Relationships

Meet Cynthia Patterson, Founder of Dove Inc.  

Q: Dove Empowerment Ministries and Dove Inc. (Daughters of Virtue and Excellence): Preparing Women for Purpose, please give us the origin of the organization and why you felt the need to help women.

A: Operating since 2002 as a one-woman operation from my living-room, we continue to focus on filling our clients’ needs completely and fully. DOVE exists to empower women to make positive decisions in their lives. We seek to help clients embrace life and live it significantly. In order to help empower them we provide the following services: Therapeutic Group or Personal Counseling, Enrichment Educational Services, Personal Development Coaching. We believe that all women are holistic beings with unique needs and challenges that affect their mind, body and the spiritual aspects of their lives.

Q: The slogan on your website reads Plan+Preparation+Process=Purpose how do you motivate women to have a plan where there is often times no hope to go forth in their development?

A: We reach out to the women in our community who are in need of spiritual rejuvenation and motivational support. By providing an opportunity for them to embrace a successful mentality and rid themselves of crippling needs, circumstances, guilt and insecurities as a result of domestic and sexual violence, commercial sex exploitation, and drug abuse. The following success formula in coaching our clients has proven positive results through these practical steps we call the 4P’s:

Plan – We encourage women to create a divine recovery plan for themselves.

Preparation – We help them to set realistic and achievable goals for themselves.

Process – We let them know there is a process and we act as their accountability partner to encourage them every step of the way through weekly coaching calls.

Purpose – We celebrate with them by helping them to create a vision of possibility to get hope they need to succeed in the plans they have personally developed.

Q: Let’s discuss the recent presidential election. Given the work you do through Dove Inc./ Ministries how important was this election in regards to the services you provide to women?

A: This presidential election was very important to us. President Obama and Vice President Biden have focused on the important issue of domestic violence since day one, naming Lynn Rosenthal as the first ever White House Advisor on Violence Against Women during the first months of the Administration.

President Obama Administration’s has made a committed effort to raise awareness and prevent domestic violence. Earlier this year, the President directed federal agencies to develop policies to assist victims of domestic violence in the federal workforce. Through Vice President Biden’s 1 is 2 Many campaign; they released a public service announcement featuring professional athletes and other role models speaking out against dating violence.

Another victory was received through the Affordable Care Act, where women in many health care plans will have access to domestic violence screening and counseling as a preventative service without co-payments, deductibles or other cost-sharing. In an effort to save the lives of the three women a day who still die as a result of domestic violence, the Justice Department developed a new project to reduce domestic violence homicides through screening, linking victims with services and developing high-risk teams. We will continue to take a stand to stop violence against women. We believe all women deserve the opportunity to excel to their fullest potential in life. That’s why we are so passionate about our services and embrace the responsibility to intentionally enrich lives through mentoring and advocacy.

Q: You yourself have dealt with similar struggles in your past, has this made the process of helping these women easier or harder?

A: I am asked this question quite often. God’s word says we overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. Therefore, this makes it easy because I share my own story. It is not anything I have only heard, but it is also something that I have experienced therefore It makes it easier to connect. Our clients are able to see that they are not alone and at that moment, God allows us to connect. I have been so blessed to have a staff of powerful women who share the same testimonies. They can identify emotionally which make our ministry so unique, authentic, real and genuine.

Q: In addition to being the founder of Dove Inc./ Dove Empowerment Ministries you are also the author of the book It Had to Happen: Understanding that everything you go through in life is for God’s purpose, tell us more about the book and its connection with your ministry?

A: Yes and I am so excited about this project. In my debut book, It Had to Happen, God has allowed me to inspire the reader of God’s providence in the midst of trials which only serves as the launching pad to triumph. I masterfully use The Woman with the Issue of Blood to take us beyond the surface of the biblical story we’ve heard and read so many times by interjecting us into the passage in a personal way. Our own struggles are interwoven in suggested parallelisms that bring this woman’s plight into the light of a modern day context. And the discovery questions at the end of each chapter cause us to reflect deeply as revelation and transformation provide soothing solutions that can only come from our loving Heavenly Father who is an ever present help and a Source of unending hope.

The connection with our ministry is to help women self-reflect and discover God’s purpose for their life through our Broken Wings Personal Developmental sessions. At the end, our clients will:

· Be able to map out a mission and identify what’s holding them back and move forward

· Discover how easy it is to attain the fulfillment in every area of their life

· Be able to conquer their life challenges and take control of their destiny

· Know their self-worth and how to unleash the power within

Q: On September 12, 2012 you facilitated a panel discussion for Miss Representation at The University of Houston in Texas. How important is it that we speak to our young girls and women about their own body image and self-esteem, especially since we live in a world cultivated with negative or unrealistic representations of women in television, movies and magazines?

 

Cynthia Patterson with the Miss Representation Panelist
 A: Yes, I am a Miss Representation Advocate. Meaning, I took a pledge to empower women and girls to challenge limiting labels in order to realize their potential, and to encourage men and boys to stand up to sexism. I became an advocate because of the following statistics:

· Women are exposed to over 3,000 advertising messages a day

· Or the fact that the number of cosmetic surgical procedure performed on young women 18 or older has tripled…WOW… TRIPLED!!!

· with liposuctions quadrupling and breast augmentations increasing six-fold

· the false reality that women have to act negative and use inappropriate language to express themselves through shows like Bad Girls Club, Basketball Wives, etc.

· Or the fact that drugs and alcohol is the only way of life…

· And being with men who are often violent and disrespectful depicts a healthy relationship.

It is very important that we get involved to help our young women and girls realize the power of the media and challenge each of them to know her self-worth. So we are having this panel discussion to help them to eradicate all negative aspects of our society.

Q: To date how many women has Dove Inc./ Dove Empowerment Ministries help to recover from dire situations and where do you see this organization five years from now?

A: DOVE has helped 543 women total. In the next five years, we plan to expand with three offices in Houston and surrounding areas. In addition, two safe houses to help victims to recover from domestic violence and commercial sex exploitation. With a national expansion of offices in Beaumont, Texas, Oakcliff (Dallas Metroplex) and Atlanta (Clayton County).

Q: Lastly what do you want people to know about Cynthia Patterson that they don’t already know, what motivates you to continue in this work of helping to build up our broken women and how can we all do our part in helping women to heal their broken wings?

I share with many women my testimony where I was living a promiscuous lifestyle, indulging in drugs and alcohol while giving in to her lustful desires. Working in Corporate America by day and performing in an elaborate gentleman’s club by night. While this lifestyle was very gratifying, it turned out I chose to live this way to suppress the feelings of guilt, shame, abandonment, and humiliation I acquired from my entire negative past experiences through rape and sexual abuse. So for years, I was pursuing something that only fixed those issues temporarily by satisfying a desire for a momentary high or rush. Lost with no hope this left me feeling dead on the inside. But, it was not until I recognized it and sought a higher power for help and strength. Now I am blessed with a mission in life committed to fulfilling the call of God.

I am motivated each and every day when I see the transformation take place in a client’s life. I am motivated when I see the courage and strength expressed through a client words and actions to know who she is in God. The excitement she has to start her new life based upon the development plan and vision board she has established for herself. I give God praise each time to know DOVE’s work is not in vain and to see the fruit our labor manifest is PRICELESS.

God’s word shares with us the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. We pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out women laborers into his harvest to minister to his daughters. Your readers can help through volunteering. They can help by referring clients to our organization. Most importantly, we need financial support. If your readers would like to support a cause in helping women victims recover, then they can find out more information by visiting our website at www.dove-ministries.org. We also can be reached via social media at:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/doveministryinc

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 Cynthia Patterson preaching
Broken Wings Development Graduation Class of 2011
 Alter Call
All photos courtesy of Cynthia Patterson
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