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DVN and IPS travel to Denver for the Youth Coordinated Community Response Institute

By: Lindsay Hill Stawick, director of programs, DVN

Kelly McBride, Flora Jones from Indianapolis Public Schools, and I travelled to Denver last week to participate in a training coordinated by the Youth Consolidated Grant technical assistance team at the Center on Domestic Violence at UC Denver.  As a reminder, the Youth Consolidated Grant, referred to as Project Avery among our team members, is a federal grant aimed at increasing prevention and intervention efforts for youth and young adults on the topics of teen dating violence, sexual violence, and stalking.  Our partners include The Julian Center, the Center for Victim and Human Rights, Indianapolis Public Schools, the Jewish Community Center, Indiana Youth Group, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.  

DVN is tasked with implementing a Youth Coordinated Community Response (YCCR) team in Indianapolis to accomplish unified goals for youth and young adults in our city, and I will be the main organizer. I am looking forward to bringing people, organizations, and systems together to increase the safety and well being of our city’s young people. As I begin the process of forming the YCCR team, I would like to highlight a few takeaways from the training:

  • The team MUST include young people.  The YCCR will not be designed to speak for young people or be the authority on what they need.  Youth and young adults will be at the table and will be heard.
  • In order to effectively collaborate, it is important to allow time at each meeting to get to know other members and the amazing work they do. I hope that once the team is established, all members are able to recite elevator speeches for partner agencies.
  • An effective YCCR team has diverse membership, is well trained, mission-focused, agrees on shared goals, has unified messaging, shares in the decision-making process, has collective ownership, team members are held accountable, and the framework by which all of this is accomplished is trauma-informed.  

Forming this YCCR is a big and important job, and I do not take lightly the responsibility I have to facilitate a meaningful experience that creates lasting and sustainable change.  If you would like to learn more about Project Avery or bringing healthy relationship education to your classroom or youth group, do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Peace and Kindness, Network!

Lindsay Stawick