As a benefit and responsibility of membership in the Coalition, staffers at member programs participate on JDI member committees and groups that serve two important purposes:
they provide networking opportunities for advocates and peers to support one another and share new information about their work;
they create the foundation for determining JDI priorities, identifying new best practices and for formulating public policy recommendations, based on the experiences of and needs of survivors and the expertise of local programs and advocates.
Some JDI member groups have been meeting regularly for over 30 years!
JDI’s Working Groups(for Development, Education and Training, Shelter and Safe Home, Men’s and Boy’s Engagement, Domestic and Sexual Violence Homicide Prevention, Refugee and Immigrant Support, Women of Color, and Anti Racism) are affinity groups that bring together staff doing similar work or shared concerns. Typically, the JDI working groups are chaired by staff at member programs, these groups help develop the skills and knowledge base of advocates, educators and other positions.
The Sexual Assault Advisory Board (SAAB) is attended by the program directors and executive directors of the sexual assault and rape crisis center programs. SAAB provides an opportunity for these leaders to stay up to date with topical and management issues.
Ad-hoc and Permanent Advisory and Planning Committees assist JDI staff by providing guidance for evolving JDI’s support and capacity building efforts on behalf of JDI members. JDI works alongside its members to build responsive programs that support advancements in local programs and services to meet the complex needs of victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence, stalking, and dating violence. These committees also advance the movement to end sexual and domestic violence and violence against women. Through discussion and evaluation, surveys, analysis, and other activities, JDI committees document and promote JDI’s and members’ work, with accountability to each other and to survivors. Ultimately, JDI’s efforts focus on solutions—through a social justice and gender analysis of sexual and domestic violence.
These Advisory and Planning Committees are currently active:
The JDI Policy Committee is compromised of executive directors from member programs in each region of Massachusetts. This committee plays an advisory role to JDI’s Policy Director and Executive Director regarding JDI’s state and federal public policy and budget advocacy priorities and strategies. Committee members bring their expertise as local providers and their knowledge about the needs of victims and survivors as well as the needs of local systems and system policies and practices. They also provide important information about resource needs of local sexual assault and domestic violence providers throughout the Commonwealth. These local sexual and domestic violence experts also help mobilize the full membership to engage in JDI’s advocacy efforts.
The JDI Ending Sexual Violence Planning Committee defines its goal as "Building Strength and Visibility in Response to Sexualized Violence in Massachusetts.” The group is identifying priorities and developing a plan of action for Massachusetts' efforts to end sexual violence. The outcome of this effort will be building awareness of sexual violence as a significant issue affecting the lives of women, girls, men, families, and communities in Massachusetts. The committee's plan for prevention and response to sexual violence in Massachusetts also focuses on strengthening the role of JDI member programs as the local hubs of expertise and activism in ending sexual violence. The committee has analyzed data and responses from surveys of JDI member sexual violence services and support programs as well as information about best practices and standards throughout the country. In FY2012, JDI and member programs will release the plan for prevention, support, and services. The committee is producing plan documents describing essential criteria of local sexual violence support and services providers, definitions of terms and services, and recommendations.
The LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) Committee is compromised of LGBT advocates and allies. The workgroup is committed to building JDI capacity for integrating and promoting an understanding about LGBT domestic violence in order to support, advocate, and represent the needs and interest of LGBT victims, survivors, advocates, and programs. The committee is developing a framework for discussing the social norms that promote and contribute to LGBT domestic violence. It is our hope that through such discussions, we will develop a shared analysis about LGBT domestic violence that is grounded in social justice and anti-oppression perspectives.
The Economic Empowerment Advisory Committee has been established in conjunction with JDI’s second year Allstate Economic Empowerment grant. Members meet to provide JDI staff with recommendations about statewide economic empowerment project development and assistance to member programs. The group is also learning about each other and the range of work being done by members in this arena.