Green California? Yes, One Green Dot At A Time
San Francisco – On Friday, November 6, Dr. Dorothy Edwards addressed members affiliated with the University of California Flagship consortium on Green Dot, a violence prevention initiative that promotes “any behavior, choice, word, or attitude that counters or displaces a red-dot of violence – by promoting safety for everyone and communicating utter intolerance for sexual violence, interpersonal violence, stalking and child abuse.”
Dr. Edwards’ dynamic presentation is a blend of evidence-based practice with narrative drawn from her personal experience as a survivor, advocate and educator working to end sexual violence. From the beginning, Dr. Edwards drew her audience by sharing her connection with gender-based violence. By doing so, she models two key components to making Green Dot successful at any campus seeking to end sexual violence: authenticity and engaging the audience.
The five hour training presentation also encouraged the audience to reflect on how Green Dot can be used at their respective campus. Some campuses, like at UC San Diego, are using elements of Green Dot in their existing sexual violence campaign. Representatives from other campuses shared how they can appeal to their administration so as to garner their support in obtaining Green Dot training at their campus.
“One green dot is an action, a choice, a moment of time. Green dots are individual choices that meet in a shared vision creating the momentum
of a social movement,” Dr. Edwards reminded the audience throughout the presentation. Part of being the Green Dot entails having a shared language in achieving the shared vision. Towards that end, she explained how the violence prevention center at the University of Kentucky moved away from “violence against women” to “power based partner violence.” The cultural and political impact, as well as the linguistic significance, of doing so not only reminds us of the sacrifices of the movement’s early activists made in order to have legal, socio-political and cultural institutions name violence for what it is: oppression of the body and mind based on gender. Dr. Edwards acknowledge how the movement’s origins left out many communities that also experience violence that deserve to be recognized in our prevention, education and intervention efforts.
Dr. Edwards’ inspiring presentation on Green Dot re-energized a room full of campus advocates, educators, and law enforcement officers that fight the daily battle of ending campus violence. California has a lengthy trajectory of being known as a “green” state but that greening will now come to include moments where sexual violence is prevented by individuals across the state.