Board Announces Acting Executive Director

4/4/2019 5:49pm

We promised transparency during this time at The Attic Youth Center. Today, we are sharing several important updates with you.

On April 15 th , Board Member Shawnese Givens, LMFT, will become Acting Executive Director. In this role, she will oversee the operations of the Center; represent The Attic in the community and on behalf of our youth and staff. She will report to the President of the Board and manage relations with legal counsel overseeing two investigations into the Center.

Shawnese is passionate about working to restore wholeness and health within black, brown, and queer communities. She identifies as a QWOC, feminist, and social justice advocate. Shawnese holds a Master of Arts degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Syracuse University and received postgraduate training in the Psychotherapy Center for Gender & Sexuality at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. Shawnese joined the Attic Board of Directors in 2016, bringing expertise in systemic change and relational wellness.

We take the allegations of discrimination and abuse that occurred within The Attic community seriously. Abara Law Firm has been retained to investigate the allegations of discrimination and inappropriate treatment of Attic staff members. The law firm Morgan Lewis has been retained to investigate the allegation of sexual assault. Both investigations will include recommendations on policies and procedures that promote, encourage, and ensure a safe,  inclusive environment for our youth and staff. We expect their work to take a few months to complete and we are committed to being accountable to our youth, staff, and community. We believe that others can and must learn from this situation, not just The Attic.

We value the youth who count on our center and continue to promise you the welcoming, healthy environment you expect. Our staff delivers on that promise daily and they have our complete support.

- The Attic Board of Directors

See previous message from The Attic Board: https://www.atticyouthcenter.org/news/public-statement