BROOKLYN – Women’s right organization Dwa Fanm and the New York City Police Department were honored Oct. 9 by MetLife Foundation for significant accomplishments in reducing violence and improving quality of life for Caribbean and African immigrant women in Brooklyn. The event happened at the Cadman Plaza Library in Brooklyn. The awards recognize partnerships between community organizations and police departments that have reduced crime and spurred community building, economic activity, and improved services in low- and moderate-income communities. It was presented by April Hawkins, Director of MetLife Foundation’s Civic Affairs Program, and Michael Rubinger, President and CEO of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Dwa Fanm and the police’s efforts have included police roll call trainings on black immigrant cultures and outreach to women on how to seek help from the criminal justice system. According to both entities victims are reporting better communication with police and police, in turn, are receiving more reports of crime from community members. “Domestic violence crimes have decreased by 17 percent and I believe it is strongly related to this partnership,” said Chief Kathy Ryan of the NYPD. Dwa Fanm pioneered the first partnerships with police ever to exist in the Haitian and other Caribbean immigrant communities of New York City on behalf of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. In the first two years of the Precinct Project Dwa Fanm was able to reach over 200 victims through police precinct call logs. The partnership with the NYPD has expanded now over four precincts- 63rd, 67th, 70th and 71st – in Brooklyn neighborhoods with high concentrations of Black immigrants. “Because of collaborations like Precinct Projects, we feel encourage to move forward,” said Farah Tanis, Dwa Fanm Executive Director. In addition, several people received certificates of appreciation from Dwa Fanm for their dedication to Community, Diversity, and unwavering commitment to the advancement of women’s rights. MetLife Foundation, established by MetLife in 1976, is a long-time supporter of LISC’s community revitalization programs. Dwa Fanm and the NYPD were selected from more than 500 applicants to receive the only award in the Diversity Inclusion & Integration category. Dwa Fanm will receive a $15,000 grant to sustain its community safety program and partnership with the NYPD. The Dwa Fanm-NYPD partnership has already expanded from one to five precincts in Brooklyn, and prompted an invitation for Dwa Fanm to represent Brooklyn’s domestic violence service providers at the President’s Family Justice Center.
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