Violence Prevention Working Group – Session III

Date: March 18, 2014 Location: RVA Conference Room

 Violence Prevention Working Group – Session III

What makes an effective violence prevention Facilitator?

Essential Highlights:

  • Introduction to Category III: Facilitator and its three Elements: Background, Facilitator Skills & Knowledge, and Professionalism.
  • Participants worked collaboratively to reflect on each Element and responded to the questions:
    • “Does the [Element] had an impact on students?”
    • “How realistic is this for your organization?”
    • “Ideas for creatively addressing the [Element] in your organization.”
  • Culminating role playing activity presented by Alyssa Vera Ramos of For Youth Inquiry (FYI).
  • Participants expressed interest in a summer meeting to continue the conversation.


After a long winter, a committed group of violence prevention partners returned one more time for the third and final Violence Prevention Working Group of the year. On the morning of March 18, 14 individuals, with coffee in hand, began the Session by creating their own Collective Phrasing. This activity jumpstarted their creativity and begin generating ideas for the day.


Then, the group settled into a thoughtful discussion about Facilitation. The group began by mulling over the Background of a facilitator. The diversity of a presenter guided most of this conversation, highlighting that similarity is important, but there is value in having someone with different background and experiences teaching students. There is also value in relating to students in multiple ways, such as utilizing current events. Ultimately, building relationships with the students is what contributes to an effective program.


 The group then moved on to the Skills and Knowledge of the facilitator. There was consensus that strong presence in the classroom is key and being able to adapt to the group of students in front of you. A presenter that is skilled in code switching – being able to alternate between language varieties – helps to build rapport with students and ensure that they are hearing the information. Finally, continual feedback, review, and training of the presenter was highlighted as essential for maintaining strong skills and knowledge.


 Lastly, everyone agreed that Professionalism is important. Actively, and respectfully, communicating with the school, and even teacher when possible, to managing time appropriately during the program are all essential components to an effective facilitator.

As a culminating activity, Alyssa Vera Ramos from For Youth Inquiry (FYI) led the participants in a fantastic role play. Acting as the presenter and the group the classroom, Alyssa seamlessly portrayed “in action” a multitude of all the Elements, providing the group an opportunity to observe (see Facilitator Observation Form) the information they have been discussing over the past several months.


(Alyssa Vera Ramos from FYI)


Materials from Event:


Participating Organizations:

  • Anti-Cruelty Society
  • Between Friends
  • Black Star Project
  • Cook County Sheriff Youth Services Department
  • FYI
  • Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
  • Imagination Theater
  • Insight Project for Kids
  • National Runaway Safeline
  • RVA
  • Safe Humane
  • Sarah’s Inn
  • YWCA





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