Spring Semester 2019

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Fully immersed in writing book No.3, here’s what I did from February to early June in between looking at old photos, reading old journals, scratching out timelines, writing chapters, half chapters, one liners that would eventually *be* chapters, editing, writing some more, deleting whole chunks of text, re-writing, re-writing, re-writing ūüėČ Grateful for each and every opportunity …

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After school seminar at Wilson HS for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. Fantastic kids and great questions!

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Skyping Dr. Danielle Slakoff’s “Domestic Violence” class at Loyola University New Orleans.¬† Dr. Slakoff is a skilled facilitator which made working with this large group of students easy. What a fun couple of hours ūüôā

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*Lunch ‘N Learn*¬† hosted by The Family Violence Intervention Project, sponsored by The Niagara County Sheriff Dept. Victim Assistance Unit – “Surviving Life AFTER DV: It Is Possible!” at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

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Interview with Claudine Ewing, Channel 2 News. Topics ranged from why I decided to write “Leaving Dorian” to the proper verbiage one ought to use when speaking about abuse. I think we sat and talked for maybe … forty-five minutes …? Remainder of interview will be aired at a later date. Thankful for that unique and important opportunity. Most fun moment was doing extra footage with the cameraman on the exterior grounds. Thank you, Cameraman Bob, for your kind words and for helping to make that weird extra segment less awkward!

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Teen Dating Violence Awareness classes for 9/10 graders at Hamburg HS. Hamburg, NY, played an important role in my survivor story, so being able to give back to the community by spending the day working with their kids is something that I’m always happy to do.

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71st class, Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy. It’s interesting to work with LE students because the nuggets that they focus on from “Leaving Dorian” are very different than any other group of students that I work with. This group was also genuinely curious, extremely compassionate, and particularly eager to learn about DV and related topics. A joy to work with.

“Recommended Read”!

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Public Presentation!

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Though I’ve done public presentations before, this will be my first in the Niagara Region! Please join me for this free event. Q & A and book signing to follow – bring your copy of Leaving Dorian¬†or purchase a paperback copy at the event! ($20 – cash only, please)

 

Videos/Educational

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Miss Representation: You Can’t Be What You Can’t See¬† A Documentary Film by Jennifer Siebel Newsom

Tough Guise: Violence, Media & The Crisis in Masculinity  with Jackson Katz

Tough Guise 2: Violence, Manhood & American Culture  featuring Jackson Katz

The Mask You Live In: Is American Masculinity Harming Our Boys, Men & Society at Large?  A Film by Jennifer Siebel Newsom

“Surviving…Thriving: A Journey of Healing Through Art” Castellani Art Museum, October 27, 2016

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Music played softly in the gallery and advocates from local help agencies answered questions and offered information and guidance at tables set up in the lobby as students, faculty and members of the surrounding community viewed about 80 pieces of art created by survivors of domestic violence in a special exhibit at Niagara University’s Castellani Art Museum.

“This is the first year Niagara University has been part of the event. NU students have created a red flag – part of the national Red Flag Campaign, which addresses the red flags of dating violence, said Karrie Gebhardt, director of domestic violence and parenting services at Family and Children’s Services of Niagara.¬†The initiative is a campaign to remind people to ‘say something’ if they see the signs of dating violence in a friend’s relationship.¬†Some of the red flags include, coercion, jealousy, stalking, emotional abuse, sexual assault, isolation and victim blaming.

Eileen Wrobel, a Niagara Falls Police domestic violence victim advocate, facilitated the art exhibit with survivors through the Windows Between the Worlds art program.” – Nancy Fisher,¬†Buffalo News, October 20, 2016

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“No matter what anyone says or how they try and justify the behavior, it is not O.K. to be treated poorly by anyone. Especially when they call it love.”

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This is the piece that brought me to tears; even now, it’s hard for me to look at.

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“If I can say anything to convince you to leave before it’s too late, (I’d say) ‘It’s not worth it and there is better love.’ I am a survivor by the grace of God.”

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I had a student ask me at a recent event if her friend (who is being battered, but who is also struggling with immigration issues) would be arrested and/or deported if she reached out to authorities for help. The above piece perfectly illustrates this often times overlooked issue.

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Oil on canvas

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The Silent Witness Project is a traveling project created in 2016 by high school senior Andrew Villella as his Eagle Scout Project. It is a reconstruction of the original life-sized project built in 2006 when there were only nine victims. Each figure represents an individual who once lived in Niagara County whose life was ended violently at the hands of a spouse, former spouse or intimate partner.

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More than 200 students attended this eye-opening event

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Dr. Dana Radatz, Criminology professor at Niagara University, was instrumental in bringing this event to fruition.

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The YWCA, The Child Advocacy Center of Niagara and Niagara University’s Counseling Center were among the community and campus based help centers who donated their time in order to offer information and guidance to those in attendance.

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A big “Thank You” to Karrie Gebhardt for graciously sharing the Family & Children’s Services table so that¬†Leaving Dorian¬†might be displayed.

Free Preview

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Until recently, this Free Preview feature has only been available directly through Amazon. I’m loving the fact that my readers can now peruse a bit of each of my books¬†for free without having to log onto Amazon; just click the link under the book cover!

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https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00IAZ108S&asin=B00IAZ108S&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_69ZAxb8E4MYAP

Free Preview

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They say in order to be successful, you need to write what you know. I know Buffalo, so this story about faith, family and growing community in spite of change is set in Buffalo, New York and the surrounding suburbs.

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https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00TG8CI7U&asin=B00TG8CI7U&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_ZNZAxb3X843BE

Where To Find Help

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ribbonPlease be aware that while each of the resources listed below can be accessed electronically, all devices can be monitored (ie, computer, tablet, phone, etc.) and it is impossible to completely clear a device’s search history. Please seriously consider your personal safety before accessing any of the following agencies on your personal device; public libraries have computers that are free to use and Internet ready.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence   www.ncadv.org

National Domestic Violence Hotline  http://www.ndvh.org

The National Center for Victims of Crime Stalking Resource Center  webmaster @ncvc.org

National Sexual Violence Resource Center  resources@nsvrc.org

FaithTrust Institute  http://www.faithtrustinstitute.org

Muslim Women’s League¬† mwl@mwlusa.org

Christian Survivors  http://www.christiansurvivors.com

5 Petals Project  5petals@christiansurvivors.org

2016 Woman of Distinction Award

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Program Chair Bonnie Crogan-Mazur read from the award: “The Zonta Club of Niagara Falls, NY, member of Zonta International, Empowering Women Through Advocacy, Woman of Distinction Award in recognition of the 105th International Women’s Day is presented to Linda Dynel on March 9, 2016.”

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Niagara Falls Administrator Donna Owens after presenting me with the Proclamation from Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. After chatting over dinner and listening to her presentation, I can tell you that the people of the City of Niagara Falls are blessed to have her working on their behalf.

 

 

 

Gerard Place, February 2, 2016

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Presented “Beyond Leaving Dorian: A Discussion on Domestic Violence” to the women of Gerard Place, a transitional housing shelter for battered/recovering women and their children.

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Domestic violence isn’t a feeling, it’s a fact; talking statistics and mortality rates from domesticabuseshelter dot org

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Many women attended, though only a few agreed to be photographed. The stigma and shame attached to being a victim of DV is part of what keeps women from stepping forward and asking for help. I was happy to allow each woman her privacy, depending on her individual comfort level. Each and every woman in that room has my utmost respect and I was grateful to each for choosing to attend.

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Plenty of good questions, some of which I’d never been asked before. These ladies came prepared!

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The woman of Gerard Place are provided day care services so that they can attend presentations like mine as well as educational/employment/vocational training, life skills classes and counseling.

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Kaitlin Price, Case Manager & Life Skills Coordinator, who put our afternoon together. Bright, organized and always ready with a smile, Kaitlin’s positive attitude is infectious.

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Gerard Place first opened its doors in 2000, the culmination of the work of 12 congregations of Women Religious in the Diocese of Buffalo who created and sponsored the agency¬†on the grounds of the former St. Gerard Parish.¬†Located in the heart of one of Buffalo’s poorest communities (the Bailey-Delevan neighborhood, where the unemployment rate is a staggering 55% among those aged 19-39 and¬†40% of children live below the poverty line) Gerard Place has assisted hundreds of families by giving them the tools that they need to help themselves and break the poverty cycle.

In 2009, the Junior League of Buffalo/Buffalo News Education Building was opened, providing GED and computer classes, job readiness training, like skills support and health and nutrition education to both families in residence at Gerard Place as well as the community at large.  In any given year, nearly 40 different collaborative partners utilize the facility and share their expertise with those in need. Four years later, in 2013, agency leadership announced a campaign to renovate the former St. Gerard Parish Hall building and turn it into a multi-purpose community center.  The result of this ambitious project will be a vocational training program (coordinated by partner Allied Health), a gymnasium, an expanded computer lab and day care center, an additional wing of classrooms and an industrial kitchen.

Residents are not given a¬†“hand out,” they are earning¬†a “hand up.”

Please visit   http://www.gerardplace.org   for information on the many fundraising opportunities that you can take part in to support Gerard Place.

**Information on Gerard Place was excerpted from their website.

 

 

 

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