No More Violence Week Returns To Great Falls For Ninth Year
No More Violence Week is an annual community event that focuses on the well-being of the youth in Great Falls and Cascade County. There are many people involved in putting this on each year including Jamie Marshall, chair of No More Violence Week and Sarah Justice, Executive director at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art. Jamie and Sarah gave us the details.
Jamie: This is our ninth year of this event, which is pretty incredible to think about the legacy this has become in our community, starting with students and a professor at Great Falls College MSU, it's grown into a huge community event. More than 25 organizations come together to make this happen every year. We've seen spikes in violence over the years in different ways. No More Violence Week actually started due to a spike in child abuse cases. That's a topic in our community that we are very focused on and very careful to make sure we don't forget, that by speaking from a prevention lens and really bringing the education, bringing the awareness, seeking to work together to address it, that we can see some improvements and some change. This week addresses all sorts of types of violence, knowing that we have to be ever on the forefront of learning the techniques and looking at ways we can continue to try to stay ahead of some of the struggles that we see in our community.
Adam Dodge- EndTAB
Jamie: Wednesday (April 12th) we are bringing in a nationally renowned expert. His name is Adam Dodge and he's with the organization called EndTAB. He was a former prosecutor in California who got burned out on continuing to prosecute the same type of cases over and over and over again. He is a firm believer that technology and this digital age is causing so much of the violence and abuse that we're seeing within children, youth and families, so he's taking that on. There's a noon event that day, Wednesday, April 12th, and then an evening event at 6:00, free and open to the public. Fantastic for youth to come with their parents. He does a great job of talking to adults and kids right in the same room and really enjoys doing that. He'll be doing some really hands on topics, like, what is fake porn? What is the sexting? What are all these topics that we as adults really ought to be aware of and in some cases be able to have those conversations with our kids, putting those safe practices in place. Being able to truly communicate around this is what he'll be speaking to. I should mention that Smoked is donating lunch for us.
Adam Dodge Event
- Where: Heritage Hall, Great Falls College, MSU
- 2100 16th Ave S, Great Falls, MT
- Cost: Free and open to the public.
- Time: 12 noon and 6 p.m. MST
Websites For More Information
Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art
Sarah: The reason the Square gets involved, and is a partner in No More Violence Week, is we feel that art is a form of healing for people that have experienced trauma from abuse. We can educate people on how to navigate abuse and what abuse looks like, so the abuse stops. The Square has come together to put together four workshops and then a community workshop. These workshops are free to the public.
Monday (April 10th).
It's called Mindful Monday and it is an expressive drawing workshop facilitated by Sarah Justice. This is a time where you can come in and pick a drawing tool. You do not have to have any art skills at all, it's more about being expressive and allowing yourself the time to almost meditate while you are drawing without expectation. It's amazing what types of feelings come up for you in that process and how you are actually healing yourself by just the act of doing it without even knowing it.
Tuesday (April 11th)
The Healing Power of the Pen, facilitated by Tiff Sweeney. This is going to be about an hour long, from 10 a.m. to 11. Writing is also a wonderful way to express your feelings and your emotions and experiences in a safe environment. This workshop, we're limiting the size of how many people can participate, so it's anywhere from 10 to 12 people typically in the class and it's registration required. This is also free.
Wednesday (April 12th)
There is art as a form of healing workshop facilitated by a licensed counselor, Dana DelGuerra. She is also is an artist, but she does work with clients, often with artwork as a form of healing. She is not an art therapist, but she does believe in the power of art as a form of expression and navigating complex emotions also.
Thursday (April 13th)
Yoga for Wellness workshop hosted by Pam Quinn and Barb Walden from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. They are going to talk about trauma, how the body holds trauma and how to navigate and stretch and move to heal your body from experiences that you may have had. Some of these traumas, our body will hold that trauma and not even realize that it happened, and it can come out in other ways and manifest in other ways in your life through illnesses and things along those lines.
Threads of connection is a community project that we started last year and the community has an opportunity to make a quilt square that's about 12in by 12in. The fun part of this project is there's prompts, there's questions you can answer if you're not sure really where to begin. You can put your experience, strength and hopes painted on a piece of fabric. We are working with the quilt association here in Great Falls to put this massive, larger than life quilt together that we will have on display over the years during No More Violence Week to show how our community has expressed and supported this effort. We'll have an area in the museum where people can come in and make something there right on the spot with all materials included.
Jamie: There's always something that can be done, one piece of that volunteer that I'll comment on is Thursday at 12 noon, we will be having a session about foster care and the inquiries and the interest in that session have been huge this year, which is fantastic because our community really is in need of more foster parents and more foster families. Even if that's a leap and you don't think you can make, if you'd like to learn more about how to volunteer and support children in our community, that is a great session to come to.
- When: April 13th, 12 noon
- Where: Heritage Hall
Lunch provided by Magpie. They are donating a taco lunch. So let's Talk-O about foster care in Cascade County.
Jamie: I will just say that the partnerships again, I know I alluded to that already, but it takes a village to support children and families. That is what this event is all about. We have book clubs going on that week, we have children's activities and we have drum concerts. The Drum Brothers, nationally recognized they're coming. Our school district is holding an event Thursday night at D.A. Davidson Auditorium on school safety. We have Peace Place helping us host an event looking at child behaviors. Toby's house Crisis Nursery. When I just start listing it off, it's pretty incredible.
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