Category Archives: Occasional Papers

New Occasional Paper from YWAT on engaging young men as allies

On November 2-3, 2007, fifteen young men gathered to participate in the Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team’s (YWAT’s) Male Ally Training.  The training was created by Ed Mills and members of the YWAT.  Lillian Matanmi, a leadership team member of the YWAT, was the primary coordinator of this project.

Now Ed Mills and members of YWAT have prepared a report on the event.  The report summarizes what took place and indicates some of the training’s strengths and weaknesses.  It also discusses the participants’ – both trainees and facilitators – written and oral feedback, and contains a brief appendix with some of the activities, evaluations and facilitators’ afterthoughts.  The YWAT hopes that this report will be of assistance to other individuals and organizations seeking to create similar trainings.

The report — along with workshop activities and evaluations — is available on the Taskforce website.

The Rogers Park Young Women’s Action Team has also developed a toolkit titled “Where Our Boys At? Involving Young Men as Allies to End Violence against Girls.”  In the toolkit, YWAT shares some of the resources (including curricula) that it has developed and perhaps even more importantly  discusses the challenges and accomplishments of its three-year campaign.  The toolkit can be found here!

Thanks to Ed and the members of YWAT for sharing their learnings!  If your group has similar evaluations to share, and would like to submit a proposal for an Occasional Paper, please email us at


New Occasional Paper: C.R.I.M.E. Teens Project

The Taskforce is happy to announce the release of our latest Occasional Paper, by youth and adult allies at the C.R.I.M.E. Teens Project!

The C.R.I.M.E. Teens Project (Compassion, Respect, Inspiration, Motivation, Empathy) is a grassroots, youth led violence prevention program.  Since its inception in 2009, the C.R.I.M.E. Teens have worked toward multiple achievements, most notably presenting to hundreds of elementary, middle school, and professional populations through an adolescent-centric perspective of community, school, relational, and familial violence, and authoring and publishing a book targeted to educators and direct service professionals on how to better understand the youth experience of violence.

This paper is a written collaboration between the C.R.I.M.E. youth and the adult supporters to dive deeper into the critical issues of violence against young girls and women, particularly focusing on cyber bullying, relational violence, and teen dating relationships.  The young women of the C.R.I.M.E. Teens also provide personal narratives of their own experience with complex trauma and violence and their stories of resilience and advocacy to aid other young girls and women in their own recovery.

In the words of one of the program’s youth,

“The violence rate toward and between women is increasing in Chicago neighborhoods. We have all witnessed violence in our own ways. We want to talk about how we experienced violence and what we have learned from it.  We are a group of teens trying to stop violence and help communities come together as one. As youth, people think just because we are teens, we don’t really CARE, but we do; we want to use our voice to help make change.”

You can read the paper by C.R.I.M.E. Teens here.


New Occasional Paper: The Bad Encounter Line, by YWEP

We are thrilled to share with you the latest Occasional Paper, by C. Angel Torres and Naima Paz of the Young Women’s Empowerment Project!  The paper looks at the organization’s Bad Encounter Line, which they describe like this:

The Bad Encounter Line (BEL) is a way to report bad experiences you have had with institutions such as police, the health care system, public aid, DCFS, CPS, etc. In our research we noticed so many girls and transgender girls reporting bad encounters from systems that are set in place to help them. So we wondered is the same happening to boys as well; so we expanded the BEL to reach them as well, and as we have been receiving data we have learned that these systems are affecting all genders. Based off the BEL, we started a task force for street based youth and wrote a Bill of Rights that we want non-profits to sign so they have to be accountable to us and can’t get away with denying us help.

The paper is available for downloading – along with the Bill of Rights that YWEP members developed – on the Taskforce website.

We thank the Young Women’s Empowerment Project for their powerful and important work, and for their willingness to share it with us through the Taskforce.  We encourage you to read what the young people from YWEP have to say about this issue, why it matters, and how they are taking concrete steps to address it.

Stay tuned for our next two papers, to be released this fall, both featuring youth voices….. The first, by youth and adult allies at the CRIME Teens Project in Bronzeville, describes their approach to addressing bullying, cyberbullying and teen dating violence. The second, by youth leader Tiara Epps of Beyondmedia Education, will be in the form of a video diary, and will share her learnings from the Chain of Change project.

If you are interested in submitting an abstract for our next round of Occasional Papers, please email us at


Taskforce selects next Occasional Papers

We are happy to announce that the Taskforce has chosen our next round of Occasional Papers, to be released in July.  The Occasional Papers seek to offer relevant, practical, and useful information about the realities and impact of violence in the lives of young women and girls, innovative programming and approaches, and concrete tools that communities can use to end violence.

We are especially excited that all 3 of the papers will be written or co-written by girls and young women!

The papers feature the work of three organizations that engage young people as leaders to end systemic and interpersonal violence:

  • Tiara Epps, Beyondmedia Education, The Chain of Change Project
  • Rachel Kibblesmith & youth leaders, CRIME Teens Project, Replacing Trauma & Violence with Youth-Directed Compassion, Respect, Inspiration, Motivation, and Empathy.
  • Young Women’s Empowerment Project, The Bad Encounter Line

Congratulations to all of the authors!

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Posted by on February 24, 2011 in Occasional Papers, Youth voices


Occasional Papers now available!

The Taskforce has just released our first 2 Occasional Papers:

A Culture of Safety, by Scheherazade Tillet, Salamishah Tillet and Leah Gipson, provides evaluation of the Girl/Friends Summer Institute, a program in N. Lawndale

The Sooner the Better, by Brenda Arsenault, shows how abuse prevention education for K-8 students makes high school education on the issue more effective.

Don’t forget that submissions for our next round of Occasional Papers are due on January 31!


Call for Submissions – Occasional Papers series

The Chicago Taskforce on Violence Against Girls & Young Women is pleased to announce the second call for contributions to its Occasional Papers series.

We welcome submissions from practitioners, community members, and like-minded allies in academia, and invite you to join us in “translating” knowledge about girls and violence to the general public.  In launching the occasional papers series about Girls and Violence, we seek to offer relevant, practical, and useful information to the general public about the realities and impact of violence in the lives of young women and girls, innovative programming and approaches, and concrete tools that communities can use to end violence.

We also welcome submissions from girls and young women themselves who want to write about the realities of their lived experiences of violence.   The Taskforce defines girls as those under 18 years old and young women as between 18 and 24 years old.

The Taskforce is seeking contributions of case studies, work in progress research papers, special reports, conference reports, and curriculum units on issues of violence against girls and young women.  All writings are intended to be useful to those in the field.

We are particularly interested in soliciting work from Chicago practitioners who are engaged in direct service provision and/or grassroots organizing around issues of violence against girls and young women.  We want to know about new approaches – what new models are you applying?  What has worked and what challenges have you faced?

Violence against girls and young women is pervasive, complex, and cumulative. Individual organizations and individual community members cannot tackle this issue on their own. The Chicago Taskforce on Girls, Young Women and Violence has been founded to serve as a vehicle for addressing the following question: What are the conditions that need to exist locally and statewide to end violence against girls and young women?  One of the most important goals of the Taskforce is to reassert community control over the production, documentation, ownership and use of our own information and experiences.

ABSTRACTS WILL BE DUE BY JANUARY 31, 2011. Publishing decisions will be made by March 15 based on recommendations by a team of reviewers, for publication in summer 2011.  We will work with authors, and respond with comments on submissions.  Authors will have an opportunity to review and approve suggested edits.  Please note that there will be no compensation for submissions.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submission should include: the title of the submission, the author(s) names, an abstract of 250 words, and a brief biographical sketch, with affiliations, telephone and e-mail address.
  • Language should be accessible to a broad audience including young people.
  • Please use Times New Roman 12 point font, and leave 1-inch margins all around.
  • Please submit as a word document (.doc, not .docx) or as a PDF file
  • Please send your submission to us electronically at

Inquiries about the Taskforce’s Occasional Papers Series or other related questions may be directed to Melissa Spatz at

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Posted by on November 17, 2010 in Events, Occasional Papers