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This is how Greeks can work to help those facing domestic violence.

But before we start the article here are some facts about domestic violence in the Black community that you should read from Jet Magazine.

“According to the new Violence Policy Center (VPC) report “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2011 Homicide Data”,  Black women were murdered by men at a rate that was more than 2.5 times greater than the rate for White women. In fact:

  • 94 percent of Black women knew their killers;
  • 52 percent of them were either wives, common-law wives, ex-wives, or girlfriends of their offenders;
  • Firearms were often used to murder Black women;
  • Black women were often killed during the course of an argument.

Domestic violence is a serious issue for all women at all socio-economic levels; however the issue is a heightened matter of life and death in African-American communities.”

The following WatchTheYard.com guest article was written by Alexzandria Chill | UNT Graduate. Marketing Freak. Frankie Bev Fanatic. Adamant Knowledge Seeker. Lady of ZPHIB (Pearl Clu5). Founder of Blog: @DPTaughtMe]

If anyone knows me, they know I like being a busy body. I love finding unique things to do in my city. Often times, if my friends can’t make it to my outings, I’m out and about by myself. Although I am completely fine with rolling solo dolo, for safety reasons, I have to be extra cautious about my whereabouts. Even though I haven’t used my lethal knuckles in a while,  I do wonder if there are other techniques/ tools that I need to know about in order to defend myself (Lord forbid) if anything were to happen.

Then that made me think: I don’t have to live in this kind of fear on a daily basis. However, some people don’t have the luxury of living with this peace of of mind everyday. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and I began thinking about how some women and men are secretly fighting for their lives in hostile living environments.

After reading about the vigil ceremony Baton Rouge AKAs held for their own sisters, I tried to think of ways our Greek sororal AND fraternal organizations could get involved in championing this cause. Here is what I came up with:

Events You Can Throw:

Physical Abuse: Co-ed Self Defense Classes

Let’s be honest: most people think they can fight. But, in moments of immediate danger, strategy is better than aimless, aggressive swinging. Self defense tactics help you instantly identify the reactionary options, injure the attacker as quickly and effectively as possible, and allows you to get away at a faster pace.

Have your council (and other councils if you like) partake in co-ed self defense classes. Generally, we assume that domestic violence happens only to women. In the U.S., 24 percent of adult women and 14 percent of adult men have been physically assaulted by a partner at some point in their lives. (Forbes, 2013). Have a self defense instructor come in and teach a class. It doesn’t have to be as intense as Jennifer Lopez’s performance in Enough, but it does need to be practical and effective. Do co-ed partner simulations so members will know exactly what to do in the case of an attack. You can switch it up with same- sex partnering so members can learn how to defend themselves in both situations.

Disclaimer: If someone currently is or was on the receiving end of domestic violence, this might serve as a trigger for that individual. He/she might not want to participate. If his/her behavior is a little sketch, sudden, and nervous, do not force this activity. You may not have known prior to this event they were experiencing this in real life, so try your best not to magnify the situation. Rather than asking the person to participate, kindly ask if they can stay and watch to show support to the organization. They may be scared to even think about defending themselves. However, even though they are not physically participating, they can still take mental notes while watching all the things they are supposed to do if an incident occurs.

Emotional and Psychological Abuse: Role Play -Identify the Signs

Ask the self-defense instructor to bring examples of emotional, financial and psychological abuse as well. It is important to discern what classifies as abuse and what doesn’t. There might be some gray areas you aren’t privy to. Split the scenarios among co-ed groups and have them either read/role play the situations. Have each group identify what they considered abuse and why. Once everyone is finished with their specific scenario, have a few representatives play out the scene in front of the event attendees. The remaining groups can vote on whether they think it’s abuse or not. Call on a few individuals and have them explain their decision. This not only encourages dynamic discussion among your council, but it teaches everyone the key triggers to look out for.

The same disclaimer stands for this activity as it did for the previous suggestion. They don’t necessarily have to participate, but we do want them to be in the know in case they do choose to take action later.

Social Solidarity: 

A dynamic group effort always yields influential and impactful results. Here are a few national initiatives that are taking place your council can do to support the National Domestic Violence Awareness campaign.

  • Donate to NCADV via MobileCause by texting #takeastand to 41444.
  • Take a selfie or group photo and share via social media why you will Take A Stand with NCADV. Use our printable placards (found here: Write-In or Ready-to-Go) and the hashtags: #tasncadv #STANDwithNCADV #takeastand. Email photos to mainoffice@ncadv.org so we can share them with our networks!
  • Share what you have already done or are doing to address domestic violence on NCADV’’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/supportNCADV) or post to your own social media with the hashtags: #tasncadv #takeastand #STANDwithNCADV
  • Collect cellphones and start a cellphone recycling drive for free. Get info on how at: http://www.ncadv.org/act/donate/donateaphone.

For a more comprehensive list from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, click here.

Things You Can Personally Do:

Usually, those going through domestic violence aren’t pulling a Kelly Rowland and airing their Dirty Laundry for the world to hear. No shade to Kelly- I adore her and her bravery. It is just a reference. We want to make sure that if you do indeed, know someone who is experiencing physical, emotional, financial or psychological abuse, approach the situation delicately. S(he) is already in a vulnerable place and most likely feel trapped and isolated. So simply “getting up and leaving” doesn’t seem like the most plausible option at the time. It may be due to the perception of the lack of resources, love, or support. The abuser may have threatened to kill or harm the victim or someone they love like his/her kids, family members, friends, etc. The point is, if they felt like they could have left, they would have. Sometimes the realization comes instantly; sometimes it takes a little longer. Whatever the case might be, practice and keep these behaviors in mind:

Be prayerful

If you do know someone who is in an abusive relationship, rather than shaming them into oblivion, pray for them.  I don’t care what anyone says, prayer changes things. HOWEVER, faith and works is the best combination (the works are explained below.) Pray for his/her blinders to be taken off. Pray s(he) has a change of heart and decides to leave the situation. Pray s(he) will feel the love of God and recognize they are worthy of the greatest love that isn’t demonstrated through maliciousness. Every now and then, send “Thinking About You” messages with Bible scriptures s(he) can meditate on. Pray for his/her mental, emotional and physical well-being. Ask God to reveal to you the various ways you can help this person escape in a safely. Pray consistently, insistently and in full faith that God will bring them through.

Be patient

People going through domestic abuse of any kind don’t want to be taken on guilt trips, nor do they need anyone trying to brashly rush them out of the situation. Things may seem to be “common sense” to you, but to him/her, things might not completely register for that person because of the intricacy of a dangerous relationship. Domestic abuse cases can be intensely complex and any sudden move can be extremely detrimental to the individual or others involved in the relationship. Be patient with your friend or loved one during their time. Now, patience does not equate to being nonchalant due to the repetitiveness of the situation. I ran across a blog the other day that was very insightful in describing what to do: 8 Things Every Abused Woman Needs Her Friends to Know . A few of my key takeaways were the following:

  • Reassure him/her. Tell him/her things like, “You don’t deserve this;” “This is not your fault;” and “I believe you.”
  • Tell him/her that you think s(he) might be in DANGER (S(he) needs to hear this from someone else).
  • Please keep helping him/her even if s(he) tries to leave on countless occasions and then end up changing his/her mind. Leaving isn’t easy. Leaving often isn’t safe. Leaving is scary.

Be sure to check out the rest of the list, as those points are also vitally important. Remember, this is someone you deeply love and care about. Every action regarding this person should be seeped in love, especially since their perception of love is warped by their abuser. If you ever find yourself getting irritated or impatient, know it’s natural. You want the best for that person. At those times, just remember and recite 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 and readjust your approach:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Be proactive

Never assume that your friend or loved one isn’t listening to the advice you are giving. They are listening, they just don’t know how to react at the time. How many times did your parents tell you something over and over and you’re JUST now getting the concept today? It’s the same thing. People’s understanding develops at different stages and at different paces. Continue to instill positive and proactive plans of action in their brain for WHEN they do leave the abusive relationship. A few things that are helpful are:

  • Creating an escape plan. Help your friend/ loved one identify everything they’ll need to have ready when they decide to leave. Make sure you do this in a discrete and careful manner. Any sign of escape displayed to the abuser might set them off.
  • Make sure they have the hotline number memorized. Keeping the phone number documented can trigger the abuser if they are of the controlling nature and have a tendency to check everything. If they do choose to save it in their phone, make sure it is listed as the most ambiguous, non suspecting name in the world so it doesn’t look suspicious.
  • Encourage him/her to partake in different activities. You don’t need grand gestures; simple activities will do. Know it’s okay to ask how s(he) is doing. However, be sure not to press the issue too hard. S(he) will need a breather and a space to put that life on the back burner. Hanging out with you should be peaceful, not a pestering psychology analysis.
  • Continue to inform him/her about key resources in his/her area. Locate & drive to the shelters from time to time; take different routes. Go over the legal actions that person can take to protect themselves. Find different organizations that offer resources and keep the their information with you at all time in case your friend decides it’s time to switch gears.

In the event that you know someone (or you yourself – again LORD FORBID) find yourself in an domestic violence situation, I hope and pray you have enough strength and courage to reach out to National Domestic Violence Hotline

For anonymous, confidential help, 24/7, please call THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOTLINE

1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

1.800.787.3224 (TTY)

Know that no one deserves this kind of treatment, verbal or physical, even on their worst day.

I hope this post was informative and useful for you and your chapter. Let me know if you implement any of the things suggested! I would love to hear from you on Twitter and/or Instagram. Follow me at @dptaughtme on both IG and Twitter.

Be safe, be blessed and know, I love you and so does the man upstairs!

This piece was written by Alexzandria Chill | UNT Graduate. Marketing Freak. Frankie Bev Fanatic. Adamant Knowledge Seeker. Lady of ZPHIB (Pearl Clu5). Founder of Blog: @DPTaughtMe]

 

 

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Activism

20 Powerful Quotes From the Legendary Dick Gregory

  1. I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.
  2. I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.
  3. Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned.
  4. I am really enjoying the new Martin Luther King Jr stamp – just think about all those white bigots, licking the backside of a black man.
  5. Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but are quickly forgotten.
  6. In most places in the country, voting is looked upon as a right and a duty, but in Chicago it’s a sport.
  7. Just being a Negro doesn’t qualify you to understand the race situation any more than being sick makes you an expert on medicine.
  8. When you have a good mother and no father, God kind of sits in. It’s not enough, but it helps.
  9. And we love to dance, especially that new one called the Civil War Twist. The Northern part of you stands still while the Southern part tries to secede.
  10. I wouldn’t mind paying taxes – if I knew they were going to a friendly country.
  11. Revolution ain’t nothing but an extent of evolution; Evolution is a fact of nature. So when old folks tell me that they don’t understand hip hop and the music is too loud, well I guess it means you’re not supposed to be in there.
  12. Because I’m a civil rights activist, I am also an animal rights activist. Animals and humans suffer and die alike. Violence causes the same pain, the same spilling of blood, the same stench of death, the same arrogant, cruel and vicious taking of life. We shouldn’t be a part of it.
  13. America will tolerate the taking of a human life without giving it a second thought. But don’t misuse a household pet.
  14. I waited at the counter of a white restaurant for eleven years. When they finally integrated, they didn’t have what I wanted.
  15. Last time I was down South I walked into this restaurant, and this white waitress came up to me and said: ‘We don’t serve colored people here.’ I said: ‘that’s all right, I don’t eat colored people. Bring me a whole fried chicken.’
  16. When you’ve got something really good, you don’t have to force it on people. They will steal it!
  17. If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they’d have to bring out the tanks to control you.
  18. I personally would say that the quickest way to wipe out a group of people is to put them on a soul food diet. One of the tragedies is that the very folks in the black community who are most sophisticated in terms of the political realities in this country are nonetheless advocates of “soul food.” They will lay down a heavy rap on genocide in America with regard to black folks, then walk into a soul food restaurant and help the genocide along.
  19. The only good thing about the good old days is they’re gone.
  20. If democracy is such a good thing, let’s have more of it.

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Activism

How Kappa Alpha Psi Helped Stop Richard Spencer’s White Nationalist Group From Speaking at Michigan State

A SPLC listed white nationalist group by the name of The National Policy Institute requested to reserve space for a speaker at Michigan State University and the brothers of Kappa Alpha Psi were not having it.

On Wednesday, Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon released a statement saying The National Policy Institute wants to have a speaker on campus, and that MSU was “reviewing the request closely in light of the deplorable violence in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend.

While the statement didn’t say who the group wanted to have speak, the Lansing State Journal notes that Richard Spencer, the high-profile white supremacist who has advocated for a white homeland for a “dispossessed white race” and called for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to halt the “deconstruction” of European culture, is president and director of the The National Policy Institute.

The brothers of the Northern Province and specifically the Delta Pi Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi issued a letter to the Michigan State University President urging her to deny The National Policy Institute’s request.

“We urge you in the strongest terms to DENY the request for the white nationalist group to speak on our beloved campus. We recognize that Michigan State University is a public institution and that “free speech” is a right of all Americans. However, after the most recent incidents at the University of Virginia, the saftey of our students, faculty and staff are far more important. We also must realize that “free speech” must be responsible. Spreading a message of hate, bigotry and anti-Semitism is not healthy for the campus of Michigan State University, nor our country, nor our world.”

They followed by stating that the Kappas would be there in numbers to support the university president’s denial of the request.

“We are proud to be holding our annual leadership conference September 15-16, 2017 at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development on your campus. We will have over 200 Kappa Men from Michigan, N.W. Ohio and Western NY visiting the campus on that weekend. Please know that the more than 5,000 members of the Northern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. are ready to stand with you and support you in denying this request.”

Other groups around campus and the community also issued their concern and this was part of a huge local outcry.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, the university said it denied the request.

“This decision was made due to significant concerns about public safety in the wake of the tragic violence in Charlottesville last weekend,” the statement said. “While we remain firm in our commitment to freedom of expression, our first obligation is to the safety and security of our students and our community.”

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend these Kappas on standing up and speaking out. We believe that this letter can be used as an example for all D9 undergrad and graduate chapters when concerned about white supremacist at their schools or in their communities.

Read the full letter below:

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Activism

Alpha Phi Alpha Lawmaker Files Legislation to Remove All Confederate Monuments From Florida Public Property

Photo Credit: twitter.com/ShevrinJones

Florida Representative Shevrin Jones (D-West Park) a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. says he will file legislation to immediately remove all Confederate statues, signs and names from public property in Florida.

“William Faulkner once stated that ‘The past is never dead,’ but I’m here to tell you that it can damn well be buried,” the 33-year-old lawmaker said in a statement that he released this week.

“Rather than being held up as figures of celebration, it is past time we relegate these symbols of oppression and bigotry to the halls of museums where their proper context can be articulated. As one of the most proudly diverse states in our nation, Florida needs to show our citizens that we value everyone equally and will not be divided by the voices of bigotry and racism. Let’s move forward, not continue to look back, ” he stated.

While removing all of the Confederate statues, signs, and names from public property in Florida seems like a mammoth task.  Jones has succeeded at doing this on a smaller scale by being part of the successful fight to rename three streets in Hollywood, Florida, that were named after Confederate generals, Gen. Robert E. Lee, who led the Confederate Army during the Civil War, Gen. John B. Hood, a division commander at the Battle of Antietam, and Nathan Bedford Forrest, a lieutenant general said to be the first Grand Wizard of the KKK.

According to the statement he released, the vote will take place on August 30th.

Rep. Jones is a Democratic member of the Florida House of Representatives, representing the 101st District, which includes southeastern Broward County. Rep. Jones is a graduate of Florida A&M University and a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

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