Imagining a New Life for Women

May 26, 2011  |  

(New York Times) — Since 1996, Anne R. Elliott has been executive director of Greenhope Services for Women in East Harlem, which serves former inmates who have abused drugs or been battered, and provides an alternative to incarceration. This month, Greenhope opened Kandake House, a residence that has education, therapy and cultural programs. Dr. Elliott, a North Carolina native, is 49 and lives in Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Career path: I went to Davidson for my B.A. in English literature, spent a couple of years teaching in Kenya, came to New York as a Coro fellow in 1986, then went to Union Theological Seminary for a master’s in divinity and a doctorate in systematic theology. I was an associate minister at Bridge Street Church, an African Methodist Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, where I ran a group called Kiamsha, which means “enlightened.” Women talked about what was going on in their lives. It felt to me what church should be about: talking about something that needs healing. I had done a spirituality workshop with women at Greenhope and I decided I would like to do that kind of work.

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