The Young Women's Initiative of Minnesota is a first-of-its-kind partnership between the Women's Foundation of Minnesota and the State of Minnesota. It is a public-private partnership and a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment to achieve equity in opportunities to improve the lives of young women of color, American Indian young women, LGBTQ youth, young women from Greater Minnesota, and young women with disabilities. In April 2017 an Action Plan will be made public that will provide strategies for how to create the conditions for young women in Minnesota to achieve equity in outcomes and lead safe, prosperous lives.
The Initiative, designed to be as participatory and inclusive as possible, is comprised of 3 core committees that will drive the work: Community-Specific Working Groups, Young Women's Cabinet, and the Young Women's Initiative Council.
Brianna LaDuke a former Girls Lead participant from Warroad, and Elle Sherman, St. Paul (formerly of Bemidji), have been appointed to the Young Women's Council. This group will be charged with ensuring that the work of the Initiative stays grounded in the lived experiences of young women.
Barb Houg, Executive Director of Peacemaker Resources, has been invited to join one of three Community-Specific Working Groups which have been charged with identifying the challenges and opportunities facing Minnesota's young women and youth. These groups will help set direction, review data, and contribute to finalization of the Action Plan.
Nancy Vyskocil, President of the Northwest MN Foundation, Bemidji, has been appointed to the Young Women's Initiative Council. This group is responsible for mobilizing and cultivating the resources necessary to implement the Initiative's Action Plan.
Peacemaker Resources Social Emotional Learning Trainers Stacy Bender-Fayette and Sharleen Zeman-Sperle will present information on how childhood trauma can significantly impact individuals and communities. They will present information on the Adverse Childhood Experiences study and brain research to show the effects of toxic stress on brain and nervous system development. Resiliency approaches will be explored to help participants learn how to best interact with and support the well-being of individuals who have experienced childhood trauma.
Date: December 9, 2016
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Northwest MN Foundation, 201 3rd Street NW, Bemidji, MN
This is a part of the THRIVE Initiative's Professional Education Series.
For more information and to register, visit http://www.bemidjithrive.com/events
(Click on link, then click on link just above the gold ribbon, then click on "Select A Date")
Team from Bemidji Middle School, Kelliher, Lake of the Woods, Schoolcraft Learning Community, and Trek North gathered at the Concordia Language Villages for a 2-day STAR Camp October 27-28. Students Teaching Attitudes of Respect (STAR) is a program designed to increase awareness for students in the areas of community building, media, specific skills needed to deal with conflict, and the utilization of personal power and strengths. The goal is to model and support a positive school culture.
Last year Peacemaker Resources secured a grant that allowed one of our teachers to provide SEL classes to all of the kindergarten students at the Paul Bunyan Elementary. This is what the Principal shared with us:
“It seems each week I hear of another story that reinforces the positive impact that the SEL program has on our students, teachers/staff and our school.
Let me begin by giving an example from my perspective on our school culture. During our daily announcements everyone in the school breathes together, using our chime to begin. I note to students the importance of slowing down and breathing when anxious, angry, or frustrated. All staff, teachers and students hear the same message. I use the SEL instructor’s language of “Circle of Peace”, “Circle of Hurt” and “Stop and Think” during announcements.
For myself, I notice I stop and think of how to talk with a student when an infraction is made; I slow down, breathe, and think about the student, not the policies, but the student. I’ve also noticed that staff and students seem to be more relaxed in their demeanor and we seem to have more cooperation from students.
I can’t express enough the positive impact the SEL instructor and lessons have brought to our school. We are a typical elementary school. I understand my colleagues are having a great deal of difficulty with young students, and I share that we just do not. Because of the impact of SEL instruction and our Trauma Sensitivity information and guidance, I believe we are making a difference in the lives of young children and possibly their families and dare I hope, also for our community.”
We have had requests from 3 other schools for SEL classes, but the schools do not have the funding to provide this teaching, nor do we have any grant money for this. We have set a Give-to-the-Max-Day Goal of raising enough money to provide SEL to 3 classrooms in other area schools. If you would like to help, please go to our Give to the Max Day page HERE
Stacy Bender-Fayette and Laura Eaton Carleton will present on Thursday, November 10th, at the 2016 Midwest ACEs Summit in Eagen, MN. This conference will bring people across the region together in shared learning that goes beyond the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study to focus on deeper issues of historical trauma and successful strategies for helping individuals and communities heal, build resiliency, and prevent future ACEs
According to Stacy and Laura, "Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have been called the next public health crisis of our time. Research shows that the effects of chronic toxic stress and traumatic events early in a person’s life are significant in terms of both physical and mental health throughout their life. By teaching adults and children to cope with stress effectively and self-regulate, these physical and mental health threats can be mitigated and reduced, creating healthier schools, communities, and workplaces. We present our model that uses innovative solutions to help solve complex mental health problems that can be applied to any setting. In this session, you will learn how a collaboration between public health, schools, and community mental health partners worked together to create a trauma-sensitive school. Northern Minnesota is one of the most economically depressed regions of the state with high rates of poverty and a large American Indian population that has been affected by historical trauma. Increasing the awareness of the effects of toxic stress on the human brain enables skill building and development of best practices for mental fitness implementation in your community."
More about the Midwest ACEs Summit
Barb Houg, Executive Director of Peacemaker Resources, has been invited to join one of the working groups of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota. This Initiative is a public-private partnership and a multi-year, multi-million dollar investment to achieve equity in opportunities and to improve the lives of young women of color, American Indian young women, young women from Greater Minnesota, LGBTQ youth, and young women with disabilities. In April 2017, an Action Plan will be made public that will provide strategies of how to create the conditions for young women in Minnesota to achieve equity in outcomes and lead safe, prosperous lives. The working groups will help set direction, review data, and contribute to finalization of the action plan.