If the word “hope” wasn’t in the name of her non-profit, this Women Lead honoree would still define the meaning of the word, in the way she talks, acts, and helps those at their most vulnerable.
Cathleen Barkley is the Executive Director of H.O.P.E. Works, most recently known as the Women’s Rape Crisis Center.
“In 2011 we realized that name didn’t fit the services we were providing to the community and the people that we were serving, we realized that sexual violence impacts more than just people that are female identified and so we felt it was important to expand our name, H.O.P.E. Works really has a different feeling,” Barkley said.
Barkley still helps out when needed, on the hotline. She will also accompany survivors to the hospital to help get them through a rape exam. Barkley says it’s her way of putting the work in perspective when she’s bogged down with writing grants and working on finances.
“For me, seeing the strength and resilience of survivors and how they continue to get out of bed everyday and how they continue to fight for healing and fight for justice for themselves, really fuels my ability to do the same and fight for them,” she said.
“I’m very humbled to be the person on the camera but I feel that there are incredible leaders here at H.O.P.E. Works other than myself, so there is this little part of me that just feels like yes I happen to be the executive director but we are a group of leaders together and there is no one of us that can do the work without the other, so we really function as a team,” Barkley said.