Norma Rendon Named 2023 Recipient of the NNEDV DREAM Award
November 29, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa B. Winjum, Director of Development and Communications (Communications@NNEDV.org)
Washington, D.C. – The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) congratulates Norma Rendon, recipient of the 2023 Diane Reese Excellence in Advocacy in the Movement (DREAM) Award. This award honors a person who incorporates and demonstrates the spirit and promise of true advocacy in all aspects of life as Diane did—one who emulates a commitment to clear and ethical communication, an eagerness to collaborate in the spirit of true partnership, and a deep respect for the dignity, worth, and humanity in each one of us.
In the Lakota language, Norma’s name is Waciampi Win, meaning “dependable woman.” As a member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe, Norma has spent her years of advocacy dedicated to helping her people, but she will not turn her back on any victims or survivors. She is committed to helping all victims, survivors, and families.
“Much of Norma’s work is grounded within her culture, and she has provided so much to others, even when she didn’t have the funding to do so. She is such an amazing woman who continues to transform the domestic violence work in South Dakota and the tribal nations,” said Krista Heeren-Graber, Executive Director of the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault (SDNAFVSA). “Her kindness, wisdom, and knowledge have significantly changed the lives of many women, men, and all of us. I respect her commitment to the truth and her dedication to integrity in her work.”
In Rapid City, South Dakota, the federal government facility (Sioux San) has had a troubled history. Originally built in 1898 as a boarding school, it became a tuberculosis sanitarium in 1939, then an Indian Health Clinic in 1966. In 2018, Norma established a women’s shelter at the facility: Winyan Wicanyuonihan Oyanke – Where All Women Are Honored.
Norma has developed a curriculum for youth presentations in schools and has begun presenting trainings in tribal schools. Last spring and summer, she organized and hosted Coming-of-Age Ceremonies (Isnati Awicalowanpi) to help the youth and to bring back the culture. As a college student at the University of Colorado in the 1970s, Norma led a student organizing effort that met every Friday, drumming and praying to rename Nichols Hall to Cheyenne Arapaho Hall.
When Norma stepped into the role of Co-Director of the South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, she immediately reached out to SDNAFVSA. Norma believes in the importance of looking beyond the history and the challenges in order to come together and help all people. Norma joined SDNAFVSA in 2018 and has served on the Executive Committee since 2019.
“Norma Rendon is an incredible champion in the movement to end violence, particularly as she centers the experiences and culture of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe,” said Dr. Wendy B. Mahoney, NNEDV Interim President & CEO. “It is an honor to collaborate with, learn from, and follow Norma as she leads us toward a future free from violence. NNEDV, our Membership Committee, and the DREAM Award Selection Committee couldn’t be more proud to recognize Norma and her work.”
Norma knows the power of her language and her culture. Norma’s Oglala Lakota grandparents, Wallace and Millie Little, helped shape her view of herself and the world by immersing her in tradition. Despite the ripple effects of residential boarding schools, Norma states that she became the strong woman she is through prayer, ceremony, and family love.
NNEDV presented Norma with the DREAM Award on November 29 during our Annual Meeting. Learn more about the work of Norma and SDNAFVSA at SDNAFVSA.com.
Watch the 2023 DREAM Award presentation and Norma’s acceptance remarks:
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) represents the 56 state and U.S. territorial coalitions against domestic violence. NNEDV is a social change organization working to create a social, political, and economic environment in which domestic violence no longer exists. NNEDV works to make domestic violence a national priority, change the way society responds to domestic violence, and strengthen domestic violence advocacy at every level.