Towards Thriving Cover

December 7, 2017

Last week, over 600 people came together for Compassionate Communities: We Choose All of Us. We opened the conference with the Rose Creek Coeur d’Alene women’s drumming circle and Shoshone Bannock tribal dancers Crystal Ariwite, Ms. Shoshone Bannock and James Tome. The opening plenary speaker was adrienne maree brown who shared her work on emergent strategies and the importance of relationships. Rosie Hidalgo, Patina Park, and four other panelists shared their thoughts on how we can choose all of us and reach marginalized communities that experience gender violence. On the second day, Dr. DiAngelo who presented on white supremacy and white fragility, and Amita Swadin, a survivor of childhood sexual assault, shared her perspective on the interconnection of interpersonal and structural violence. On both days, we featured over forty workshops addressing violence, healing practices and more.

Over seventy advocates from tribal and community domestic violence programs joined us for the conference. We so appreciate the many executive directors and advocates who were open, ready, and willing to new ideas and ways of being, and wanted to share some of their reflections:

Robin DiAngelo provided me with an eye opening new framework through which to view and work on my own racism. Honestly Amita Swadhin blew me away. I left sort of shell shocked – she tied so many issues together in working for equality racial and social justice for marginalized and underserved populations. She was powerful. Compassionate Communities was the most inspiring and thought-provoking conference I have ever attended. The presenters were incredible all so real; it was a transformative experience.

– Tricia Swartling, MPH, The Advocates, Hailey

Because of Compassionate Communities we have a greater awareness of the oppression that occurs almost automatically in our country. We now feel like we have the tools to help put a stop to this and promote equality for our fellow community members.

– Kim Deugan, Executive Director, Advocates Against Family Violence, Caldwell

Sometimes the work can feel isolating and when we get to be in a room together it always reminds me I am not alone. I enjoyed adrienne maree brown so much! It was a good reminder that while people may have different views we are all humans with pasts, presents and futures and there are ways we can come together in this ever-changing world. She gave me hope.

– Chauntelle Lieske, Executive Director, Safe Passages, Coeur d’Alene

Compassionate Communities We Choose All of Us conference inspired us to pay closer attention to the way we provide services and reach out to the community. We want to make sure that we are choosing all of us and that it’s apparent that we are a welcoming and safe resource for all.

– Laurie Lewis, Executive Director, YWCA, Lewiston

For those advocates who were not able to attend, we will be posting the videos of the plenary speakers in the next few weeks. We hope that you will take the time to listen and expand your learning.

We Choose All of Us,


Idaho Coalition Staffing Transitions

We are excited to announce that Annie Pelletier will be re-joining the Idaho Coalition as Director of Law & Policy. Annie has been the Title IX and General Counsel for Boise State University, and will be able to provide capacity building to programs on sexual assault as well as provide legal information and policy guidance. Annie has strong analytical skills and a passion for justice. Annie will be energizing many of Jennifer Landhuis’ roles in fostering criminal justice systems change as well as providing capacity building for programs on working with survivors of sexual assault and legal barriers. We are excited to welcome Annie back to the organization. Her first day will be Monday, December 11th. Her email is

Melissa Ruth has transitioned from the Idaho Coalition and will be pursing her work as a counselor. Melissa oversaw the Resilient Families Idaho initiative, working with counselors to build their capacity on providing trauma informed services for families exposed to domestic violence, then Project Connect to foster systems change across adolescent health care and most recently on ensuring survivors from marginalized communities can access transitional housing. We are going to miss Melissa’s compassion and her perseverance in the many ways she has supported programs. Similarly, we are going to miss Laura Diaz, who graduated from college this summer and has found a new job where she can use her college degree to foster change as an outreach organizer for an environmental agricultural organization. We wish both Melissa and Laura all the best in their new endeavors.

Estefania Mondragon will be overseeing the OVW Transitional Housing grant and will be reaching out to everyone. Mercedes Munoz will continue to serve as the lead for the HHS Family Services Specialized Services for Abused Parents and Children from Underserved Populations (Thriving Families) grant with the support of Estefania Mondragon.

As always, we are all here to provide the capacity building and support for all of you. If you are not sure who to reach out, please contact any one of us and we will find the answer or connect you with the best person.

Transitional Housing: Refreshing the Basics

We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with you as you help individuals impacted by domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking, transition into permanent housing. Many survivors can benefit from this assistance. In order to achieve an equitable distribution of resources, we strive to reach our most marginalized or underserved community members. We strongly encourage you to reach out to culturally specific leaders, advocates, and organizations to let them know these funds are available.

Funding Snapshot

  • Eligibility: An adult person fleeing domestic or dating violence, sexual assault, and/or stalking, and emergency shelter is not available or is inadequate for this survivor. This person may or may not be transitioning out of shelter, looking for housing, or already in a living situation, but would benefit from additional stability.
  • Though many survivors will qualify and can receive funds, we strive overall to prioritize survivors who are underserved and/or from marginalized communities such as those with disabilities, immigrants, Native American, refugees and survivors who are LGBTQ.
  • Qualified participants (survivors) can receive funding assistance for 6 months to 11 months. This funding ends September 2018.
  • Monthly payments can vary, up to $1,000 each month per survivor. You could provide a larger amount to secure stable housing initially and then pay a smaller portion of the rent as time goes on, or equal monthly amounts.
  • Program must also offer voluntary supportive services. Participants are not required to participate in any services to receive funding.
  • Programs participating cannot be receiving Transitional Housing funds through OVW.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Estefania Mondragon with any questions or concerns, or to brainstorm creative solutions for survivors and their children.

Stories of Transformation Writing Challenge

We are in the midst of our 9th Annual Writing Challenge! Young people from all over the state, grades 6-12 (including but not limited to: public or private schools, alternative school settings, our youth groups), can submit poetry based on any of the 6 prompts:

  • We Choose All of Us
  • Belonging to Beloved Community
  • Restoring Wholeness, Our Spirit, & Our Humanity
  • Together We Are Stronger
  • Living in Abundance & Harmony
  • Earth is Sacred, Water is Life

Poems must be 75 words or less, and each student can submit up to 3 different poems! Over 100 pieces of writing will be selected in the middle school/junior high and high school categories, and the top 10 selections in each will receive $100! All published authors will receive $25 and will be invited to share their writings in person at our Stories of Transformation event here in Boise on April 5, 2018!

We want to ensure the students from all over the state have the information and opportunity to participate in the challenge! Please share the Our Gender Revolution website ( or Registration Page ( with youth in your region!

If you have questions, reach out to Jennifer Martinez at Thanks!

Prison Rape Elimination Act Efforts

The Idaho Coalition has partnered with the Idaho Department of Corrections and Just Detention International to collaborate on a project which supports individuals who experience sexual assault in detention. Just Detention International (JDI) is a health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse in all forms form of detention.

This pilot project has four Idaho Department of Corrections pilot sites: South Idaho Correctional Institution, North Idaho Correctional Institution, Idaho Correctional Institution- Orofino, and Pocatello Women’s Correctional Center. These pilot sites will work to establish access to a support line for individuals in detention who have experienced sexual assault. Part of the Prison Rape Elimination Standards require individuals to have access to free support. The hotline will be staffed by Just Detention International staff who have experience in supporting individuals in detention who have experienced sexual assault. This project will also work to establish connections with local resources who are also providing support to individuals who experience sexual assault.

As Just Detention and the Idaho Department of Corrections work to establish a network of support services that are available to individuals who have experienced sexual assault in detention, the Idaho Coalition will be reaching out to tribal and community-based sexual assault programs in Idaho to build capacity regarding serving individuals who experience sexual assault in detention as well as to enhance relationships with the Idaho Department of Corrections staff.

As part of the project, staff from Just Detention International and the Idaho Coalition conducted focus groups at the Idaho Department of Corrections sites. Not surprisingly, we heard from many individuals who experienced sexual assault throughout their lifetime and continue to struggle with the emotional impact these experiences continue to have on their lives. Notably, women at the Pocatello Women’s Prison recounted numerous instances of sexual assault throughout their lifetime and they were very interested in receiving services that were specifically targeted to addressing this trauma.

The Idaho Coalition looks forward to continued collaboration with the Idaho Department of Corrections, Just Detention International and all of our tribal and community-based sexual assault programs. Together, we can continue to build a network of support and resources for individuals who experience sexual assault.

For more information on this project, please contact Bryan Lyda.

Training & Events

Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing for Survivors
Coordinated Entry: What DV and SA Programs Need to Know
December 8, 2017 | 11:00 pm – 12:30 pm MT
The webinar will provide an overview of the responses to the commonly asked questions from DV and SA advocates who are interested in learning more about the Homeless Continuum of Care Coordinated Entry (CE) requirements and process to promote CE access and safe housing options for survivors. The discussion will draw from regulations and other guidance from HUD and USICH and will offer strategies and resources for DV/SA providers who want to contribute to the creation and implementation of the CE process in their communities. For DV/SA Programs and Coalitions.

Click the following link to register

Webinar: Best Practices for Motivational Interviewing
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 1:30 – 3:00 PM MT | 12:30 – 2:00 PM PT
This webinar will be an introduction to the evidence-based methods and principals of Motivational Interviewing. Participants will learn the basic techniques and skills needed to implement Motivational Interviewing in their everyday work with survivors. Participants will gain skills that can help them to assess a survivor’s readiness and motivation for change and support survivors in identifying and achieving their goals while in transitional housing. The presenter for this webinar will be Vanessa Timmons, Executive Director, at the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence.

Click the following link to register

The Executive Director’s Learning Community will be Wednesday, February 21st – Thursday, February 22nd in Boise, Idaho. Sandra Henriquez, the executive director with California Coalition Against Sexual Assault will be joining us to talk about more effectively integrating sexual assault services into dual programs and ways to expand our sexual assault work. We will be sending out a survey to get your feedback on other topics that you want to address. In addition, we will have a pre-meeting for new executive directors (five years or less) on Tuesday, February 20th with Tricia Swartling, CEO from The Advocates in Hailey.

Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regional training
In an effort to assist victims of sexual assaults in confinement settings, the Idaho Sheriffs’ Association would like to invite advocates to attend free Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) regional training funded by STOP Violence Against Women Grant 2016-WF-AX-0044 PREA set-aside. The 6 hour course will be held twice in each location.

  • Feb. 14 & 15, 2018: Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, 605 N. Capitol, Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Feb. 27 & 28 2018: Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office, 1150 Wall St. Lewiston, Idaho
  • March 13 & 14, 2018: Vendome Events Center, 309 State Street, Weiser, ID

Registration information is available on the website

Idaho Coalition Store Materials

Engaging Voices Website StoreReminder that shipping for all material orders made by Programs on the Idaho Coalition website store is FREE of cost, please use the below coupon for all orders.

Visit the online store to view current Idaho Coalition materials available for order. For store questions, please contact Lacey Sinn.

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