Verna Griffin-Tabor has worked in the field of sexual assault and relationship violence for more than 20 years. Since 1998, she has been chief executive officer of Center for Community Solutions, which is a 40-year-old private, nonprofit social services agency serving victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in San Diego County.
CCS was the first women’s center in the country, operated the first temporary restraining order clinic in the state and currently staffs the only Rape Crisis Center in San Diego.
Griffin-Tabor has served on the board of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence for the last three years and was active while that entity merged. In 2006, the San Diego Domestic Violence Council honored her with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2001, Griffin-Tabor served as president of the San Diego Domestic Violence Council. She has a master’s degree in social work with California licensure and a bachelor’s degree in criminology.
What brought you to La Jolla?My husband, Tom, and I moved to La Jolla eight years ago. We were drawn to La Jolla because of its charm and sense of community.
What makes La Jolla special to you?This beautiful town is nestled in the hills and has the ocean surrounding it. It feels very peaceful and calming to me.
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?I think I would want La Jolla youth to have what I want countywide for all youth. That is an opportunity and/or forums to have in-depth meaningful conversation about healthy relationships. That would include teen relationship violence and sexual assault.
I would love to see teens trained and mentored to lead these types of discussion groups and/or classes for other teens.
Who or what inspires you?The sexual assault and domestic violence survivors who walk through our doors every day are truly inspirational. They are true heroes who have the courage to heal.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?I would invite my husband, my sister, my niece, my deceased father, Gloria Steinem (I want to follow up on previous discussions), Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
What are you currently reading?“Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
What is your most prized possession?My family and my friends - they are golden!
What do you do for fun?I like to go to the gym, go for walks along the shore with my husband, read, travel, sing (even if off key) and I really like to skip.
Please describe your greatest accomplishment.Being a mentor for the last 12 years for an at-risk girl. However, I am not always sure who is mentoring whom.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?You can succeed in reaching any goal if you persevere with heart and integrity.