National Domestic Violence Advocate Wins Lifetime Achievement Award:
A Lifetime of Work Recognized by Violence Prevention and Intervention Professionals
Alliance President Casey Gwinn, Lifetime Achievement Awardee Mary Claire Landry and Alliance CEO Gael Strack (above) and p ast Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dr. Jackie Campbell with Mary Claire Landry (below) at the 19th Annual International Family Justice Center Conference.
Today, Mary Claire Landry received Alliance for HOPE International’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the 19th Annual International Family Justice Center Conference before 700 domestic violence, child abuse, stalking, human trafficking, and sexual assault professionals, speakers, and VIPs. One of the most respected Family Justice Center Directors in America, Landry was recognized for founding and leading the nationally recognized New Orleans Family Justice Center Alliance. She is the first Family Justice Center Director in the country to receive the Alliance’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Mary Claire Landry is one of the most transformational leaders in the history of the domestic and sexual assault movements in Louisiana, but her reach goes far beyond her own state," said Casey Gwinn, President of Alliance for HOPE International. "Mary Claire has inspired Family Justice Centers across the United States and around the world." Gael Strack, the CEO of Alliance for HOPE International, added: “When we arrived in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to help support Mary Claire’s vision for creating a Family Justice Center, we did not realize that she would end up inspiring and helping us develop the movement around the world. She is relentless, determined, passionate, and totally inspirational.”
Mary Claire Landry, center, holds up her Lifetime Achievement Award with members of the New Orleans Family Justice Center Alliance staff.
Mary Claire Landry is a licensed clinical social worker with a Masters of Social Work from Tulane University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of New Orleans. She has served in many roles throughout her career. As the Director of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services with Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans, she led the program’s revival after Hurricane Katrina, spearheading efforts to rebuild services and to introduce systemic improvements for survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse in Orleans Parish. In 2006, she served as the President of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 

During Hurricane Katrina, the state's first shelter for survivors of domestic violence, Crescent House, was burned to the ground. In response to the disaster, Ms. Landry moved operations of the shelter and reinstated services for people returning to the area who were experiencing domestic violence in a highly-charged, emotional environment. While reinstituting services, she confronted the reality that the criminal justice response system had also been devastated. She provided office space for the New Orleans Police Department’s Domestic Violence Unit behind the new Crescent House shelter and began urging the funding of the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Through her persistence and in partnership with the Family Justice Center Alliance, a new system of coordinated response for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault was born – the New Orleans Family Justice Center. 

In 2007, the New Orleans Family Justice Center Alliance started operations, serving survivors from a small city-owned building in the Warehouse District. In 2012, the New Orleans Family Center Alliance was formed. Domestic violence and sexual assault services left Catholic Charities to continue under the new agency, which consisted of nine on-site collaborating organizations located in a 15,000 square foot facility in the Main Post Office building in downtown New Orleans.

Through unwavering efforts since Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Landry has spearheaded systemic change for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, working tirelessly to improve services and further the Family Justice Center Movement. Along with community and criminal justice stakeholders, the New Orleans Family Justice Center Alliance has been on the frontlines of changing local protocols and improving laws aimed at protecting survivors. The organization has simultaneously refined and defines services that address needs from one central location in a way that empowers survivors.

Most recently, under the leadership of Ms. Landry, the New Orleans Family Justice Center Alliance started Camp HOPE America – Louisiana, the only evidence based camping and mentoring program in America for children exposed to trauma and abuse. The program is creating pathways to hope that break the generational cycle of violence plaguing Louisiana. 

The New Orleans Family Justice Center Alliance is comprised of nine public and private agencies, all in one central and secure location, that provide an integrated community response to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Comprehensive services include a 24-hour crisis line, emergency safe housing, trauma counseling for adults and children, civil legal assistance, temporary restraining order assistance, transitional housing, education and employment services, and teen dating violence prevention services.

The 19th Annual International Family Justice Center Conference kicks off today with more than 700 domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault professionals, speakers, VIPs, and exhibitors from 36 states and six countries. The sold-out three-day conference is taking place at Paradise Point in San Diego, CA and is focused on creating pathways to hope for victims of trauma and abuse, including intimate partner violence. The content includes training on the neurobiology of trauma and the science of hope, investigation and prosecution strategies, the process to build effective and sustainable Family Justice Center frameworks, and programs, services, and practices designed to mitigate trauma in adult and child survivors. 

Additional photos and video of Mary Claire Landry receiving her Lifetime Achievement Award are available by contacting Michael Burke, Director of Community Engagement, at (619) 573-4345 or by email at .