"If we are to end domestic violence for the next generation, it will require commitment from everyone - especially men,'' said PCADV Executive Director Peg J. Dierkers. "During his professional career as a police officer, trainer, and community leader working with inner-city youth, Mr. Garcia has worked tirelessly to end the curse of generational violence afflicting families in poor urban neighborhoods. He embodies the leadership, dedication, devotion and spirit of PCADV's #FathersDayPledgePA campaign to end gender violence.''
Garcia, 53, was selected by an independent panel of judges, from a list of candidates who were nominated by PCADV's member programs in Philadelphia.
As part of his recognition, Garcia will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a #FathersDayPlegePA on-field ceremony before the 7:05 p.m. Phillies game on Thursday, June 16, against the Toronto Blue Jays. In addition, a portion of the proceeds from game tickets sold through this event using this special link on phillies.com will benefit the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
The Phillies also have filmed new public service announcements for PCADV, in which players and manager say NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assaults. The PSAs are available to the public at www.pasaysnomore.com and will air on television during pre-game broadcasts and on the scoreboard in Citizens Bank Park during home games. PCADV will also share the PSAs on social media and broadcast them on radio and TV stations throughout eastern Pennsylvania.
"Mr. Garcia is a hero when it comes to ending gender violence, and we are honored to have him make the ceremonial first pitch before our game on June 16th, " said Phillies Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Stiles. "It is also our hope that this night, as well as the broadcast of our players and manager PSAs, will help PCADV create greater awareness for this very serious subject."
About Joseph Garcia
Ending gender violence has been a lifelong crusade for Garcia: as a child, he witnessed his father physically abusing his mother. It was then that he made a personal pledge to protect and assist abuse victims.
"Domestic violence permeates every demographic, and college campuses are no exception," said Garcia, who began at Temple as a security officer in 1988 and rose through the ranks as a patrolman, shift supervisor, crime prevention instructor, and commanding officer before being named administrative captain, his present role, in 2010.
"In my journey, I have learned that men don't wake up on a Tuesday and decide that it would be a good thing to abuse their loved ones. I am not a doctor but I believe that domestic violence stems from mental illness, injected by the abuser and, if not treated, passed on to the victim. We all need to do our part to help those still trapped in this horrifying cycle."
Early in his professional career, Garcia worked with youth organizations in Kensington, the neighborhood where he was reared. He became a role model in a place where role models were rare. Today, he serves on the boards of the Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School and is chair of the Professional Development Committee for the city of Philadelphia's Police Community Advisory Board, implemented by Mayor Nutter as part of President Obama's task force on 21st Century policing.
"Wherever he has a platform, Mr. Garcia talks about his experiences with violence in the home, and encourages men young and old to understand its roots and overcome it for the betterment of our community,'' said Jannette Diaz, vice president of family and housing services for Congreso, the Philadelphia-based domestic violence center that nominated Mr. Garcia. "He is the embodiment of the #FathersDayPledge campaign.''
Founded in 1976, the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence is the oldest statewide domestic violence coalition in the nation. Each year it provides free and confidential services to nearly 100,000 victims of domestic violence, through a network of 60 community-based programs serving all 67 counties in the commonwealth. PCADV also promotes public awareness of domestic violence-related issues through its PA SAYS NO MORE campaign, which it operates in partnership with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. For more information, visit www.pcadv.org or www.pasaysnomore.com, or follow PCADV on Facebook and on Twitter, @pcadvorg.