Gnomes are descending on Denver. Sure, they’re cute, however additionally they have an necessary message about wholesome relationships. Final week, employees on the Center on Domestic Violence (CDV) in CU Denver’s College of Public Affairs and youth leaders at 4 DPS excessive faculties kicked off the scholar marketing campaign #GnoMo Violence.
CDV’s Maria Limon, who’s facilitating the venture as a part of a Tony Grampas Youth Providers grant, has been working with teenagers since November. The scholars are a part of a youth management program to lift consciousness about wholesome relationships. Utilizing a curriculum developed by SAFE Austin known as Expect Respect, Limon and the highschool leaders created the GnoMo Violence marketing campaign.
The gnome thought was born from necessity. “What sort of venture can we tackle in the course of the pandemic?” Limon requested. “How can we get a message to journey with out being bodily there?” The reply: gnomes. Wholesome relationship gnomes, to be actual.
Every of the gnomes comes with a message connected to the underside: “Hello. I’m a touring finish violence gnome. What do you assume a wholesome relationship seems to be like?” The message additionally consists of directions for taking a photograph of the gnome and placing it on social media. The scholars are utilizing Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok for his or her marketing campaign.
Caprice Agassounon, who will begin her senior 12 months at Thomas Jefferson Excessive College within the fall, put it merely: “Gnomes are the best, cutest factor ever.” Agassounon, who’s presently the social media supervisor for GnoMo Violence, added, “I actually preferred the concept of utilizing gnomes as touring companions who present up randomly throughout Colorado.”
For Agassounon, “Gnomes symbolize innocence, therapeutic, and safety.” Everybody concerned in GnoMo Violence hopes the gnomes will entice consideration. “Come have a look at me,” they are saying. The thought is that individuals’s curiosity will get them to research the gnomes, who’re ambassadors for wholesome relationships. “The GnoMo Violence venture is a illustration of being conscious, discovering assets, and making assets accessible to everybody, youngsters and adults,” she defined.
Most of the youth leaders collaborating in GnoMo Violence come from various backgrounds, so they need the marketing campaign to be as inclusive as attainable. “They’re individuals of the worldwide majority, individuals of coloration,” Limon stated. They wished the gnomes to replicate completely different races, ethnicities, genders, and religions. In order that they ordered gnomes from a producer who makes them in several pores and skin tones, they usually dressed them in clothes that displays completely different cultures and religions.
The place within the World?
The gnomes are already touring close to and much. “The gnomes are going to make their manner far and wide,” Limon stated. “As we communicate, there’s a gnome going to Oaxaca, Mexico and a gnome going to Paris, France … Who is aware of how far they’ll go?”
They are going to doubtless make their option to the CU Denver campus, as a result of the GnoMo Violence marketing campaign is for everybody. “The grant is about altering our tradition general,” Limon stated. “In an effort to see that type of change occur, we search for methods to attain change on a private degree, then develop out to household, pals, our communities and establishments that make up the bigger cloth of our lives. The teenager leaders will probably be engaged on enacting change at every of these ranges.”
What Is a Wholesome Relationship?
Agassounon feels she started studying about wholesome relationships too late in life. “After I was 13, I used to be in an abusive relationship,” she stated. “You’ll be able to’t cease teenagers from being in a relationship; they’re going to do it anyway. These youngsters, together with me, we go into this shadow realm of the unknown, understanding completely nothing about how relationships ought to be, how one can talk, what’s value speaking about, and what are indicators that you just need assistance.”
Limon stated that most individuals don’t communicate brazenly about wholesome relationships. “I actually didn’t have dinner dialog with my household about what a wholesome relationship seems to be like,” she stated. “I realized that the particular person with essentially the most energy decided what the connection appeared like. We are able to all profit from these conversations.”
Unrealistic Media Tradition
For youngsters like Agassounon, who’ve grown up with social media as a part of their on a regular basis lives, wholesome relationships could also be much more mysterious. “If you have a look at social media, it’s onerous to discover a regular relationship,” she stated. “Media is all the things we’ve got—these poisonous types of show and communication.”
Limon could not have grown up with social media, however she additionally factors out the connection between tradition and home violence (in addition to relationship and intimate companion violence). “Only a few individuals have been ready to consider the forms of relationships they wish to have with out being influenced by unrealistic media tradition.”
One thing to Discuss About
Limon, who loves working with the youth leaders, desires the venture to foster dialog. “GnoMo Violence is about elevating some degree of consciousness in a enjoyable manner,” she stated. “On the similar time, getting individuals to start out desirous about what makes up a wholesome relationship.”
Agassounon desires everyone to become involved. “Society pushes males to bottle their feelings and swallow their fears and insecurities, in the meantime instructing ladies that they don’t matter and aren’t something greater than their assigned gender. We push these narratives on everybody, hurting each single particular person on this planet,” she stated.
However the gnomes will help—if they’ll get individuals speaking. “A tradition of silence places everybody in danger,” Agassounon stated. “GnoMo Violence makes an attempt to place a needle within the huge balloon of silence.”