Category Archives: News

A play about grief is called ‘The Five Stages.’ Lauren Astley’s parents know them all

Boston Globe 4/4/19: A play about grief is called ‘The Five Stages.’ Lauren Astley’s parents know them all. When the actors take their places on stage inside a tiny theater in New York City this weekend, the emotions — instantly fresh again — will wash over Lauren Astley’s mom and dad once more.

The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund Announces 2019 Mini-grant Recipients

The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund is pleased to announce the results of its sixth annual mini-grant program to promote dynamic projects in the three arenas of its mission: Effective Teen Relationships & Violence Prevention, the Arts, and Community Service.

In Lauren’s spirit and memory, small grants have recently been awarded to individuals and groups with innovative project ideas in the above areas. Lauren’s mother Mary Dunne commented “Awarding mini-grants is such positive work honoring Lauren and her memory. I’m ever grateful to those who honor her in so many ways.”

“We are delighted by the creativity and energy inherent in the proposed initiatives and the hope stirred in the potential of their positive, meaningful impacts. What a nice link to Lauren!” commented Lauren’s father, Malcolm Astley.

A total of 10 project proposals were funded this year. They are:

  • Luisa Barros for Think Peace Unity Festival. An afternoon festival with music, dance, speakers and resource tables focused on bringing the community together to promote peace and violence prevention.
  • Mei-Ling Ellerman.  A research project exploring the complex factors that prevent or enable domestic violence, survivors’ self-advocacy, and studying what happens when they engage with the justice system; data will be used to raise awareness, support improved services, and generate social and legal change.
  • Lauren Millette of Fairhaven High School.  Empowering our Youth from Within. Education of teens at risk through the development and implementation of a group counseling curriculum, including a focus on skills in coping with at risk affects such as shame and hate, and training of peer break up advisors, and training for students in coping with at risk emotions such as shame and hate.
  • Cynthia Maltbie of Girls’ LEAP.  Updated curriculum for their Mother-Daughter Workshop to better align with best practices in the fields of violence prevention and girl development.
  • Deborah Marion of The Golden Tones, “Young or Old, Singing Lifts You, Heart & Soul.” A collaboration between two choirs from different generations, connecting through a shared love of music.
  • Nazda Alam Foundation for Muslim Women Civic Engagement & Leadership.  Production of a documentary addressing the future of some 30,000 babies born in a refugee camp in Bangladesh (mass rape of Muslim women by the Myanmar military), as part of its work on human rights and social justice.
  • Eve Budnick of Opera Del West, A performance of “Freedom Ride,” an opera by local composer Dan Shore, combining traditional opera with themes of African-American history, American history and gospel singing.
  • Matthew Swoveland of The Second Step.  To support the resiliency of young people in the aftermath of domestic violence while developing their capacity to be change-makers for peace in their homes and communities.
  • Danielle Barrett of the Second Voice Theatre Company. “The Five Stages: An Exploration of Grief.” The production of an original play, “The Five Stages" written by Danielle Barrett, focuses on the five stages of grief as experienced by a friend of a domestic violence victim, whose story is inspired by Lauren Astley, and whose mission is to raise awareness about the importance of healthy grieving.
  • Alison Safran of Surviving in Numbers. Development of an online training course for teens on preventing dating violence and sexual violence; bystander intervention; and better supporting teen survivors of violence.

Keep On Sparkling! Please visit www.laurendunneastleymemorialfund.org for more information on the organization’s activities.

Loved to Death Workshop Debut, March 7 at Wayland High School

January 27, 2019

Greetings,

We are pleased to invite you to a comprehensive preview at Wayland High School at 264 Old Connecticut Path, Wayland, MA, 01778, focused on enlarging your tool box of resources for promoting at many grade levels effective relationships and violence prevention in the interest of the betterment of our culture.  The event will take place on Thursday, March 7 from 3:00 to 4:30 in the South Building Lecture Hall at Wayland High School.

For over three years the LaurenDunneAstleyMemorialFund.org and the One Love Foundation (https://www.joinonelove.org) have been collaborating in developing and spotlighting best practices across the country in preventing violence, including boys and men’s violence against girls and women, other genders and each other.  We believe that sound education around these challenging matters requires that youth be given numbers of appropriate invitations and options as they grow to develop effective preventive concepts and skills. Educators and other professionals have supported these efforts in that over 30 high schools and over 45 colleges and universities in Massachusetts and greater New England now make use of the programs we have been promoting, beginning with One Love’s original workshop Escalation.

We will use the collaborative occasion not only to preview again One Love’s Escalation Workshop, but also to debut a new tool and a larger repertoire of tools available through both foundations to enlarge your tool kit of relevant resources. The new tool to be presented and developed through the LaurenDunneAstleyMemorialFund.org is the Loved to Death Workshop focused on the CBS 48 Hours documentary Loved to Death, presenting the story of Lauren Dunne Astley and concepts and skills in gender, dating, and break up violence prevention.

The Loved to Death Workshop is designed for use in one 55 Minute Period and can also be used for multiple periods of exploration and instruction.  The new workshop is aimed at high school grade levels, and was created with helpful parallels to One Love’s Escalation Workshop, aimed at high school seniors and mature juniors and college and university students.   In addition, other tools available through both foundations will also be presented with the aim of seeing that students have opportunities at numerous grade levels to advance their needed skills for effective, safe relationships and break ups, and violence prevention.

The Escalation Workshop is a 1.5 hour facilitated workshop for young people, aimed at high school seniors and college students, and often including some juniors in high schools for leadership the following year:

  • The centerpiece is an engaging 40-minute video depicting a young college couple from the earliest exciting stages of their relationship, escalating to a tragic end.
  • In its basic workshop form, the film is followed by a 45-minute, peer or adult facilitated discussion focused on helping students understand the warning signs of abuse, while also gaining clearer understanding of healthy versus unhealthy relationships, and learning skills for safe intervention and referral to specialist support when necessary.
  • One Love provides a 1.5 – 2 hour virtual or in-person training for facilitators several weeks before the workshop is provided to the student body.

There are two options you can consider relating to use of the Escalation Workshop preview at Wayland High School.

  1. You can view materials such as the trailer for Escalation at YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmV_aZ0LzhQ&t=45s and the #ThatsNotLove content, a collection of shorter videos available for educational use: https://www.joinonelove.org/act/thats-not-love/
  2. If you cannot attend the screening of Escalation at Wayland High School, you can reach out directly to the One Love Boston team to learn more about how to bring One Love content to your school, college or community.  Email Claire Giampetroni at claire.giampetroni@joinonelove.org to schedule a phone call or introduction meeting.

Please indicate your interest in attending the March 7 presentation with colleagues by contacting personnel at either foundation:

We look forward to the possibility of continued progress with you in this movement.

Cordially,

Mary Dunne

Malcolm Astley, 508-397-7055, malcolmastley@icloud.com   LaurenDunneAstleyMemorialFund.org

Claire Giampetroni claire.giampetroni@joinonelove.org

RI students learn dangers of domestic violence through woman’s murder

NBC 10 News Rhode Island 2/14/18: RI students learn dangers of domestic violence through woman’s murder. Valentine’s Day focuses on the positive side of love. But too often, relationships turn violent. Central Falls High School students on Wednesday learned the dangers of domestic violence through the story of 18-year old Lauren Dunne Astley, who was killed by an ex-boyfriend in 2011.

WPRI.com 2/14/18: Man who lost daughter to dating violence shares important message with Central Falls teens.

Teen Dating Safety – Domestic Violence Awareness

Arlington Public News Teen Dating Safety – Domestic Violence Awareness. Domestic violence is getting attention in Arlington with a focus on safe relationships for teens. As part of its parent forum series Arlington Public Schools hosted a speaker who lost his teenage daughter, Lauren Astley, to a relationship that turned deadly. As part of October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, APN took a closer look at why it’s important to teach teens about the signs of unhealthy relationships.

Community Walk and Vigil for Domestic Violence Awareness

At any given time there are 20 to 40 restraining orders in effect in Wayland and Sudbury and towns of similar size.  There have been 19 murder victims of related violence in Massachusetts this year, girls and women largely by far. 3 to 4 women die similarly every day in our country.  To raise awareness, and to witness and protest the pain, violence, and injustice, and also the culture of violence many males suffer, there will be a walk and vigil the evening of Tuesday, October 17.  The walk and vigil are sponsored by the Community Methodist Church, First Parish Unitarian Universalist in Wayland, the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable, and the LaurenDunneAstleyMemorialFund.org

The walk is planned to start at 5:45 PM at Community Methodist Church, now bathed in purple light (5 Damon Street, Wayland), and end at First Parish UU (50 Cochituate Road), Wayland, at 7 PM when the vigil will start and run until about 7:45.  Purple lights will envelope First Parish as they have the Community Methodist Church for two weeks in recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The vigil at First Parish UU, Wayland, planned for 7 to 7:45 PM, will include speakers, candles, and music. Participants will also read the names of the 19 relationship murder victims in Massachusetts to date this year. Community members are welcome to take part in both the walk and vigil.

Allison Koury, President, Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Round Table
Malcolm Astley, LaurenDunneAstleyMemorialFund.org (508-397-7055)
Reverend Ted Crass, Community Methodist Church, Wayland
Reverend Stephanie May, First Parish Unitarian Universalist, Wayland

LDAMF Lecture at Elon: American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus

10/2/17: The first Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Lecture of the year featured Lisa Wade who spoke on material from her book, “American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus”. Wade offers solutions to not abandon the casual hookup, but to multiply the sexual discourses on campus in ways that give students the cognitive freedom and cultural support to make the sexual choices that are best for each individual.

Video of the lecture is online here:

 

Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund Announces 2017 Mini-Grant Recipients

The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund is pleased to announce the recipients of its fourth annual mini-grant program to fund dynamic projects promoting the three arenas of its mission: Effective Teen Relationships & Violence Prevention, the Arts, and Community Service.

In Lauren’s spirit and memory, small grants have recently been awarded to individuals and groups with dynamic project ideas in the above areas.

A total of 11 project proposals were awarded mini-grants:

  • A video production project “Empowered Girl Leaders Building Healthy Relationships” for teen girls living in public housing, part of a 10-week workshop series developed by a collaboration of community-based organizations in Brookline.
  • Support for The Second Step’s Youth and Prevention Programs working with youth survivors providing tools to change the directions of their lives.
  • A new program in Webster, MA for 30 high school students (trained in Mentors in Violence Prevention) to teach 8thgraders about healthy relationships.
  • Student outreach and a Peace Walk sponsored by The Lawrence High School Game Change Social Justice Club.
  • PRIDE Achievement program aimed at supporting at-risk 9th grade students at Metheun High School.
  • Co-sponsorship of an exciting, high-energy Collaborative String Performance by Barrage 8 including daytime clinics for Wayland and Weston students and an evening performance.
  • Bobby Mendes Peace Legacy Back-to-School BBQ bringing neighbors together to build community and to promote peace and forgiveness in Upham’s Corner.
  • Girls’ LEAP Summer Teen Mentor Program providing leadership training, empowerment and self-defense programs for at-risk teenage girls in Greater Boston.
  • Production of Opera del West, a fully-staged opera presented in the intimate setting of The Center for Arts in Natick.
  • In support of the creation of intergenerational connections through The Golden Tones’ collaboration with area high school chorus singers.
  • Seed money for the training of student leaders as part of the Wake Forest University Leadership Summit on Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Education.

Lauren Astley’s Parents Remember Daughter’s ‘Unique Spirit’ 5 Years After Her Murder

LDA on CBSCBS Boston 7/3/16: Lauren Astley’s Parents Remember Daughter’s ‘Unique Spirit’ 5 Years After Her Murder. Lauren Astley’s parents held back tears as they pinned up five coral-colored bows on the fence in front of First Parish Church in Wayland. Coral was Lauren’s favorite color, and her parents tied the bows to the fence as a way to honor her on the five-year anniversary of her death.

Seniors watch “Escalation” film

Wayland Student Press Network 6/12/16: Seniors watch “Escalation” film. The graduating WHS class of 2016 viewed the film “Escalation,” produced by the One Love Foundation, on May 31 as part of senior week. The movie was shown in conjunction with the Lauren Dunne Astley Foundation Fund and the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) club at WHS.
According to 2016 graduate Nour Sayeh, a member of MVP, the movie portrays a college couple and the escalation of their relationship as time goes on.