Sunday, February 26, 2012

Where would IMPACT Chicago be without you (donors and volunteers)?

Donors and Volunteers Make IMPACT Chicago possible
Tuition covers less than 65% of the cost of Core, Teen, and Girls programs. Donors and Volunteers provide the rest. Thank you

Fall 2011 Donors
Jeanne Adams, in honor of her mother, Lois Adams
Sandra Alguire
David and Janet Altman
Lisa Amoroso
Robert Babcock
Arlene Benzinger
Jill Britton
Sharon Bromberg
Patricia Broughton
Erin Cary
Chamberlin Law Group
Kimberly Clifton
Maury Collins
Dori Conn
Dianne Costanzo, in memory of Adrian Costanzo
Gail Davis Schubert
Donna Del Principe
Julie Dorfman, in honor of Dori Conn
Carla Eisenberg
Cheri Erdman
Judith Feilen-Kocsis
Carol Ference
Eileen Gelblat
Naomi Goldstein, in honor of her mother
Milca Gunderson, in memory of David Gundersen
Debborah Harp
Paula Hernandez
Valerie Jenkins
Pamela and James Jurkowski
Darlene and Kevin Kmiec, in honor of Darcy Peters
Mary Komparda, in honor of Dianne Costanzo
Christina Kyres-Coines
Susan Landwer
Naomi Love, in honor of P.J.
Susan McConnell, Matrix Center for Mind Body
Margaret McGrath
Dorothy Meyer
Shiyu Nitsos
Clara Orban
Liz Pfau
Rachel Pildis
Erica Plaisier
Lawrence and Sandra Post Family Foundation
Cathy Reed
Kenneth and Sandra Romero
Donald and Judith Rosedale, in honor of Katie Skibbe
Therese Schmieg
Michelle and Scott Schmitt, in honor of all women
Shamrock Foundation
Katie and Michael Skibbe
Patrice Stearley
Martha Thompson
Kelly Van Eaton
Amy Voege
Janis Voege in honor of Michael and Mary Kay Basler
Janis Voege in honor of Amy Voege
Tyler and Mallory (Morse) Whitmore

2011 Volunteers
Olga Adamska
Lisa Amoroso
Julie Aubry
Rob Babcock
John Baumgardner
Cathie Bazzon
Suzanne Caudill
Cynthia Coy
Paisly DiBianca
Maureen Dunn
Leslie Eto
Maria Fermin
Sarah Follmer
Joselyn Galvez
Sarah Grove
Megan Hamilton
Debborah Harp
Kevin Jones
Antjuan Kee
Katie Kramer
Barbara Linden
Naomi Love
Jim Lucas
Deb Mier
Alexandra Moffett-Bateau
Rose Naegele
Mark Nessel
Molly Norris
Colleen Norton
Jennifer Norton
Clara Orban
Jaimie Perez
AC Racette
Mary Reynolds
Dana Rhodes
Maria Roman
Ben Ruiz
Arden Schuman
Lena Singer
Katie Skibbe
Brett Stockdill
Bree Swartz
Martha Thompson
Margaret Vimont
Vanessa Vincent
Amy Voege
Nat Wilson
Amy Winston
Shira Zisook

If your name does not appear and should, we apologize for our error and will add you to the list. Please let Martha know (

Monday, February 20, 2012

Executive Director and Assistant Executive Director: Application Instructions

  1. Completed Application with resume

  1. Narrative:Submit a written narrative of up to three pages addressing your qualifications for the position, as described on the full job description.  The job description can be found on the “Work with IMPACT” link on the IMPACT Chicago website.

  1. Video Up to a four minute long video should be created and submitted showing you “pitching” a collaboration or partnership with another organization.  Such alliances that could involve offering courses within the auspices of another organization, or attaching IMPACT Chicago’s back office operations to another organization are seen as promising strategic directions for IMPACT’s future. 

INSTRUCTIONS:  Describe the scenario you select for your “pitch” within this context in the space designated on the written application. The video itself should just show your verbal presentation to the organization of your choosing in this hypothetical scenario. 

For questions about the application process or to request a copy of the application form, please email

An application will not be considered unitl all components have been received by the Chair of the Search Committee.  Mail originals of all documents to
IMPACT Chicago
Attention: Search Committee
4770 N. Lincoln #6
Chicago, Il.  60660

It is preferred that videos be submitted as an electronic link on You Tube. The link should be sent to with subject line: Attention Search Committee.The video portion of the application may be included with mailed documents if placed on DVD. 

A response to an applicant confirming receipt of complete application will be sent by email.  By April 1, 2012, all applicants who have submitted complete applications will have been notified if they will be moved to the next stage of consideration which will include multiple in person interviews, a completed background check and other requested items as identified by the Search Committee. 

Applications received after March 25, 2012 may or may not be considered at the discretion of the Search Committee. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Impact Graduates Have High Confidence

Report on IMPACT Chicago Core Programs 

Jessi Holzman, Northeastern Illinois University graduate (sociology), analyzed pre and post questionnaires from the 2010 IMPACT Chicago Core Program and prepared a detailed report of demographics and participants’ fears, history of violence, changes in confidence, skills learned, and other outcomes. For the full report, go to

Holzman’s report notes that:
  • IMPACT graduates reflect the age, class, and sexuality of Chicago demographics, but IMPACT could do more outreach in African-American, Asian-American, and Latina communities. 
  • Two-thirds of IMPACT students did not have prior self-defense training. 
  • One-third of IMPACT students experienced past sexual trauma while the majority of participants have feared sexual violence. 
  •  IMPACT graduates rate the self-defense scenarios as realistic. 
  •  After course completion, IMPACT graduates rate their confidence in and knowledge of self-defense high. 
  • IMPACT participants’ overall self-confidence increases from the beginning to the end of the course.
IMPACT Chicago Executive Director Martha Thompson says: “Jessi’s report on the effectiveness of techniques provided the foundation for a portion of the day-long instructor retreat where we focused on technique. The hip toss from the stomach was the technique where women reported feeling least effective. We examined the purpose of the technique and experimented with different combinations of instructors until we found a way to teach the technique that was simpler and could be executed successfully in a variety of situations. Since we introduced a new way of teaching this technique women are reporting more confidence in doing the technique and we see more success. We are also addressing other aspects of her report for marketing and other elements of programming.”
After completing her report, Jessi signed up for the Core Program and then took Defense Against Multiple Attackers. She says: “IMPACT is more than just a self-defense course. For me, IMPACT became a state of mind.  The class empowered me to reclaim my voice and recreate a different ending. I am no longer a passive bystander within my own life- I own my choices, my boundaries, and my body. I have the ability to say “NO!” but also to say “Yes!”

Monday, February 6, 2012

Keep on Keeping On

Ann-Christine Racette

IMPACT first came to my attention in the early 1990s. This was before internet marketing, when a casual word overheard could change a life. A dear friend had gone through the training and recommended it to me. We were both involved in Reevaluation Counseling, a form of co-counseling with a similar mission to IMPACT’s: to empower the individual to make choices.
After many months of juggling my self-employment schedule, I finally cleared my time to take the Core Program in 1995. At the time, it was a five-Saturday class that met for five hours a day. It was a huge, scary commitment! Go to bed early on Friday nights; keep Saturdays open; avoid all out-of-town travel. But the benefits were countless. I was sore after the first two weekends, but then my muscles—and my psyche—built up during the week in preparation for the following Saturday. What I learned settled in at a deeper level than I could recognize. From being surrounded by the same supportive faces, we formed friendships. We sought one another out between classes for an empathic listen. 

Witnessing other women’s slow transformation over 29 days awakened me to process. Some Saturdays were breakthroughs. Most women barely slogged through the second Saturday. Some weekdays were tough because the entire societal construct, as I saw it, was called into question. In the end, the transformation was profound. By living with the material for several weeks, I integrated it into my world-view. I began seeing things differently and questioning the usual. 

A reverence burgeoned in me from watching women fight for their lives and their self-respect. After facing and vanquishing the fear, I found more occasions to laugh. I loved better. I began painting. I tapped into the darkness and my new-fund trust in process, and surfaced with the ideas that have flowed into my paintings: women floating in iridescence, emerging from water, straddling ice floes, extending a hand to one another.
I thank all my fellow students, all classroom muggers, instructors, and alumnae, and all women who keep on keeping on, for making me privy to the nobility of your struggle, for sharing your triumphs. You inspire me.

Word of mouth is the most effective tool we have because it is a message born of experience, conveyed with firm belief, out of concern and respect for the recipient.
IMPACT--pass it on!