HOPE Works, the new name and identity Interrobang developed for the Women's Rape Crisis Center was unveiled on November 29, 2011 in Burlington, VT. Governor Peter Shumlin was given the honor of unveiling the new name.
HOPE Works has grown significantly over the years. Cathleen Wilson, HOPE Work’s Executive Director sites this growth as the impetus for changing the organization’s name. “Simply put, we outgrew our name. We serve women, men and teens; we serve people who have experienced all forms of sexual violence; and we provide long term services as well as prevention education in our schools. We needed a name that could encompass all that we do and hope to do.”
The organization spent a year conducting focus groups and surveys with the help of a group of professionals through the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Champlain Program to provide feedback on the current name as they relate to the scope of and need for services. They then worked with Interrobang to decide on the new name and logo. HOPE is an acronym for Healing, Outreach, Prevention and Empowerment. The fern element of the identity is a symbol of endurance and resourcefulness in the face of adversity.
The event will be hosted by the South End Arts and Business (SEABA) who works to promote the unique blend of art, commerce, and the entrepreneurial spirit in Burlington’s South End Arts District. Christy Mitchell, SEABA’s Associate Director stated, “We believe that we can create a stronger community through our collaborative efforts with area organizations, and are proud to have the opportunity to host the HOPE Work’s event on November 29th.”
Additionally, the Transcendence exhibit will be on display at the event and during the entire month of November at the SEABA gallery space at 404 Pine Street Burlington. The Transcendence exhibit is a collaboration between Frog Hollow and HOPE Works. Frog Hollow Artisans, Carol MacDonald and Erik Rehman, worked with a group of survivors of sexual violence, listened to their stories, and created unique, inspirational artwork that embodies their healing journey and depicts a sense of hope. Wilson stated, “Transcendence is the perfect backdrop for unveiling our new name and logo. Sexual violence can be devastating to individuals and communities, but we want people to know that there is hope. Hope for Healing from sexual trauma, Hope for Outreach to the community, Hope for Prevention of sexual violence, and Hope through Empowerment of survivors and communities. Our mission is to end sexual violence in Chittenden County, VT… our name embodies the way that we hope to accomplish that mission.”
Along with the new name and identity, HOPE Works has launched a new website and new Chatline for survivors of sexual assault and their supporters. The Chatline is the first and only in the state of Vermont and is modeled on national chatlines. The organization worked with Interrobang, Eternity Web and local volunteers on the new website and chat feature. The Chatline has been a two year project of the organization and is a response to the growing number of youth survivors for whom traditional hotlines are not a preferred mode of communication.