Trauma

Housing Insecurity/unsheltered/homeless, Low Income, Poverty, Students of Color, Trauma

Communities in Schools of Seattle

Two students working on a project.

Why is the group you chose to research important?

I chose this group because I myself am a student of color and I think it is important for us to recognize who we are and that we have a lot more power than what it may seem. I know many people who doubt their own abilities just because of where they are from, and there should be no doubts about this. This organization has the resources to give us that opportunity and to give us the chance to find our abilities. Since many kids do not graduate high school, this organization is important in that their goal is to make sure those kids do graduate and have the confidence to further their careers.

Brief history of the organization and its purpose.

The Communities In Schools Seattle states their purpose in their equity statement. They say it is to support students of color in their communities by providing them with resources and opportunities. They also recognize what is needed by the community and eliminate social/historical barriers. They say 1 on 4 students fail to graduate on time in Washington, and they are partnering up with public schools to help address this. The parent organization, which is just Communities In Washington, has a goal of giving the youth control in the classroom and a quality education by addressing inequalities in the education system.

Whom do they serve?

They serve the children and youth of Seattle, and the parent one areas of Washington. By giving kids across the region access to resources, they can help those kids with adult-problems such as homelessness, racism, trauma, and more. They help those youth in various situations whom need the educational assistance. Kids who are at risk of dropping out, that is who they help majority of the time as well.

Programs offered?

There is no area where they list their programs, but there is a page of how one could help. Besides publicizing the organization and donations, people can help organize their own Communities In Schools in one’s community. They are also looking for people to fill their board of directors. They also have live and virtual fundraisers.

Besides what other people can do, they offer services to those in school who have adult problems like homelessness, low income, and others who are at risk of not meeting their graduation quotas.

What could they do better?

They could definitely offer more programs to the community. This is an area they are definitely lacking in, and since they are an organization that branches out to specific regions, having region-specific programs to the community would be extremely beneficial and inviting. I do worry about the intentions of the organization, but they do have a list of all the schools they work with and it is a pretty comprehensive list. They have a success stories page, but it only has three stories. I would expect that an organization would manage more, but any success story is good.

Was information about the organization accessible? Red flags?

There was a lot of information that was accessible. The financial information is relatively transparent, and when one goes to the donation form, there is a list of amounts of donations attached with the purpose of it. They seem to be in a great need of sponsorships, probably to get their word out and not for any ill intentions. They publicly list their tax ID presumably to get their tax information. It is good that they are not trying to hide that information, but openly giving it. It is also easy to see the list of employees and the board of directors. I even saw students of the University of Washington on the board, which makes the organization even more trustworthy. The website looks very professional and does not have any formatting mistakes.

What other organizations are doing similar work?

One organization I found was Washington STEM. They are a nonprofit organization that also has a goal in providing better education and to remove historical barriers. They say they envision our state as one where no matter where someone comes from, it does not influence or predict their career.

Another educational organization I found was Northwest Education Access. Their mission is to help low-income students and to give them financial support in their educational careers.

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Accessible Forums for Social Justice, Curriculum that is Culturally Relevant for the 21st century, Mental Health, Trauma

Free2Luv Organization

Picture source: Free2Luv.png

Why it’s important

This organization serves to put in place different programs to help reduce the amount of bullying that goes on in the educational system. The programs that they offer are meant to inspire the youth and help create better environments for education. They are dedicated to promoting individuality, celebrating equality, and spreading kindness by standing up to bullying by utilizing arts and entertainment. 

History and Purpose

They reached over 25 million people annually through global social media campaigns and have partnered with celebrities to spread awareness and create powerful community outreach events to spread the message that love is stronger than hate and braver than bullying. They have received achievement awards for community outreach, volunteerism, and positive impact on youth. They understand the difficulty that can come with expressing themselves and want to be there whenever someone hits a speedbump. Free2Luv seeks to help students find their own voice and stand out as individuals by showing that they matter.

People they serve

Their Target demographic is under-resourced youth, teens, and young adults by providing mental health support and Educational Services. They are not limited to just the educational system and have reach-out programs that allow you to become a part of their community. Other groups that they look out for are Gay, Lesbian, and bi-sexual individuals that are often severely criticized growing up. Transgender youth are more likely to be harassed and which often leads to self-harm. Free2Luv hopes to help people build self-esteem as well as self-love to help reduce the stress of growing up.

Image source: https://cdn.greatnonprofits.org/images/uploads/organizations/Free2Luv.jpg

Programs

They offer mental health empowerment programs, EXPRESS IT!, and WE CARE packages that serve to empower under-resourced youth struggling with bullying, identity, or self-harm. Free2Luv believes in having people express themselves in many different ways, as a result, their art and music program has reached more than 35,000 under-resourced youth. They host community get-togethers in schools, community centers, and festivals. They also believe that the expression of one’s story is a way to allow youth to become more comfortable with speaking out. This is aided by hosting peer-to-peer discussions about issues they might be facing with their ADVOCACY AND STORY-SHARING program.

Red flags?

I found that the distribution of funding was difficult to determine from the nonprofit organization’s front. This can be seen as a red flag due to there not being clear goals and spendings associated with donations received. Although they might not have a clear representation of the funds, I believe that the clarity that comes with being able to donate shows that they are streamlining the ability to donate. This is an organization that needs to appeal to the public eye and it has done so wonderfully. I think that discussing the budget and where the money is used in terms of programming would benefit the credibility of the nonprofit organization. Their message is broad and in some circumstances, I believe that a more specific message could be beneficial such as focusing on only particular minority groups. This is opposed to clumping together several under-resourced groups.

Similar work

The Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University of Buffalo contributes with Free2Luv by creating presentations that seek to teach other students to not fall into the bystander effect. They want you to find the courage to stand up for those that are facing bullying.

They are paired with Build-A-Bear Foundation Literacy Program which serves to help learning students and less fortunate groups receive the literary skills needed in life.

Early Childhood Education, Trauma

Childhaven

Why is the group that you chose to research important?

The group that I chose to research is children who have experienced trauma. This group is important because people who have childhood trauma are likely to carry the effects of that trauma into adulthood and have an increased risk of substance abuse, suicide, homelessness, and medical issues such as diabetes and cancer. Children who experience trauma need trauma-informed care in order to reduce the burden of carrying that trauma with them.

A brief history of Childhaven along with the purpose of the organization

The organization that I chose to research is Childhaven. Childhaven was founded in 1909 by Reverend Mark Matthews and was originally a place for single parents to take their children while they worked to keep them safe. Since then it has expanded, first in 1965 when they brought Head Start to the west coast and began providing preschool services, then in 1977 when they launched a Therapeutic Childcare Program to serve children who had experienced trauma. The purpose of the organization is to prevent childhood trauma, address symptoms of childhood trauma in children, and strengthen families and familial connections.

Whom do they serve?

Childhaven serves children and their families who have experienced trauma or are in danger of experiencing trauma. They have an emphasis on serving younger children ages birth to six, but they offer mental health services for people up to age 24 and caregivers of children in their programs.

Programs offered?

Childhaven offers early support for infants and toddlers, early learning for ages three to kindergarten, child and family counseling services, training programs for community-based providers to become better equipped to care for children who have experienced trauma, and wraparound with intensive services which is a program designed to help children ages birth to six who have experienced significant trauma and have severe issues related to that that need a team of professionals to address, as well as general mental health services such as counseling with trauma-informed providers.

What could they do better?

I would love to see Childhaven extend its intensive services to serve older children as well. As previously stated, children who experience trauma will carry that with them for the rest of their lives, and as such, they need support at older ages just as much as when they are younger. While they do provide therapy services for older adolescents, trauma can make it so that people need higher levels of care even as adults, and expanding their intensive services could make Childhaven an even more valuable resource.

Was information about the organization accessible?

Information about Childhaven was accessible, everything I wanted to know about the organization was found on their website. They display their mission statement proudly and have many different fact sheets and sections to address different questions that may come up to visitors. The only thing I found odd about Childhaven is that they don’t have any information on how to volunteer, and I am unsure if they accept volunteers.

What other organizations are doing similar work?

  1. One organization doing similar work is Sound Childcare Solutions. They are an early learning facility focused on providing trauma-informed care and closing the achievement gaps between students who regularly receive early learning opportunities and students who don’t.
  2. Another organization doing similar work is the Children’s Home Society of Washington. They are a non-profit dedicated to providing care for children and teens who are homeless as well as providing services to families who are struggling or need support to give their children a good start on life.

References

“File:Childhaven L lockupH FC cmyk.jpg” by Childhaven is licensed under

Childhaven. (n.d.). Retrieved February 1, 2022, from https://childhaven.org/

Trauma

Culture of Respect

Why is the group that you chose to research important?

Culture of Respect , is an amazing organization seeking to end campus sexual violence. This organization taught me that “1 in 4 female undergraduates and nearly 1 in 14 male undergraduates experience sexual violence after enrolling in their college or university” (Culture of Respect). A startling statistic that created a deeper sense in myself to research the tools and programs Culture of Respect offers. These resources support survivors, prevent sexual violence, and communicate that violence is unacceptable. Culture of respects partners with over 100 different colleges, universities and a few K-12 schools. I chose this organization simply because of their mission to end sexual violence and their support to sexual violence survivors.

Brief history of the educational organization that you have researched along with the purpose of the organization.

“Culture of Respect builds the capacity of educational institutions to end sexual violence through ongoing, expansive organizational change.” (Culture of Respect). This sexual violence organization was created by the parents of college students once they discovered the high rates of sexual assault on campus and wanted to advocate for safety for students in 2013. The parents and founders of Culture of Respect created this organization to provide resources and tools for students after discovering the lack of resources for survivors, students, administrators, and parents.This program offers courses and tools that are available to create more awareness on college campuses, violence prevention and response, change in prevention, and resources to find prevention programs on campus.

Whom do they serve? Programs offered?

Culture of Respect serves students on campuses and offers “programs and tools guide institutions as they support survivors, prevent sexual violence, and communicate that violence is unacceptable” (Culture of Respect). They offer signature tools that helps colleges approach to address sexual violence, an online foundation course that prepares students to be allies, a collective is a two year program that brings higher education that are dedicated to ending campus sexual violence, and offers a prevention programming matrix through online courses, and workshops.

What could they do better?

The website was easy to navigate and I was able to find all the resources, tools, and mission statement. I wish certain programs and workshops offered are free because money is tight for some students.

Was information about the organization accessible?

I found the “I need help” page helpful because this page supports the person who has experienced sexual violence and gives resources to those who know someone who has been sexually abused that wants to help. I have friends that have personally experienced sexual violence and as a friend I want to be able to support them in a way that does not make them feel more shame but just by being there for them.

What other organizations are doing similar work?

I found other organizations that want to end sexual violence on campus.

  1. RAINN is one of the nations largest anti-sexual violence organization that partners with over a thousand sexual assault providers.This organization does not target just on campus but is a nationwide organization that offers programs to prevent sexual violence and provide resources for survivors.
  2. It’s On Us is a nonprofit organization launched by the white house to prevent sexual assault and actively support students on campuses through education programs.

References:

Culture of Respect: Ending Campus Sexual Violence. https://cultureofrespect.org/. Accessed 2 Nov. 2021.

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). https://www.rainn.org/. Accessed 30 Oct. 2021.

It’s On Us. https://www.itsonus.org/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2021.

Accessible Forums for Social Justice, Gender Justice, Mental Health, Trauma

Seattle Against Slavery (SAS)

Human trafficking contradicts equality of all sorts. We are humans and yet we live in a world driven by money, lust, propaganda, and hate. Love is but a façade that this world daintily puts on, conceding the marginalized into thinking that everything is going to be okay. Real love does not exist unless one disembarks on a journey that disregards the materialistic puppetry around them, and fully embraces the cadence of naturality. The cadence of activism. The cadence of authenticity.

To actively approach a matter so vile and tangible is to face it head on with no mercy. Seattle Against Slavery, an organization targeting the “assault with a “weapon,” is doing just that. When you look at the trafficking statistics (specifically the statistics presented in Pedagogy Education), Washington ranks as the twelfth highest state with the most human trafficking (99 reported cases), with number one being California (760 reported cases). Organizations like Global Alliance Against Trafficking In Women, Love146 (an anti-child trafficking focused organization), and many others, strive to educate their communities with vital information that could derail possible sex trafficking hotspots, and conclude suffocating sex rings. Seattle Against Slavery is no exception. They envision a world where nobody is sexually exploited. Prevention is demonstrated through concert events, fundraisers, writings from voices as young as a sixth grader, to a high school senior passionate about feminism and activism. Although these are just a few examples of what they do, Seattle Against Slavery strives to find new ways to contradict the expansion of human trafficking. 

What’s the catch though? Do I have to have certain qualifications in order to help Seattle Against Slavery in any way? For some positions, of course you need to have solid foundational skills in, say, ethics and psychology. For example, they currently have a web engineering position available; what you need to know are your coding languages in order to formulate creative interfaces that illustrate anti-trafficking motives, in a cohesive manner. In any case, Seattle Against Slavery is open to anyone with any level of education, as long as they share the same passions as them. 

From being a board member to advocating for victims of sex trafficking through different creative avenues, Seattle Against Slaverly also has a wide variety of programs. From Men’s Accountability, in which men educate each other about the prevention of gender-based violence, Trafficking Prevention for Schools, to a program called Freedom Signal Technology, SAS is ensuring that every age group and gender is being kept in an inclusive and committed circle. Freedom Signal Technology in particular is a powerful program that focuses on software development to connect with victims currently in a trafficking hell hole. In addition to these programs and having a website, SAS presides in various social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. These platforms act as speakers that amplify their voices to a more common mass. Clearly SAS is doing everything they can to accommodate the education of human trafficking. 

If you think red flags are persistent in every tab, every hyperlink, or every article I skimmed through, you are mistaken. There is a clear line that an organization cannot cross if they only plan to advertise anti-trafficking agendas for the main purpose of monopolizing any type of profit they rake in. Seattle Against Slavery has persistently made it clear that gaining profit for individualistic use is not something they are into. Instead, they nonchalantly represent the epitome of activism. Activism relating to human exploitation. Sexual exploitation.

Reference(s)

We believe in tackling big challenges. Seattle Against Slavery. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.seattleagainstslavery.org/.

Top 15 states in the U.S. for human trafficking. Top 15 States In The U.S. For Human Trafficking -. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2021, from https://www.pedagogyeducation.com/Main-Campus/News-Blogs/Campus-News/News.aspx?news=1139&cmp=-H14.

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