Christie Brungardt, Ph.D, is the co-founder of Jana’s Campaign, a group who’s mission is to provide quality educational programming that prevents gender and relationship violence. We invited Christie to share how the organization is continuing its mission across the country.
Jana’s Campaign is a national education and violence prevention organization with the single mission of reducing gender and relationship violence. In honor of the late Jana Mackey, and other victims of gender and relationship violence, Jana’s Campaign delivers educational programs that prevent domestic and dating violence, sexual violence and stalking.
We are dedicated to helping middle and high schools and youth organizations reduce gender and relationship violence by promoting healthy relationship behaviors. We utilize prevention programs, including curricular and co-curricular components, to raise awareness of the underlying causes by highlighting the ‘red flags’ of dating relationships. This work would have been impossible without the financial support of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Foundation. Because of their support, we have been able to work in 103 Kansas counties.
We work to individualize a teen gender violence prevention program that will best meet a school’s needs. This can include multiple program offerings, or simply start with one pilot project – whether that be integration of curriculum into an existing course, a co-curricular service project, a resource toolkit for counselors, an all-school assembly, plus many other possibilities. We started this program working with the state directors of Family and Consumer Science and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America in the Kansas State Department of Education. Initially, we worked with many FACS/FCCLA teachers and advisers across the state as they integrated the Safe Dates curriculum into a variety of courses. Today, we still work with many FACS/FCCLA teachers, but we are also working with teachers in several other disciplines. Since the inception of this program two years ago, we have worked with 239 schools across the state and in nearly every county.
In addition to secondary education, Jana’s Campaign also works in higher education. We host regional and affordable workshops for college and university administrators, faculty, staff and students for the purpose of providing guidance and important knowledge about preventing and responding to gender and relationship violence. These summits host national experts and encourage the sharing of best practices among participants. Individuals who most benefit from these summits include: Title IX officers, college/university legal representatives, public safety officers, student affairs personnel, athletic directors, student leaders, health and counseling professionals and other campus and community representatives interested in campus safety.
We started this program knowing that getting to national conferences focused on this work, typically hosted on the east or west coast, is very expensive for schools in the Midwest. As such, most colleges/universities typically send one or two people to a conference. As with all cultural change, it takes more than one or two people to come back to their campus and change the norm. Our conferences are affordable enough that schools can send multiple representatives from many different areas of their campus. Many schools send multiple people with some schools bringing 15-20 people. With this critical mass of people and knowledge, they can go back to their campuses and make meaningful change. So far through our higher education programming we have worked with 215 campuses from 33 different states.
To learn more about our education and prevention work: