Resource: Richmond Young Writers!

Looking for something awesome for kids to do? Check out Richmond Young Writers! 

Richmond Young Writers is a creative writing incubator for ages 9-17. We write, we read, we laugh, we cry, we get messy, we polish things up, we bond. We make each other better.

RYW offers once-a-week fall and winter/spring after-school workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, journalism, comics, and other topics.

In the summer, we offer 18 different week-long creative writing camps, complete with amazing guest author appearances, snacks, deep thoughts, wordy goodness and a new crew of crazy writer friends.

About

Richmond Young Writers was founded in the summer of 2009 at Chop Suey Books with the intention of introducing young people to the joy of creative writing through workshops taught by professional writers in the community. Our workshops are now held right down the street at 2707 West Cary Street.

Full and partial scholarships are offered in each workshop to ensure that all students have the opportunity to participate in our programs.

We have had the pleasure of writing with young people ages 8-17 from Richmond, Henrico, Glen Allen, Ashland, Chesterfield, Midlothian, Montpelier, Powhatan, Moseley, Mechanicsville, Afton, Rockville, Gloucester, Charlottesville and more.

Learn More Here

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IMPORTANT READ & RESOURCE: Healing from the Roots: How Community Involvement Can Address our National Violence by Semein Washington

With the most recent mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, our national debate on gun control has resumed its fervor. While firearms are the modus operandi, and gun deaths and injuries constitute a large number of violent encounters, gun debate does not cause much change other than movements to gun protectionism. Confronting this issue with a focus on guns is important but there are numerous ways to approach violence. Pistols and rifles are the most available and efficient ways to harm, but why are people violent? Another way to ask the question is “How do we keep the stresses of daily life from causing acts of anger?”

Confronting the issue on the basis of children is effective as it teaches a lifetime of anger management tools.

In Hampton, Virginia, there is a facility dedicated to the groundwork of anger management. The expansion of such programs may serve to address our problems with violent acts, particularly by use of firearms.

Peaceful Alternatives to Tough Situations (PATTS) is located at 2021 Cunningham Drive, Suite 400 in Hampton, VA 23666.

PATTS describes their philosophy as such:

“PATTS utilizes group instruction and role play to help youth learn nonviolent conflict resolution skills, demonstrate more forgiveness in conflict situations and take responsibility for their choices and behavior.

This program was developed to focus on youth learning appropriate expression of their emotions since a growing body of research is indicating that many aggressive children are actually depressed and traumatized children.

PATTS adopts the perspective that many aggressive children have exceptional leadership qualities that need to be redirected into more socially acceptable behavior. Aggressive children often time have not had the guidance and support from their families, neighborhoods, and peers to utilize nonviolent conflict resolution skills. PATTS groups are designed to encourage peer support and reinforcement of positive behaviors and choices. Learning is encouraged through brainstorming sessions, activities and role plays.

Research supports the need to involve families and teachers to reinforce new conflict resolution skills in youth.

PATTS integrates these influential people in the youths life through a Family night to educate them on ways they can support positive conflict resolution skills. There is also a teacher training presentation available to prepare the teachers on ways to incorporate these conflict management skills in the classroom so participants can be reinforced after the nine week curriculum is complete.”

Contact Info for PATTS:

Ann Marie Long, Youth Empowerment Coordinator, amlong@kidsandfamilies.com, 757-690-4782
Ellen Williams, Director of Behavioral Services, ewilliams@kidsandfamilies.com, 757-838-1960 ext 313.

They can be found online here: http://www.patts.info/index.html.

More insightful approaches to the causes of anger are needed.

PATTS works to empower angry children and young adults rather than marginalize. Such structured work goes a long way to preventing aggression.

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Must Read! Thirteen Types of Activism by Roland O. Watson

THIRTEEN TYPES OF ACTIVISM

"The following are the standard types or methods of modern activism:

1. Volunteer: Volunteer on your own or with interested groups to assist disadvantaged and underprivileged people, and threatened species and habitats. In an international context, volunteer to work in refugee camps, at local schools and medical care clinics, or for some other NGO (non-governmental organization). There is a huge network of volunteer organizations around the world, and once you are part of it, once you start volunteering, it is easy to find new and fascinating opportunities.

2. Grassroots activism: Found or join community, student or other groups and then engage in “tabling,” where you set up a table at some social event and hand out literature and talk about your cause. In addition, such events are often supplemented with, or designed around, activist speakers and performances and exhibitions by activist artists.

The objective of grassroots activism is to increase the publicity of, and most importantly the support for, your cause. You particularly want to engage the interest and if possible the involvement of members of the different groups that are being negatively affected. Your goal is to organize them, to pull them out of their complacency and defeatism, and to assist them in their opposition.

For activism to be effective, we must organize large-scale movements to express discontent and to demand change, movements of such a size that they cannot be ignored. But to do this, we will have to find ways to unify the disparate sources of rebellion that exist, including environmentalists, workers, students, ethnic and indigenous rights activists, religious groups, and even the disaffected individuals who listen to gangsta rap and hard core rock. Further, we must solicit the concern of those individuals who one day will suffer the most, if we are unable to solve our problems: schoolchildren. (They must be recruited as well, to help protect the world they are destined to inherit.)

Activists also must recognize that only one thing, historically, has led to large-scale rebellion: the deaths of a great number of people. Rebellion has never been instigated by the destruction of nature (although the taking of land has been a contributing factor in some popular movements). This is a reflection of human chauvinism, that we only get upset when bad things happen to us. For example, this is one of the reasons why the debate over genetic engineering is finally starting to gain some prominence: it involves a threat to people. (The history of the twentieth century included a number of significant victories against government repression, but far fewer against environmental destruction.)

Lastly, there is the problem that activism is usually reactive. We assume, because we are ethical, that other people are as well; that they have a conscience and are not wholly dominated by personal selfishness. Then, when they demonstrate that they are so dominated, we have to react.

To be effective we must build large-scale movements, and we must anticipate this: we must be proactive, and unpredictable....."

Read the Rest of This Important List Here

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Great Read! "13 Books to Teach Children About Protesting and Activism" by Jackie Reeve (from Geek Mom)

"It’s a politically charged time to be alive in the US. Yesterday’s Women’s March brought out incredible numbers of people in cities and towns around the world who exercised what we consider a fundamental right in America. Maybe you had your young children with you, like I did. I realized while we were marching in a local protest that activism can be a hard thing to define to young kids. Keep the conversation going with these books that help explain and demonstrate what it’s all about...."

Read Jackie Reeve's Excellent List on Geek Mom

 

Collage by Jackie Reeve

Collage by Jackie Reeve

Good Read! "Why we need to move empathy from personal emotion to collective moral concern" by Roman Krznaric (from Aeon)

from Aeon

"Empathy comes in two distinct forms: affective empathy is our instinct for mirroring the emotions of others, while cognitive empathy is our conscious ability to understand someone else’s perspective.

In this installment of Aeon In Sight, the British writer Roman Krznaric argues that empathy is a uniquely powerful – if often overlooked – tool for transforming and improving societies on a mass scale. Using it effectively, however, requires much more than affective empathy’s rush of emotions and reflexive reactions, to which the culture today seems particularly inclined.

Rather, to get the most out of empathy, we must focus on widening our moral concern through cognitive empathy, finding ways to move from the personal to the collective....."

Read The Rest Here

Winter Warmth Drive Extended Until Friday, February 9, 2018 in Farmville, VA!

Thanks to the generosity of the Farmville community, and of Navona Hart and her staff at Real Living Cornerstone Realty, we're extending the collection for the Winter Warmth Drive!

We'll continue collecting until noon Friday, February 9, 2018.

Still Needed: 
New or gently used coats (especially for kids), hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, sleeping bags

Bring your donations to one of the following collection locations:


Grainger 112, Longwood University, 201 High Street, Farmville VA 23909
or
Real Living Cornerstone Realty, 238 North Main Street, Farmville, VA 23901

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Compassion for the Four-Legged: A Survey of Virginia No-Kill Shelters from Semein Washington

Our human community is in need of compassion or assistance but, as those who have pets and care for other animals know, we are not the only ones who require attention. Animals who have been placed under human care, largely dogs and cats, often need new homes and the chance to live fulfilled lives. Many shelters do not have the resources or time to care for animals who haven’t found homes and subsequently have to put them to sleep.

One way to counter this cruelty is to do whatever we can to support no-kill shelters.. These institutions are committed to animals living long fulfilled lives and finding a loving home.

The following entries are highly rated by No-Kill Network.org.

AARF of Richmond, Virginia - “AARF is an acronym thatstands for Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation. We are a Richmond, Virginia based, non-profit, all volunteer, non-euthanizing organization founded in June of 1993. Our goal is to rescue orphaned animals and place them in loving homes.”

To volunteer, donate or adopt with Richmond’s AARF: http://www.aarf.org/

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Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County - “The Humane Society/SPCA of Nelson County (HS/SPCA) strives to improve animal welfare by providing care and adoption of ‘unwanted’ companion animals through: our ‘no-kill’ adoption center, foster care networks, satellite adoption venues, and Kitten & Puppy Rescue/Transport Programs; by funding veterinary services and education programs; and, by controlling over-population through low-cost Spay-Neuter-Vaccinate and Feral Cat Trap/Neuter/Release programs.”

Learn more, volunteer, donate or adopt here: http://www.nelsonspca.org/

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The Animal Aid Society - Hampton, Va. - “The Animal Aid Society is a "No-Kill" dog shelter. The mission of the Society is to provide to and/or for animals, other than Man, shelter, medical aid, care and protection, to act as a placement agency for dogs in good health, and to provide education for the humane care and treatment of dogs, and to attempt to prevent cruelty to dogs. It is a nonprofit organization which receives no funding from state or federal agencies. All of the funds required to maintain the shelter and care for the dogs come from donations and special fund-raising events. Donations to the shelter are tax deductible.

Our dogs are not euthanized. Dogs are kept at the shelter until placed in a home; however, this means that new dogs can only be accepted by the shelter after previous ones have been adopted or permanently placed in foster care. All our dogs are:

  • Examined by a veterinarian.

  • Receive medical care as needed.

  • Current on vaccinations.

  • Spayed or neutered.

  • Regularly walked and exercised.

  • Socialized and Loved.

  • Temperament tested.

  • Microchipped

The Animal Aid Society can be contacted here: http://www.animalaid-va.org/

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Humane Society of Loudoun County (Leesburg) - “The Humane Society of Loudoun County, VA (HSLC) is a no kill, animal welfare organization founded in 1966 to rescue and rehabilitate abandoned, feral, and neglected animals from Loudoun County, VA.. Our mission is to provide a second chance for our needy four-legged friends and to work toward a time when all animals have loving homes. By visiting schools, retirement homes, and other public venues, we try to enrich people´s lives with the magic of animals´ unconditional love, and to teach humans the value of proper care and responsibility of beloved pets.

As an organization, we work to influence legislation to protect animal rights. Our efforts helped local officials identify the need for and pass both anti-rodeo and hot car ordinances. Currently we´re communicating with VA state representatives on a bill to provide officials with training on recognizing the link between animal cruelty and child abuse, then breaking that link through education.”

Humane Society of Loudoun County can be contacted here: https://humaneloudoun.org/

_____________________________________

Additional resources and locations for no-kill shelters can be found here

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Last Day of Our Winter Warmth Drive! Please Donate!

So cold outside, and folks in our community still need your help. 

Our Winter Warmth Drive ends today! 

Still Needed: 
New or gently used coats (especially for kids), hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, sleeping bags

Bring your donations to one of the following collection locations:

In Farmville:
Grainger 112, Longwood University, 201 High Street, Farmville VA 23909
or
Real Living Cornerstone Realty, 238 North Main Street, Farmville, VA 23901

In Richmond:
Tarrant’s Café, 1 West Broad St., Richmond, VA 23220
or
Tricycle Gardens, 2314 Jefferson Ave, Richmond, VA 23223

Please share widely. Thanks!

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IMPORTANT RESOURCE: Free Immigration Screening Clinic, Feb 17, 2018, Richmond VA

What does DACA mean to you? The end of TPS for Salvadorans and Haitians? New immigration policies?

Free Immigration Screening Clinic
Saturday, Feb 17, 1-5pm
Sacred Heart Center
1400 Perry St, Richmond VA

___________________________________________________________________________

For more information,

call 804-230-4399 or 804-643 -1086

__________________________________________________________________________

¿Qué te significa DACA? ¿Nuevas políticas de inmigración? 

Consultas gratis acerca de la inmigración
Sábado, 17 de febrero, 1-5 pm
Sacred Heart Center
1400 Perry St, RIchmond VA



Patrocinado por Legal Aid Justice Center, VICPP Central VA Sanctuary Network, & Sacred Heart

Sponsored by the Legal Aid Justice Center, VICPP Central VA Sanctuary Network, & Sacred Heart Center

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Friday Hashtag #ReadersResist, from Writers Resist: Write Our Democracy

"Words are the tools writers use to create change, but without readers what we write cannot come alive. Readers must be at the heart of this movement. We invite you to resist normalizing "alternative" truth and narratives that contradict the bedrock principles of our country. Resolve to seek out and share truth and initiate inspired conversations. Together we can shift the narratives that define our future and help recover democracy.

On Fridays join us on social media with the hashtag #ReadersResist and share prose passages, articles, photos, poems, or any written material that demonstrates the solace, resolve, and resistance so essential to renewing our democracy.

Learn More About Writers Resist: Write Our Democracy Here

 

IMPORTANT RESOURCE: Richmond City’s Cold Weather Overflow Shelter Open January 30 – February 1

The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter will be open Tuesday, January 30 – Thursday, February 1 as temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees.

Residents in need of overnight shelter are asked to report to Commonwealth Catholic Charities (511 W. Grace Street) during operational hours for a comprehensive intake and referral to the appropriate shelter. Shelter registration is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  

For individuals who are not eligible for existing shelter space or if all available beds have been filled, Commonwealth Catholic Charities will provide a referral to the Cold Weather Overflow Shelter.

The Cold Weather Overflow Shelter is located in the City’s Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street. The shelter opens each evening at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 10 a.m. Individuals seeking access to the Overflow Shelter must have a referral. Food will not be provided and pets are not allowed.

City residents are also advised the Department of Social Services provides emergency assistance with gas and electric disconnection notices for residents who qualify. Residents may also call the Fuel Line at (804) 646-7046.

The elderly or residents with disabilities should contact Senior Connections for assistance at (804) 343-3000, Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, please contact Commonwealth Catholic Charities at (804) 648-4177.

More info here at Richmond2Day

RVA, please share! 

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Creating Peace in Your Classroom- Three Things You Can Do Tonight by Amanda Baker

“Establishing peace is the work of education.”-Maria Montessori

We teachers love teacher movies. You know the ones I’m talking about- bad kids, low-performing schools, difficult administration, absent parents, and the rising star teacher who inspires the kids to “come together to learn and be their best selves.” And it works out every. single. time. “How do I DO THAT???” we ask from our post on the couch, covered in ungraded papers and potato chip dust. They make it look so good and so easy!

We want to create that sense of belonging in our own classrooms. We want to give our students that sense of peace that passes all understanding when they step through our doors. We want to be inspirational too! And so, we pack up our papers, adjust our ties and our attitudes, and head out in the morning ready to HAVE A GOOD DAY IN OUR CLASSROOMS AND CREATE OUR OWN PEACEFUL LITTLE COMMUNITY, DAMMIT.

And the same student that you normally have trouble with doesn’t respond to your smile and chirpy greeting of “Good morning! Welcome! It’s a great day to learn!” And the same skippers skip. And the same kid who is sullen is still sullen. That kid still got into a fight in the hallway. This kid still cussed out a fellow classmate. Your greeting didn’t matter. Your new lesson plan with an article about achieving inner peace, written by the Dalai Lama no less, and your carefully-crafted guided reading worksheet and thoughtful journal response flopped. Most of the kids refused to write the journal, and the worksheets had one or two-word answers that didn’t really make sense. You think, “If only this kid wasn’t in my room,” or “Uuuggghhhh… if those two kids were just different,” or instead of the awful “he’s/she’s a bad kid,’ we say the equally damning but more polite, “Well, she’s/he’s a ring leader, you know.” Insert extreme teacher eyeball roll here, add resigned slow head shake for full effect.

THOSE kids just RUINED it.

Relax. Take a deep breath.

One worksheet is not going to “fix” a decade or more of a chaotic home life, undiagnosed learning difficulties, substance abuse, physical abuse, neglect, or even a rumbly tummy from no breakfast and lunch.

Banishing one kid to in-school suspension every chance you get isn’t going to help your classroom climate more than temporarily. Blaming the classroom disruptions on one kid as the “ring leader” and wishing for their family to suddenly move away isn’t going to make your classroom Hollywood perfect either.

There are some things you CAN do, however.

Things that aren’t blinking neon arrows that say “HERE IS THE WAY TO PEACE AND HARMONY!” They are subtle and quiet, they don’t require you to chang e your seating chart (which we all know is a nightmare), or for you to send out “that kid” again.

1. Do some self-care.

Normally we teachers see this at the bottom of lists like these, as an afterthought. But you know that whole “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” cliché? It works for classrooms too. If you, dear teacher, are tired, stressed, overwhelmed, and burnt out, your classroom is going to feel that stress, and your stress negatively impacts everything you are trying to do. The University of Groningen in the Netherlands did a research study on the effects of teacher stress on students. They found that teachers “…who showed higher levels of stress at the beginning of the year displayed fewer effective teaching strategies over the rest of the school year, including clear instruction, effective classroom management, and creation of a safe and stimulating classroom climate for their students, than did the teachers with lower initial stress levels” (Sparks).

So, whatever you do to get unstressed, do that. Use the “check plus, check, check minus” grading system for some minor worksheets if it helps you clear that stack off the desk. Ride your bike after class. Force yourself to stop grading by a certain time so you can have time for a bath and a book. And do not feel guilty about it at. all. If you’re less stressed, then you’ll be more at peace, which means that feeling will carry over into your classroom too.

2. Watch your mouth.

Sometimes, we are own worst enemy. I teach high school, and every year I hear stories about “the mean thing that Ms. So-and-so called me when I was in 3rd grade…” or a class reminisces about how they drove Mr. So-and-so to yelling in 5th grade and how red his face gets. Those throw-away words stay with a kid FOREVER. They internalize the “Oh my god, why are you so stupid??” comments. They never forget the “You just need to shut up” snap. The frustrated “What is wrong with you? It’s a simple word!” sinks into the deepest parts of them, and it trickles up to effect that student’s response to every teacher they have after that. It’s hard for us to look at ourselves in the mirror and think, “Ohhhh… I’m the problem here,” but many times, we are. In the article “When The Teacher Is The Bully," one teacher admits that he bullied his students, particularly special education students. He was eventually forced to resign because of parent complaints. It took him three years to come to terms with the damage he had done, and when he returned to the classroom, he said he hasn’t raised his voice even once. Your mouth can wreck a kid for life.

3. Create a space for peace to live in your room.

“Flexible seating” is all the educational rage right now, and I am lucky enough for the first time in fourteen years to have a classroom big enough for a loveseat, a rug, and a pretty floor lamp… and thirty desks. You might not. But a rug under your desk, a glider rocker in the corner, and a nice desk lamp might be do-able. Pinterest is full of ideas for small classrooms spaces. The point is to create a physical place that the kids see, can access if they need it, and offers peace and quiet when needed. That bit of peace in your room might be the only peace they experience all day. And for a kid to know day after day, week after week that that space is there for them to use when they need it gives them something special to look forward to in your room. Montessori schools are experts at creating peaceful, safe spaces for their students. Their entire model is based on the “prepared environment” that makes for peaceful, productive learning. Make time to go check out one someday and see how it’s done.

Dear Teacher, you are the author of your own peace and the peace of your classroom. I’d like to say that my classrooms are always peaceful, but they aren’t. I teach teens, notorious for outrageous language and fights and rebellions, but every grade level is challenging for different reasons. I will say that I have very few arguments even though we discuss tough and controversial social issues. In fourteen years, I’ve had only two scuffles in my room. I do yell sometimes, but it’s mostly “STOP TALKING!!!” five thousand times. Last semester a kid gratefully threw their bookbag on the floor and sank in relief onto the couch and said, “I am so happy this couch is here. I really needed it today.” You and I can’t control what is going on at home. We have very little say in what they do from 3:30pm to 8am, sixteen hours of NOT us. In many schools, teachers aren’t allowed to touch their students at all, never mind give them the hugs they so desperately need.

We have a small window of opportunity to model for them what life CAN be like, what they can create for themselves and their futures, the endless possibilities of peace for all of us. Don’t waste it.

_____________________________________________

References

Kelmon, Jessica. “When The Teacher Is The Bully.” Great Schools, October 2017. https://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/when-the-teacher-is-the-bully/

Miller, Alice Lawson. “Cultivating Peace In The Classroom.” Montessori Services, 2011. https://www.montessoriservices.com/ideas-insights/cultivating-peace-in-the-classroom

Sparks, Sarah. “How Teacher Stress Affects Students: A Research Roundup,” Education Week Teacher, June 2017. https://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2017/06/07/how-teachers-stress-affects-students-a-research.html

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Amanda Baker is a member of the Central Virginia Chapter of Writing for Peace. Mother, teacher, daughter, friend, writer, Amanda has been teaching high school English for fourteen years and in two states. Currently living in Southside Virginia, this Yankee transplant has been a waitress, a technical writer, a truck driver, a business owner, a corporate secretary, and an educator. In addition, she volunteers for the Halifax Dog Squad helping to rescue and transport dogs, and in the summers, she helps to sew costumes for The Prizery's Summer Theater Celebration. 

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WINTER WARMTH DRIVE CONTINUES! Donations Needed in Central Virginia

They're calling for snow in Central Virginia again this week. The cold's going to last for a while. And your community needs your help. 

We'll be collecting until February 5th!

Still Needed: 

New or gently used coats (especially for kids)

Hats, gloves, scarves, blankets, sleeping bags

From January 22nd to February 5th, bring your donations to one of the following collection locations:

In Farmville:
Grainger 112, Longwood University, 201 High Street, Farmville VA 23909
or
Real Living Cornerstone Realty, 238 North Main Street, Farmville, VA 23901

In Richmond:
Tarrant’s Café, 1 West Broad St., Richmond, VA 23220
or
Tricycle Gardens, 2314 Jefferson Ave, Richmond, VA 23223

Please share widely. Thanks!

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AMAZING RESOURCE FOR EDUCATORS: "Starting at the Margins: An Invitation to Writing Our Civic Futures" (from Educator Innovator)

"We invite educators to a year of social reading, collaborative web annotation, and public conversation that explores our civic imaginations and literacy landscapes. As civic engagement changes and evolves, Writing Our Civic Futures will discuss and consider implications for connected learning and teaching...

In this collaboration, we partner with—and draw texts from—a range of educators, youth, scholars, media makers and journalists to think about the landscape of civic engagement and education while imagining ways that we can engage ourselves and our students as writers and makers of our civic futures. This project leverages the web annotation platform Hypothes.is, adding multiple voices to critical conversations about equity and education...."

How it works:

  • Writing Our Civic Futures will kick off the first week of October 2017 and runs through May 2018. See the Writing Our Civic Futures Syllabus for details!
  • The first week of each month a new reading will be posted on the syllabus as a live annotatable link for sharing and social annotation.
  • Related events happening that month will also be announced. CLTV broadcasts will be aired at educatorinnovator.org; follow @innovates_ed and #marginalsyllabus (on Twitter) to keep abreast of these opportunities.
  • We encourage your participation in the week-long annotation of each text, though readings will remain online throughout for annotation and discussion.
  • We encourage you to use these readings and the opportunity to annotate however it best works for you—organize a study group, bring a class you are teaching, engage as an individual, connect it to a meeting....."

Explore This Amazing Resource Here

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Important Information! Domestic Violence at Colleges and Universities (from Ullman & Associates, Attys at Law)

"...according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), approximately 90% of sexual assault victims on college campuses knew their attacker. An astonishing 35% of those victims reported that the rape occurred while on a date.

Here are other NCADV Domestic Violence on College Campuses Statistics:

  • 25% of female students experience sexual assault over the course of their college career.
  • 53% of victims of domestic violence were abused by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
  • 21% of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner.
  • 32% of college students experienced dating violence by a previous partner.
  • 13% of college women report they were forced to have sex by a dating partner.
  • 60% of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships.
  • 13% of college women report they have been stalked – nearly half of those were by a current or ex-boyfriend.

As you can see, statistics on domestic violence and rape at colleges and universities are staggering. Unfortunately, these statistics are likely much higher as many survivors do not report crimes to authorities out of fear of reprisal, fear of future acts of violence, anxiety, low self esteem and more.

How Domestic Violence at the University Level Is Different

Domestic violence – that is, violence between intimate partners – is a horrifying form of aggression. The abuser terrorizes his or her victim using physical force, coercion or threats, and takes advantage of a person he or she claims to care for. Domestic violence can, but doesn’t always, occur in acts of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, young victims of dating violence are often hesitant to come forward because of societal stigma and fear of retribution.

The university environment can further exacerbate the fear associated with domestic violence. A victim of domestic violence may feel that coming forward would threaten her or his social reputation, or would “ruin the life” of a prominent campus figure (though, of course, it was that prominent figure who broke the law).

Social media now plays an increased role, as teenagers and college students have the opportunity to covertly bully and threaten victims online.

Many students are also away from home for the first time and may feel isolated from their trusted support networks, especially family.

Beyond the social pressures, there are administrative challenges to face. Some colleges conduct their own hearings in response to student reports of domestic violence, but they may drag their feet. Many students have reported not being taken seriously or being put through arduous and disorganized hearings.

Victims are sometimes forced to continue attending class alongside their abusers or even live in the same residence hall. These missteps may stem in part from the mistaken perception that most college students prefer to “hook up” rather than engage in committed relationships, and that instances of dating violence are nothing more than isolated disputes between students. This is as offensive as it is incorrect. Most students do not frequently “hook up,” and instances of violence between intimate partners in college are a form of domestic violence...."

from Charles R. Ullman & Associates, Attorneys at Law

Learn More About Legal Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence at College Here

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Volunteers & Donations Needed! Madeline's House Domestic Violence Shelter, Central Virginia

Madeline’s House is a non-profit organization, providing comprehensive services for individuals and families experiencing domestic and sexual abuse.

We receive and are dependent upon support from local sources: civic groups, religious groups, businesses, private citizens and grants. Income is also generated through various community fundraising events.

Southside Center for Violence Prevention, Inc. was established in 1999 in response to the cries of persons who experience domestic and sexual violence, and their primary need for immediate help and safety by:

  • Providing temporary housing

  • Empowering clients and residents to become survivors

  • Assisting them in regaining control of their lives through a wide range of appropriate services, and

  • Supporting these individuals in ending their experience of violence and homelessness through client advocacy, counseling, and community support systems.

Public awareness is the key to changing long term attitudes about domestic violence (DV) and sexual assault (SA). Finding a safe haven from this abuse is an immediate and life saving concern. Madeline’s House has been established in response to the cry of DV and SA victim’s immediate need for help and safety.

It is our intent to inspire these women and children to become survivors and assist them in regaining control of their lives. In addition to the wide range of services we provide, our goal is to help them restore their self-esteem. Counseling, therapy, and a supportive family environment within the shelter help to rebuild the independence necessary for reentering the community to live a safe and productive new life.

If You Need Help, Call : 1-888-819-2926

 

Learn More About Madeline's House Here

 

How You Can Help

Volunteer Or Donate

 

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Important Read! "Am I Invisible? The Pain-Relieving Response to Being Rejected or Excluded" by Rachel Macy Stafford

Thanks to Sara Bausch for this share. 

“Regardless of how anyone treats you, you stand to benefit. While some people teach you who you do want to be, others teach you who you don’t want to be. And it’s the people who teach you who you don’t want to be that provide some of the most lasting and memorable lessons on social graces, human dignity, and the importance of acting with integrity.”

.....

"Remember the deepest desire of the human heart is to belong … to be welcomed … to know you are seen and worthy of kindness."

Read Rachel's Post Here at Hands Free Mama

 

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Important Read! "How to call your reps when you have social anxiety" from Echo Through the Fog

from Echo Through the Fog: A Comic Blog by Cordelia, a cartoonist, web developer, and accessibility advocate based in San Francisco.

"When you struggle with your mental health on a daily basis, it can be hard to take action on the things that matter most to you. The mental barriers anxiety creates often appear insurmountable. But sometimes, when you really need to, you can break those barriers down...."

Read This Great Advice Here

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OPPORTUNITY! Richmond! Apply for Tricycle Garden's Urban AG Certificate And Fellowship Program

Application deadline January 26, 2018.

If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.

Thanks to Chapter Member Jason Tsai for passing this on.

Jason writes: Application deadline has been extended to this Friday! I count my fellowship time as one of the most significant formative experiences thus far in my life. Not to mention the lifelong friends and skills I gained along the way. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to chat with you!

Tricycle’s Urban Agriculture Fellowship and Certificate program is the first program of its kind designed in partnership with the USDA- Natural Resources Conservation Service. Urban Ag fellows dig in with Tricycle staff, subject matter experts from USDA, VA Tech, Rodale Institute, Roots of Success, Small Business Association and others for an 11-month term that provides formal instruction and hands-on experiences grounded in the business of sustainable urban agriculture.

An innovative approach to learning the business and practice of Urban Agriculture

  • Earn a Certificate in Urban Agriculture – recognized by USDA/NRCS

  • Gain experiences in Sustainable Agriculture Skills and Practices on Urban Farm Sites

  • Community engagement and food systems experience through Tricycle’s Mission Programs

  • Networking with Local Farmers, Food System Leaders, & Subject Matter Experts

  • Classroom Instruction- Workshops- Renowned Speakers

  • Business planning and development

APPLY HERE

LEARN MORE ABOUT TRICYCLE URBAN AG CULTURE HERE

FOLLOW TRICYCLE ON FACEBOOK HERE

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INSPIRATION: "Young Activists Who Made History This Year" by Zing Tsjeng (from Broadly at Vice)

"When historians of the future look back on 2017, they'll probably agree with our current assessment of this year: It really, really sucked. From Trump rolling back Obama-era protections for transgender students to his travel ban on Muslim people, each month seemed to bring a fresh hell to look forward to. It's enough to make anyone flee to their nearest forest witch seeking succor and comfort.

Rather than sinking into despair and pulling out the motherwort, however, young people everywhere have taken the events of 2017 as a rallying call to stand up and challenge our increasingly abysmal status quo.

From trans rights activists like Gavin Grimm and Lily Madigan to mental health advocates like Elyse Fox and anti-Islamophobia campaigner Hebh Jamal, the world isn't short on inspiring individuals who made 2017 a little less hellish for people everywhere....."

Read More About These Amazing Young Activists Here