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Guiding Principles

We believe…

Shadow a Legislator Day March 2018

Shadow a Legislator Day March 2018

Principle 1: 


We believe everyone is affected by Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).  They are costly, and have life-long and generational consequences. We believe the solution is empowering youth from communities most effected and affected by these harms to develop and implement solutions committed to cultivating SAFETY, EQUITY, AND RESPECT. (SER). This is a world free from ACEs.

Principle 2: 


We  believe TRANSCREATION AND COLLABORATION are vital to success. We believe that we must all work together to create a world where safety, equity, and respect (SER) are norms. We are committed to developing and sustaining strong partnerships with individuals and organizations. Cooperation ensures more youth are served as there will not be a duplication of services. Transcreation ensures the community will be part of the process from start to finish. 

Principle 3: 

A HEALTHY ORGANIZATION Contributes to Positive Change.

We believe that diverse perspectives strengthen our work and that all our efforts should reflect our guiding principles. We believe that our team members (staff, peer educators, other volunteers, and the Board) are the core strength of our organization. We value them highly as individuals and for the contribution they make to cultivating SER and preventing harm. We are committed to authenticity and creating and sustaining a healthy, diverse organization in which to work and to foster the personal and professional growth and development of our team members.

Principle 4: 

PRIMARY PREVENTION is social change.

We believe primary prevention (stopping the problem before it begins) is the best form of positive social change. We are committed to cultivating the change across the social ecology: individuals, relationships, communities, and society. We work to  creating climates that promote relationships based on mutual respect, equity, safety, and trust. Dahlberg & Krug 2002 – Ecological Model

Principle 5: 

safety, equity, & respect are norms!

We believe Safety, Equity, and Respect are the preferred norms.  We believe that human behavior can be viewed along a continuum from SER for the individual at one end to violence/OSN at the other. We are committed to promoting a movement away from violence and toward SER for self, others, animals, and the planet.

Principle 6: 

IDENTITY RESPECT is everything!

We believe that valuing our own and an individual’s identity is a key to normalizing SER across the social ecology. Devaluing others desensitizes us to the humanness of one another and engenders harmful behaviors. We are committed to promoting identity respect for individual differences in thought, word, and deed, and employing methods and educational materials that are inclusive and relevant to the diversity represented in ourselves, families, schools, and communities. Identity Respect is the opposite of oppression.

Principle 7: 


We believe it takes everyone, everywhere, every day to cultivate safety, equity, and respect as norms to prevent the root causes of harm. Young people and families with all identities and special needs including those identifying with having a traumatic brain injury are included as equal partners.  

Principle 8:


We believe SRB is an effective means to promoting positive social change and ending harm. We advocate for those harmed with empathy and compassion. We speak up and demonstrate our beliefs in thoughts, words and actions. We speak up when when perceive it to be safe if see or hear anything that is not ok,  Silence is not always golden.  

Principle 9: 


We believe that positive social change requires early and lifelong learning and support. We are committed to planting and cultivating the seeds of knowledge and understanding that will grow into healthy attitudes and behaviors forever. We will stand up for our young people as they grow into confident and loving adults. We will strive always to be deserving of their trust.  We will never stop learning, growing and working to maximize positive impact.

Principle 10: 


Positive youth development and leadership strategies maximize generational impact.  Peer education, modeling, and mentoring are extremely powerful tools for cultivating positive social change. We are committed to peer-based programming that empowers youth to cultivate SER to end OSN across the social ecology. They will do this work for the rest of their lives. We are all Peers, We are all the Solution.

Principle 11: 


We believe in using evidence based strategies to maximize short and long term impact. We are committed to using approaches, methods, and interventions that are grounded in sound theory and current research and that is relevant for the audiences with whom we work. We use methods that are consistent with learning principles and we are committed to evaluating the results of our work and seeking new ways to enhance our effectiveness.  Strategies we support include: Developmental Assets, Diffusion of Innovation, Positive Youth Development, Leadership, and Mobilization, Social Marketing and Norms, Community Development, and Peer Education.

Principle 12: 

We believe, support and promote empathy for those victimized today, tomorrow, and forever.

We believe that individuals are not responsible for the violence perpetrated upon them. We are committed to advocating for and promoting non-judgment, respect, compassion, and empathy for individuals and communities  harmed. Those harmed may need information, services, and support to get through. We do what we can to assist those harmed to acquire resources and whatever else they need to feel safe, respected, validated, and valued. We are committed to cultivating a culture where those harmed and harming others feel safe to come forward and when they do, they are met with whatever resources are needed to heal and prevent future harm to self, others, animals or teh planet.

Principle 13: 


We believe and research confirms the opposite of SAFETY, EQUITY AND RESPECT are Oppression, Silence/Denial and Normalized Harm (OSN). These are the root causes of harm we are working to prevent including: child abuse, sexual, family, gang and gun violence, substance abuse, poor school performance, homelessness, eating disorders, poverty, depression, suicide, self-harm, criminality, teen pregnancy, bullying, harassment and more.

Principle 14: 

MEDIA is a powerful tool to cultivate positive social change.

We believe that the portrayal of violence in the media is a root condition contributing to the normalization harm in our homes, schools, workplaces, and communities. We are committed to addressing the negative effects of violence in all forms of media with positive examples. “90% of behavior is learned through modeling.” Pathways to Peace, V. LaCerva