Green Dot Day raises awareness for anti-violence

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(Photo by Alex Wieber)

By Alex Wieber/[email protected]
News Editor

Green Dot Day introduced MCTC to the basics of counteracting power-based personal violence: direct, distract, delegate.

Students, faculty and community based individuals gathered in the T building on May 1 for an open platform where MCTC groups tabled and informed participants of their missions and intentions.

Working with the Green Dot group, the day included student, faculty and community leader keynote speakers that touched on different points related to taking a stand against violence. There was a rally in the T Plaza Dining Room to raise the spirits of those attending with mini group discussions, culminating in a unity march followed by a celebration in Loring Park.

The day brought forth people and organizations of all types, including representatives of the Minneapolis Police, KMOJ radio station, local celebrity and former Gophers standout Darrell Thompson, Citizens for Loring Park and Minneapolis Mad Dads.

President V.J. Smith of the Minneapolis chapter of Mad Dads said, “When a person is not safe, there is a good possibility that he or she may never flourish in life.”

Mad Dads is a group that works with parents to help save children from social ills that presently plague neighborhoods.

Physical Education professor Diane Scoville said, “To direct, delegate, or distract is the idea here. We are all connected. We are all human species and we can do something. These are all real people who really care.”

Green Dot encourages everyone to stand up to violence through non-violent means.

As a whole, 2,377 crimes, including 386 violent crimes, occurred in or around Loring Park and the surrounding neighborhood last year. The crime index is 59% lower than Minneapolis as a whole, yet there is reason to be on guard. Green Dot looks to reduce these numbers through yearlong bystander training and workshops in self-defense techniques.

Through Town Hall meetings with community leaders, they look to listen and learn from each other regularly about creating a safe intentional space for marginalized community members to get the help they need in healing and justice within the larger community.

“We want MCTC to be a safe place to graduate, to be successful,” Event organizer and FOC representative Felicia Hamilton said.

Student groups and clubs were encouraged to prepare some words and give a short speech. Encouragement was doled out to by the tabling groups to engage the attendees in growing a safe environment for the MCTC and Loring Park Communities.

Native American student Michael Rasmussen contributed to the blessing during the rally and said, “The police are approachable and we should not be afraid to come up to them in times of need. I have been a victim of violence in almost every way. I went through abuse, was an offender of violence, and a victim with my sister being murdered. Violence is never the answer. We should love and show through love, never through violence.”