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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!

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