Towards Thriving Cover

May 18, 2017

“Art changes people, people change the world.” At our 6th annual ChalkHeArt event, Idaho middle/junior high and high school artists illustrated published works from the 2017 Stories of Transformation poetry book by Idaho students and the poetic vision of “We Choose All of Us.” Artists have 90 minutes to illustrate the poem using chalk. Young people demonstrated the power of art and poetry to promote gender and social equity and inspire social change. Students were encouraged to challenge the idea that some genders have more value and explore how we can create a world where everyone is valued, safe and can thrive.

Among the award recipients were students Alexa Shepherd, Abigail Ayers, and Kodie Hooper from North Fremont High in rural Ashton, Idaho, who beautifully illustrated the poem Storm (below).

North Freemont High School – Storm

It is essential to engage young people in work to create a world where everyone is valued, everyone is safe and everyone can thrive. Each year the youth give us hope that we can reimagine a world without discrimination, hate, and violence.

We Choose All of Us,


Stopping Violence, Changing Lives Project

Idaho Legal Aid ServicesIdaho Legal Aid Services has received $466,000 to help survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. The three-year grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, will be used to implement the Stopping Violence, Changing Lives project. This project will create a statewide safety net for low income survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking who desperately need civil legal help, but don’t have the money to obtain it. This project will help survivors, many with young children, gain freedom from abuse and achieve stability in their lives by addressing the legal issues that commonly stem from violence. Idaho Legal Aid Services will collaborate with crisis centers, the Idaho Volunteer Lawyers Program, and the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence to ensure survivors across the state receive the legal assistance they deserve. All project services will be provided at no cost.

Idaho Legal Aid Services is thrilled to have received funding that will help more victims of violence in Idaho receive legal support when their most basic human needs are at stake.

For more information about this project, contact the Project Manager, Sunrise Ayers, at (208) 345-0106 or

Many Paths Towards Thriving

People are resilient despite some unthinkable challenges. You might even be one of those people! We have an incredible capacity to heal from trauma and thrive, despite ongoing challenges. And every day, we carry hope for survivors who are seeking safety and freedom from abuse. What do survivors carry besides hope, that protects them from damaging effects of toxic stress? We can look to an Indigenous Coping Model and find it rich with protective factors. What if we reflected on, and talked more about these important resources?

  • Community Connectivity – Who has my back? Where do I feel I belong and am needed? Am I with “my people”?
  • Connection to the Land – The earth, life giving and constantly in cycle of renewing. Our Mother. Being “grounded” literally and symbolically to Earth.
  • Family Support – All our relatives, whether related by blood, or chosen family.
  • Cultural Pride – Do I feel my/our values reflected and I can be myself?
  • Strong Sense of Self – I am unique, I am worthy of life and love. I bring myself and my talents and skills.
  • Ceremonies and Healthy Spiritual Practices – How, when, and where do I feel deep and meaningful connection?
  • Language and Traditions – We all deserve to speak our first language, to be understood, and to honor traditions that do not exploit others.
  • Sharing Knowledge – What lived experiences can be tapped into and shared in a way that is empowering and not imposing?

Those who identify with dominant culture often take these for granted. Perhaps our language, religion and traditions haven’t been stolen, or our culture is proudly shown to us daily in media and other areas. Maybe our family isn’t separated by borders. But all of us, from all walks of life, can look to this Indigenous Coping Model and help others recognize and access these as well. This list is not complete either! We have much to learn from survivors…. what is it that helps them on their path right now, and what is it that helped them survive, and get to where they are RIGHT NOW? That is worth celebrating. Worth honoring.

We can talk to survivors and the youth we work with about these protective resources. We can look at them with fresh eyes and acknowledgement for the value they bring not only in good times, but in troubled times as well. There are many paths toward thriving – for us and for our communities!

A CALL TO MEN: Developing Men of Character & Promoting Healthy, Respectful Manhood

A CALL TO MEN workshopOver 150 engaged mentors joined together Friday, May 12th, at the Boise State University Stueckle Sky Center for an all-day workshop discovering ways to positively influence men to become part of the solution to end violence against women, girls and people who are gender non-conforming. The workshop was led by international speaker, author, and co-founder of A CALL TO MEN, Tony Porter. Participants were invited to explore habits that men are encouraged to emulate—such as showing no emotions and only displaying anger or participating in risky behaviors such as binge drinking alcohol and tobacco use. Mr. Porter approached these “man box” rules with truth, sincerity, and a rawness that invited everyone to reflect on how we have influenced young men in unhealthy ways. For instance, how are some men able to use physical violence against women, girls and people who are gender non-conforming while there are so many “well-meaning men” who publicly stand against all violence? Mr. Porter emphasized that most men will never choose violence and it is time for this majority to turn up the volume against violence against women, girls and people who are gender non-conforming.

“For starters, we can stop saying “boys will be boys” after young men perform below par. These “boys” will soon become men and as men they will have more liberties and responsibilities to positively contribute to our communities. We can give permission for boys and men to display fear, sadness, joy and a host of other emotions that are a natural part of the human experience.”

A CALL TO MEN - Idaho Coalition staff with Tony PorterWe invite you to consider starting a conversation with the young men in your social circle using the LIVE RESPECT curriculum from A CALL TO MEN or the Coaching Boys into Men program from Future’s Without Violence. These evidence based curriculums are free and user friendly!

It is time for men to become an active part of the solution to end violence against girls, women and people who are gender non-conforming in Idaho.

For additional male engagement resources, watch Mr. Porter’s TED Talk.

Chalk HeART Challenge Slideshow

2017 Our Gender Revolution
ChalkHeart Slideshow

(Middle School/Junior High and High School Submissions)

Training & Events

Resilience – The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope
Monday, May 22, 2017
7:30 PM MST | 6:30 PM PST
Lewiston High School | 1114 9th Ave. Lewiston, ID

RESILIENCE is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress. Experts now believe that toxic stress is one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression. These extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain.

Admission is free. Panel discussion to follow the documentary. Film will be shown with subtitles. Refreshments will be served.

Register Here

Idaho Coalition Store Materials

Reminder 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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