News & Events

Meet MVP Jerry May

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The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh–in partnership with FISA Foundation and the Heinz Endowments–has been pleased to offer Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), a leadership training program for men committed to integrating domestic and sexual violence prevention strategies into their organizations’ work. This post is part of a series of articles showcasing the members and their work in their communities. Jerry May, a middle school history and robotics teacher at St. Edmund’s Academy, has long been aware of the ways in which stereotypical gender norms can negatively impact kids. Eager to address these issues with his students, Jerry recently participated in the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program …

Workshop Addresses Abuse of People with Disabilities

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People with disabilities experience violent victimization at alarming rates—making them one of the most harmed groups in our country. These crimes, however, are not widely reported or addressed, and survivors are often unable to access appropriate supports and services.  In an effort to address this hidden epidemic, we need to work to bridge the silos between disability serving providers and victim service organizations and to begin a community conversation on the issue. Recently, FISA Foundation sponsored a workshop with Nancy Smith, Director of the Center for Safety and Victimization at the Vera Institute of Justice. As one of the leading experts in the field, Ms. Smith shared …

Coaching Boys Into Men Advisory Summit

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On Wednesday, August 10, a Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) Advisory Summit will be held at Robert Morris University, the first university in the region to implement the CBIM program. Area athletic directors and superintendents are encouraged to attend. Coaching Boys Into Men, an evidence-based program, seeks to combat dating violence and other abusive behavior by giving high school and college coaches the tools to talk to their athletes about healthy relationships. The curriculum centers on the important role coaches play in the lives of many boys and young men, often acting as mentors to the kids they coach. Attendees will hear from athletes, coaches and school administrators who have embraced this cause …

Pitt News: Pittsburgh leaders sign pledge

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On June 17, 2016 leaders from all across the region joined together in the Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard to publicly sign their names to the Father’s Day Pledge. University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher gave the keynote address about ending campus sexual assault. Pitt News chronicled the event with an article and a photo gallery. Check out the coverage here.

Teach Our Children Well

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By Greg Peaslee If you ask any dad, he will probably admit that the day his child was born was the day he really knew he was a grown up.  Suddenly, you had the responsibility for this new life: to protect, to provide for, to teach. And there was so much I wanted to teach my son and daughter — how to safely cross the street, why they should eat their vegetables, how to tie their shoes. Every day brought a teachable moment. And I embraced the opportunities. I taught them to love baseball and football as much as I did so we could enjoy …

Second Annual Father’s Day Pledge

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Corporate and civic leaders joined elected officials and supporters in the Allegheny County Courthouse Courtyard for the second annual Father’s Day Pledge to End Gender Violence Day on Friday, June 17. “It is a majority of people who believe in respect, equity and nonviolent relationships,” said Kristy Trautmann, executive director, FISA Foundation, “and seeing how many of us are willing to publicly commit to these values helps us to be bold.” Ms. Trautmann joined Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape executive director Alison Hall, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania president and CEO Bob Nelkin, The Heinz Endowments president Grant Oliphant and others as …

An Important Father’s Day Pledge

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University of Pittsburgh Chancellor, Patrick Gallagher addressed the Pitt community about his involvement with the Father’s Day Pledge. This year Chancellor Gallagher will be joined by government representatives, educators, religious leaders and executives when he signs the pledge for the second time. Join Gallagher and his fellow leaders when he delivers the keynote at the Father’s Day Pledge signing event at the Allegheny County Courthouse on Friday, June 17th. For more information and to RSVP visit the event page.

Tending to the ‘Invisible’ Wound

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“Living in fear of being emotionally, verbally, financially or physically intimidated or abused is neither acceptable nor inevitable,” writes Rabbi Aaron Bisno of Rodef Shalom Congregation in an op-ed for The Jewish Chronicle. His piece discusses the invisible wounds suffered by women who are emotionally abused every day and what the Torah teaches about relationships and abuse. Read it here: The Jewish Chronicle—Tending to the invisible wound.

What Can I Do?

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By Grant Oliphant I had the pleasure of attending a conference on ending gender-based violence. The featured presenter was Jackson Katz, whose presentations on this subject have become an online sensation. Katz’s basic contention is that it is up to men to stop dismissing domestic and other gender-based violence as a “women’s issue” and to embrace it for what it is: a man’s issue. That bothers some people who want to take the discomfort out of the subject by arguing that men can be victims of gender violence, too. That’s true, but as Katz points out, while men are often the target of gender violence, …

Meet MVP Bob Brinker

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The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh–in partnership with FISA Foundation and the Heinz Endowments–has been pleased to offer Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), a leadership training program for men committed to integrating domestic and sexual violence prevention strategies into their organizations’ work. This post is part of a series of articles showcasing the members and their work in their communities. Frederick Douglass wrote that “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Those words inspire Bob Brinker every day as he works to strengthen young men in our region. As a coordinator for the ParentWISE Program of Family Services of Western PA, Bob engages groups …

A Case Study in Audacious Leadership

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In 1976, the women and men who collaborated to found Blackburn Center Against Domestic & Sexual Violence figured their rape crisis center wouldn’t be around very long. In the midst of the momentum for women’s rights at the time, the founders thought the problem of violence against women would be solved in a few years. But the need for services did not diminish. The Center grew over the next two decades to include a broad range of high quality services to victims of sexual and domestic violence. It was in planning the organization’s 25th anniversary that the leadership of the agency committed to refocusing on …

A Year of Prevention in Action

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We just concluded a year of progress and are excited to share our achievements. Please take a moment to view our yearend report flipbook. Over the past year, we have been working to fundamentally change the conversation about domestic and sexual violence and the culture in our region. We are fostering a sustained and powerful movement of individuals and organizations working on effective approaches to prevention built on a foundation of believing and supporting victims and taking these crimes seriously. Ultimately we envision healthier, more just communities where individuals and families thrive. None of this would have been possible without the dedication of those in our region who …

Leaders convene, address violence

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In March, prominent Pittsburghers assembled at the Duquesne Club for the second annual Corporate Leadership Breakfast on Ending Gender Violence. Bob Nelkin, CEO of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, led the conversation, which touched on topics from partner violence in the workplace to an evidence-based prevention program that trains high school coaches to talk to their teams about healthy relationships and respect for women. “No other community in the country has shown this level of cross-sector commitment” to preventing domestic violence and sexual assault, said Kristy Trautmann, executive director of FISA Foundation. Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald restated the County’s dedication to ending gender …

Coaches Trained in Prevention

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In February, nearly 75 coaches from across the region gathered at PNC Park for Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM), an evidence-based training program that enables coaches to lead discussions with their athletes about healthy relationships and respect for women. Hosted by Pirates Charities, FISA Foundation and the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, the program featured hands-on activities and powerful remarks from former NFL players Joe Ehrmann and Charlie Batch and Woodland Hills High School football coach George Novak that inspired the coaches to step up to the plate and take action. Check out some photos from the event below. To learn more about Coaching Boys Into …

Meet MVP Jerry McMeekin

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The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh–in partnership with FISA Foundation and the Heinz Endowments–has been pleased to offer Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), a leadership training program for men committed to integrating domestic and sexual violence prevention strategies into their organizations’ work. This post is one in a series of short articles intended to showcase members of the MVP Men’s Leadership Cohort and the work they are doing in their communities. Jerry McMeekin knows that men need to be proactive about violence prevention. Through his work as an educator at Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR), Jerry meets with men of all ages to deliver this …

It Starts by Believing We Can

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By Kristy Trautmann The best part of running a small grant-making foundation is that I meet people every day who are doing extraordinary, brave things that they believe from their guts are the right things to do. And my job is to figure out if we can help them. As you can imagine, there are a lot of great days, and every so often, there is a day that changes everything. December 1, 2011 was one of those days for me. It was the day I heard Dr. Elizabeth Miller, Chief of Adolescent Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, present some preliminary research findings on …

A Video Contest For High School and College Students!

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TAKE A STAND: PREVENT DATING VIOLENCE! Dating violence isn’t a fact of life, it’s preventable. Teens and young adults are at the highest risk for all forms of dating violence, including verbal, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. But you also have the power to influence your peers’ attitudes and behaviors. TAKE A STAND! TO ENTER: Think of creative ideas to express one or more of the prevention themes. Use the NoMore logo or symbol somewhere in the video (download HERE). Create a 30 or 60 second video, publish it to YouTube and submit by February 5, 2016.

Coaching Boys Into Men and Free Basketball Game at Duquesne University!

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On December 19th, the United Way and FISA Foundation will be hosting an introduction to the popular Coaching Boys into Men violence prevention leadership program, along with a double header basketball game at Duquesne University! This is a great opportunity to learn more about this widely heralded, proven leadership program for coaches AND enjoy some great basketball. Please see details here. RSVP to Carrie Barmen: cbarmen@SouthwestPASaysNoMore.org. Space is limited!

PCADV, PA Says NO MORE, and SWPA Says NO MORE host Engaging Youth: Working Across Generations to Prevent Dating Violence

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Pittsburgh, PA–On Wednesday, November 18th, PCADV, PA Says NO MORE, and Southwest PA Says NO MORE hosted Engaging Youth: Working Across Generations to Prevent Dating Violence. Speakers included Dr. Elizabeth Miller from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Ben Atherton-Zemon from Voices of Men, and Daryl Fort from Mentors in Violence Prevention. The full day symposium addressed vital and timely topics including the importance of discussing dating violence prevention early in adolescence, and creating safe spaces for kids to discuss difficult topics. Dr. Miller noted that homophobic teasing in adolescence is the single most important driver of sexual violence in high school. She also pointed out how vital messages …

Crisis Center North Hosts an Evening with Dora E. McQuaid

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One of our key partners, Crisis Center North, is closing out Domestic Violence Awareness Month by hosting poet Dora E. McQuaid. Dora is an award-winning poet, activist, speaker and teacher whose work embodies the intersections of arts and activism, service and empowerment. The event will be held on October 28th from 6 pm to 10 pm at the Carnegie Free Library in Carnegie, PA. Learn more about the Dora McQuaid event!