Partners in Duluth



  Linda Riddle
  Safe Harbor Program Manager
  Life House Youth Center
  Sister Cities Board Member

Linda Riddle brings 28 years experience in addressing gender violence to Life House's Safe Harbor Program. Linda's expertise is based in 20 years of executive director leadership at 2 organizations: Houston County Women's Resources (HCWR) and Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs (DAIP) and board experience with 4 advocacy organizations with legislative and organizing work on behalf of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse victims and people experiencing homelessness. Her expertise is rooted first in her lived experience: a battered mother protecting 2 small children in a very isolated rural environment. An artist by trade, she is known for creative problem solving, tenacity and faith in her vision of a better world. Linda has a deep love for political and social action, was the first executive director to serve at DAIP, a 2003 Ann Bancroft Courage Award recipient and a 2009 winner of the McKnight Human Service Award.

While at DAIP, Linda worked closely with three Open World delegations from Petrozavodsk including the 2011 delegation that participated in formal week long training. She was a featured trainer and keynote speaker at the Singapore National Family Violence Symposium in 2012 and has led delegations focusing on gender violence and women's leadership to Colombia and Cuba with Witness for Peace. In 2013, Linda conducted an 8 day independent research trip on gender violence in Kurdistan followed by a report and recommendations to her Kurdish hosts. Linda is a member of the board of directors of the Duluth Sister Cities International (DSCI) and chairs the committee for DSCI's newest sister city - Rania, Kurdish Iraq.

Linda is the Safe Harbor Program Manager at Life House, Inc. In that role, she is tasked to plan and implement a comprehensive new program of emergency shelter and services for youth who are sex trafficked or sexually exploited. Duluth's Safe Harbor Program is a partnership between Life House (with homeless youth and positive youth development expertise), Safe Haven Shelter for Battered Women (where the emergency shelter is located) and PAVSA, Duluth's program for victims of sexual violence.

Linda is the delegation leader for the Fall 2014 US-Russia Peer to Peer Dialogue exchange. She is also developing as an independent consultant to communicate the intersection of issues most dear to her heart: gender violence, well-being of children, environmental appreciation and the translation of those issues through artistic expression.

"My hopes and dreams for this Peer to Peer Dialogue are that we, collectively, actually make changes that can be seen and felt by people in both countries, especially by people who are 'on the bottom' – who need protection and support. Furthermore, I hope that we are beacons of peace and goodwill within our delegations, our professional disciplines, our communities and our countries".