2018 Greatest Hits #5: “What Were You Wearing, Waco?”

(During these last few weeks of December we will be reprising the Top 10 Most Opened Blog Posts for 2018 from the Act Locally Waco blog. I couldn’t possibly pick my favorites – so I used the simple (cop out?)  approach of pulling up the 10 blog posts that got the most “opens” according to our Google Analytics.  It is an intriguing collection that gives at least a little insight into the interests and concerns of Act Locally Waco readers. I hope this “Top 10” idea inspires you to go back and re-read your personal favorites.  There have been so many terrific ones… If you would like to see the Top 10 according to Google Analytics, here’s the link: Top 10 Most Opened Blog Posts of 2018.  Merry Christmas! — ABT)

by Berkeley Anderson and Geneece Goertzen

When someone gets mugged, we don’t say, “That suit you were wearing was a bad idea. It just screams ‘I’ve got money, rob me.’ We don’t ask victims, ‘What did you expect to happen when you had a wallet full of money? You were just asking to be robbed.’”  

So why do Sexual Assault victims face a barrage of questions that imply they are to blame for their own attack?  “Were you drinking? Why did you go out alone? Why did you let your attacker into your room?”

And, of course, “Well, what were you wearing?”

The impact of these questions is difficult to quantify, but it shows up in survivors blaming themselves for their own assault. It shows up in rapists getting away with what should be easily prosecuted cases. It shows up in negative mental health outcomes for victims.   It shows up in victims fearing to report the assault to police.

When assessing sexual violence, the only question that matters is consent. But rape culture–the normalization of sexual violence– causes some people to assert that clothing matters, shifting the focus off the obvious reason for the assault: that the attacker was a rapist.

April is recognized as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month which raises awareness about sexual violence, educates communities and individuals on how to prevent it, supports and empowers survivors, and strengthens the culture of consent.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, consent is an enthusiastic, ongoing, clearly communicated affirmative agreement to engage in various sexual or non-sexual activities. Past consent does not equal current consent. The absence of a “no” does not equal a “yes.” A person who is impaired cannot give consent. A child cannot consent. When sex is consensual, it means that the involved parties have granted permission. Non-consensual sex is rape.

Sexual Assault affects people across all demographics. Although rape and sexual assault are often thought of as being committed by strangers in a dark alley, that is seldom the case. Most victims of sexual assault know their attacker. This is especially true for children.  Neither is rape limited to young adult females.  Women, men, and children of both genders experience rape and sexual assault.  It happens in heterosexual relationships, and it happens among the LGBTQ community.  It happens to the young and the old. It happens to the rich and poor. It happens within all religions and ethnic origins. It happens to singles, and it even happens within marriage. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.

A powerful art exhibit, “What were you wearing Waco” on display through April, aims to debunk the myth that clothing caused the assault, by featuring representations of what victims were wearing at the time of their attack. The exhibit seeks to open doors in an attempt to combat victim-blaming, promote awareness, and destroy stereotypes about rape and sexual assault.

“What Were  You Wearing, Waco? kicks off with an opening night event in conjunction with First Friday Waco at The Warehouse, 727 Austin Avenue. It will then move to different locations in Waco.

  • Opening Night, April 6th at 6pm
  • Austin’s on the Ave, April 5-14th, 3pm to 12am
  • Outside Baylor Sub, April 16-26th, from 8am to 5pm
  • At local churches & organizations throughout the month of April
  • Closing Night, April 27 at 5pm at Jesus Said Love

There is also a traveling portion of the exhibit. If you would like a piece of the exhibit to advertise “What Were You Wearing” at your church, school, or business, please email Caroline_Grace@Baylor.edu.

The original “What Were You Wearing” project was created in 2013 by Jen Brockman, director of KU’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center, and Dr. Mary A. Wyandt-Heibert, who oversees the University of Arkansas’ rape education center. Born out of an advocacy ideal, the installation asks participants to understand that it is never about the clothing, and ending sexual violence is not as easy as changing our clothes.


List of Resources:

If you or someone you know has been Sexually Assaulted, you can call the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children at (254) 752-9330.   Their crisis hotline is available 24/7 at (888) 867-7233.

If you or someone you know is a victim of Domestic Violence, you can call the Family Abuse Center at (254) 772-8999. Or you can contact the 24-hour hotline at (800) 283-8401.

Baylor’s Title IX department:  254-710-8454 or visit, https://www.baylor.edu/titleIX/


Geneece Goertzen is on the Board of Directors for the Family Abuse Center, and has a passion for victim advocacy. She has worked as costume designer for many of the recent shows at Waco Civic Theatre, as well as having created many historical costumes over the last decade.

Berkeley Anderson has a Master’s degree in public service and degrees in physics and history.  She loves slam poetry, hot sauce, and any dog she meets. She is the Teen Dating Violence Project Manager at the Family Abuse Center.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

2018 Greatest Hits #7: What’s a Community Health Worker?

(During these last few weeks of December we will be reprising the Top 10 Most Opened Blog Posts for 2018 from the Act Locally Waco blog. I couldn’t possibly pick my favorites – so I used the simple (cop out?)  approach of pulling up the 10 blog posts that got the most “opens” according to our Google Analytics.  It is an intriguing collection that gives at least a little insight into the interests and concerns of Act Locally Waco readers. I hope this “Top 10” idea inspires you to go back and re-read your personal favorites.  There have been so many terrific ones… If you would like to see the Top 10 according to Google Analytics, here’s the link: Top 10 Most Opened Blog Posts of 2018.  Merry Christmas! — ABT)

By Christy Perkins

The Community Health Worker Initiative is an innovative program designed to bridge the gap between the community and available resources. The program methodically targets 4 zip codes in Waco that could benefit from these resources: 76704, 76705,76706, and 76707. As Community Health Workers (CHW) we are trained to respond to cultural diversity with understanding and acceptance to help clients overcome barriers to using the available health resources.  Our role is to connect clients to resources and help them navigate the healthcare system. By doing so, we help individuals reach a state of self-sufficiency to create a healthy and thriving community. We aim to build trusting relationships with our clients, to increase basic and critical health education that will develop confidence in those facing adversity, and to decrease unnecessary emergency (E.R) visits.

In 2016, I began purposefully researching and embedding myself into organizations and projects that are geared toward advocacy and health. I became passionate about client advocacy after personal life experiences left me in the dark about such services. When my oldest son fell ill as an infant, I didn’t know that patient advocates were available to help me manage this uncertain and scary time in my life. No one stepped in to advocate on our behalf by making me aware of available services that could support my son. That is when I became prayerful and intentional in regard to advocacy and awareness. I grew interested in holistic methods of health during that time and now find myself on the path to become more educated in this area.  I saw this opportunity with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District as a foot in the door to professionally connect to, advocate for, and educate individuals who have been left in the dark like I once was. I aspire to be a voice for those who feel their voice has been silenced.

In preparing to become a CHW, my coworkers and I underwent 160-hours of training over the course of 4 months to become certified by the Texas Department of Human Services (TDHS). The training covered 8 core competencies: communication, interpersonal, service coordination, capacity building, advocacy, teaching, organizational, and knowledge base skills. During training, we began attending coalition meetings, community meetings that were open to the public, toured facilities of community organizations, and had several guest speakers who assist the community explain their services. Additionally, I’m an active participant in Leadership Plenty, Round 7, which builds skills in community leadership, managing conflict, diversity, and taking action. The CHW training together with the leadership training are important tools when working with clients and partners.

Now that my fellow CHW’s and I have completed our training, we are preparing our first project!  We will be hosting launch parties in the 4 zip codes that are the focus of this program. This will be an opportunity for the community to become familiar with the CHW’s assigned to their neighborhoods as well as enjoy the festivities that we and our community partners will have available to the families. Check out our new Facebook page —  McLennan County Community Health Worker Initiative — for updates on these events!

I am truly looking forward to helping my CHW team in piloting this program. I feel the beauty of this program is that we are able to meet our clients where they are in their current life situation and create an action plan that is attainable within our capacity. My hope is to assist them with self-reliance when developing goals they desire to achieve and that will be beneficial to their well-being. In turn, creating a partnership with those clients to assure them I am dedicated to their personal successes. I will strive to access integrative resources on their behalf while preparing them to confidently do so independently. My personal goal is to specialize in nutrition and help guide others in holistic lifestyle choices to improve their quality of life.

I look forward to continuing to build relationships with community partners to tackle the problems of our community by collecting information at the grassroots level that will support and develop this program. We will be working closely with the healthcare system in Waco to assure that this program is effectively aiding the community.

I’m looking forward to working with my fellow CHW’s in beginning walking groups within the communities we are serving.  This is an example of the kinds of efforts that will help us connect with fellow residents and encourage healthy lifestyle routines. This is an exciting time for us as we embark on a mission that will shape a program that has been conjured up through discussion, data development, and planning for years. What an honor it is to be entrusted as the charter group to thrust this project into a flourishing program!


Christy Perkins is a certified Community Health Worker for zip code 76707. She currently serving on the Garden Committee at Brook Avenue Elementary. She is looking forward to becoming a graduate of the prestigious leadership training with the Leadership Plenty Institute in March of 2018 and serving on the YMCA, Young Junior Professionals Board. When she isn’t involved in community work, she is a Mother of 3 handsome boys. They keep her life busy and entertaining. She has a passion for writing, reading, and fellowship. She is originally from Amarillo, Tx but has grown to love Waco, Tx and is looking forward to building a future here. You can reach her at cperkins.chw@gmail.com or on Facebook at McLennan County Community Health Worker.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email ashleyt@actlocallywaco.org for more information.

 

2018 Greatest Hits #4: Ascension Medical Mission at Home, brought to you by Providence

(During these last few weeks of December we will be reprising the Top 10 Most Opened Blog Posts for 2018 from the Act Locally Waco blog. I couldn’t possibly pick my favorites – so I used the simple (cop out?)  approach of pulling up the 10 blog posts that got the most “opens” according to our Google Analytics.  It is an intriguing collection that gives at least a little insight into the interests and concerns of Act Locally Waco readers. I hope this “Top 10” idea inspires you to go back and re-read your personal favorites.  There have been so many terrific ones… If you would like to see the Top 10 according to Google Analytics, here’s the link: Top 10 Most Opened Blog Posts of 2018.  Merry Christmas! — ABT)

Answering a call to provide compassionate care to those in need

by Paige Reinke

When I think about what led me to a career in healthcare, I can’t help but think of the time I spent in a pharmacy growing up. My mom worked in a pharmacy, and I always enjoyed science and health classes in school, so becoming a pharmacist seemed like a natural fit. It wasn’t long before I realized that my desire to help others made becoming a pharmacist more than just a career path, it was a calling.

Our Mission calls us to serve all persons with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable, to provide care that sustains and improves the health of individuals and communities and to be advocates for a compassionate and just society—and that is what Ascension Medical Mission at Home is all about.

Multiple barriers prevent many in our community from getting the care they need, especially dental and vision services.  Ascension Medical Mission at Home offers free health, social and support services to those who might not otherwise have access. It’s also more than just a day of free healthcare. This event helps establish patients with follow-up care and connects them to various resources available in our community.

For our first Ascension Medical Mission at Home in 2016, I served on the steering committee.  I knew it would be a lot of work, but that it would be worth it. I also knew this special day of care would make a difference in the lives of many, but the impact extended far beyond what I had imagined.

A well-orchestrated team of over 600 associates and community partners worked in harmony to bring this day of free care to our community.  We provided medical, dental and vision services to nearly 1,000 people.

I was humbled by the stories of gratitude that quickly began flowing in: a woman who had been struggling with pain from an infected tooth for three years, got it pulled; a dad who had been saving for months to buy his son glasses got them for free; women who received mammograms for the first time; many who got prescriptions they needed to improve health, enhancing their quality of life.

When asked to serve on the steering committee again for this year’s event, I jumped at the chance.  No doubt, this experience will forever be imprinted on my heart, as my life was enriched just as much as it enriched the lives of those we served. I feel so fortunate to be a part of something so big and look forward to serving our community again on January 27. (Here’s a link to the flyer in English and Spanish.)

The Waco Convention Center will be turned into a medical arena, outfitted with medical bays, a pharmacy, and areas for spiritual care, and vision and dental services. Patients will be served on a first come, first served basis. Registration will go from 8:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. The following services will be provided for free, no insurance necessary: 

  • Medical care for the entire family
  • Dental for adults only
  • Vision for the entire family – Child prescriptions will be filled on-site while adult prescriptions will be mailed or delivered to a pre-designated location.
  • Spiritual Care – Prayer partners will roam the facility to pray with the patients but will also have a more private area for more serious discussions
  • Foot washing – In the spirit of representing Jesus, we will provide a foot washing, toe nail trimming and foot massage to all who wish to participate.
  • Diabetes screenings for adults only
  • Breast Health Exams
  • Lab Services – Full lab services provided
  • Pharmacy – Prescriptions filled at the event
  • Shoes and Socks – during triage, patients will be assessed for the need for new shoes
  • Flu Vaccines – adults only
  • Food – volunteers will be passing out water, fruit or granola bars to patients.  Caritas will also be on-hand to distribute food and provide resources for the future.
  • Community Services – Community resources will be on-hand to assist patients with personal or family needs.

Other Ascension sites across the nation have held medical mission events in their communities. This is the fifth Ascension Medical Mission at Home event in Texas. Ascension’s Seton Healthcare Family in Austin has hosted three. To see the impact of our first Ascension Medical Mission at Home event in Waco, watch this video. For more information go here.


Paige Reinke, Pharm.D., is the Clinical Coordinator in the pharmacy department at Providence. Providence is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system. Her main responsibilities are managing the pharmacy clinical programs at the hospital and antibiotic stewardship. She earned a doctorate of Pharmacy degree from the University of Texas. She met her husband, David, in pharmacy school and he is also a pharmacist at Providence.  They have two children who attend school in China Spring.

2018 Greatest Hits # 6: Human Trafficking – 5 Things You Need to Know

(During these last few weeks of December we will be reprising the Top 10 Most Opened Blog Posts for 2018 from the Act Locally Waco blog. I couldn’t possibly pick my favorites – so I used the simple (cop out?)  approach of pulling up the 10 blog posts that got the most “opens” according to our Google Analytics.  It is an intriguing collection that gives at least a little insight into the interests and concerns of Act Locally Waco readers. I hope this “Top 10” idea inspires you to go back and re-read your personal favorites.  There have been so many terrific ones… If you would like to see the Top 10 according to Google Analytics, here’s the link: Top 10 Most Opened Blog Posts of 2018.  Merry Christmas! — ABT)

(This post was first published on January 3, 2018 in the Waco Mom’s Blog, which is a terrific Waco resource. — ALW )

by Kim Millington

I want to offer a huge thanks to Natalie and her team at UnBound, Waco – the organizational headquarters. She provided excellent resources and provided insight as I wrote my personal human trafficking story.

Writing this post has been much harder than I imagined. I have shared my personal story countless times and never hesitated but this time it is different. This time I am sharing it in light of what it actually entails – human trafficking…

<Click here to read the rest of this post on the Waco Mom’s Blog…>

 


Kim “Millie” Millington is a wife, mom and entrepreneur. She is a certified life coach and operates Coach Millie’s Family Life Coaching in Waco, Texas. Her husband, James, is an instructor at TSTC. Her son is heading to the Air Force and her daughter is a senior at Rapoport Academy. She moved to Waco in 2008 to attend Truett Seminary at Baylor. She is also a graduate of Dallas Baptist University. Kim is a contributing writer for Waco Mom’s Blog and loves spending her time helping families get organized and holistically healthy.