This year the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) is returning to California and will address A Journey to Healing: Finding the Path, to be convened August 3-4, 2009 in Long Beach, California at the Westin Long Beach Hotel, 333 E. Ocean Blvd.

This year’s conference will feature remarks from Catherine Pierce, Acting Director, U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, Washington DC, reflections by Congresswoman Laura Richardson, (D-CA), who should know all about violence against women considering how she treated all of her female staffers, and a special message from the first African-American Attorney General Eric Holder.

Among the conference presenters are Margaret “Shug” Avery of “The Color Purple,” who will provide a provocative dramatic portrayal of healing; and the R&B group Sounds of Blackness will premiere an original song penned specifically for the conference with a video performance with original choreography by Endalyn Taylor of the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

“Historically, conversations about domestic violence have focused on the immediate impact on and needs of battered women: what they experience, how to safely exit an abusive relationship, and how to re-establish themselves as survivors,” says Dr. Oliver Williams, IDVAAC Executive Director. “Through this conference, we will be able to give attention to their pathways to recovery and healing in the long-term.”

The conference will also include an awards luncheon to recognize outstanding work to address domestic violence across the United States, with presentations by Dr. Oliver Williams on battered womens perspectives on healing; and Mildred Muhammad, Executive Director of After the Trauma and former wife of the convicted DC sniper, who will speak about the challenges a battered woman has may face in fighting for the hearts and minds of her children.

Dr. Oliver Williams is available for interviews prior to the confererence, during and after the event.

For more information about IDVAAC or its upcoming conference visit our website www.dvinstitute.org/healing.