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March 8, 2002

Dear Friends,

Celebrate International Women's Day today.  
I am back from a trip to southern California visiting Silent Witness coordinators and community activists there. What an inspirational trip. I am always moved to my core to see all the wonderful things you all are doing in the world. I have now visited 15 states in the last 18 months. I hope to visit the rest of the states in the next few years. So if you would like me to come for some special event, please let me know and I'll see what we can arrange.

My calendar this month highlights Mothering Sunday in the UK, St. Patrick's Day, St. Joseph's Day in Spain, the first day of Spring (or Fall, depending on where you live), Vernal Equinox in Japan, Passover, Good Friday and Easter. Quite an array of observances. Let's all stay connected by reaching out to each other and let's bring healing to the world.


WELCOME NEW EMAIL CORRESPONDENTS:
Mary Lou Biasotto (Director, Family Support Network, Tortola, British Virgin Islands), Sandy Broce (SW Exhibit, Women's Resource Center, Oceanside, CA), Suzanne Buderer (SW Exhibit, Workforce Partnership, San Diego),  Kimberly Pearce (Sr. Victim Service Coordinator, SD City Atty's Office), Natalie Williams (SW Exhibit, 1736 Family Crisis Center, LA), Jeremy Jilka (1736 Family Crisis Center, LA), Kathy Dice (Rural Calif DV program), Wendi Woods Chandler (Pres. Elect Elect, Jr. League of LA), Terri Weeden (SPAC Rep., Jr. League of LA), Pauline Musgrove (DV Specialist, Oklahoma Coalition), Emily (Survivor, college student, Richmond VA), Melissa Warner (Michigan, new email address)

NEWS FROM THE STATES/COUNTRIES:

Florida:
Lizzy Poole writes us that a lot is happening in Key West for International Women's Day today:

Here's what's happening in Key West on March 8 - International Women's Day. It was decided to focus on peace, and as the coordinator says, "Peace does not have to remain just a time between wars. Just like going to Chicago for example, first we have to decide to go there. Then we map the way. And then we go." There are so many booths setting up that they are too numerous to mention. It's going to be big. They plan a community pot luck with food labeled as to ingredients. The Key West Film Society is showing two movies as soon as it gets dark -
one on Cuba.

*Thanks, Lizzy. This event sounds full and wonderful. sorry I didn't have room to list everything but we wish you the best.

Illinois:
Stephanie Frank writes us about her sorority using Silent Witness:
Hello, My name is Stephanie Frank and I am interested in bringing the Silent Witness program to my campus the week of my sorority's major philanthropy, Sig Delt Dude.  All of the proceeds go to Prevent Child Abuse America, last year we raised $5,000 and our goal for this year is $7,000.  I am the Vice President of Sigma Delta Tau at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.  I was wondering how I would go about bringing this wonderful program to our campus.  I would have the display up the whole week, April 15- 20th and we are planning on having a speaker come and talk about abuse on the 16th.  

*It is wonderful to see how many colleges are using or making Silent Witness exhibits. Go for it Stephanie.

Maine:
Susan Fuller, our Maine SW Coordinator sends a short and upbeat note:
We are going full blast here in Maine.  Recently provided trainings to the USMCriminology Class and to the new Graduate Social Work Program with Wayland. (Wayland is her significant other who works with her and also sponsors vigils that men plan and attend whenever a woman is murdered in Maine.. Go Wayland).

*Keep up the good work. Full speed ahead.

Maryland:
Hers is great news from Pat Lupson, mother and grandmother of DV victims and an activist with Silent Witness:

I went to the candle page of the SW web site and lit a candle for Gina and the boys.  Thank you for offering that to the world.  It's cool!  I have the candle burning as I type this - what a warm feeling to see this light in memory of my kids.

I have been selected by the American Correctional Association to make a presentation about the Impact of Crime prison program that Warren and I are involved in -- at the annual convention in California this summer!!!  It's our position - if just one of the inmates "get the message" we are delivering about domestic violence and murder-then it has been worth our energy and we have done honor to our kid's memory.

*Pat, this is wonderful, that your work in the prisons for these last several years is paying off big time. More power to you.

Montana:
Tracy Lakatua, our SW Coordinator in Missoula writes this exciting news:
Our "Love Without Fear Week" in Missoula was a great success!  Each year The Missoula Family Violence Council designates the week of Valentine's Day to be "Love Without Fear Week," and sponsors events that address domestic violence.  We kicked off the week with the our Interdenominational Healing Ceremony, which featured prayer, music and songs.  This year we dedicated our eight new Missoula-area Silent Witnesses at the event and we were lucky enough to be able to commemorate the event with a reading of a new poem written by our friend Roseann Lloyd.  Roseann, an award-winning poet, is one of the founders of the original Silent Witness exhibit.  She is also a former Missoulian, who moved to Minnesota years ago, fleeing her abusive husband.  Roseann agreed to write a poem especially for our dedication (it
follows below).  We had seven family members of Silent Witness women at the event, including four who drove in from Kalispell, more than 2 hours away.  One woman, Betty Umphrey, had connections to two of our figures: she lost her sister in 1993 and her 17-year-old daughter in 1995.  She herself is a survivor and has been newly galvanized by attending this event.  It was astonishingly powerful and made even more so by having the poem and families as part of the ceremony.

On the next night we held a Teen Dating Violence Panel at one of the local high schools --- the high school that our 17-year-old Silent Witness attended.  Our panelists included therapists who work with families and court-ordered men, a teen-aged advocate at the YWCA, a professor of psychology, the coordinator of the University's Student Assault and Recovery Services, and Betty Umphrey and her high-school-aged niece Glenda, whose mother was killed in 1993.  What a marvelous group!   Chris Fiore, Ph.D. shared some of her research on how battered women come to make a change in their lives.  Her group has interviewed nearly 400 women and a clear majority of them experienced teed dating violence, but didn't know to call it that.  Glenda, who has an uncommonly keen grasp on the concept of healthy relationships said: "I've got friends whose boyfriends call them dozens of times during the day, are always showing up when their not expected and always trying to find out where they are --- I tell them that's not love, that's stalking!!"  I think the panel and members of the audience were left with a clear directive to look at how we can educate teens early on.  Our Missoula YWCA and the MFVC will now be taking a very close look at Rosalind Wiseman's Empower Programs.  This is so exciting!!  We rounded out the week with two sold-out performances of the Vagina Monologues.  This Thursday is the YWCA's Salute to Excellence, where we will be raising more money for the local and statewide Silent Witness programs.  Janet, this is so invigorating to see such action and commitment to progress in our community!

I leave you with Roseann's Poem.  I love her work --- as usual, the the cadence is so skillful yet seemingly effortless.  The echo of sounds within the verse is subtle magic.  And the intimacy and imperative (and the intimacy of the imperative) work on many levels.

For the Missoula-area women whose Silent Witness figures were dedicated February 11, 2002 ---

BE MY WITNESS:
For Janis Poitras Hansen, Jo Reilly, Julia Hawkines, Nanette Hansen, Tambi Weinberger, Lavonne Kennedy, Kathy Sullivan, Josie Salois

Be my witness

I, too, once walked these streets and canyons.
I, too, caught my breath at the vast expanses of mountain and sky
cottonwood seeds floating over the river and town.
I, too, relaxed in Caras Park, talked with a friend.
I, too, loved to drive the freeway, with my music on.

Be my witness.

I, too, walked these streets and canyons.
I, too, took care of ordinary chores: folded laundry, mopped floors, kept
dinner warm.
Summers, I tended the garden, stopped by Broadway Market for Italian cheese..
It pleased me to make the photo albums, to remember birthdays,
to decorate the Christmas tree.

Be my witness.

I, too, walked these streets and canyons.
I, too, loved a feast of rainbow trout--second only to huckleberry-apple pie.
I loved the fresh smell of clothes hung out on the line to dry.
I, too, had dreams rocking a baby in an old oak rocking chair,
soaking in Lolo Hot Springs without fear.

Be my witness

I, too, walked these streets and canyons.
I worked.  I dreamed.  I loved.
I, too, once loved my life.

Be my witness.

I wanted to live a life of peace, not pain.

Be my witness.

Remember my name.

Poem by Roseann Lloyd, January, 2002

*It goes without saying how moving this event was and will continue to be through Roseann's poem. What a tribute. Thanks all. We'll put this poem on the website.

New Mexico:

This great note from Mark Adams, Shelter Director in New Mexico:

Last October we brought Gloria Champion's exhibit from the Navajo Nation around the Four Corners area to eastern New Mexico.  The response from our community was very positive and our agency is working with an interdisciplinary group to produce our own exhibit.

So far we have funding to produce silhouettes, a video documenting the stories told by survivors of the witnesses and construction of the
silhouettes.  We have collected 6 cases of domestic homicide in our area and will soon have many more.  Our plan is to enlist an articulate survivor to help us contact other survivors so that we can secure their stories.  We are hoping to have at between 8 and 12 witnesses by October.  Our agency has agreed to house the project and serve as the primary contact and support for it.  

Also, I saw a very powerful exhibit from your national office in Santa Fe five or six years ago. Sara Buel read the stories as escorts brought in the silhouettes accompanied by candle bearers, all over Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. I am looking to this presentation as the most powerful thing I've ever seen.

*Thanks, Mark. This is exciting news. We are thrilled that New Mexico has multiple exhibits. Please write us about the events that you sponsor for the Silent Witnesses.

Pennsylvania:

PITTSBURGH STARTS POSTER PROJECT

Pittsburgh volunteers have taken on a new aspect of the domestic violence education campaign; a poster project to inform women about domestic
violence and how to help themselves. The newly created posters, funded by three local anonymous donors, are being displayed in bathrooms, bars, restaurants, malls, hospitals, office buildings, college dorms and student unions. The screen on the poster is similar to the life-sized wooden cut outs that are part of the traveling exhibit which appear around the community. The posters provide telephone numbers for community agencies that can provide help to women in abusive relationships.

A kickoff lunch was held to launch the distribution of the posters to community businesses. "The response from the community has been extremely positive," said Twyla Sable, chairperson of the poster project. "Even college students have become involved in our effort. They have helped us get the posters displayed on various Pittsburgh area colleges."  A local CBS affiliate covered the kickoff and the piece was aired twice. Prior to the performance of The Vagina Monologues, representatives of SWI in Pittsburgh, were in the lobby providing informational literature and emergency telephone numbers to individuals. The play, a national sensation, locally produced and acted by University of Pittsburgh women from the Campus Women's Group featured 10 red life-sized silhouettes as the only set. Productions ran on Friday, February 15, 2002, all over the country to honor the victims of domestic abuse.

Cardboard Silent Witness 8" high figures (red) with stand (black) are still available. They are useful for display purposes and public relations. If you are planning to order, please do so soon before the supply runs out. The cost is $40 per100 figures, including shipping and handling. To order, contact Sheri Minkoff, NCJW, Pittsburgh, at sminkoff@juno.com or 412-421-6118.

*Wow, this is amazing and inspiring. Thanks, Sheri, Twyla and all involved for an outstanding event. We are awed.

Rhode Island:
A note about our great activists,  Melanie Martin and Nancy Rafi in RI:

Melanie is taking the lead role with Roger Williams University and is helping them on March 23rd to MAKE their Witnesses for their project - it should be a great event, as they have support from the top down at their school..  They are making 10 Witnesses, and have already put their paperwork together (something they did over the winter months) so their Witnesses will be ready for their first "outing" in April on the campus.  Then, 8 students & 2 staff members are volunteering for our The Vagina Monologues production on the 24th!  Nice collaboration, don't you think?

Nancy is hosting the Vagina Monologues: The Silent Witnesses of Rhode Island's benefit production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues is being held on Sunday, March 24th at 2:00PM at the historic Jane Pickens Theatre in downtown Newport, Rhode Island.  I have 4 local women who will be on stage reading the monologues, with 100% of the proceeds going to 3 groups - Silent Witnesses of RI; the RI Victims' Advocacy & Support Center, & the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan. It's been such a thrill to be a part of this bigger picture, and it was a natural fit to expose my community to the work that Silent Witness does here in Rhode Island.

Our doors will open at 12:45PM for our VIP ticket holders, for a pre-production soiree in the lobby of the theatre, being catered by Glorious Affairs caterers & Greenvale Vineyards, Portsmouth, RI.  General admission ticket holders ($20 each) will be allowed in at 1:30PM.  A local Newport woman, Leslie Henry will be providing us with original music, and there will be 9 tables filled with information about various social service agencies in our community that work with women & children affected by violence - a true collaborative effort!  We'll have tables from the Women's Resource Center of Newport, the RI chapter of the National Organization of Women, Planned Parenthood, Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships, Child & Family Services, Newport County Mental Health Center & the Sexual Assault & Trauma Center all staffed and loaded with information for everyone to take home with them.  Of course we'll also have several of our Witnesses throughout the theatre.

*You go "girls", both Silent Witnesses and Melanie and Nancy! More details to follow. And see the Eziba product opportunity associated with the Vagina Monologues in the next section of this newsletter.

NEWS FROM WORLDWIDE HEADQUARTERS:

Janet's trip to California:
I had a fabulous trip to San Diego and Los Angeles recently. Here is a brief summary of the wonderful people and programs I got to see. A special thanks to Gael Strack (and her family) who housed me and planned for many of the things I did in SD, Kimberly Pearce  who escorted me around SD and to Joanne Coghill who planned for my great meetings in LA. All are angels.

Women's Resource Center: I visited Sandy Broce who is the SW coordinator in Oceanside. She has a unique set of Witnesses that fold in the middle so they can be put in body bags that are smaller and easier to carry. They are all padded with quilts inside. Isn't that poignant? They have 14 figures currently. What a great job they are doing. Thanks, Sandy and company.

San Diego Workforce Partnership: I met with Suzanne Buderer who is the SW coordinator for that agency. They got their Witnesses as a result of a 15 Year-old  Eagle Scout named David Oakes creating a SW exhibit as a scout project. What a wonderful and unique idea. These Witnesses are co-sponsored with East Side County Services, Debbie Comstock, Director.

San Diego DV Council: I was invited to attend and speak to the SD Domestic Violence Council, made up of people from all facets of the community. It is an illustrious group. Dr. Cindy Kelps is the coordinator, a doctor with Children's Hospital. An important issue facing SD is the election for District Attorney. This office has a key role in prosecuting felonies related to DV.

Julian's Sanctuary: I was invited to visit a transitional housing program sponsored by the Episcopal Church in SD. Camey Christenson, the Program Director, toured us around. It is a wonderful facility with a lot of programming and lots of resources.

San Diego City Attorney: I got a full tour of the SD City Attorney's Office, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Division. Gael Strack is Assistant City Attorney and is in charge of that office. What a window into a miraculous system that has had so much success.  Kimberly Pearce, my guide for the day, also works in this office as a Senior Victim Services Coordinator. I even got a quick trip to the DV court so I could see where the action happens. Unfortunately they had just recessed as I came around the corner!

Office of Violence Prevention, San Diego County: Julie Serrano, the Director of the DV Response Teams, described the role and activity of the response teams. And Matt Herbst described the new youth programming they are working with in the high schools. When their research is complete in December, this could become a Results Project for Silent Witness. Great!

Center for Community Solutions: Steve Allen (Legal Dept) and Liza Boyer (Counseling Center) described what they are doing in the community regarding sexual assault, DV programming, the Men's Awareness Day and counseling for perpetrators and survivors. We may form a partnership with their counseling agency. That would be really great.

Casey Gwinn, SD City Attorney: I even got to spend some quality time with Casey Gwinn, the SD City Attorney who has spearheaded the successful court project there. They have a phenomenal prosecution rate and conviction rate as I reported in an earlier newsletter. More on their research in another issue. On a humorous note, I was elated to find out that one of Casey's responsibilities in the last year was to clear a way for the baseball team to start playing in their new stadium. I just couldn't resist mentioning that since many of you know what a baseball fan I am!

Gael even set up a great dinner with members of the DV Council so I could get to know them and the issues better. It was great to hear their perspectives on the issues and to hear all the work they had done together over the years. It is a wonderful collaboration.
After all this activity in SD, I headed up to LA for dinner with Joanne Coghill, my friend and colleague, and a meeting with the board of the Jr. League of LA.

Jr. League of LA and 1736 Family Crisis Center: We have had a long standing and mighty relationship with the Jr. League of LA. They brought several people to the march in Washington, they developed and coordinated the Silent Witness exhibit, and they have worked tirelessly in the high schools on high visibility programs. Now they have turned the SW exhibit over to a new agency, 1736 Family Crisis Center. I met Natalie Williams and Jeremy Jilka of that center and had dinner with them. We are so grateful to that agency for taking on the exhibit and we will be eager to hear of the events they sponsor in the community.

Joanne Coghill, one of the primary Silent Witness organizers in LA, set up a meeting of several board members and we toured the Jr. League Office, an elegant stone house in the city. We got to talk about the possibilities of other projects that the Jr. League could take on and there was excitement about our collaboration. I met with M'Leigh  Koziol (President), Mauria McDonald (President Elect), Wendi Woods Chandler (President Elect Elect), Bonnie Wong (Public Policy Director), Terri Weeden (SPAC Representative), and Joanne Coghill (Centennial Chair). Lucia Nordstrom who was not able to be there was one of the speakers at the march in Washington and another strong supporter. I was particularly moved by the three Silent Witness figures that stand permanently in the Jr. League office along with Joanne's Murder Meter that she designed for SW a few years ago. Thank you all again for a wonderful trip.

Buy Products to honor V-Day around the world:
Eziba has partnered with Eve Ensler, the Artistic Director and Founder of V-Day (global movement to stop violence against women and girls) and author of "The Vagina Monologues." They have selected special products from around the world to honor this V-Day movement.  The products can be found at Eziba.com/vday or you can call 1-888-404-5108 for a catalogue. Isn't it cool when the market collaborates with us!! Support them. The products are wonderful; a bracelet, necklace, book, scarf, journal and mirrors. 70% of the craft artists in this catalogue are women and they are world-wide.

Rosalind Wiseman's Owning Up/Empower program in New York Times Magazine
Go see the New York Times Magazine for Sunday, February 24 for a feature article about Rosalind Wiseman's program for adolescent girls. The title of the article is "Mean Girls and the new movement to tame them." It chooses one small aspect of her program: the nasty side of girls and the way in which they undercut each other. Rosalind's program is for boys too but this article features the new research on girls in middle school and high school.

Janet Hagberg's Web Site
Many of you do not know that I work on Silent Witness activities primarily as a volunteer. My other work is public speaking and writing and my most requested topic is Soul Leadership. I just developed a web site describing my work and it gave me an idea. If any of you are members of organizations that hire speakers at the state or national level for conferences or conventions I would be willing to lower my speaker's fee as a favor to you and then come and visit the Silent Witness coordinators and activists in the area as part of the trip. I think that way everyone would win. My new web site is www.janethagberg.com There is even a quiet page on the site where you can go and rest, listen to beautiful music and light a candle. Enjoy.

Janet
jhagberg@mn.rr.com 



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