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The Canadian Jeiwsh News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Lawyer takes reins at anti-domestic violence group

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Alanna Salpeter

Becoming chair of the board of directors of Act to End Violence Against Women, is a logical next move for Alanna Salpeter, 31.

“I’ve always worked with people less fortunate than me. I feel responsible to them, and I have a desire to do what I can,” said Salpeter, who began her two-year term in the fall.

Act to End Violence Against Women’s mission is to end violence against women within the Jewish and broader community through education and advocacy. 

An active member of the board of directors since 2010, Salpeter is the director of education at Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies.

A laywer by training with a master’s degree in bioethics from Michigan State University – where she was involved with the sexual assault crisis intervention centre – Salpeter has been a visiting lecturer in the faculty of law at the University of Gambia, has consulted on the development of ethical health guidelines at several heath-oriented institutions in post-genocide Rwanda, has taught English in Japan, and has worked with University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine and Public Health Ontario in bio-ethics research.

While in law school, she said, she was involved in pro bono work and represented a number of women who were involved in domestic abuse.

“My work with Act to End Violence Against Women is a continuation of everything I have done. I have a passion for treating humans everywhere equally,” Salpeter said.

“In 2010, when I saw that the [the organization] was looking for board members, I thought that it would be a great way to use my skills. It is a small organization with a large mission, and it does incredible work.”

In her new position, she said, she is encouraging both women and men to get involved in the organization.

“Although we are focused on violence against women, it is not simply a women’s issue. It is a human issue that affects the fabric of our society: our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, our aunts, our friends and our children,” she said.

“To that end, we are on the lookout for volunteers and welcome interest from anyone and everyone.”

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