Posted by: joshjasper | October 12, 2009


I can’t believe it’s been almost one month since I last made an entry here!  I must say though, my absence has weighed on my mind.  it’s like one of those things you know you want to do, you know you should do, but sometimes you just can’t bring yourself to get it done.  So of course,  my excuses are as follows:  It’s been incredibly busy!  This past weekend marked our 14th annual Duck Derby.  The event went over very well considering the cold temperatures.  I would guess nearly 3,500 rubber ducks were tossed into the river for the annual fundraiser. 

What brought me back to my blog though was the town of Michell, South Dakota….home of the Corn Palace.  I was asked to come out and provide a training to community members on violence.  My four hour training  focused on understanding violence and specific community led violence prevention strategies.  I thought it went well and I was truly inspired.  The room was filled with people who were there for one purpose.  They wanted to learn how to end violence against women and children.  They came from all over South Dakota and had a variety of backgrounds.  Many were counselors, social workers, teachers, and most were parents.  Before giving a presentation like this, my only hope is that the learning that occurs goes both ways, and I must say, that certainly happened in Mitchell.  I was fortunate to learn from so many.

After my presentation, I could feel the electricity in the air.  We had created a space in which we educated and empowered one another, resulting in a buzz that I still feel.  The people of South Dakota reminded me that our vision of a community free of violence is within grasp, we need but only the help of the entire community to reach out and realize that needed change.


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