A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Maysville becomes first Green Dot City in U.S., where enough people are trained in violence prevention

Over 50 individuals involved with Green Dot Maysville gathered recently to celebrate a huge milestone: Maysville has officially become the first Green Dot City in the nation.

Green Dot is a violence prevention strategy that shifts cultural norms away from the tolerance of violence by engaging and equipping bystanders to step in when they see situations of power-based personal violence. The choices a person makes to hurt someone are called red dots, and the choices a person makes to stop red dots are called green dots. When there are more green dots than red, that’s when culture starts to change and fewer people are hurt.

A Green Dot City is a place where enough people have been trained that the norms have really taken root there. The official standards for the Green Dot City designation are set by the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP). They require that 15% of the people in 3 subgroups are trained in order to reach Green Dot City status. For Maysville, 15% of people in the Education, Non-Profit, and City Government have been trained. The remaining subgroups are Businesses, Healthcare, and Faith-Based Communities.

The celebration, hosted by Christy Burch, Ion Center CEO, and Melissa Greenwell, Ion Center Buffalo Trace Director, acknowledged the history of Green Dot in Maysville and its origins in the faith-based community. They also celebrated and expressed gratitude for all of the Green Dot Champions and Green Dot Spots who helped Maysville become the first Green Dot City.

The first annual Joe Pfeffer Award was also given. “[Judge Joe Pfeffer] lived that philosophy of no one has to do everything; everyone has to do something. He lived that every day of his life…Joe was responsible for pulling everyone together for that first steering committee to get this idea off the ground, and he never wavered in his support,” said Melissa Greenwell.

The first annual Joe Pfeffer Award was given to Pastor Jim Dougans, the first person to really articulate the vision for a Green Dot City. Upon receiving the award, Pastor Dougans said: “It’s been such a privilege to be a part of the movement of Green Dot in Maysville and to watch the incredible passion that The Ion Center and Christy and Melissa and the people who have been mentioned go about this work. It’s obviously so important to you and to this community.”

Other special guests and speakers at the celebration included Eileen Recktenwald, Executive Director of KASAP, and Governor Andy Beshear.

Tianna Wormley, Melissa Greenwell, and the rest of the team at The Ion Center for Violence Prevention will continue to train individuals across subgroups in Maysville. In order to guide Green Dot implementation from here, a Green Dot Board will be created. If you are interested in Green Dot training for your organization or group or participating on the Green Dot Board, please reach out to Tianna Wormley (tiannaw@ioncenter.org). 

Related Posts

Leave a Comment