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"Educating our communities and elected officials about the needs of survivors in our local cities and towns requires year round focus. JDI is our pathway to informing and influencing the state and national agenda to end sexual and domestic violence." ~ Karen Cavanaugh, JDI board member and Executive Director of Womanshelter/Companeras, pictured here with a JDI delegation meeting with Congressman Niki Tsongas

University of Massachusetts, Granby Junior-Senior High School students honored for White Ribbon Campaign videos

NORTHAMPTON - Granby Junior-Senior High School and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst are the winners of the student video contest to promote the White Ribbon Campaign to End Violence against women and girls, the office of Northwestern district attorney David E. Sullivan has announced.

“No Violence Style,” the Granby students’ video is a Gagnam-style remix starring Granby student Drona Sharma as White Ribbon Man.

The UMass students’ video, a powerful series of testimonials by men, can be seen at http://vimeo.com/60957175

A scene from “No Violence Style,” starring Granby student Drona Sharma as White Ribbon Man

“The students continue to delight and inspire us with their creativity and their commitment to making the world a better place,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan and Mary Kociela, director of programs for the district attorney's Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, will present the winning video creators with certificates and $100 prizes.

Sullivan and Kociela will visit UMass on April 30, at 12:30 p.m., at a location to be announced and travel to Granby on May 21 at 1:15 p.m.

Granby teacher Cindy Kwajewski, whose "Life Lessons Through the Study of Cultures" class created the winning high school video, said her students couldn’t be more excited to be this year’s winners.

“They chose the music, they wrote the script, they practiced, they videotaped it, and they edited the video. They did it all with little direction from me,” Kwajewski said.

In the UMass video, the students insist that men need to talk about violence against women. “Because while most violence is committed by men,” the students say. “Most men do not commit violence.”

Granby students in the video included: Seth Archambault, Lily Blain, Tessa Cote, Emily Desellier, Vasili Eliopoulos, Andrew Evren, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Joseph Grabowski, Rachael Hardy, Casey Imelio, Joshua Labonte, Jessica Labonte, Erika Lempke, Jiamin Li, Shane O'Connor, Alexis Ouellette, Olivia Pronowicz, Theodore Robert, Drona Sharma, and Kendal Sowa.

UMass students in the video included: Levi Boateng, Muhammad Choudhry, Nick Fernald, Scott Greene, David Ke, Vladimir Lamerique, Josh Lopes, Chris Lowe, Duoc Nguyen, William Rainsford, Jared Schy.

The district attorney's office, Jane Doe, Inc. and organizations across the state support the 2013 White Ribbon Campaign, an international event established in 1989 after a gunman opened fire and killed 14 female engineering students in Montreal, Canada.


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