Sister Terry Dodge Receives Minerva Award
Created by California First Lady Maria Shriver in 2004, The Minerva Awards have become the country’s most prestigious awards given to women “who serve on the front-lines of humanity,” celebrating their extraordinary legacies of service and contributions to California, the nation and the world.
Terry Dodge, SSL, is Executive Director of Crossroads, Inc., a unique six-month residential program for women released from California state prisons. While building Crossroads, she also engages in community education and advocacy on issues of women and criminal justice--vital given our prison crisis. Crossroads provides a supportive, safe space for readjusting to life after prison, at no cost. Sister Dodge treats residents as individuals, not ex-prisoners, nurturing them and building their self-esteem. Programs address interpersonal and life skills, overcoming substance abuse, and finding jobs. In 2007, she developed Turning Point Staffing Services for formerly incarcerated and at risk women, to teach employment skills and develop placements with local employers. All but two Crossroads alumnae have found employment; 86% are self-sustaining after six years. (TPSS’ director is also an alumna.)
A focus of Sister Dodge’s recent work is supporting women who’ve served long sentences, whose needs aren’t met by other programs. In 2009, she opened a second residence, realizing her longstanding dream of offering a home specifically for—and open to all—women released after serving long sentences. In 2006, with women inside, she began The Advocacy Project to support women serving indeterminate life sentences in receiving parole. Most of those found suitable for parole by the Board of Prison Hearings are subsequently denied parole by the governor. The Advocacy Project’s grassroots letter writing campaigns generate support for each woman found suitable, urging the governor to grant parole. Planning to build Crossroads’ advocacy work, Sister Dodge is currently a fellow of the Women’s Policy Institute, where she is working to change policy regarding the shackling of pregnant women. Her work models empowerment, compassion, teaching tolerance, and the pursuit of justice.
In 2010, Sister Terry Dodge was one of the five winners of the 2010 Minerva Award for her hard work here at Crossroads! A picture from the event is shown below. Fore more information, click here.
Links on Sister Terry Dodge: