Who we are:
Green Dot Lewiston-Auburn is a group of local volunteers who are committed to making our Twin Cities community a better and safer place by teaching strategies for safe and effective responses to hurtful and hateful words and behaviors. In this way, we aim to reduce the occurrence and impact of harassment, assault, domestic and partner violence, and other forms of power-based personal threats and violence.
In response to several incidents of anti-immigrant harassment in 2016, a non-partisan group of Lewiston and Auburn residents began meeting to discuss ways to support their community at a time of increased public hostility. This group, the Community of Kindness, partnered with YWCA Central Maine to engage Green Dot, an internationally respected leader in bystander training. Three intensive days of focus groups in April 2017 enabled Green Dot to learn more about our community and its recent experiences from several dozen community leaders and residents. Using this focus-group research, Green Dot then customized a four-day instructor training, which was completed by 46 participants at the Lewiston Public Library in August 2017. Many of those newly certified instructors are currently preparing presentations and workshops on bystander intervention for businesses and groups in the Twin Cities. Others are more informally sharing what they learned in their own organizations, neighborhoods, families, and friendship circles. Their commitment is helping bystander training ripple throughout our community.
Green Dot LA believes that by educating our community about the prevalence and impact of hate threats and behaviors, and by training community members in how to recognize and safely handle these hate threats and behaviors, we can make Maine’s second largest urban area safer, more welcoming, and increasingly tolerant for all peoples.
What is the Green Dot approach?
The Green Dot approach is a research-based and evidence supported program to train individuals in a community to recognize the signs of power-based personal threats and violence and to respond in a way that prevents or safely addresses these behaviors through proactive and reactive bystander interventions. Green Dot believes that while no one can do everything, everyone can do something – and when enough individuals each do small things, the result is positive culture change.
What can I do?
You can engage more by inquiring about a Green Dot LA presentation or workshop for your organization or business.
You can do more by helping this initiative. All trainings are FREE, thanks to the generosity of many local individuals and companies supporting this effort. To join them by donating, send your check to YWCA Central Maine, 130 East Avenue, Lewiston ME 04240 (please write “Bystander Training” in the memo line).