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WRCNM’s Chris Krajewski recognized with national Lifetime Achievement award

Chris Krajewski of Petoskey will be honored with a 2023 Purple Ribbon Award for Lifetime Achievement through DomesticShelters.org; she is the Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault Program Director with Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan (WRCNM). The national recognition program honors leaders and achievers in the domestic violence movement, including advocates, programs, shelters and survivors. The awards ceremony will be held virtually in May.

Since joining WRCNM in 1987, Krajewski has been dedicated to the work of supporting, respecting and empowering survivors. Much of her focus involves awareness-raising, education and prevention of gender-based violence through community partners, task force groups, speaking engagements and professional training presentations for law enforcement, prosecutors and medical personnel.

Under her guidance, WRCNM expanded and enhanced numerous services that center on the unique needs of survivors while acknowledging the societal influences working against them. She currently oversees 25+ program staff providing 24-hour response, Safe Home temporary shelter, transitional supportive housing, therapeutic counseling, advocacy, violence prevention education and critical social change work. The program has become a model for other agencies in Michigan and nationwide.

“I am filled with gratitude to be nominated for this award by my peers and so honored to receive it,” Krajewski said after learning of the recognition.

Throughout the past three decades, Krajewski said there has been a societal awakening to the prevalence of gender-based violence, and more recently, an urgency by individuals, groups and businesses to take everyday actions to help create needed, positive change.

“During my career, it’s been gratifying to live in a community that has been approachable and supportive of the work needing to be done in our rural area,” Krajewski said. “It is a lifetime of work that needs to continue because this type of violence is preventable and as a strong, compassionate community we still have much to do.”

WRCNM Executive Director Gail Kloss said, “Chris has a special combination of gifts beyond her education and training. She is passionate about the work and also has a broad understanding of the complexities of gender-based violence and the ability to communicate it clearly to various individuals and groups.”

In her 37 years of work, Krajewski has participated in countless national and state conferences, seminars and training sessions. For some of these, she was specifically chosen to represent Michigan by a governor-appointed board called the Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board, which oversees the state-funded programs in Michigan.

Krajewski has mentored dozens of women as a program director, colleague and collaborator to help shape their understanding of working together for the benefit of others. Those who have worked with her describe her as knowledgeable, dedicated, approachable, fun, helpful and someone with great integrity.

An excerpt from Krajewski’s nomination states, “Under Chris’ leadership, WRCNM has reached thousands of community members through presentations about gender-based violence, Batterer Intervention Programs and as an expert witness in the judicial system, among other settings. As a visible community presence, Chris has helped activate a level of communitywide engagement towards ending gender-based violence not found everywhere, speaking with groups of all kinds. Chris can just as easily converse with donors as with survivors. She has an ability to cross cultures, languages, industries and communities through her welcoming approach and style of communicating – she is a skilled, active listener and speaks with great thought and intention. Famously, Chris reminds us often that ‘communication is hard,’ a lesson we carry throughout our community and our interactions with each other.”

“Chris is so deserving of this national lifetime achievement recognition by DomesticShelters.org because she is a passionate and tireless advocate with an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of women, children and families,” Kloss said.

Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan can be reached 24/7 at (231) 347-0082, (800) 275-1995 or wrcnm.org.

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  • Chris Krajewski, who has been with Women’s Resource Center of Northern Michigan for 36 years, will be honored with a 2023 Purple Ribbon Award for Lifetime Achievement through DomesticShelters.org.


  • DomesticShelters.org is the first and largest searchable online directory of domestic abuse programs and shelters in the U.S. and Canada, and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing domestic abuse and those working to end it.


  • In 2021, DomesticShelters.org joined forces with Theresa’s Fund and national experts in the field of domestic abuse to launch the annual Purple Ribbon Awards. This comprehensive recognition program honors the countless heroes of the domestic abuse movement, including advocates, programs, shelters, survivors and members of the community support system.