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Student receives Aspiring Advocate Award

Final-year MSW student Annie Peacock is the recipient of the Aspiring Advocate Award from the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV).

NCCADV created this award to highlight the next generation of leaders and the essential role young activists’ play within the violence against women movement. The award honors a young person with a deep commitment to social justice, ending violence against women and has a proven ability to transform this commitment into effective action. Nominees must have demonstrated leadership ability, creativity and integrity.

Peacock has been involved in violence prevention and response over the last several years, as an UNC undergraduate student, as an employee at the Family Violence Prevention Center (now Compass Center for Women and Families) in Orange County, and as a graduate student at the UNC School of Social Work.

Before beginning her graduate studies, Peacock coordinated volunteer services at FVPC and trained new volunteers for Orange County’s domestic violence hotline. Upon beginning the MSW program, she took leadership on their response program, HAVEN, on campus last year and developed a new program for graduate students who want to help their friends who are involved in unhealthy or abusive relationships.

She was nominated by her former supervisor, Kelli Raker, rape prevention educator at UNC Student Wellness.

“Annie’s passions for ending homelessness, interpersonal violence, and serving the most at-risk adult members of our community make her a leader among her peers,” Raker wrote in her nomination. “I’m confident that upon her graduation this May, Annie will continue to serve our community and our state, both by supporting individuals in need as well as analyzing and changing systems for the better. While I know many young activists who are deserving of this nomination, I want to nominate Annie because of her ethical and thoughtful leadership. When teaching others and facilitating discussions, Annie listens first and asks challenging questions next. I’m continually impressed by Annie’s ability for self-reflection that turns into action.”

With her award Peacock received a $500 donation to the charity of her choice — the Compass Center for Women and Families.

“It was an amazing honor to receive this award,” said Peacock. “My time working in interpersonal violence prevention and intervention illustrated both the individual and systemic injustices that many survivors face including a lack of affordable housing, inaccessibility of mental health services and limited community understanding of how to support survivors.”

Peacock’s current field placement is with the Critical Time Intervention Program, a project developed by UNC School of Social Work faculty member Bebe Smith. “[This] has combined my passions of working with individuals with severe mental illness, survivors of interpersonal violence and homelessness outreach,” said Peacock. “I hope to continue advocating with these communities in the future and continuing direct therapeutic services with survivors, particularly those living with mental illness and experiencing poverty.”