Executive Director’s Message Fall 2007, Volume 8, Number 2

Contract for Change:

Make the covenant and join our movement to end domestic violence



t was a powerful moment at the end of our conference last spring when we stood together with lighted (electronic) candles and made a commitment to mobilize people around the country to end domestic violence among African Americans.

During the March 2007 IDVAAC conference in Long Beach, Calif., we invited attendees to sign a contract for change. This signified a sincere personal commitment to support efforts to mobilize our community to end domestic violence among African Americans, to take action to achieve this goal, to be an agent for change, to raise public awareness, and to work to inspire action.

The Contract for Change Covenant Agreement is a one-page document that includes the following eight statements. Our efforts and approaches:

  • • Must be culturally relevant and consider social context
  • • Must transform lives of both those who experience abuse and those who commit violence
  • • Must stimulate the public to act
  • • Must break down silos of social action to address intersecting issues
  • • Encourage all stakeholders partner with one another for continuum of support
  • • Adopt entrepreneurial spirit and develop creative strategies
  • • Be invested in transforming the landscape of domestic violence. And above all,
  • • We must love and support one another in this work.

To see the document in its entirety, please visit our web site at www.idvaac.org. Keynote speaker Dr. Gail Wyatt, professor of psychiatry at University of California in L.A., asked participants to think about what they can do individually and collectively to move forward the contract to end domestic violence in the African- American community. If you missed our conference, you can still join our efforts, just print off a copy of the covenant, sign it and send it to our office.

We want to count you as a member of our agents-of-change team.

We recognize that for decades domestic violence has been seen as a private matter. Now is the time to take it public, to share with members of our community and those responsible for providing services to our community that we are serious about taking on this issue, and we’re serious about making changes

We are willing to overcome racism, sexism and other forms of oppression to achieve our goals. We are willing to work publicly and privately to achieve our goals of eradicating domestic violence in the African- American community.

And we will take personal and public responsibility for doing so.

I hope you take time to read the article on the front cover of this issue that gives conference highlights. It provides a good overview of key points, and a DVD of conference proceedings will soon be available from our institute.

We sincerely hope that our variety of outreach and communications will help you catch the fever and join with us in our contract for change.