Dr. Kate Waller Barret Advocacy Award Recipient: Suzanne Banning
About Dr. Kate Waller Barrett
Dr. Kate Waller Barrett (January 24, 1857 – February 23, 1925) was a humanitarian, philanthropist, and social reformer. While raising six children
and opening a shelter for unwed mothers, she earned a Medical Degree and a Doctor of Science. In 1895, Dr. Barrett joined Charles Nelson Crittenton to co-found the National Florence Crittenton Mission, and they established rescue homes for unwed mothers across the country. More than 70 Crittenton homes operated in the United States and abroad at the time of her death.
In 1909, Dr. Barrett became the Mission’s President and ignited the movement of supporting girls and young women, including women of color. Her advocacy efforts and leadership also supported girls and young women beyond the walls of the Crittenton homes. A few of her many accomplishments include:
- Partnering with John D. Rockefeller to create an anti-trafficking film, Traffic in Souls;
- Voted President of the National Council of Women;
- Appointed a delegate to the 1924 Democratic National Convention; and
- Appointed as special agent of the U.S. Bureau of Immigration for her anti-sex trafficking and advocacy changing the way girls and young women were treated while in custody.
2024 Dr. Kate Waller Barrett Advocate Award Winner, Suzanne Banning
The Dr. Kate Waller Barrett Advocate Award is given to an individual who supports the empowerment of young mothers and their children in our community – a modern-day champion of the work of one of our founders and the award’s namesake. Florence Crittenton Services is thrilled to honor Suzanne Banning as the 2024 recipient. Suzanne served as President & CEO of Florence Crittenton Services from 2014-2022 and exemplifies what it means to put FloCrit moms and their children first, always. Her eight-year tenure at the helm of the organization represents a breakthrough period for FloCrit, a time in which our programs and services grew with fidelity and depth to comprehensively wrap around FloCrit families.
Suzanne led us through our Building for Teen Family Success Capital Campaign that raised over $1,000,000 to expand the Early Childhood Education Center, increasing our licensing age range and doubling our capacity, allowing FloCrit to serve over 100 children ages 6-weeks through Pre K. She was pivotal in adding the Alethia E. Morgan School Based Health Center to the Florence Crittenton High School building that opened in 2015, in partnership with both Denver Health and the Colorado Health Foundation.
Suzanne dedicated herself to breaking down barriers for teen families, both at FloCrit and across the state, and her advocacy resulted in the creation of the Teen Parent Collaborative, a unified community of organizations that strives to build capacity and connection for its members and advocate for teen parents and their children. She testified at the State Capitol on behalf of teen families, early childhood educators, and early childhood providers countless times, and is known as a thoughtful and passionate leader by her peers. One of the advocacy efforts that yielded a community solution was having a mobile DMV on campus as well as having collaborative funding through the TPC to support teen families in receiving support to attain their driver license. Through Impact 2025, FloCrit’s strategic plan that she was instrumental in creating, the organization focused on Optimizing programs and services, Activating our resources and our community, and Growing to reach more families in a deeper way. Her strategic leadership through the pandemic focused on continuing to serve moms and kids and maintaining the staff and capacity to meet the evolving needs of our community through those very challenging years.
The FloCrit that Suzanne shaped and developed over the last decade is the foundation on which the organization sits today: strong, impactful, financially healthy. She led with tenacity, energy, and heart, and serves as an example of how one individual can impact countless lives through their advocacy and leadership. In recognition of her outstanding contributions, Suzanne will be receiving the Dr. Kate Waller Barrett Advocate Award during Pathways to Empowerment in April.