Introducing M-LAB: Meet Esther
That’s why Esther White gives back to her community; because it needs her voice. She says, “the drive to save the lives of others who I can relate to living in a domestic violence situation is beyond inspiring, and gives me motivation to keep fighting to see clients get to the other side.”
A new member of M-LAB (Metropolitan & Legal Aid Associate Board), Esther joined from the board of Family Shelter Service, a DuPage-area domestic violence shelter, as part of its merger into Family Shelter Service of Metropolitan Family Services DuPage. Read more about the merger here.
Read Esther in her own words on her previous board experiences, and join us in welcoming her to M-LAB!
Why did you join the board? What keeps you involved?
I joined the board because I myself am a victim of domestic violence and know first hand the reality of how traumatic and life altering it is to be a victim to such violence. With that being said, the drive to save the lives of others who I can relate to living in a domestic violence situation is beyond inspiring and gives me motivation to keep fighting to see clients get to the other side, knowing that HOPE EXISTS.
Can you share a key takeaway or impactful moment from your time on the board?
At the end of September 2018 we kicked off Domestic Violence awareness month with a candlelight walk to raise awareness for Domestic Violence. There were two separate backpack options, one for survivors of domestic violence and one for supporters. To see just how many people had a “survivor” backpack brought me literal chills down my spine and tears in my eyes- and I mean HAPPY chills and happy tears. To see people who looked like “ordinary people” if you will, now knowing they were once living in a Domestic environment and are here today to march with us – the feeling I felt that night was indescribable. I didn’t see victims, I saw warriors.
This impactful moment I got to experience just goes to show that there is hope on the other side, and we need advocates and boards like our own to be able to continue this movement to save victims.
Why is it important to engage with the communities around you?
It is so important to engage with the communities around me because there are so many people in the community who do not have a clue that places like ours exist. As a domestic violence survivor myself, I always say if I knew about this organization I would have left so much sooner. My community NEEDS my voice. Social media is amazing for networking and sharing, but engaging with the community provides a real life reality to the situation at hand.