Monday, February 20, 2017

Women Are Worth It

In "IMPACT Chicago Shows Women They Are Worth Protecting," Taylor Justin, author of Haute Seeker, blogs about her interview with IMPACT Chicago instructor Molly Norris.

Taylor and the founder of Runaway Addicts will be hosting an IMPACT workshop on April 26, Denim Day, a national day of protesting misconceptions of sexual assault by wearing denim. Keep on the lookout for registration details.

To read the blog and to hear the podcast, go to here. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

I still remember the faces and names of the women in my course: Lisa Amoroso, 1991

Lisa with daughter Carmen and signs for the Women's March
Lisa Amoroso took the IMPACT Core Program in 1991 and has been a volunteer ever since. At one time or another,  Lisa has done just about every volunteer job available in those 25 years—including mat moving and class assisting, serving as a board member (1991-2012), chairing the board (2012-2014), chairing our annual fund drive (1995-2015), and being the co-director of the Administrative Team (2012-present). In these past 25 years, Lisa has been involved in almost every major administrative decision, from changing our name to IMPACT, hiring new personnel, and most recently, leading the team effort to consolidate our cloud-based work into Google Office.
IMPACT Chicago is so fortunate that Lisa brings her many talents to her volunteer work. Lisa received her Ph.D. from the Kellogg School of Management with a joint degree in Management, Organizations, and Sociology. She is a Professor of Management at the Brennan School of Business Management at Dominican University where she teaches a range of courses, including Negotiations, Human Resource Management, and Organization Behavior.
In reflecting upon why she volunteers for IMPACT, Lisa said:  “The empowerment I felt during my first IMPACT course has altered so many aspects of my life. I still remember the faces and names of the women in my course and the majesty of each woman as she tapped into her strength. I feel that everything from parenting to teaching to simply being has been positively shaped by the foundational values of our organization. One thing that makes IMPACT’s culture particularly special to me is that these values are not assumed, but explicit, and refined to ensure alignment with IMPACT’s mission. I love that IMPACT is continually learning, questioning, and changing. It has been truly an honor for me to work with the administration staff, instructors, and volunteers.”
Martha Thompson, Instructor and Co-director of the Admin Team

Monday, February 6, 2017

Donors Make an IMPACT

Tuition covers about 65% of the costs of the Core Program and IMPACT for Girls. Donors cover the rest. Thank you to all those who supported the IMPACT Chicago 2016 Fund Drive! Your generosity enables to bring self-defense training to more women and girls.

Jeanne Adams in honor of Hillary Clinton
Janet Altman
Lisa Amoroso in honor of Laura, Martha, Tara & Kathleen
Mary Amoroso
Lucinda Ballet-Stanley
Cyd Curtis & Bill Bates
Dolores Bjorkman
Jill Britton on behalf of IMPACT’s amazing board of directors
Abigail Bunce
Darcy Chamberlin
Nancy Cohen
Christina Collins
Maury Collins
Dori Conn
Dee Costanzo in memory of Adrian Costanzo
Cynthia Curtis Bates in honor of Dianne Costanzo
Tammy & Jim DeBoer
Lauren Densham
Robyn Dobrozsi
Julie Dorfman & Jerry Herst
Maureen Dunn
Cheri Erdman
Carol Ference
Kira Freigang
Laurie Fuller
Eileen Gelblat
Crystal Golson
Jennifer Gould
Robyn & Tijuana Gray
Debborah Harp
Margit Henderson
Victoria Herbert
Loretta Jackson
Valerie Jenkins
Carol Jennings
Dana Kanovitz
June Kirk
Kasey Klipsch
Susan Landwer
Kelly Lavengood Schenkel
Ruth Lipschutz
Carmen Maso
Susan McConnell
Claire Mellish
Marianne Merola
Dorothy Meyer in honor of women everywhere
Deb Mier & Sheila Hickey
Jeannette & Terry Mostrom
Molly Norris-Van Eaton
Clara Orban
Lauren Perez
Liz Pfau
Rachel Pildis
Lisa Pines
Sara Polonsky
AC Racette
Pearl Rieger
Sandra Romero
Judy & Don Rosedale in honor of Katie Skibbe
Roger Safian
Mayra Salgado
Laura Sanders
Kelly Schmeltzer
Gail Schubert
Yehudit Sidikman
Katie Skibbe
Jennifer Spitz
Laurie Squire
Linda Stawicki In appreciation of: Jill Britton and Henry Borczyk
Nikki Swafford
Tracie Szotda
Margaret Tomasik
Caryn Trombino
Iris Waichler
Frederick Warner
Kimberly Wright
Shu-Ju Yang
Rebecca Zisook

It is not too late to donate. Please send a check to IMPACT Chicago, 4057 N. Damen Ave Chicago IL 60618 or contact Tara at to donate through PayPal. Thank you!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Illinois Cosmetologists Spot Domestic Violence

Credit: AP
People who cut hair, do nails, and engage in other cosmetic work see their clients up close and personal, often hearing intimate details and observing their clients in ways that others do not see.

As of January 1, 2017, Illinois cosmetologists are required to undergo training to identify and report domestic violence (HB4264). The Listen. Support. Connect curriculum will address how to recognize physical and emotional abuse.  The curriculum was designed by Chicago Says No More and Cosmetologists Chicago.  The first training sessions will begin in March 2017.

 “We are dedicated to collaborating in new ways to address the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Chicago metro area and across Illinois,” says Kristie Paskvan, CFO of Mesirow Financial and founder of Chicago Says No More. 

To see the law in full, visit Chicago Says No More New Illinois Law.

Monday, January 23, 2017

IMPACT for People with Disabilities

Participant practices an eyestrike

Mal Malme, an IMPACT Boston grad, ran the Chicago marathon to raise money to train IMPACT Chicago instructors to teach IMPACT:Ability, a nationally recognized safety program for people with disabilities developed by sister organization IMPACT Boston under the leadership of Meg Stone.  Through crowdrise and direct donations, Mal raised the $6500 needed to cover the training costs. Thank you, Mal, for doing the run and thank you to all who donated!
Mal in the yellow shirt with some of the supporters who cheered her on
 Five IMPACT instructors will travel to Boston in April for training in the IMPACT:Ability curriculum in which people with disabilities learn and develop their ability to recognize unsafe situations and respond with effective self-protective behaviors. Participants in IMPACT:Ability learn to advocate for themselves in everyday situations as well as learn skills to deal with dangerous situations, such as bullying, harassment, attempted abduction, and sexual violence.  Research by the Institute for Community Health found that the program increases participants’ knowledge, self-confidence, and self-protective behaviors. 

Thank you to all those whose donations have made it possible for IMPACT Chicago to receive the IMPACT:Ability training.

George Anastos
Bettie Ashbee
Amy Blumenthal
Patricia Broughton in honor of Martha Thompson
Julie Char
Rita Christeler
James Cloonan
Brian David
Robyn Dobrozsi
Carmel Drewes
JoAnn Eisenberg
Emily Gelb
Ann Gerbin
Sarah Gibson
Christopher Giles
Marilynn Grais
Lynn Gryll
Adriana Gutierrez
Rose Hanig
Kimberly Hoff
Wendy Kinal
Greg Lanza
Ginger Lazarus
Patricia Lotterman
Gillian Mackay-Smith
Homa Magsi
Mal Malme
Katherine Manners
Priscilla McRoberts
Debra Mier
David Mogolov
Meryl Lyn Moss
Grace Newton
Phoebe Nitekman
Ronna Nitekman
Lisa Rafferty
Pearl Rieger
Ellen Sack
Susan Seigle
Sarah Shepherd
Yehudit Sidikman
Katie Skibbe
Jeffrey Smithson
Aren Stone
Carole Stone
Margaret Stone
Michael Susman
Martha Thompson
Gillian Watson
Amy West
Sharlene Young

Monday, January 16, 2017

Speaking Up Despite Awkwardness

Bystander support even when awkward
Photo: University of Colorado-Boulder Student Health 

In The Say Something Field Guide, a project of Safe Passages in North Hampton Massachusetts, Lynne Marie Wanamaker and colleagues acknowledge that speaking up can be awkward.

An overview in The Say Something Field Guide to help develop tools to deal with awkwardness.

  • Know that you can make a difference
  • Acknowledge the awkward
  • Know your objective
  • People are watching and might learn from you
  • Expect feelings
  • Remember: you didn't invite the icky
  • Connect with like-minded others
Here is where you can find more about the  Say Something project and a copy of the Say Something Field Guide

Monday, January 9, 2017

Thank you to 2016 IMPACT Chicago Volunteers

Volunteers Cheer Mal Malme at the Chicago Marathon
Lisa Amoroso
Rob Babcock
Tara Brinkman
Bruce Brio
Carrie Czech
Megan Daly
Laura M. Dini
Dana Dunham
Ann Gerbin
Kathleen Grant
Vesna Havran Mueller
Debborah Harp
Sheila Hickey
Jennifer Hill

Laura, Kathleen, & Tara: 3 PT staff who also volunteer
Lisa & Martha: Volunteer Co-Chairs of Admin Team
Chris King
Mal Malme
Rachel Marro
Deb Mier
Robin Mina
Mark Nessel
Molly Norris
Daran Redenbaugh
Kim Ruhana
Ben Ruiz
Shelly Schaff
Janette Scott
Val Scott

Deb, Katie, Martha, Sheila, & Janette:
IMPACT Chicago 2016 Volunteer Board of Directors

Katie Skibbe
Meg Stone
Sandra Sullivan
Luci Stanley
Cameron Swartz
Martha Thompson
Nate Tracey-Amoroso
Christi Trombino-Tonzi
Margaret Vimont
Nat Wilson
Sharlene Young

Lisa, Rachel, Deb, & Molly prepare for Free December Workshop
Photo Credit: Kathleen Grant