the dismantling of white supremacy in the anti-violence movement and create a movement that serves all individuals who seek support and liberation.”
Minkens was chosen for this role by the End Domestic Abuse WI Board and an executive search committee. Under her leadership, the dedicated End Abuse staff continues their mission to provide safety and to give voice to all affected by domestic abuse, while creating the social change necessary to address its root causes.
In Her Own Words: A Message from Monique Minkens to the Anti-Violence Community
Community is medicine, a balm, an antidote that can help us make sense of this moment we find ourselves. As curators of our community, we are being called to understand the role of our Movement and how we need to pivot. It’s our collective actions that create the emotions for a thriving community, which enables us to feel a sense of belonging and create a space for those who feel marginalized. It doesn’t mean we won’t feel uncomfortable or vulnerable; moving as a community anchors and strengthens us. The interconnectedness is real.
It is a privilege to serve as the Executive Director of End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin. I want you to know I am grateful for this opportunity and am not naïve to the work ahead of me, ahead of us. My Mama was an active member of our Chicago neighborhood, and I was educated in an environment that celebrated community and imparted the value that we all must serve. Find something that sets our hearts afire, proceed with partnership and dignity, right the harm, and make certain people are better off from partnering with me, with us during the most vulnerable times of their lives. I’ve come to call it Liberation! So here I am!
Covid laid our societal ills bare: The unacknowledged murders of transgender women; the othering that leaves the needs of Muslim women ignored; the exploitation of our elders; the continued systemic violence against Black bodies; violence against Asian bodies by fellow citizens; the government sanctioned violence against Brown bodies and families; the need for the creation of a MMIW Task Force; the violence against LGBTQ rights; and the 80,000 Black women and girls missing nationwide. All call us to pivot and join the voices for transformative justice. We must join them in ways that allow for wounded healing and restoration to take place to better assure Liberation is conceivable.
Learning is lifelong, and over the past year, we have both participated in collective learning and provided resources for each of us to do our own individual work. There is more to come, including how to apply what we have learned to our programs.
We now know what we know, and we can’t explain it away or look away from the work ahead of us, without some internal dissonance or admitting we are not walking in integrity. Are we doing all we can to support those we serve to partner with them in their liberation? Let’s move together in community and build a fortified container, believing we are stronger together. Let’s address old conflicts and find new and meaningful ways for interacting and co-advocacy. We realize some pivoting may cause anxiety. Let’s move knowing we can progress in discomfort, and we are not alone. Coalition staff is available in partnership to help you through the rough spots and challenges.
As I mentioned, I am not naïve to the moment we are in and the work ahead of us. We must pivot for those coming after us, knowing the people who are counting on us to make these radical and necessary shifts are those with whom we serve and partner.
I’m looking forward to this collective journey with you all!
Monique C. Minkens, She/Her/Hers
Executive Director, End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin