LAKESHORE REGIONAL NEWS: Door County, Kewaunee County, Manitowoc County, and Sheboygan County

“An advocate for advocates:” Milly Gonzales reflects on her first year as director of HELP of Door County

Hispanic Heritage Month

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — For those in need of advocacy in Door County, HELP is the place to go.

“Our advocates are not only providing advocacy, they’re also doing outreach and education and prevention work with youth,” Milly Gonzales, Executive Director of HELP of Door County told Local 5. “We’re the only domestic violence agency in Door County.”

For about a year, Milly Gonzales has lead the organization as Executive Director.

“I’m the advocate for the advocates,” she explained, “so what can I do to help my advocates serve our community and all of our clients and everybody within our community as well?”

She says the time she’s spent at the helm of the organization has been eye opening.

“I was shocked to know that I was the only Latina running a mainstream organization in the state of Wisconsin that does domestic violence work,” Gonzales said.

That’s a statistic she would like to see change.

“It’s all cultures that are effected by domestic violence and understanding,” Gonzales said. “It’s important for us to, you know, bring these leadership opportunities to other folks because there is an enrichment that happens when we do.”

An enrichment from bringing diverse points of view to the table.

“I think it’s really important to bring different peoples’ perspectives to the table, especially in leadership roles,” she said, “so that you can serve your entire community. There’s a very hidden community here in Door County and I think that my perspective brings that here.”

Gonzales says perspectives like hers are what will help bring change.

“We’re not going to end domestic violence or sexual violence until we end racism, until we end heteronormativity, until we end oppression no matter what that looks like and what community it is,” she said.


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