Shelley Barron: Champion of Domestic Violence Survivors
Gann nurtured Shelley Barron’s passion for social justice, taught her to think critically, and opened her mind to a diversity of thought and opinion that prepared her well for college, law school, and beyond.
Today, Shelley Barron '05 is a staff attorney with Casa Myrna, a Boston-based non-profit that helps survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives. She provides a range of legal services, representing people in matters ranging from abuse prevention to housing to custody to immigration status. She also manages Casa Myrna's medical-legal partnerships with Mass General and Beth Israel Deaconess— unique collaborations between legal experts and behavioral health clinicians, who together help patients who are domestic violence survivors.
“My work is challenging— it’s hard to bear witness to so much violence — but it’s also very meaningful,” says Shelley, who in 2015 received Gann’s Strive Award honoring an alumni leader who strives to make positive change in the world. “I feel blessed to help survivors gain access to justice and to move forward in their journeys.”
Shelley says that there were numerous teachers at Gann who nurtured her intellectual curiosity, always against a backdrop of Tikkun Olam. “It was a message I heard again and again: ‘What can you do to make the world a better place?’ The friends I made at Gann, who are still my friends, were also social justice oriented. We would volunteer at shelters and go to demonstrations.”
Gann’s pluralistic environment had a profound effect on her own Jewish identity, explains Shelley. “It was always emphasized how there is not one way to be Jewish and that there are so many facets to being Jewish. This philosophy made me engage with my Jewish identity in a much more meaningful way. Now that I’m raising my own family, these lessons are even more relevant.”
To learn more about the Casa Myrna, visit their website at https://www.casamyrna.org/.