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UNI's Center for Violence Prevention announces 'Leading by Example' grants to area schools

Contact: 

Alan Heisterkamp, Mentors in Violence Prevention Institute, UNI Center for Violence Prevention, 319-273-3124, alan.heisterkamp@uni.edu

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

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The Center for Violence Prevention (CVP) at the University of Northern Iowa will recognize two area high schools and their respective school officials on Friday, April 19, as part of a challenge grant initiative for their leadership role in adopting and implementing bystander education and prevention programming as directed in Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) and Coaching Boys into Men (CBIM), which is a Futures Without Violence program. The MVP and CBIM programs address bullying, dating violence and sexual assault.

Cedar Falls High School and Union High School in LaPorte City will be the first schools in Iowa to receive matching "Leading by Example" national grants to implement MVP and CBIM. These grants are funded by the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, Futures Without Violence and the Kind World Foundation.

Challenge grants to be matched locally will be awarded to schools and communities across the country throughout the next three years to eliminate and reduce relationship violence and abuse by engaging positive role models and bystanders who support healthy and respectful relationships. At this time, the CVP will be awarded approximately $20,000 to use as matching funds with local and state funding partners.

"Leadership and courage from top school and community officials is paramount to the success of prevention education to eliminate acts of sexual violence and abuse among adolescents and young adults," said Alan Heisterkamp, director of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Institute at UNI's CVP. "We need to be more intentional in our conversations with young men and women about these serious issues. We need more young leaders speaking up."

"We're excited to partner with the University of Northern Iowa and these local high schools to take an active role in ending relationship violence and abuse," said Brian O’Connor, director of public education campaigns and programs at Futures Without Violence. "In the wake of recent news in which high school students have been charged with sexual assault, collaborations such as these are crucial now more than ever."

Cedar Falls and Union High School administration will be acknowledged at a luncheon supported by the HopeLine® from Verizon program following The Y Factor Iowa: Men Leading by Example summit morning session at noon, in the Alumni Suite of the McLeod Center. For more information, contact Heisterkamp at 319-273-3124 or alan.heisterkamp@uni.edu.