Jasmin Hampton, 23News Staff Writer

Dr. Dorothy Edwards, the executive director of Green Dot, gave a keynote speech on September 30, 2015 in Jesse Auditorium. According to Edwards, 1 in 4 students are victims of violence, whether it be sexual, verbal, physical, or emotional, and from personal tragedies, she knew that she could not let this continue. Edwards stated that, “[she’s] not passing those numbers down to [her] children”, and got to work on creating a new strategy.

Edwards used a very vivid and meaningful illustration of a map to describe the origin of the “green dot”. She explained that each individual is on a map with their surrounding communities, and each incident of violence represents a red dot. A red dot can be anything from mean words to a slap to sexual assault. Any time someone steps up to prevent a red dot, they are dropping a green dot. She reminded everyone that “[their] single choice matters.”

Edwards also discussed the many ways she believes we can all become active bystanders and help prevent on campus violence. For example, she informed those in attendance of the 3 D’s: Direct, Delegate and Distraction. First, a bystander can directly interject in a potentially dangerous situation to help alleviate it. Or, for those who could not muster up enough courage to do such a thing, she recommends they delegate someone else to be direct. And, lastly, an individual could cause a distraction to disturb the perpetrator and calm the situation.

The Green Dot strategy is an innovative approach to stopping violence of all forms. However, in order for this strategy to be fully effective, many people must participate. Edwards urged those in attendance to pass the message along to their friends and families by means of social media. She stated that one simple post or retweet about something pertaining to stopping violence will work. Also, wearing a green dot pin or posting a sheet of paper with a green dot on it, which would prompt others to ask about the program, serve as ways to promote peace and the strategy.

Edwards ended her very informative speech by firmly pointing out “There is a cure to 1 in 4, and you’re the cure!” Ultimately, though violence will never completely go away, if groups of people join together and use the Green Dot strategy, the statistics of violence will inevitably go down.