The keynote speaker is Melissa Donaldson, a prominent expert on youth and violence. Donaldson has trained and educated many community members, law enforcement personnel, educators and elected officials on abuse and violence, the toll it takes on families and communities and what can be done about it.
Donaldson has worked in the field of Social Services for nearly 30 years and, since 2001, has been the Executive Director for Safe Alternatives For Everyone (S.A.F.E.), a nonprofit agency providing services for children, youth and families throughout Riverside County who have experienced, or are at risk of, abuse and violence.
Throughout her career, Donaldson has operated:
Child abuse programs
Domestic violence shelters
Drug and alcohol treatment
Foster care, group homes
Programs for runaway and homeless youth
Donaldson has received numerous awards and commendations including:
The National Task Force on Runaway Youth from Governor Davis
The Soroptimist International, Making a Difference for Women Award
The California Governor’s Crime Victim Advocate Award from Governor Schwarzenegger
3rd District County of Riverside Woman of the Year in 2009