Down with the Dursleys

What is the injustice we are solving?
Various students within my school and neighborhood communities suffer from a form of *psychological abuse or **emotional neglect. Down with the Dursleys strives to address the issues of psychological abuse and emotional neglect, as well as the issue of the abused remaining silent.

*Psychological abuse (also referred to as psychological violence, emotional abuse, or mental abuse) is a form of abuse, characterized by a person subjecting, or exposing, another person to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, including anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
**Emotional neglect is the failure to provide adequate nurturing and affection to a child or the refusal or delay in ensuring that a child receives needed treatment for emotional or behavioral problems. Emotional neglect may also involve exposure to chronic or extreme domestic violence.
Our Compassionate Solution
To solve this injustice of
Physiological/Emotional Abuse and Neglect
we will address
the signs and symptoms of those facing abuse/neglect, as well as what students within our community can do to support victims
by
educating the student body on the issue through a school-wide assembly; discussing in small, student and counselor-led workshops, strategies for helping victims in a safe and healthy way; and creating a safe, open, and encouraging environment through the
Our Plan
Our Project Goals
1: To make the student body and staff aware of our issue.
2: To create an environment within our school and community in which victims of our issue feel safe enough to speak up and seek help.
3: To search for and discuss the root cause(s) of our issue in order to further combat it.
We will increase my / our compassion by...
ensuring that all perspectives--current victims, survivors, abusers, expressers of apathy/sympathy/empathy--within our community are heard. ((In terms of our bracelets: Students wearing their wristbands with the green side on display are members of Dumbledore's Army--they are allies to those suffering from psychological abuse and/or emotional neglect. Encouraging students within our community to ally with victims will increase the level of compassion within our school community.))
How will you show courage?
We will show courage by standing up for and supporting students that need assistance/support, despite the resulting consequences, challenges, and/or opposition. ((In terms of our bracelets: Students wearing their wristbands with the white side on display are Dursley survivors--they are suffering from, or are survivors of, psychological abuse and/or emotional neglect. Our encouragement of victims speaking up and seeking support, as well as seeking solidarity among other victims, survivors, and allies aims to inspire courage within the student body.))
How will you collaborate with others?
We will receive assistance from Wildcat Wellness; we will efficiently execute this project with the respectful guidance of our school counselors and administrators.
How will you know you are moving in the right direction?
No matter how minuscule, as long as our counselors can report an increase in the comfort of current victims, and/or an increase in students willing to support others, we will be moving in the right direction.
Create a list of key steps you will take
1: Hold our first assembly regarding Emotional Abuse/Neglect within (if possible) the third week of February.
2: The week following the assembly, hold various, optional teacher-led group sessions regarding thoughts on the assembly and its relation to our school community.
3: The week following the sessions (on Monday), Wildcats with Wands is to reconvene and discuss the student body's reactions and feelings regarding the assembly and sessions, as well as the best way to address these feelings.
4: After this "week of silence", we will begin our Awareness Week, in which flyers, posters, and thought-provoking school announcements are utilized. (Another assembly, if possible, is to held within the Wednesday of this week, related to the literature c
5: Fundraising begins in order to procure supplies, including bracelets, and additional posters.
6: "Wrap Week"occurs, similar to the Awareness Week; more of a celebration of hope than an educational endeavor; bracelets are to be distributed.
7: Wildcats with Wands reconvenes to discuss progress, what was helpful vs. unhelpful, and our steps moving forward.
The impact we've made
How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?
Due to the fact that our project consisted of providing our school community with insight regarding the root causes, impacts, signs, accurate terminology, and authentic definitions of psychological abuse and emotional neglect, members of the project had the ability to gain, develop, and retain their understanding of the injustice.
How did your community change as a result of your project?
The school community is more aware of the--formerly foggy--injustice, its repercussions, and its connection to our community. Those unknowingly suffering from the injustice seem to be more conscious of what they are going through in terms of the ability to put a name to their circumstances; simultaneously, survivors and current victims are receiving a plethora of support due to the resurgence of knowledge within the community regarding the injustice.
How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?
We learned more about the people affected by psychological abuse and emotional neglect through frequent, open, and intimate discussions with victims and survivors, as well as through our own, personal research and interactive research.
What did your team learn?
The team learned that, although there is a connection, there is no one, specific correlation between the experiences and reactions of victims. The signs of the injustice can be helpful in identifying victims and survivors, but they are not unalienable guidelines nor do they belong simply to our injustice alone.
What challenges did your team overcome?
One challenge we overcame was the delay of our scheduled shipment. We feared that our school community would begin to falter in terms of the retainment and discussion of our project. Thus, we began to spark excitement for the bracelets through the promotion of an event called the "Color Run" in which we partnered with the Chick-fil-a Leaders club and Arundel's Leadership class. Unfortunately, this leads me to a second challenge we faced: the event had to be postponed due to a miscommunication between our advisors and administration. However, due to our promotion of the Color Run, our previous promotion of Down with the Dursleys, and the arrival and distribution of our bracelets, our school community remained aware and receptive of our information regarding the injustice.
Kelsey T.

June 11, 2018

Hi Journey! Congratulations on finishing your peacemaking project! I’m on the Peace First team and wanted to say thank you for your amazing work and for taking time to share about your work.

Below you will find some feedback based on your Reflection, which we hope will help you to celebrate your incredible accomplishment and reflect on how to grow and develop your project in the future:

Thanks for sharing such a thoughtful reflection about your wonderful project -- it sounds like you have made a real impact in terms of spreading awareness and generating support for survivors. It is amazing that you distributed 300 bracelets. I can imagine this has made a really positive impact on the school community with that level of awareness. This is such an important issue and one that can be uncomfortable to talk about -- I am impressed by your courage and compassionate way of working to support survivors -- and am impressed by your perseverance even when you came across roadblocks!

We hope you will stay in touch and keep us up to date as you continue your work to create change!
Adrian B.

June 08, 2018

Hi Journey!

We're checking in because you haven't submitted your reflection yet. Reflections were due on May 31 as a part of your mini-grant award. Please submit your reflection as soon as you can. We're looking forward to hearing about how your project went!
Kelsey T.

April 06, 2018

Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.

The mini-grant process is also a space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below.

Strengths:
What a powerful and creative project! You have done a wonderful job articulating how the project will use courage, compassion, and collaboration in addressing such an important injustice. I am especially impressed by how compassionate this project is and how you are inviting the entire school community into that display of compassion through the bracelets and creating a culture of solidarity at school. I also think it is great that you are continuing to explore root causes and deepen understanding as one of your goals -- as peacemakers, it is critical that we continue to deepen our understanding of the injustices we seek to change.
I am also really impressed by your clear list of steps you are taking as part of the project-- it sounds like it is well underway, too! I think it is great that you have included within your plan moments to reflect together on what has been helpful vs unhelpful -- ensuring that we are always reflecting on how to adjust and improve as we go is SUCH an important skill as changemakers.

Things to Consider:
Although I think your understanding is there, you might be able to strengthen your insight a bit by rewording the middle section about the "root cause." It sounds like you've identified one o the root causes as a lack of understanding about symptoms of abuse/neglect and how to help. I'd also encourage you to think about additional ways to measure your impact in addition to hearing from counselors about how victims have been impacted -- for example, can you track what people learn about the issue, or how many people engage in the project (through wearing wrist bands etc.)?

I'm excited to hear more about this project and see photos of the bracelets! Love the name of the project as well.

Congratulations and best of luck with your project!
Journey B.

April 07, 2018

Thank you so much! Wildcats with Wands is both humbled and honored to receive this grant. (And indubitably grateful for the opportunity to fully incorporate the bracelet distribution into our project!)

Seperatly, thank you so much for your insightful critiques! At the next Wildcats with Wands meeting, we will rehash the meaning and phraseology of our insight statement, as suggested. Additionally, we will brainstorm and select more effective ways to measure our impact. (We did, indeed, realize that are current tracking method left much to be desired, so we tremendously appreciate your examples.)

I am personally in charge of keeping the online format of our project, via this website, up to date with our physical process. So, if I fail to update in a timely manner, please do not hesitate to check in via comments!

Thank you so much again,

Journey
Journey B.

April 07, 2018

Thank you very much! Our club wouldn’t exist without the HPA! :)
Kelsey T.

April 09, 2018

Hi Journey! We are excited to support your project, too! Glad to hear my feedback made sense and that you will work with the team on incorporating it! Please do keep us up to date with updates, images etc. so we can follow the journey. Best of luck and let us know how we can help!
Adrian B.

March 29, 2018

Hi Journey,

Just checking in about your project and the next steps. I wanted to make sure you are aware of the upcoming Mini-Grant Deadline - there is still time to remain eligible to attend a Peace First Challenge Accelerator if you complete your Compassionate Insight, Project Plan, and Mini-Grant application by March 31st.

We're excited about your work, and would love to be able to support it with a mini-grant of up to $250.

These tools can help you craft your insight, plan, and budget for your mini-grant:
https://www.peacefirst.org/understand-through-compassion
https://www.peacefirst.org/plan-your-project

Through your dashboard you can submit your "compassionate insight," record your plan in "Make a plan" and then "Apply for a mini-grant" for the materials you need.

Let me know how I can help!

Best,
Adrian
Journey B.

March 30, 2018

Hello Adrian!

Thank you so much for the update! Our club, Wildcats with Wands, has been diligently working on our project Down with the Dursleys. We have created both our Compassionate Insight and our Project Plan. In fact, we are currently on step five of our plan; we've been executing and falling behind on our online updates! For that, I personally apologize. I have electronically recorded both our Compassionate Insight and our Project Plan, and it can be found under the project's updates.

Thank you!
-Journey
Adrian B.

April 02, 2018

Hi Journey--no need to apologize! It's great to hear from you and about how your work has been growing and succeeding. Looking forward to hearing more, and please let us know how else we can support you. Thanks for all your important work! :) Adrian
Fish S.

October 03, 2017

Wow -- this sounds like a really powerful idea! Thanks for bringing this to us. Taking on an injustice like this takes courage, and it's amazing that you're stepping up.

I think it's really powerful to focus on psychological abuse and emotional neglect -- forms of harm that can be incredibly impactful but often aren't fully understood.

How far along are you in your project? If you're still thinking about how you can address the issues of psychological abuse and emotional neglect, we have some tools that can help you plan your next steps!
Journey B.

October 03, 2017

Thank you so much! This form of abuse is often overlooked, and/or misunderstood, so it's a very serious injustice, as well as a privlidge to address!

In terms of the current timeline, my club members and I are currently focusing on fundraising. Once we have met the target goal in funding, we will move on to the nitty gritty of our project: purchasing the needed bracelets and organisizing the needed seminars/sessions. I would be more than thrilled to provide you with further details in terms of Down with the Dursleys, as well!
Fish S.

October 06, 2017

Journey -- couldn't agree more! I was speaking with mental health advocate Yashi Brown (http://yashibrown.tumblr.com/AboutMe) yesterday and told her about your project. We agreed that it was a powerful idea that is important to address!

Tell me more about the seminars/sessions that you are planning to organize. Who are they targeting? What are they teaching? What is it you hope to achieve? We may be able to help you with organizing these.

We hope that you'll use our tools to help you put together a plan for your next steps -- we can offer you a mini-grant of up to $250 to support your work once you do.

If you have any questions, or know of anything we can help you with -- let us know!
Journey B.

October 08, 2017

Thank you so much! I have just followed Yashi Brown on Tumblr.

Down with the Dursleys will be run through my club Wildcats with Wands, a high school chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance within Arundel High School.

Arundel High School's school colors are green and white; students predominantly wear green. I want to provide Color Coat 1/2" silicone wristbands to students and neighbors. One side of the wristband will be green with the text: "Dumbledore's Army"; the other side of the wristbands will be white with the text: "I survived the Dursleys". Students wearing their wristbands with the green side on display are members of Dumbledore's Army--they are allies to those suffering from psychological abuse and/or emotional neglect. Students wearing their wristbands with the white side on display are Dursley survivors--they are suffering from, or are survivors of, psychological abuse and/or emotional neglect.

The obvious problem lays within the idea that many students facing this form of abuse will avoid wearing their bracelets in order to remain discreet about their situation; as a Dursley survivor myself, I can most definitely pinpoint a time in which I would have steered clear of these bracelets. It is for this reason, that specific members of Dumbledore's Army--who are also members of Wildcats with Wands--will be designated with session times throughout the school year.

It is my goal that the sessions will be held in an environment in which members of Dumbledore's Army may meet to share their experiences, receive information concerning the availability of our school counselors, or simply to learn more about the complexity of psychological abuse and emotional neglect.

I would be very grateful for both the use of your tools and the mini-grant! In terms of the tools, may I receive more information on what they are, how to acquire them, and how to use them?

In terms of the mini-grant, it would very much help with the acquiring of bracelets. From my experience, most school organizations and clubs acquire their silicone bracelets from the service Rapid Wristbands. A single bracelet, Color Coat 1/2", with both an outside and internal message + tax costs $1.68. Purchasing 100 wristbands or over, immediately makes the order eligible for 100 additional wristbands. Thus, the cost of acquiring 252 of these bracelets would cost $252.65. Wildcats with Wands would pay the remaining difference of $2.65.
Fish S.

October 13, 2017

Journey -- this sounds amazing. What I really love about this is the fact that young people can mark themselves as "upstanders," so that any of their friends who are going through trauma know how to identify supportive members of their community. That's a powerful statement and a great antidote to the loneliness that abused people often feel.

I'd encourage you to think about how you're building awareness of these issues -- what they are, what they mean, and how they affect people! Students will probably need to have a good understanding of psychological abuse and emotional neglect before participating in the campaign, right? Let us know if we can help you develop educational materials.

(Side note: That's cool that you go to Arundel High! I grew up in Anne Arundel County. Go Wildcats!)
Journey B.

October 13, 2017

You are quite correct in regards to building awareness! Wildcats with Wands is currently working with two other clubs: Seeking Smiles and Wildcat Wellness; these two clubs advocate for mental health within the Arundel High School community, and are more than willing to provide educational, spatial, and organizational aid for an Awareness Week. The week would conclude on Friday in which, simultaneously, Down with Dursleys would begin. I would also be very greatful for any assistance provided in terms of the development of educational materials.

(Side note: It's super cool that you grew up here!)
Fish S.

October 16, 2017

Hi Journey, it's really awesome that you're thinking about partnerships and that others at your school are so willing to help! I think an Awareness Week to launch the campaign sounds awesome. We're happy to provide you with feedback on any awareness resources you develop, or connect you with a mentor who can. What stage are you at with developing these? :)
Journey B.

October 22, 2017

I'm terribly sorry for the late response! As of now, Seeking Smiles and Wildcats with Wands are currently gathering the appropriate materials and patiently waiting until our next Club Council meeting in order to effectively establish a set timeline.
Fish S.

October 23, 2017

Don't be sorry -- that sounds like a good plan. Let us know how we can help!