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New Strategies for Stronger Connections Aleese Moore-Orbih and Purvi Shah, Senior Consultants & Activists, Women of Color Network The Women of Color Network.

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Presentation on theme: "New Strategies for Stronger Connections Aleese Moore-Orbih and Purvi Shah, Senior Consultants & Activists, Women of Color Network The Women of Color Network."— Presentation transcript:

1 New Strategies for Stronger Connections Aleese Moore-Orbih and Purvi Shah, Senior Consultants & Activists, Women of Color Network The Women of Color Network (WOCN), a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) is a national grassroots initiative dedicated to building the capacity of women of color advocates and activists responding to violence against women in communities of color. Through trainings, technical assistance, and advocacy, WOCN helps foster women of color in the advancement of their anti-violence work and leadership. The mission of the Women of Color Network (WOCN) is to provide and enhance leadership capacity and resources that promote the activities of women of color advocates and activists within the Sovereign Nations, the United States and U.S. Territories to address the elimination of violence against women and families.

2 Introductions & Aspirations Roll call of who’s in the room One-word aspiration for our workshop

3 Brainstorm & Conversation How are you connected to the movement to end gender violence? What communities do you want to connect to and support? How do you define being an ally?

4 Becoming an Aspiring Ally WOCN defines an ally as a member of a “majority” group who works to end oppression through support of and as an advocate for an oppressed and/or marginalized population and who examines their own privilege(s) or unearned benefits and practices that reinforce oppression. At WOCN, we coined the term “Aspiring Ally” as a part of our National Call to Action Project as we believe that everyone can aspire to be an ally, and that the process of being an ally is always developing as it is a lifelong process.

5 Becoming an Aspiring Ally As a number of sources have noted, including the Student Allies for Equality at Western Washington University, ally behavior looks like: Student Allies for Equality at Western Washington University Validation and support of people who are different from oneself; Questioning of personal privilege and using it to benefit people who are oppressed and/or marginalized; Being an advocate when an oppressed group is absent by challenging misconceptions; and, “Sharing the power, taking a risk, taking responsibility, opening yourself up to the unknown, realizing that you are a part of the solution, leveling the playing field, accepting differences, making allowances and leading by action.”

6 Becoming an Aspiring Ally Reflection & Pooling Strategies Can you identify one moment where you believe you could have been a stronger ally? How did this feel? Can you identify one moment where you succeeding in being an ally? How did this feel?

7 Becoming an Aspiring Ally Barriers/Challenges Being a stronger aspiring ally is a process but this evolution can be limited or impeded by: Failure to acknowledge power and privilege as it can be challenging to recognize; The propensity to decide what’s good for marginalized communities; Feeling threatened when marginalized communities seek their own spaces and places; and, Guilt that leads to paralysis and often transfers the responsibility of attaining equality to marginalized communities.

8 Becoming an Aspiring Ally Strategies for Being an Aspiring Ally Come up with concrete action plans to support survivors who are Limited English Proficient; Fund marginalized communities directly; Continue to deepen the data and demographics to identify and build relationships with marginalized communities; Attend meetings of direct services providers and coalitions to listen, offer support, and shape planning; Review grants and offer constructive feedback and TA on how to develop and improve grant applications; and, Utilize implementation plans to enable collaborations and connecting with communities.

9 Becoming an Aspiring Ally Impact Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian notes, “Many of us feel overwhelmed when we consider the many forms of systemic oppression that are so pervasive in American society today. We become immobilized, uncertain about what actions we can take to interrupt the cycles of oppression and violence that intrude on our everyday lives. One way to overcome this sense of immobilization is to assume the role of an ally. Learning about this role- one that each and every one of us is capable of assuming- can offer us new ways of behaving and a new source of hope.” Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian notes Without support from aspiring allies, survivors from 3-Tier populations will continue to face abuse, encounter barriers, and experience innumerable hardships. Or aspiring allies can help leverage privilege in ways that ensure justice and safety for all members of society. As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.” Aspiring allies utilize this call to action to enable support and further equity for un-served, underserved, and inadequately served populations.

10 Becoming an Aspiring Ally Resources 1) Paul Kivel: Guidelines for Being Strong White AlliesGuidelines for Being Strong White Allies 2) Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression: The Role of Allies as Agents of Change: https://www.mtholyoke.edu/sites/default/files/diversi ty/docs/interpretting_oppression.pdf https://www.mtholyoke.edu/sites/default/files/diversi ty/docs/interpretting_oppression.pdf 3) Oppression Assumptions: wiki/images/f/f6/NASCO_Action_Camp_Reading_pack et-final.pdf wiki/images/f/f6/NASCO_Action_Camp_Reading_pack et-final.pdf

11 Brainstorm & Conversation Reflection & Pooling Outreach Strategies Can you identify one moment where you believe you effectively reached a non- majority group? How did this feel? Can you identify one moment where you believe you did not effectively reach a non-majority group? How did this feel?

12 Developing Outreach Strategies Barriers/Challenges Need for increased infrastructure and organizational capacities for CBOs; A need to recruit and reach underrepresented groups but difficulty in doing so during the planning, implementation, and/or funding process; Financial and time constraints; Need for staff training and development; Acknowledging and addressing cultural and socio-economic issues; and, Dealing with competing priorities in a difficult economic climate.

13 Developing Outreach Strategies Strategies for Strong Connections The use of intersectional approaches or working across social justice movements to support survivors across their multiple experiences and identities; Conducting community-based research and outreach to incorporate an assets and strengths-based approach in advocacy; Establishing services that are accessible to the broadest range of community members and working to ensure that basic needs among diverse survivors are not perceived as “special” needs; Incorporating a focus on being strong aspiring allies; and, Connecting local needs across regional, national, and international borders.

14 Developing Outreach Strategies Strategies for Strong Connections Innovation: Saying it! Mentioning that we want to reach these populations; Encouraging use of inclusive language; Educating: learning about 3-Tier populations; Identifying resources for subgrantees/survivors; Using planning processes to get people together and be diverse in racial, cultural, faith, everything – bringing everyone to the table and having participants share promising practices; Consistently funding and supporting culturally-specific trainings; Increasing number of applicants of culturally-specific programs; and, Identifying all the groups we want to reach out to – and start contacting!

15 Developing Outreach Strategies Resources 1) Asian Women’s Shelter Anti-Oppression Working Values: values.aspx values.aspx 2) Community Outreach Strategies to Address Domestic Violence: 3) Hmong Women’s Dialogues Project: Our Voices Create Our Future: 4) Building Partnerships: Key Considerations When Engaging Underserved Communities Under the MHSA: 5) Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence: Outreach to Undeserved Communities:

16 Developing Outreach Strategies Impact Building new and stronger relationships with representatives from underserved populations will: Change some of your assumptions about who underserved communities are and why; Demystify demographic data of underserved populations and social contexts; Provide opportunity for personal and professional growth; Enable a better understanding of the systemic barriers that prevent or impede some populations from receiving services; Invite new partners and collaborators to program funding, planning, and implementation processes; Increase communications and collaboration with staff and other partners; and, Further trust from underserved populations in order to access services more frequently and regularly.

17 Defining Next Steps Creating an Action Plan What are 1-3 steps you can take to be an aspiring ally? What are 1-3 steps you can take to outreach to, engage, and support diverse communities?

18 Closing Circle Reflection and Commitment What is one learning you have experienced and can name from our workshop today? What is one commitment you can make today to build stronger connections in your work to end gender violence?

19 Thank You! Contact Information Aleese Moore-Orbih: Purvi Shah: Women of Color Network: Tonya Lovelace:


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