Winter 2022 Newsletter

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EDUCATION about and PREVENTION against gender and relationship violence TM

WINTER 2022 NEWSLETTER Dr. Christie Brungardt, Co-Founder, Awarded “Lifetime Achievement” Purple Ribbon Award The Purple Ribbon Awards are the first comprehensive awards program honoring the countless heroes of the domestic violence movement, including advocates, programs, shelters, survivors and members of the community support system. This year the Purple Ribbon Awards Celebration was held virtually on September 21st. It was attended by over 325 people from 56 different states and provinces and eight countries. In total, one hundred and twenty-four Purple Ribbon Award winners were selected across 30 categories. We are proud to share Dr. Christie Brungardt, co-founder of Jana’s Campaign, was presented with the “CAP60 UnSung Heroes Lifetime Achievement” purple ribbon award. This is an honor given to those with a profound lifetime of work in the field. As a result of her diligent work and commitment, Jana’s Campaign also received a $5,000 grant. We offer sincere congratulations to Christie. The awards are made possible by, the first and largest online and mobile searchable directory of domestic violence programs and shelters in the U.S. and Canada, and Theresa’s Fund, an Arizona-based non-profit charity started in 1992.

Secondary Education Making a Continuing Difference for Teens In the last six months, Jana’s Campaign Prevention Educators have provided a total of 47 presentations at 41 schools and impacted 2,008 students and teachers alike in Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska. From Bystander Intervention Trainings helping students learn how to safely and effectively intervene, to our most popular “Red Flag Relationships” presentation helping students better identify unhealthy relationship behaviors, as well as discuss consent, boundaries, and how to help a friend who may be experiencing violence. Alongside middle and high schools, we are working hard at making a difference by providing young students with the tools they need to help prevent gender and relationship violence before it starts. In addition to secondary education presentations, two Coaching Boys Into Men trainings, facilitated by Executive Director, Kaiti Blackburn, and Violence Prevention Male Programming Facilitator, Darren Murphey, took place this fall. A total of 16 coaches from six Kansas schools attended trainings in Hays and Garden City, KS. These trainings are available through a partnership with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. If you or a school near you is interested in a Coaching Boys Into Men curriculum training, contact our team today!

EDUCATION about and PREVENTION against gender and relationship violence

Aspiring Educators Attend Safe Dates Training at Pittsburg State University Jana’s Campaign had the opportunity to partner with Pittsburg State University (PSU) to provide a Safe Dates curriculum training to students in the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) program. The FACS program at Pittsburg State University is one of two Family and Consumer Sciences programs in Kansas. The facilitator, Kaiti Blackburn, discussed with students how to implement the curriculum into their future classrooms. This training was planned and coordinated by the PSU Aspiring Educators Club. Safe Dates is a highly engaging evidence-based program that helps teens recognize the difference between caring, supportive relationships and controlling, manipulative, or abusive relationships. It equips young people with the tools they need to develop these important life skills. This training is just one of several programming options available from Jana’s Campaign.

Higher Education Coming Together to Create Safer Campuses Each year Jana’s Campaign hosts four regional Campus Safety Summits for higher education institutions. The past two Campus Safety Summits were tremendous successes bringing together over one-hundred college, university, and community personnel to learn how to improve their campus efforts to better prevent and respond to instances of sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. Speakers discussed topics that included up-to-date information on bystander intervention strategies, prevention programming, Title IX and Clery Act compliance updates, and much more. Moving from Indiana, the Midwest Campus Safety Summit was hosted this September in Chicago, IL at the Husch Blackwell office and had representation from 9 states,16 colleges and universities, and 11 organizations. An attendee shared, “I gained new insight and made some solid connections. It was a packed two days and I’m thankful I was able to attend.” More recently this November, the Heartland Campus Safety Summit was held at The University of Kansas in Lawrence; the same University that Jana attended as a student for her undergrad program and law school. As one of our most highly attended summits, there was representation from 7 states, 29 colleges and universities, and 11 organizations! Together, we can better prevent gender and relationship violence in one of the most vulnerable places for young adults; college campuses.

Community Education Prevention Making Waves Across Kansas and Beyond In October of this year, Jana’s Campaign Executive Director, Kaiti Blackburn, and Education and Prevention Specialist, Evelyn Dubey, presented at the Kansas Prevention Collaborative Conference, a service of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services. Their session was titled “Connecting Teen Dating Violence and Other Unhealthy Behaviors.” Within the presentation they discussed the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES) and how experiencing trauma like teen dating violence or witnessing violence in the home during one’s childhood can lead to an increased risk for many physical, emotional, and psychological health outcomes later in life; including violence victimization and perpetration, suicide ideation, anxiety, depression, and drug/alcohol abuse. They also exhibited Jana’s Campaign’s original research and data collected from students in rural, Midwest communities where they have presented, as well as discussed the paradigm shift necessary to create new social norms and increase peer responsibility to take action through programming on comprehensive cognitive, behavioral, and attitudinal changes at all levels of the socio-ecological model. It was shared that attendees appreciated this perspective and education on teen dating violence being an adverse childhood experience that further perpetuates adverse health outcomes for young people through their adolescence and into their adult years. We are grateful for the encouraging response and the opportunity to present at a conference of prevention professionals working together to address the root causes of many societal and health issues afflicting our communities today.

Expansion of Community Education through Virtual Rural Conference Presentation The Institute for Coordinated Community Response (ICCR), a program of the Conference on Crimes Against Women, was created in 2018 to address the epidemic of domestic violence in rural Texas. A component of ICCR, is a virtual conference for those who serve on Coordinated Community Response (CCR) teams in rural communities in Texas and beyond. CCRs have been recognized as a best practice in reducing domestic violence since the Violence Against Women Act was enacted over 20 years ago, and can be particularly effective in rural communities. Due to Jana’s Campaign’s extensive work in rural communities, Kaiti Blackburn, executive director, was invited to provide a presentation on gender-based violence, Title IX, and rural college campuses. Dr. Ziwei Qi, assistant professor at Fort Hays State University and director of the Center for Empowering Victims of Gender-based Violence, joined Kaiti to provide the presentation due to her expertise in teaching, advising, and advocating for students on a college campus in a rural community.

Internal News & Fundraising Efforts Executive Director Honored with State Award This September, Kaiti Blackburn, Jana’s Campaign executive director, was selected as an inaugural honoree of the “Kansas’ Next Generation of Leaders and Achievers” class by the Kansas Department of Commerce. NextGen Under 30 recognizes and encourages the next generation of innovative, creative, and inspiring individuals who push the boundaries in various categories of endeavor. Award winners were selected based upon their participation in and contribution to their communities. A panel of respected business and civic leaders served as judges. Out of over 600 nominations, 200 were selected across multiple sectors. Kaiti was one of 28 recognized as an outstanding leader in the Non-Profit sector. Congratulations, Kaiti!

Groovy Empty Place at the Table Fundraising Event a Success Jana’s Campaign hosted the 11th Annual Empty Place at the Table gala event on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at the Rose Garden Banquet Hall in Hays, KS. For the second year, the event was hosted in person and online. In person attendees were encouraged to dress to fit the 70’s Disco theme. Activites of the night included a dinner, raffle, silent and live auctions, and music from Ken England & Hunter Spicer, as well as DJ Buzz from Midnight Productions. At the event, an empty place setting served as a memorial to Jana Mackey, who lost her life to violence perpetrated by an ex-boyfriend. Over $65,000 was raised from the event. Every dollar raised at Empty Place at the Table directly supports Jana’s Campaign’s successful gender and relationship violence prevention education programming. A special thank you to all attendees, donors, volunteers, and event sponsors!

Board Sets Strategic Direction at June Retreat This summer, eleven Jana’s Campaign board and staff members gathered in Kansas City, MO to form and determine the organization’s direction for the next three to five years. All in attendance reviewed the extensive work Jana’s Campaign has done since the last board retreat in 2015, including what has worked, what has room for improvement, and what can be changed. In addition to strategic planning, the board also had fun by attending a Kansas City Sporting Soccer game. Like Jana, the board worked hard and played hard.

Growth for Board of Directors Jana’s Campaign welcomed three new members to the Board of Directors this fall. Each new member brings a vast array of experience and expertise that will enhance Jana’s Campaign’s prevention efforts. Dr. April Terry is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Fort Hays State University. Her scholarship is broadly focused in four lines of research: juvenile corrections, gender and crime, rural criminology, and gender-based violence. April resides in Hays, KS with her husband and daughters.

Megan Shepard is a Grants and Contract Specialist with the Department with Kansas Children and Families. She has previous experience in corrections, advocacy, and administrative duties. Megan is a life-long learner, currently studying at Fort Hays State University.

Dr. Keegan Nichols is the Vice President for Student Affairs at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, AR. Dr. Nichols has nearly 20 years of experience in Higher Education leadership and over 10 years of experience with Title IX work, including several years at Fort Hays State University.

Campaign for Change Fundraising Update We are excited to announce that we have achieved 58% of our $1,000,000 fundraising campaign goal. These funds will be used to increase both the scale and scope of our work and create fundamental societal change. The Campaign for Change officially announced in October of 2021, seeks to raise $1,000,000 by the end of 2023. This initiative will improve and expand the gender and relationship violence prevention efforts of Jana’s Campaign in middle and high schools, on college campuses, and in communities. To date, Jana’s Campaign has raised $584,166.97 in donations and pledges, with the remaining 42% of the fundraising goal to be met in the next year. We are creating change and making a difference. We hope you’ll consider supporting the Campaign for Change – with your help, we can do even more. Visit to learn more.

58% raised to date.

42% to be raised

Goal: $1,000,000

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