This February, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) is lifting up key resources that “Center Connection” by building meaningful relationships with youth across multiple identities and lived experiences. We are highlighting advocates, programs, initiatives, and campaigns that center Black youth and honor their wisdom and leadership.
We are taking a moment to pause and truly appreciate youth in their full humanity. On the margins and in the center, living resourcefully and creatively, navigating trauma and oppression and loss, and carving new pathways to joy, wellness, healing, and justice.
Together, let’s show young people that we see all that they are and all that they bring. Let us acknowledge and appreciate the deep ways in which youth liberation is connected to our own.
For Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month (TDVAM) 2022, NRCDV’s #1Thing campaign focuses on connectedness and authenticity in our relationships with youth leaders, activists and advocates. We want to create conditions where all youth can “Talk About It,” as love is respect emphasizes in their campaign message. Talk About It is a call to action for young people and those who support them to engage in meaningful conversations about healthy relationships and navigate what may be unhealthy or even abusive.
This TDVAM, what is your #1Thing to center connection with youth? Below we offer some places to start and highlight resources to support your journey.
1. Learn from youth activist leaders.
Young people have always been a crucial part of movement building and organizing. In this NRCDV Radio podcast production, host Lamar Greene explores the pride, passion, creativity, and joy of youth activism. Lamar speaks to Celeste Iroha, Kaloni James and Deborah Austin about how community care and action expands how we look at prevention, and how digital activism has challenged traditional social, economic, and political norms.
For TDVAM 2018, NRCDV Radio’s Stories of Transformation podcast station featured the voices of young activists, advocates, organizers, and social change makers age 12-20, describing “Why I’m an Activist.” Stories highlighting the power of young activists and the unique contributions of young people in community organizing for social justice.
Guest blogger Rebecca Balog from National Indigenous Women’s Resource talked with Tanae LeClaire, NativeLove Youth Delegate from the Yankton Sioux tribe about important things to remember when planning to develop relationships with youth leaders and planning outreach activities. Are we outreaching effectively? How do youth think we are doing? What can we do better? And what about cross-cultural engagement or culturally specific considerations?
2. Build your capacity to foster meaningful, impactful relationships.
Building community partnerships is vital to our work – we need each other in order to create the kinds of positive change that will be long-lasting. Meaningful collaboration is so important that it sometimes becomes just another thing on our list to check off – but what does that mean about the kind of relationships we are building? Mo Lewis of NSVRC shares their lessons learned about building authentic partnerships.
Recognizing and understanding the intersections of youth homelessness/housing insecurity and gender-based violence is critical to creating meaningful services and effective intervention and prevention strategies. While there is a great need for coordinated relationship violence intervention and prevention efforts for runaway and homeless youth, RHY and DV/SA service providers often work in silos and are unfamiliar with each other’s work. This webinar with Holly Henning of Ain Dah Yung (Our Home) Center examines the scope and unique characteristics of relationship violence amongst RHY, and explores the why and the how of building and sustaining effective community collaborations to best serve youth at the intersections.
NEW Toolkit: The Runaway & Homeless Youth and Relationship Violence Toolkit (February 2022)
For Teen Dating Violence Awareness & Prevention Month 2022, NRCDV is proud to launch this newly updated and redesigned toolkit developed by and for advocates in the runaway and homeless youth (RHY) and domestic and sexual assault (DV/SA) field to help service providers better address relationship violence with runaway and homeless youth.
In this TAQ, Annika Leonard invites us to reflect and take action: “Growing up, there were times I couldn’t find my voice and times I had no words to describe what was happening. I invite you to bear witness to my journey and take an audit of where you are on yours. Upon conclusion, I will invite you to act or continue to act in ways that create space for healing to occur. At the risk of being misunderstood, what is important must be spoken.”
PreventIPV.org’s prevention tool of the month for February is ReDefineSLO, developed by the Lumina Alliance in San Luis Obispo County. ReDefineSLO aims to empower parents and caregivers with the tools to engage pre-teens in tough conversations about their social and emotional health, in order to end violence before it ever takes place. The campaign offers tools to engage youth in conversations around consent and bodily autonomy, emotional trauma, race and ethnicity, disability, and more. All materials are available in English and Spanish. For more relationship-building tools, visit https://preventipv.org/materials
3. Invest in youth-led youth-centered community engagement strategies.
PreventConnect Web Conference: Moving Power: Authentically Engaging Youth in the Community to Prevent Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence
Guests described opportunities to engage youth in civic engagement, build trusting relationships with youth for program leadership, and create space for youth to lead social justice efforts. A key reminder from this conversation was that often, youth have solutions to the violence they experience, and adult allies can support these solutions with resources, space, and connection.
DELTA FOCUS Story: Engaging Youth in IPV Prevention
This story features lessons from five community coalitions funded by four DELTA FOCUS domestic violence coalitions. Informed by healthy behavior and social norms theories, these stories suggest that prevailing attitudes, culture, and social expectations related to IPV can change through efforts to foster adult-youth mentoring opportunities, a focus on youth leadership development, and support for youth-led media and marketing campaigns. Their approaches focus on building youth’s leadership skills, engaging them in shifting norms related to violence, and strengthening community-level protective factors for intimate partner violence.
4. Connect with Black-led organizations working to improve the lives of Black and Brown youth in their communities.
Led by Annika Leonard, Priceless Incite’s mission is to uplift the experiences of Black women and girls impacted by violence, through community-based prevention, intervention and development.
Led by Jacqueline Miller, Healthy Actions Intervening Responsibly (HAIR) explores the unique impacts and experiences of trauma on children of color. Access trainings including Addressing the Influences Implicit Biases on Children of Color and The Impact of Adultification on Child Survivors of Trauma with an Emphasis on Children of Color.
Led by Tonjie Reese, eleven24 aims to prevent interpersonal violence by providing youth education and capacity building for adults. Their sessions center healthy relationships skills, consent, liberation, media literacy, and community building.
5. Engage with us throughout TDVAM 2022!
By and For Black Youth Storytelling Campaign
Living out our values through equitable compensation, intentional leadership, and liberative structures, NRCDV worked with Celeste Iroha, Crishelle Bailey, Deborah Austin, and Kaloni James, led by consultant Ana Sanz-Saumeth to guide its development. Engaging over thirty young people and Black leaders and creatives, this campaign, debuting in 2022, centers Black youth experience and focus on storytelling and prevention in conjunction with the #1Thing campaign.
Centering the Connections: Voices from the Field
During TDVAM 2022, NRCDV will share via social media a series of posts uplifting community leaders working to improve the lives of Black and Brown youth in their communities. Through their lived experiences and stories, listeners will learn about how they engage Black and Brown youth in meaningful ways.
NRCDV is committed to ensuring that all materials shared on this list are accessible. If you experience difficulty with the accessibility of any of the materials or online information, contact the Communications Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.