Traumatic experiences are an unfortunate and yet common reality for many women. Those who endure such horrific circumstances are many times in need of a place to turn to for support and understanding.
This is where one can lean into a nonprofit such as Milagros Day Worldwide which is located in New York City, founded by Dawn Diaz in 2009. This organization has a deeply-rooted meaning for Dawn as it was named in honor of her mother (Milagros, which means “miracles” in Spanish), who had sadly passed away when she was young. “Her legacy lives on through the women who we help” stated Diaz.
From Paramedic to Nonprofit Leader
Dawn Diaz has an honorable background as she was in service for 23 years as a paramedic helping injured people in emergency situations, from delivering babies to assisting in car accidents. She also was a first responder hero on duty the day of and in the months following September 11, 2001. Diaz was a Latina female Captain in the New York Fire Department in 2009 and she stated that, “I broke a lot of barriers, I am very proud of that.”
It was during this time, that Dawn was delving into personal development and was in the search for healing and wholeness so her career was, “an expression of that”. She realized she had a passion for giving back as she pivoted into the nonprofit world. The concept of Milagros Day Worldwide was realized and brought to fruition. Dawn knew she wanted to assist other women who were in turmoil due to domestic violence, as her mother lived through severe domestic violence, and Dawn herself, “grew up in that type of household, which was very damaging.”
Growth of Milagros Day Worldwide
Expansion of services of the nonprofit is evolving. In addition to helping women in domestic violence situations, Milagros Day Worldwide nonprofit now seeks to help survivors of trauma in the areas of:
- Personal Development
- Professional Skills
- Domestic Violence
- Childhood Trauma
The nonprofit also helps to provide services in the areas of:
- Leadership Coaching
- Support Groups
- Women Supporting Women
In addition to the variety of support services offered, Dawn Diaz is offering two upcoming exciting opportunities for women to be involved in an immersive experience to get their voices out into the world. The first is through a project called Healing Voices – which is a speaker series on YouTube that features 15 beautiful talks by women survivors.
The second venue for women to have a chance to tell their story, is through a collaboration book. The objective of this book is to allow for each author to express their truth and philosophies on healing in whatever form of writing expression they choose, whether it be through poetry, a memoir, etc.
Dawn’s Advice on one’s Personal Philosophy
Dawn Diaz was very open to discuss her take on personal defeat, and how one can grow from it. “Personal philosophy comes through failures and own hard knocks in life,” says Diaz. Her message to women is to be sure to have self compassion. Dawn wants to be clear that women acknowledge their own accomplishments, to really look at what you have achieved so far when you are feeling down on yourself. If you feel for example, that you have fallen short of meeting the highest standards you have set for yourself. It is essential to extend yourself grace. In fact that is the mantra that helped Dawn rise up out of a state of burnout.
Recognizing Why We Don’t Talk About Burnout
Between going through menopause, and going through a period of feeling isolated, Dawn is all too familiar with questioning one’s own achievements through relentless self-scrutiny. Dawn states that there is a reason women may not want to admit they are in a state of burnout. After all, this is essentially admitting vulnerability and this is not always easy to do. “The reason is that women may not always realize they are going through it, because they are in survivor mode,” states Dawn.
Dawn offers valuable insight into what a person can do if they are reaching a point of burnout in their life. She recommends that they, “not feel like you have to be everywhere all the time to be relevant. Know the work you put into the world is already etched in history.”
How History Drives Dawn Diaz Now
In the interview Dawn disclosed that she “grew up with unpredictable violence and had PTSD as a child.” It is due to this background that she developed the hyper-awareness and dissociation that gave her the ability to go into the field as a First Responder, and to continue on in the work she does for those in need today.
In addition to the book and the Healing Voices project mentioned earlier in the article, Dawn is looking to expand Milagros Day Worldwide to more cities in 2024, including Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania!
Dawn states that she is, “Very grateful for the Global Sisterhood, it is a safe container and international community for grace. If you can’t give yourself grace yet, the Global Sisterhood will do that for you”. Dawn Diaz has been in partnership with the Global Sisterhood nonprofit for over ten years, collaborating together to assist the women of the world in mutual support.
Dawn Diaz’ Social Media Handles