The Traveling Preventionista: North Carolina
“On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again…”
Have I mentioned how much I love to travel? It’s one of the great perks of my job. So, when I received an invitation from the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA) to come and deliver a keynote presentation at their first Sexual Violence Primary Prevention Summit, I enthusiastically accepted.
The great thing about North Carolina is that it’s a drivable distance from Pennsylvania. So, I hopped in the car and headed south. Nearly 7 hours and one fender bender later (minor accident, no injuries, and not my fault thank goodness), I arrived in Durham. Now, I’ve been to some great state prevention summits and meetings before, but when they gather to talk about prevention in NC its serious business. The room was packed with preventionists eager to learn about innovative programming. It was encouraging to see the connections being made and the variety of workshops being offered. I was reminded, as I often am, of the important role that coalitions play in bringing local program staff together and providing quality training and guidance for these programs.
As I talked about the qualities of innovative prevention programs, it was heartening to see a lot of people nodding their heads and taking in lessons learned from these programs. In my discussions with participants after the presentation, I was struck by the excitement and eagerness of these individuals. They want to be innovative. They want to do work that changes not just thoughts and attitudes, but also behaviors. They want their organization to integrate prevention, and invest in staff wellness and self-care. And they are excited to have resources both from the state and national level to help them do all of those things (see our resource packet, Finding the Perfect Shade of Change).
So, thank you to my friends and prevention partners in North Carolina, and to the NCCASA for the opportunity to participate and support the great work you are doing!