Each year, we recognize individuals and organizations that have made substantial contributions to our cause of ending sexual violence. We recently presented awards to community members and partners at our Gratitude Gala in September:
- The Mary Ann Chap Award for Community Service was presented to Mediterranean Deli of Chapel Hill and to Lt. Keith Webster of the Carrboro Police Department.
- The Margaret Henderson Award for Service & Self-Care was presented to Christi Hurt, Assistant Vice Chancellor/Chief of Staff in Student Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill.
- The Margaret Barrett Award for Advocacy was presented to Kelli Raker, Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator at UNC-Chapel Hill.
As a thank you for all the work they’ve done to further our cause, we’d like to share the speeches that Executive Director Shamecca Bryant gave recognizing each recipient’s contributions.
Mary Ann Chap Award for Community Service
This award, established in 1992 in honor of former executive director Chap, is given each year to an individual and an organization in the community who have made major contributions toward achieving the Center’s mission of ending sexual violence.
This year we are awarding the Mary Ann Chap Award for Community Service to Mediterranean Deli!
Mediterranean Deli, Bakery, and Catering have been serving delicious Greek food in downtown Chapel Hill since 1992. They offer 50 authentic, freshly prepared Middle-Eastern and Greek dishes every day, along with homemade pita baked fresh every morning. They embrace a cuisine and culture that keeps our community healthy.
Throughout the years, Med Deli, as we affectionately call them, has received countless awards — everything from Best Restaurant in Chapel Hill, to Best Caterer, to Carolina’s Finest Best Ethnic Restaurant.
Owners Jamil and Angela Kadoura are here today not only because they have a wonderful restaurant, but because they also have a long history of giving back to the community. Med Deli, has been feeding Orange County Rape Crisis Center staff, volunteers, and donors for over 20 years. They have catered numerous fundraising events, hosted their own fundraisers for the Center free of charge in their event space, and simply been a place to recharge and feel peace after a long day at work. Their generous food donations have allowed us to continue to raise much needed funds to provide support to survivors in our community.
And we are just one of many organizations that the Kadoura’s support. Their generosity throughout the community is well known and appreciated. In a 2013 article with Vaccine Ambassadors, Jamil was listed as one of 31 inspiring people. When questioned about why he gives he said, “I lived in a refugee camp, and I will never forget the days when we slept hungry because we didn’t have food to eat and waiting for food to arrive in the morning. We received a lot of help from organizations all over the world and that inspires me to give back to my community and others.”
In 2010, Med Deli raised $32,000 in two nights for the earthquake in Haiti and the flood in Pakistan. That type of aid from a local restaurant is simply amazing.
I want to share with you all that when I informed the Kadouras that we wanted to give them an award, they responded that they would bring their kids, so that they can keep the tradition of giving alive. We thank you and your family for your value of service and for all the help you provide to nonprofits in the community.
Lt. Keith Webster
We would also like to present the 2014 Mary Ann Chap Award for Community Service to Lt. Keith Webster of the Carrboro Police Department.
Lt. Webster has over 20 years of experience in law enforcement and served as the Carrboro Police Department representative on the Sexual Assault Response Team throughout 2013. This team consists of professionals such as police officers, advocates, and nurses who work with survivors of sexual violence in our community. The Sexual Assault Response Team, known as SART, helps survivors receive medical attention, make police reports, and get support for short- and long-term healing.
Lt. Webster is a committed Orange County Rape Crisis Center partner and has worked diligently to meet the needs of the survivors with whom he works. His genuine warmth, compassion, and integrity shine through in his interactions with staff and survivors alike, and we are so grateful to count him and the Carrboro Police Department among our community partners.
As you all may know, Lt. Webster recently ran for Sheriff and before doing so asked to sit down with all of the staff at the Center to talk about what improvements law enforcement might make to better help survivors throughout the criminal process. This was the most refreshing conversation our agency has had in a long time. It is very rare to have someone ask us: How can we do better? What can we do differently? Lt. Webster was one of very few candidates that openly talked about violent crimes such as rape and domestic violence in his platform and we know that he remains committed to ensuring that officers receive proper training to best work with survivors of violent crimes.
We thank Lt. Webster for his boldness and his genuine care and concern for ensuring that Carrboro and the larger Orange County community is the safest it can be.
Margaret Barrett Award for Advocacy
The Margaret Barrett Award for Advocacy recognizes former Executive Director Margaret Barrett. Margaret served as Executive Director of the Rape Crisis Center from 1999 to 2007. She worked tirelessly to keep the Center focused on its responsibility to advocate for the issue of sexual violence on both a personal and institutional level. This award recognizes an individual or organization who has worked to affect change around the issue of sexual violence.
Kelli Raker, Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator at UNC
This year, we are honored to award Kelli Raker with the Margaret Barrett Award for Advocacy!
Since 2010, Kelli has served as the Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a member of the Student Wellness team at UNC, Kelli works with students and local businesses and organizations to help create a community where students feel empowered and inspired to create a safe and healthy campus.
To fulfill this goal, Kelli implemented a skills training at UNC called One Act. One Act is training for Carolina students who want to know more about preventing interpersonal violence. The training is co-led by Kelli and trained students. The name “One Act” means that if we each can take just one action in preventing violence, we’ll see a reduction in interpersonal violence on campus. That action could be asking for help, creating a distraction, or talking directly to the people involved. One Act helps students gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence to recognize the early warning signs of interpersonal violence and take preventive action in their everyday lives in order to help a friend.
Since the fall of 2010, Kelli has coordinated over 95 One Act trainings and personally led over 70 of them for student groups and Greek organizations. She has trained over 60 peer educators to help co-present One Act, providing them with 30 hours of additional education on violence prevention, while students study issues related to women and gender in their coursework.
And Kelli’s work extends beyond campus. Through Raise the Bar, a collaborative program with the Chapel Hill Police Department, Kelli has trained roughly 85 bartenders and bar staff in our community on how to serve alcohol responsibly.
Kelli’s advocacy initiatives, student mentorship, and commitment to improving the lives of women attending UNC have not gone unnoticed. Last year, she received the Campus Impact Award from the NC Coalition against Sexual Assault and the University Award for the Advancement of Women from UNC.
Thank you, Kelli, for empowering students to impact change and aid in preventing interpersonal violence. The Orange County Rape Crisis Center is honored to be partners with Student Wellness, and we are privileged to work with Kelli.
Margaret Henderson Award for Service & Self-Care
The Margaret Henderson Award for Service & Self-Care was established in 1999 and named for former director Margaret Henderson. Given to Margaret Henderson as the first recipient, this award recognizes a person within the Orange County Rape Crisis Center family who has exhibited outstanding service in furtherance of the Center’s mission while also modeling principles of life-balance and self-care.
Christi Hurt – Assistant Vice Chancellor/Chief of Staff in Student Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill
This year, we honor Christi Hurt with the Margaret Henderson Award for Service & Self-Care.
Christi Hurt is the newly appointed Assistant Vice Chancellor/Chief of Staff for Student Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill. In this role, Christi works closely with students, campus administrators, and faculty in supporting a healthy campus learning environment.
Most recently, Christi served as the Director of the Carolina Women’s Center, working to create gender equity on and off campus.
Christi is a UNC graduate, with both a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Public Administration degree. She has been a lifelong advocate for women, with extensive experience in organizational development and leadership transitions. She has worked on the local, state, and national level in nonprofit organizations that advocate for an end to violence against women.
Christi has operated her own consulting firm, working on projects that focus on eliminating violence against women and children in North Carolina and across the country. Most recently, she led a project to develop a multidisciplinary plan to eliminate child sexual abuse across North Carolina. For over nine years, Christi worked in Olympia, Washington, for the Washington State Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, serving as Acting Executive Director, Associate Director, and Member Services Director.
Christi has actively advocated for survivors of sexual violence and violence prevention as the Interim Title IX Coordinator for UNC. Working alongside crisis centers, coalitions, advocacy groups, and students, Christi has been a tremendous partner in creating a stronger system of support for survivors on campus and helped to roll out the university’s new Sexual Assault Policy.
One of her colleagues, Bob Pleasants, said, “Christi is a great strategic thinker, team player, mentor, colleague, and friend. She has made a huge difference in both the lives of individual students and the greater campus community in the last three years.”
Christi is also a former OCRCC staff member. During her time at the Center, Margaret Henderson served as her mentor. This is probably how Christi learned to keep things in perspective and keep a good work life-balance. As a true supporter of women’s leadership, she has kept the tradition of mentorship alive and returned to serve as a mentor in 2010.
Regardless of her role, Christi always finds a way to be of service to the movement to end violence against women, all while somehow being an expert runner, a loving wife, and a mom to two boys. To quote from many OCRCC staff lunch conversations, “When we grow up, we want to be her.”