MCEDSV Commitment to Diversity and Traditionally Marginalized Communities
MCEDSV understands the importance of supporting leadership in diverse communities as a key element of the agency mission, philosophy, goals and strategic plan. All of MCEDSV programming and advocacy work is guided by this commitment. MCEDSV recognizes that multiple barriers exist that deny or limit access to quality domestic and sexual violence advocacy and services, especially for survivors from traditionally marginalized populations. Survivors of domestic and sexual violence, especially from communities of color, too often face profound challenges in seeking the quality and culturally competent advocacy, services and resources they need to be safe. MCEDSV is proud of its demonstrated track record promoting and nurturing leadership in linguistically, culturally, and community-relevant outreach and prevention services. Above all, MCEDSV promotes and supports indigenous leadership in communities of underrepresented groups, as they develop their own solutions to domestic and sexual violence.
MCEDSV has a profound understanding of the importance of engaging the community as the cornerstone to successfully building spaces where women are free from the threat of domestic and sexual violence. Further, MCEDSV understands the importance of supporting leadership in diverse communities as a key element of the agency mission, philosophy, goals and strategic plan. MCEDSV has been providing technical assistance for local collaborative efforts in culturally specific communities for many years. MCEDSV has worked throughout its history to build bridges of trust between the Coalition and communities of color, tribal entities, traditionally marginalized groups such as the Deaf, disability and LBGTIQ communities. Over the years, MCEDSV has refined its skills and capacity to support leaders of underrepresented groups who are defining the issue within their community and its impact in their community.
The BSN Project has provided unique efforts for capacity building with agencies whose primary purpose is to provide survivor centered direct services to victims of domestic and sexual assault in Detroit since 2007. At the core of the project is a skill building program that emphasizes leadership development, collaborative outreach, specialized training and technical assistance. BSN provides executive coaching and training to enhance knowledge and skills needed for successful delivery of high quality and culturally relevant services. This is achieved by strengthening the capacity of domestic violence service providers to provide quality advocacy, support and services to survivors from traditionally underserved communities in Detroit. Coaching has been successfully utilized in the BSN project as a means for strengthening domestic and sexual violence leadership. The BSN team implements interactive training and peer learning as well. A personally designed professional development plan for leadership teams at BSN partner agencies is also an essential element of the project's success.
The MCEDSV LBGTIQ (lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, intersex, and queer or questioning) & Allies Task Forces has been active since the early 1980s. In the mid 1990's the Task Force developed a landmark training curriculum focusing on raising awareness of the needs of same sex survivors and decreasing homophobia in domestic violence programs. This highly successful training has been delivered to over 30 agencies, conferences and community partners across the state; educating over 1000 domestic and sexual service providers. In December 2009, generously supported by the Arcus Foundation, the Task Force launched, the I am for Survivors Project. The goals of the project were to: create safe, accessible support services for LBGTIQ survivors of domestic and sexual violence; improve access and services to marginalized communities within the LBGTIQ communities through awareness and understanding of issues facing them; increase awareness and education throughout the state around the multiple issues facing LBGTIQ survivors. To achieve these goals, MCEDSV implemented a survivor-focused needs assessment, performed agency audits and implemented training. Fourteen agencies were recruited to complete agency audits for the purpose of assessing barriers to service. Agencies participating in the project also received an initial eight-hour training developed by the MCEDSV LBGTIQ and Allies Task Force, training 58 staff. The training focuses on the effects of oppression on lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and transgender people, exploring similarities and differences between domestic and sexual violence experienced by LBGTIQ survivors and heterosexual survivors, and examining barriers and special consideration when working with LBGTIQ survivors.
MCEDSV is celebrating ten years of being one of only fourteen states to receive funding for the Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancements and Leadership Through Alliances (DELTA) Project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to strengthen state and local capacity for supporting primary prevention. MCEDSV is known nationally for its leadership in utilizing an intentional process to promote the needs of communities representing survivors from culturally specific communities as well as advancing the efforts of linguistically and culturally relevant prevention programming in its DELTA project. Three of the four DELTA sub-grantees represent culturally specific communities. DELTA programming in these communities is based on what the community identifies as its unique needs and what the community identifies as its unique strengths. The relationships built between MCEDSV and the three DELTA culturally specific communities planted the seed for an organizational transformation MCEDSV undertook in 2003 to expand its membership criteria to ensure that communities of color working in their own communities to end domestic violence through comprehensive social change efforts were included as primary members.