Organizational Capacity Building Strategies

A Culture of Care: How Lotus House Women's Shelter heals program participants through genuineness, space, high expectations, dignity, individualized attention, and community

To survey the organizational culture of the Lotus House Women’s Shelter, the largest women’s shelter in the state of Florida, a qualitative research study was conducted following a Participatory Action Research Framework. As such, fifty former program participants took part in eight focus groups where they shared and compared their experiences of living at Lotus House and other shelters. Demonstrating a ‘culture of care’, the findings of this study report that the organizational culture of Lotus House embodies the following six elements: genuineness; space to rest and recover; expectations for independence and accountability; being treated with dignity and respect; individualized attention and care; and a sense of belonging. To learn more about the importance organizational culture and the fundamentals that create a culture of care, please visit  

CITATION: Eaton, Asia A., Dionne P. Stephens, Yanet Ruvalcaba, and Jasmine Banks. “A Culture of Care: How Lotus House Women’s Shelter Heals Program Participants through Genuineness, Space, High Expectations, Dignity, Individualized Attention, and Community.” Wiley Online Library. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, May 6, 2021.

The Absence of a Gender Justice Framework in Social Justice Organizing

To address and find solutions to gender-based inequalities experienced by women, a gender justice lens must be incorporated into the framework of social justice organizations. Mixed-gender social organizations often do not fully understand the complexities and deep roots of sexism. The lack of a gender-based framework in social justice organizing and service provision results in the mishandling of gender issues. Findings from interviews conducted with directors (and senior staff) of social justice nonprofits demonstrated that a gender lens is rarely embraced in mixed-gender organizations, the organizations lack training tools to address gender issues, and at the intersection between race, culture and gender, gender is a subordinate concern. This paper examines whether and how a gender lens is incorporated into the social justice organizations, the potential consequences when it is not and the importance of gender-based framework. To take a closer look, please visit

CITATION: Burnham, L. (n.d.). The Absence of a Gender Justice Framework in Social Justice Organizing, Center for the Education of Women, University of Michigan, 2008-07. Smith College Finding Aids.