Have you heard of Green Dot? I hadn’t, until a recent possibility of joining a training at my institution presented itself. The first announcement had gone out to key people across the campus, but then there was an open call to all faculty and staff. I was told by our amazing and talented Digital Learning Fellow that this was a well known and effective training, and that it approached addressing sexual assault on college campuses in a very different way. This was all I knew, but it definitely sounded like I wanted to be involved. The ask was for four days (8:30-5:00) in December, no exceptions or partial attendance. I was happy to see that Davidson was supporting this type of initiative and welcoming participants from different parts of the college, and to know that my department would support me taking part.
So how did the first day go?
I’m still processing and will continue to do so. We were asked to do something active after our first day. This post is my attempt at a green dot.
There are many of us in the room, and we are talking about sensitive topics. This is a challenge. I looked ahead at the criteria that we evaluate the facilitators on and what we may also be evaluated on if we lead a training as part of the institution wide implementation. There were things about whether or not they responded to the group, whether they seemed authentic, realistic. These are hard, especially when thinking about the end goal. But having just been talking about goals within a professional team, these seem worthy. The facilitators, two men who have shared some of their complex backgrounds and positionality, appear to be there because they care, and use their expertise to push something they see as absolutely valuable.
Especially today, in this landscape of complex communication and information that we are trying to navigate, it is helpful to focus on something that can build community and has the potential for building further individual capacity. And I am for that. I am with that.
If you clicked on the link above and looked into Green Dot, it is active bystander training. It is a community growing/building approach to involve as many people in a community as possible to take part in helping prevent particularly sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking.
I’ve learned a lot day 1. My takeaways include, don’t take on too much all at once, meet people where they are, don’t alienate, but rather find out what someone is willing to do, prevention work is specific and takes critical mass.
Let’s see how day 2 goes.