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Category Archives: Community accountability

Violence in the Lives of Girls – A Conference for Adult Allies – September 14

Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls and Young Women
Conference on Violence in the Lives of Girls

The Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Young Women is hosting a conference about Violence in the Lives of Girls on September 14 and 15, 2012.

The purpose of the conference is to re-inject the voices of girls and young women into the conversations about violence in Chicago. Discussions about violence in the lives of Chicago youth are mostly focused on boys and largely address lethal and public violence. Within this context, girls and young women are generally silenced, and their experiences of violence are minimized and overlooked.

This gathering is divided into two days. On September 14th, adult allies who work with and support young women will share innovative intervention ideas and re-frame the discussion about violence in girls’ lives. On September 15th, several groups of young women representing Global Girls, the Illinois Caucus on Adolescent Health, and A Long Walk Home are planning and organizing their own conference.

Agenda for Friday September 14

9-9:30 a.m. Registration

9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Workshops: 1) Reconceptualizing Relationship Violence by Centering Young Women of Color
2) Healing Justice

12-1 p.m. Lunch (on your own)

1:15-3:45 p.m. Workshops: 1) Baby College for All
2) Strategy Session for Collective Responses to Teen Dating Violence

Conference Location: Roosevelt University, 430 S. Michigan Ave, Room 300

Information: Space is very limited and Pre-Registration is REQUIRED. You can register HERE – Registration will close once we reach our capacity.

Note:
The conference is being offered at no cost to participants but it doesn’t mean that there are no costs associated with organizing it. We are grateful to the Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation for providing the space for the conference, special thanks to all of the facilitators who are donating their time, and finally a huge amount of appreciation to all of the conference planners.

Please also keep in mind that we anticipate that many people will want to attend this gathering. Space is however limited so that we can have engaged conversation and discussion. With this in mind, we ask that you DO NOT register if you are not certain that you will attend. We want to insure that those who are able to attend are not turned away. So we ask that you not register unless you are certain that you will attend the event. We really mean this. Thanks in advance for your consideration.

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS

9:30 to 12:00 p.m.

Title: Healing Justice
Facilitators: Stacy Erenberg (Young Women’s Empowerment Project), Tanuja Jagernauth (YWEP, Sage), Sangeetha Ravichandran (A Long Walk Home)

Wondering how you can incorporate Self Care and Healing Justice into your work with youth? Then look no further! Join Sangeetha Ravichandran (A Long Walk Home), Stacy Erenberg (Young Women’s Empowerment Project, Sage Community Health Collective), and Tanuja Jagernauth (YWEP, Sage) for an interactive and popular education-style Arts-and-Body-Based Exploration of Self Care and Healing Justice. Participants will collectively define Self Care and Healing Justice and adapt an example curriculum to weave in Self Care and Healing Justice activities. Expect to have fun and walk away with tools you can use to create your own Self Care and Healing Justice curriculum for young people.

Title: Reconceptualizing Relationship Violence by Centering Young Women of Color
Facilitator: Mariame Kaba (Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Girls and Project NIA)

Over the past 20 years, several teen dating violence and date rape curricula have been developed to educate youth about the warning signs and dynamics of abuse. This seems to be a good time for adult allies, youth workers, and educators to assess whether these curricula are relevant to the current lived realities particularly of young women of color. How should relationship violence prevention programs and curricula be re-conceptualized to meet the specific needs of young women of color in Chicago? Participants in this workshop will discuss the strengths and limitations of current teen dating violence and date rape curricula and programs. They will leave with specific ideas for how to more effectively intervene particularly with young women of color who are experiencing violence in their lives and relationships. Note: This is NOT an introductory workshop. Participants should have previous knowledge and/or experience addressing teen dating violence.

1:15 to 3:45 p.m.

Title: Baby College for All
Facilitators: Katy Groves (Youth Service Project) and Chez Rumpf (Center for Urban Research and Learning, Loyola University and Project NIA)

This workshop seeks to shift the framework around teen pregnancy and parenting. Pregnant and parenting teen girls often are pathologized as deviant young people who have become pregnant as a result of their personal deficiencies and problems. As such, services targeting these young women often attempt to “fix” or “reform” them through individual-level interventions. This workshop will engage participants in imagining ways to de-stigmatize teen pregnancy and parenting. Rather than frame teen pregnancy as a life-ending event that shoulders young women with insurmountable barriers, we will consider how to create structural supports for young mothers and how to cultivate a culture that places a high value on children.

Using a popular education approach, facilitators will lead participants through an activity to identify the current stigma and pathologizing discourse about teen pregnancy and to investigate the causes and consequences of this stigma. Through another activity, facilitators and participants will explore the historical evolution of this stigma. The workshop will close with a visioning exercise to develop concrete strategies to foster a sense of communal responsibility for children.

At the end of the workshop, participants will leave with:
• an understanding of the historical development of current discourses about teen pregnancy
• a critical assessment of these discourses
• ideas about how to create supportive environments for teen parents and their children

Title: Strategy Session for Collective Responses to Teen Dating Violence — Healing, Intervention, Accountability and Prevention/Transformation
Facilitator: Ann Russo, Building Communities, Ending Violence.
This workshop will offer the experience of a collective strategy session to show how community members might work together to effectively respond to teen relationship. The workshop will provide a structure for people to imagine collective responses that do not rely on the police or external authorities, and, if time, a chance to practice some of the skills it might take to implement them.

Stay tuned for information about the Youth-Led Girls’ and Young Women’s Conference that will take place on September 15th! We will be sharing information here on the blog about how young women can register to attend.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Community accountability, Events, Violence

 

Join Us on Tuesday at 1 p.m. as We Protest Tiawanda Moore’s Upcoming Trial!

Ms. Tiawanda Moore’s trial is currently scheduled to begin on August 3rd. The Chicago Taskforce on Violence against Young Women and Girls launched a petition drive earlier this year urging State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez to drop the unjust charges against Ms. Moore. To date, the petition has garnered over 3,200 signatures.

On Tuesday August 2nd, join us as we bring the petition signatures directly to Anita Alvarez and demand that she do the right thing by dropping the charges against Ms. Moore. Tiawanda Moore is a young woman who reported that she had been sexually assaulted by a police officer in July of 2010, and was then herself charged with eavesdropping on police. According to her attorney, Robert Johnson, when she tried to report the assault, internal affairs “gave her the run-around, trying to intimidate and discourage her from making a report. The internal affairs officers told Ms. Moore if it happens again you have our number. Finally, a recording of the officer’s misconduct is made on her cell phone.” She was charged with two counts of eavesdropping – and if found guilty, will face up to fifteen years in prison.

We will meet downtown at 1 p.m. to deliver the petition signatures to Anita Alvarez. Please join us and bring your friends. Rather than being a demonstration, this is a targeted strategic direct action designed to convey the reality that thousands of people demand that the charges against Ms. Moore be dropped. If you are planning to join us, please e-mail us at chitaskforce@gmail.com for more information.

We plan to dramatize the number of signatures that have been collected by presenting index cards with each individual name represented. We need volunteers to help us create the index cards. If you have the time and inclination, please join us on Monday from 3 to 6 p.m. for an index card writing session. We will be meeting at the Rogers Park Community Council, 1530 West Morse Ave. Please stop by and help us write out the cards.

If you have any questions, please contact us at chitaskforce@gmail.com.

ETA: We will be meeting at 1 pm at the Picasso sculpture in Daley Plaza, and walking together to the state’s attorney’s office to deliver the petitions. 

 

Standing up to victim-blaming: Slutwalk Toronto

We have a lot to learn from efforts underway across the globe, and we’ll be featuring some of these efforts over the coming months.  Here’s our first.

We’ve seen a lot of victim blaming in the media lately — the New York Times blaming an 11 year old girl in Texas for being raped even garnered national attention  It’s rare that people take to the streets to protest victim-blaming, but that’s exactly what organizers in Toronto, Canada have done.

On April 3, over 1500 people rallied for the very first Toronto Slutwalk. Why a Slutwalk?  In response to victim-blaming by none other than the Toronto Police. On January 24th, a police representative told a group of students at York University that they could avoid sexual assault if they didn’t dress like “sluts.”  That’s right — once again, blaming young women for the violence they experience.

Here’s what the Slutwalk organizers have to say:

On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave shocking insight into the Force’s view of sexual assault by stating: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.

As the city’s major protective service, the Toronto Police have perpetuated the myth and stereotype of ‘the slut’, and in doing so have failed us. With sexual assault already a significantly under-reported crime, survivors have now been given even less of a reason to go to the Police, for fear that they could be blamed. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; but using a pejorative term to rationalize inexcusable behaviour creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim.

So on April 3, people of all backgrounds gathered in Toronto’s Queens Park and chanted,

“Whatever we wear, wherever we go, yes means yes and no means no.”

Right on.  One thing that’s great about this effort is that the organizers have refused to accept the individual police officer’s apology as an appropriate response, and are instead demanding systemic change.

The organizers are now supporting Slutwalks across Canada and even in the US — walks are scheduled for Boston, Dallas and Seattle.   What do you think?  Should Chicago be on the list?

Photo credits: Lyndsy D

 

Survivors and neighbors unite to reclaim Powderhorn community

So often we are posting statistics and stories about the epidemic of violence against girls and young women.  It is encouraging, then, to be able to share an example of communities taking action.  These types of community actions — for reclaiming sites of violence, for developing community-driven solutions, for taking a united stand against sexual violence, and for healing as a community — often go unreported.   And yet they are taking place in communities across the country.

We urge you to read this inspiring article about a survivor’s courage and resilience, and community action, in the Powderhorn Park community in Minneapolis.

The Facebook events page is here, if you are in the area and able to attend to support this action.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2010 in Community accountability