Northern Illinois University’s Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to reduce sexual assault violence and enhance services to victims of stalking, domestic violence and dating violence on campus.
“As a partner on this grant, I look forward to strengthening the collaborations we have already established on campus and in the community,” said Kelly Wesener Michael, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Chief Student Affairs Officer and Dean of Students. “I know that by working together, we have an opportunity to enhance violence prevention efforts and the advocacy services available for students and our campus community.”
Rose M. J. Henton, director of Coordinated Education, Training and Outreach Programs, shared the sentiment.
“This grant will help us in our efforts to continued work on violence prevention planning across the university and the community, while maintaining and strengthening our collaborative relationships” Henton said. “Campus safety has always been a priority and many areas of the university have put a great deal of focus on that effort. This grant will strengthen those efforts and provide training from the Department of Justice that will guide this project.”
Distributed by the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, the grant was awarded to 57 U.S. colleges and will be paid over a three-year period.
Henton, who spearheaded the grant writing, said the $300,000 will provide funding for NIU to create a comprehensive violence prevention program on and around campus.
“We will have the opportunity to step back, review our past accomplishments, brainstorm and tap into suggestions from our students, faculty and staff as we move forward,” Henton said. “The first year of the grant is focused on planning. Having a year to collaborate with partners, research best practices, and form a plan is critical to successful outcomes for the project.”
The grant supports NIU’s commitment to implementing a campus-wide coordinated response to violent crimes. In partnership with victim services and justice agencies, the funding will help the university’s ongoing collaboration with local law enforcement and prosecutors, campus athletic programs, Greek life organizations and off-campus services, as each plays a key role in campus safety.
“Rose worked very hard with our university partners to prepare this grant,” Chief Diversity Officer Vernese Edghill-Walden, said. “The Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion looks forward to partnering with our university colleagues and students to implement this grant with the goal of reducing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campus.”