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

Monday, January 2, 2017

Adults As Allies to Girls

From Think Fun
In "Four Ways to Be an Ally to Young Girls," Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez identifies important ways that adults can support girls:

1. Learn more about intersectionality

2. Break away from gender expectations

3. Challenge respectability politics

4. Give young girls space to just be.

IMPACT Chicago is committed to supporting girls in being as free and as safe as possible. We support girls as they  develop to their full potential while also being safe from violence. Consider encouraging and supporting a girl you know to take IMPACT for Girls.
A girl defends herself against an aggressor with a coach as an ally
Photo credit: Kathleen Grant
In this 8-hour program, girls will increase:
  • self-assurance
  • ability to figure out what to say or do when experiencing discomfort with a situation or person
  • effective communication skills
  • physical and verbal confidence.

Next course: January 21 and 22, 10 am - 2 pm, Perpetual Motion Studio, 4057 N. Damen. For more information or to register, check here or
In other words, the challenges oIn other words, the challenges of being a young girl in today’s society are not only about their gender and/or sex but can also be tied to their race, class, sexuality, legal status, and/or ability. As allies to young girls we need to recten times face oppression on multiple fronts.f being a young girl in today’s society are not only about their gender and/or sex but can also be tied to their race, class, sexuality, legal status, 

Monday, December 26, 2016

A Room Full of People Finding Their Voice

Standing Up for Self and Others
Photo credit: Kathleen Grant 
IMPACT Chicago wasn’t planning on a late December workshop. In fact, late December is a notoriously difficult time to schedule, well, ANYTHING. But something unexpected happened: the requests for self-defense training were through the roof. IMPACT believes in our broader mission to teach people self-defense in a world where living with dignity and in safety can be hard to come by, and that’s how we knew we needed to respond. We offered a free workshop to all on December 20. Next one: January 11, 6:30-8 pm at the JCFS Knapp Center, 3145 W.Pratt. 
There is nothing that will warm you up faster than a room full of people finding their voice and learning their first physical tools. The attendees brought many things with them: their fear, their feeling of powerlessness, and their desire to be able to not only protect themselves, but to learn how to support someone else in need. They wanted to know how to help.
Workshop Leader Deb leads a knee drill
Photo credit: Kathleen Grant

            While IMPACT’s main program teaches gender-based self-defense from sexual assault, we have found that the principles behind our empowerment model can apply much more broadly. For some, the last few weeks have shone a light on a powerlessness they weren’t aware of in our society; for others, it was a feeling they knew all too well. In the workshop, we were able to come together as a community, to begin to have conversations about what this new climate means, own our fear, and start to take our power back.  
Molly Norris
IMPACT Chicago Instructor
Instructor Molly demonstrates a powerful voice
Photo credit: Kathleen Grant

Thank you to IMPACT Chicago instructors, staff, and volunteers for making this workshop possible: Lisa Amoroso, Kathleen Grant, Rachel Marro, Deb Mier, Molly Norris, and Martha Thompson. Thank you to all those who participated!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Raising Awareness About Human Trafficking: "Kung Fu Nuns"

Photo: Huffington Post
The Drukpa Order in Nepal offered Kung Fu training to the nuns in the order after they experienced harassment and violence. In addition to these changing dynamics between nuns and the public, the nuns have also recognized the rise in human trafficking in response to diasters caused by global warming and leaving poor people especially vulnerable, particularly women and girls who have been subjected to kidnapping, sexual exploitation, and trafficking.

To raise awareness about human trafficking, 500 nuns completed a 4,000 km bicycle trek from Nepal to India. Jigme Konchok Lhamo said that people expect nuns to stay in the temples and pray. She says that the nuns believe they have to go out into the world and act on the words that they pray. 

Reporting by Nita Bhalla, Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst. Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, land rights and climate change. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Talking to Kids About the Political Climate

Whether or not we talk to children in our lives about politics, kids are hearing adults talk about politics and know that people have different views. Kids are great at detecting when adults in their lives are happy, angry, fearful, gloating, worried, or stressed but may not always understand what is behind these feelings.

Maureen Costello in “What to Say to Kids on November 10 and the Days After” urges adults in kids’ lives to be reassuring and create a sense of safety but not to gloss over truths. Some of those truths:
  • Emotions are strong
  • The country is divided—and not just on politics
  • No one really knows what this election means
  • Voting matters, but it doesn’t happen on its own
  • The majority isn’t always right
  • The majority doesn’t always decide, anyway
  • Kids really are our future

Costello’s points are pretty good for adults, too. For details about each of the points Costello makes, check out the article in Teaching Tolerance.

An additional resource:
Ali Michael. What shall we tell the children? Huffington Post November 8, 2017.

Monday, December 5, 2016

What to do When Your Date is Offensive

In “What to do on a Date with Someone who is Being Offensive,”  Kaitlyn Wilde  in Bustle recommends
  • Take a deep breath
  • Consider your objective
  • Go for it
  • See it their way
  • Take the opportunity to teach
  • Stand up for yourself
  • Know when to drop it
  • Stand your ground
  •  Move on

For details, check out Wilde’s article.