Education & Prevention Outreach
Our goal is to address the root causes of violence in our community by first and foremost promoting anti-oppression, non-violence, unity, social justice, self-determination and liberation of historically oppressed groups through a process of grassroots based community education and leadership development; providing tools to oppressed groups to build power; and by creating movement for community change. We work to decrease the incidence of violence, specifically, domestic violence, sexual violence and youth-on-youth violence in the Taos County area and to increase the safety of all women, men and children who live within our community.
Give VOZ (voice) to Build PODER (power) to Create OLLIN (movement and change)
VOZ is a multi-session primary violence prevention project for Pre-K through 5th graders. VOZ utilizes age-appropriate teaching techniques and messages and uses respect, empathy and body ownership as the foundation for promoting violence prevention and nonviolence conflict resolution. We work to give each child skills in the event that violence touches their lives so as to prepare them for safe and appropriate responses and to understand that violence of any type is not OK. VOZ is intended to prevent sexual and domestic violence, bullying and sexual harassment and is for children, their caregivers and any adults that work with youth.
VOZ and Parents: The program provides multi-session parent groups for parents of students at schools focusing on giving parents education to improve their abilities to prevent violence as well as to create an informed group of supporters that can in turn advocate for healthier community norms and policies.
VOZ and Schools: VOZ provides training focused on educating school staff (teachers, administrative staff, bus drivers and school counselors) so they may utilize their unique positions to influence school norms, policies and school responses to violence, as well as serve as to advocate on the school community level for violence prevention. Trainings focus on changing organizational/institutional practices and policies in order to affect larger community norms.
PODER is a multi-session violence prevention and youth empowerment program. PODER aims to support youth (12-19 years old) in their development of self-awareness for the creation of individual change that can then initiate critical social analysis; change social norms; and promote community action. Ultimately the goal of PODER is to lower the incidence of violence in the community by providing youth with education that will increase their awareness and knowledge about violence and oppression; that will challenge negative or unhealthy attitudes; that will teach skills for behavior change; that will encourage alliance and collaboration; that will promote and provide opportunities for youth-developed and youth-led action for systems’ change. PODER also facilitates opportunities for youth to understand their roles as “popular opinion leaders” and their potential for impacting social norms and familial networks with anti-violence messages and modeled attitudes and behaviors.
OLLIN (Nahuatl for “movement”) is a program that works with Youth Leaders (14-23 years of age) by providing them with the opportunity to examine issues raised in PODER in a deeper manner within both same and mixed gender circles as well as to work on youth-created community projects collectively as community leaders. OLLIN also provides opportunities for adult ally/youth partnerships; for recognizing the sacred place that both young women and men occupy; for supporting young people to learn more about their own cultural traditions and backgrounds from individuals indigenous to their own communities; for community members most affected by issues to lead the efforts to change our community; and to support opportunities for youth to act as leaders and community organizers in their familial, peer, and social circles.