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Bullying and violence prevention summit to be held in Sioux City

April 1, 2014
Contact: 

Alan Heisterkamp, co-director, Center for Violence Prevention, 319-273-3054, alan.heisterkamp@uni.edu

Alison Benson, director of communications, Sioux City Community School District, 712-224-7471

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728, lindsay.cunningham@uni.edu

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa's Center for Violence Prevention (CVP) and College of Education are state sponsors for the upcoming Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) Student Leadership Summit. The eighth annual summit will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, April 7, in the Rocklin Conference Center at Western Iowa Technical Community College in Sioux City.

Fifteen Swedish authorities from national agencies on education, law enforcement, public health and social care, youth affairs, and domestic and sexual violence coalitions will travel to Sioux City to participate in the summit. They will also learn more about the bullying and gender violence prevention strategies and programming in the "Sioux City Project" – a four-year violence prevention initiative designed by the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention in partnership with Sioux City's public schools and numerous community organizations and service providers.

Two hundred high school sophomores and juniors from Sioux City's three public high schools (North, East and West) will receive mentoring and leadership training in active bystander education, intervention strategies and facilitation skills. The MVP model teaches students to safely and effectively intervene and respond to acts of bullying, dating abuse, rumors and gossip, cyberbullying, and other forms of gender violence and abuse when they hear or observe it happening.

"We are pleased to partner with the Sioux City schools and their community prevention partners to support the teaching and learning associated with bullying and gender violence prevention in high schools," said Alan Heisterkamp, CVP co-director and event organizer. "Preventing all forms of bullying and abuse is, and always has been, a community issue - whether it's here in Iowa, the U.S. or in Sweden."  

For additional information on the MVP Student Leadership Summit or the CVP, contact Heisterkamp at alan.heisterkamp@uni.edu or 319-273-3054.