What Is It?

A 360 Degree Day of Healing is a moment in your own community in which you take ownership of the issues of gender equality and safety. This day is not about an event or a particular speaker. Rather it is a chance to build out community support and understanding, creating a center of empathy that guides you in your work on behalf of all women and girls.

A 360 Degree Day of Healing is different than typical programs you will run because it is about building connections among audiences and having conversations with all stakeholders in those audiences. This event should bring together men and women who are:

  • Elected Officials from all levels of government (from town council members to Senate)
  • Young People/Students
  • Business Owners and Human Resources Officials (from local small businesses to large conglomerates based in your communities)
  • The General Public
  • Survivors of the entire spectrum of violence
  • Educational Leaders from pre-schools through universities

We have often said if you are a woman or your mother was then these issues should matter to you; however just because it matters doesn’t mean you understand it. This is a day that will help your stakeholders to understand, connect and build a meaningful, strong, empathetic approach to finding solutions for the issues facing women and girls living and working in your community.

We have been empowered to build our own futures right now. Your 360 Degree Day of Healing is an opportunity to start the honest conversations that must take place if we are to own this process moving forward.

Why Do It?

If we cannot come together now in this moment in our shared history then when can we? We must use the momentum of the #metoo movement to propel these issues into the consciousness of our local community members, legislators and leaders.

We encourage you to think of this program as a call to action for the stakeholders in your area. The power of this event is that it brings together people who often are on the fringes of these issues with those who are living and breathing these issues every single day…people who care, but are not invested. People who want to learn. People who are survivors or still being victimized. People who do the work, everyday. This is a moment of conversation, not of being spoken to. This is a moment in which we empower all voices to stand together and move forward together.

Use this day as a day of education, not as a rally. Think about what is meaningful to your area, based on your culture and your values, but also think about your vision for what you want to achieve in the long term.

Ending the spectrum of violence against women is not a new goal. Generations before us have worked, sweat, and fought for this very goal. And there are many voices in this work. Your day of Healing is an opportunity to bring together those voices in unity and strength that will guide you and your community as you continue your work together.

Steps to Building a 360 Degree Day of Healing

We call it a 360 Degree Day because your program should look at the issues and the audiences from all sides, facilitating conversation and empathy. That is a pretty big goal, so how are you going to do it?

  1. Build A Team
  2. Create A Vision
  3. Design Your Day
  4. Forget-Me-Nots

Building Your 360 Degree Day of Healing

1. Build A Team

  • The key to this program is gathering together a coalition of committed leaders from throughout your community that are dedicated to issues concerning the spectrum of violence against women and girls.
  •  Intersectionality is key to this process, but so are the simple logistics of the event. How are you going to manage logistics? Make sure you build a team of tacticians—who will manage the event, handle press, organize funding, handle logistics, marketing and press? Who are your teamplayers?

Think about

  • What are your local Nonprofits that work on these issues in a variety of ways?
  • Is your outreach large enough geographically?
  • How you can have the greatest outreach possible?
  • What People and organizations are committed to working as team and want to collaborate on this concept now AND in the future?
  • How you can work with elected officials at appropriate levels of government on this project?
  • How can you include survivors in this process?
  • Are there any partners that will help you fund this program?

Ideas for partners

  • Domestic Violence Agencies
  • Empowerment Programs
  • Legislators from a variety of levels of government
  • Spiritual Leaders
  • Youth Programs
  • Corporate Mentorship Programs
  • Job Readiness Programs
  • Potential Funders

Keep In Mind

  • Keep your Planning Committee Manageable
  • Create a weekly Planning Meeting (everyone is busy…make this easy)
  • Select one Coalition Leader, who can lead the meetings and keep everyone on track
  • Work with people who want to continue this collaboration beyond this program. Build yourself a real team of interested people and organizations that will “own” this in the future with you.

2. Create a Vision

Once you have pulled together your team, take the time to really think about what you want to achieve.

Your Vision for this day will tell you what:

  • You envision.
  • You are working towards.
  • You care about.

But think beyond the day…think about what you want to achieve for your community.

Ask Yourselves these questions:

  • What would your community look like if you reached your goals?
  • What does success look like?
  • What would make this program no longer needed in your community?
  • What do you want your next steps to be and how can this event help you get there?

3. Designing Your Day
How you answered the envisioning questions will direct you to how you want to design your day.

Key to your day is developing a program that is meaningful not just in the moment, but leaves your attendees, organizers, and funders inspired to continue the work. That means speaking to each audience in the way that they are comfortable connecting with you. Your Day of Healing should include outreach to many different people, and we encourage you to offer programing throughout the day that speaks to each of these audiences. You may or may not have the capacity to reach each of these audiences. Think about your vision. Then determine which of these audiences make sense to connect to. Keep in mind that your event gets stronger and more effective the more people and audiences you connect to.

  • Elected Officials: Many of our elected officials feel strongly about these issues, but they do not understand the intricacies that are involved in them. This day is not about grandstanding or press. It is about educating your legislators so that they can better advocate and legislate on these issues. We encourage you to have a separate legislative session in which participants are there to learn and ask questions. Do not encourage press to attend. Do encourage members of both parties to attend. Do not have any speeches. Do have a panel of experts that can answer questions. Do not ask them to come prepared with comments. Do ask them to come prepared with ideas for a brainstorming session. Do not ask them to come away from the day with a commitment to particular legislation. Do ask them to come away from the day with a commitment to continue to work together across party lines and across all levels of government.
  • Young People/Students: Create a youth leadership program from your local schools and universities. Think about how you can mentor them in creating collaborative long-term plans. Be sure to include all genders in this conversation, but keep it manageably sized. Serve some pizza and speak honestly with them. Do not come with solutions. Do come with questions. What are their ideas, fears, experiences? What are their goals? How can they work on their campuses and in their schools to make change, but also what can they do as they graduate? How do can we help them to create an expectation of equality and consent? And how can we help them to reach out to peers? Do not come to preach. Do come to listen. Do not come with an agenda. Do come with mentors.
  • Business Owners and Human Resources Officials: You may find this to be the hardest sector to connect with. Remember, the biggest concern of any company is their bottom line and these issues can be terrifying for business owners. They cost money, open them up to litigation, and are confusing. Its no wonder why they may want to steer clear! Your goal is to be able to offer them resources and answer their questions in a non-threatening manner. Much like the elected officials, most of them care about the issues, but they don’t understand them. Consider what resources you can offer to them so they can create models for effective workplace governance. Do not make demands. Do make suggestions. Do not ask them for money. Do show them how investing in gender equality can save or even make them money, helping them to be a part of the community of changemakers.
  • Survivors: If we have learned nothing else from the metoo movement, we have learned that there are far more people who have experienced some level of sexual violence in their lives than we ever previously acknowledged. Whether they were minimized, harassed, threatened or attacked, each of these people have a story and a connection. Empower them by letting their stories come alive. Do not minimize any one person’s experience. Do show the connection of all levels of violence across the spectrum. Do not let any one person or story dominate. Do drive public discourse. Do not take tell them how to feel or behave or respond. Do be open to hearing what they need and how they want to heard as a part of this program and your ongoing work.
  •  Educational Leaders: Recognizing that the future of this movement will be led by future generations, it is integral to connect with the people who educate these generations. For many young people, the influence of a teacher can be life-changing in countless ways. Finding ways to integrate the educational systems that exist in your communities into the conversation make it more powerful and meaningful in changing the culture of consent. And yet, educators face hurdles in teaching these very concepts. That is why we must create strong connections with educators. Offering an opportunity for educational leaders in your community ask questions and learn the issues will help them find their own paths beyond the hurdles they are facing. Do not tell them what they must do. Do offer them resources to work within their own bandwidths. Do not make demands. Do help them to understand how a culture of consent can be created, even if it is not directly taught. Do not think of this as a secondary school issue. Do connect with pre-schools and elementary schools so that you frame the discussion to include all levels of education, and in doing so, you showcase how a culture of consent can be taught to all grade levels.
  • The General Public: Now, in this moment, you will be able to fill auditoriums to talk about violence against women. This opportunity cannot be ignored. At the same time, it must be managed consciously and with creativity. In designing your general public program, keep in mind that we do not know who is in the audience. They will come with questions, ideas, experiences. They will come ready and willing to be a part of this conversation. Do not let them guide the agenda. Do let them guide the conversation. Do not have a written script. Do be open to answering questions honestly. Do not expect it to go exactly as planned. Do give it the time it needs, and that is longer than you think. Do not run this program as a press event. Do invite the press and media to bear witness.

4. Forget-Me-Nots

As exciting as the day will be, its success is largely dependent on the nitty gritty logistics. Your event coordinator can manage the event, but we don’t want you to forget some of these details:

  • Assign Roles

Assign roles to each of your team members and a written timeline for the event. Determine who is responsible for each detailed step…big and small. Who will move chairs, introduce speakers, pick up the pizza, manage the entire day, make sure there is water on the dais, speak to the press? On the day of the event, you want the details laid out so everyone knows exactly what is expected of them.

  • Create a Media Plan

Multiply your outreach by having a smart press and media relations plan. About 3 weeks prior to the event, create a list of local media outlets. About 10 days in advance of the event, sent out an press alert. Follow this up with a press release 1-2 days prior, and have press kits available on the day of. Hire a photographer and have someone video the day as well. You can use these in follow-up pieces and share them with the press. Assign one person to handle press for this event. Ensure that this person will represent all the organizers equally. Have this person create talking points and organize interviews prior to, during and following the event.

  • Spread the Word

The goal of a Community Day of Healing is to reach beyond your typical audiences and bring a better, more well-rounded, understanding of the issues of sexual violence to people who live and work throughout your community. That means that you cannot simply speak to the same people you always do. Utilize the Internet, Free or Paid Media (as you can), and People-to-People Advertising. Additionally, you can ask funding partners, legislators and/or schools to reach out to their constituencies. Don’t forget to build hype around the event using hashtags and a strong social media plan.

  • Build a Volunteer Base

Utilize this event to grow your volunteer-base. Volunteers who may not work with your agencies normally may be interested in helping you with this Day of Healing…and again and again and again once they get to know you. Take advantage of this opportunity.

  • Leave them with More than Memories

You may never get to connect with many of the attendees of Your Day of Healing again. Make sure you leave them with resources, content and written information.

Develop simple ways to create a community. Create a social media page and hashtag that will encourage attendees to create an online community that will continue these discussions and will allow you to keep them posted on your continued work.

  • Create a Safe Space

Recognize that this Day of Healing may actually awaken reminders of painful experiences for some of your attendees. Create a safe space on-site with rape trauma counselors that are available to meet with any attendee in the moment and be able to offer resources for continued assistance if necessitated.

  •  Reboot

Leave time for your speakers to reboot. Holding an event with multiple components can result in your speakers playing multiple roles. Keep in mind though that this is an emotion-filled day. Make sure you budget in time and a physical space for your speakers to take a few minutes to themselves.