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The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund is pleased to announce its 2022 mini-grant recipients!

This marks the ninth year that the LDAMF has awarded funding for innovative, creative initiatives working in the three areas of its mission: Effective Teen Relationships & Violence Prevention, the Arts, and Community Service. A total of 16 project proposals were funded this year, all of which carry Lauren Dunne Astley’s spirit and memory into their important work:

Melrose Alliance Against Violence (Rebecca Mooney): “Healthy Relationships: Starting Younger.” This project aims to promote healthy relationships and decisions among youth before they start dating by teaching 4th and 5th grade students how to define healthy, respectful friendships and recognize hurtful behaviors, to understand and gain tools around setting healthy boundaries in a relationship, and to understand the concept of consent and develop language for communicating consent and refusal.  

The W Gallery (Robyn Gray): “Spoken Word and Singer-Songwriter Series.” This project will provide for stipends to local singer-songwriters and writers to perform at the W Gallery.  

One Wayland (Dovie King): “One Wayland Coalition Against Racism.” Funding will help to enable a series of programs aiming to promote an inclusive and honest dialogue about racism in the Wayland schools and community. This grant will support three free community programs to combat racism.  

The Second Step (Suzanne Wakefield): “Student Partnerships for Violence Prevention and Awareness. This grant will help to provide virtual education, awareness, and violence prevention activities for area high schools’ student-led clubs. Programs are designed to effectively encourage healthy relationships and promote community service. 

Center Stage Outreach (Tiffany Prout-Leitao): “We Can Dance Adaptive Dance Class Program. This funding will offer We Can Dance participants the chance to perform in the community as well as compete in dance competitions and attend a National Dance Merchant conference as performance guests.          

Prana Recovery Centers (Amy Williams): “Trauma-Sensitive Yoga” is a weekly one hour class, offered virtually and in-person, that empowers trauma survivors to maximize experiences of empowerment and to cultivate a more positive relationship to one’s body. This grant will fund a 12-week, 12-session Trauma Sensitive Yoga class that will be free of charge and available for drop-in participation.  

Women of Wayland Podcast (Yamini Ranjan): “W.O.W. Podcast, Season IV.” We strive to connect and inspire women in our community by telling remarkable stories that otherwise might never be heard or come to light. This grant will help make possible the production of season IV of the Women of Wayland podcast and fund efforts to scale listenership to new levels and to regions beyond Massachusetts. 

Dedham School of Music (Jody Pongrantz): “The Harmony Fund for Financial Aid.” Grant will support The Harmony Fund, which provides financial aid for music instruction and classes to low income students in Dedham and the surrounding communities.

Jewish Family & Children’s Service (Nancy Schachter): “TeenSafe.” Through leadership, skill-building, and education, TeenSafe gives teens the language and tools they need to recognize abuse in a dating relationship and know how to respond if they see, hear about, or experience it. This project aims to engage teens in education and awareness-raising activities through virtual and in-person workshops, events and social media campaigns during the school year. 

Jeff’s Place (Jenny Kaplan): “Grief and Loss School-based Support.” This project will provide psychoeducational support to schools on issues of childhood bereavement. We plan to offer to all Montessori Schools of Massachusetts 1-2 overarching trainings (via Zoom) on how best to support grieving students, encapsulating pre-k through high school. The MSM membership includes approximately 90 schools across MA. We also plan to offer in-person training and consultation to at least five local MSM members.   

The Advot Project (Naomi Ackerman): “Workbook of Possibility.” The Advot Project creates possibility by using art-based curriculums to teach communication and relationship skills. This grant will fund the creation of the Workbook of Possibility, a writing workbook for our participants.

Brookline Police Department (Casey Hatchett): “AWARE After School Training for Youth.” This mini-grant will fund an afterschool program for middle schoolers taught by AWARE/Youth Resource Officers that will teach Cyber-Awareness, Substance Use & Addiction, and Healthy Dating Relationships.  

Wayland High School Music Department (Joseph Oneschuk): “Tune Up and Turn It Up!” Grant will allow repair of WHS electric guitars, electric basses, guitar amplifiers, keyboard amp and bass amp, all in dire need of a tune-up and repair.  

LEAP Self-Defense, Inc. (Lynn Carberry Masterman): “Girls’ LEAP.”  Grant will help to fund development, piloting, and implementation of an expanded Healthy Relationships curriculum that will include a particular focus on teaching practical strategies for preventing violence after break-ups. This new curriculum will aim to equip young people to understand intimate partner violence and to prevent breakup violence by building skills to keep themselves safe emotionally and physically, in-person and online. 

Dana Hall School (Margie Bailey): “Senior Forum Self-Defense Programming.” Dana Hall School dedicates the entire Senior year of our social-emotional learning class (what we call “Forum”) to preparing for college and life after Dana. During Senior Forum, our students will engage in self-defense classes with IMPACT Boston for two weeks where they learn age-appropriate safety skills. 

Wayland Human Rights, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee (Jane Sciacca): “HRDEIC Promotional Campaign.” Project aims to create written materials, including a handout for distribution at public buildings (Town building, Library, schools) and promotional signs for events/festivals. The aim is to bring greater visibility to the HRDEIC, a newly-created town body that is not yet funded.

Ten years later, the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund keeps Lauren’s legacy alive

Recent coverage on the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund’s impact on awareness about teen dating violence:

Wayland Student Press Network 11/11/21: Wayland football fans honor and remember Lauren Astley

Wayland Student Press Network 11/10/21: Ten years later, the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund keeps Lauren’s legacy alive.

Boston CBS 10/23/21: Lauren Astley’s Father Works With Students To Raise Awareness About Teen Dating Violence

Boston NBC 10/22/21: Wayland High School Football Team Honors Lauren Astley

 

The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund is pleased to announce its 2021 mini-grant recipients!

The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund is pleased to announce its 2021 mini-grant recipients! 

This marks the eighth year that the LDAMF has awarded funding for innovative, creative initiatives working in the three areas of its mission: Effective Teen Relationships & Violence Prevention, the Arts, and Community Service. Applicants this year had the unusual burden of planning around the significant challenges presented by COVID-19, but this still turned out to be our most competitive application season ever. After difficult choices, a total of 15 project proposals were funded this year, all of which carry Lauren Dunne Astley’s spirit and memory into their important work. They are:

  • Arts|Learning (Charles Combs & Nancy Moses): “Champions of Arts Education Awards” This awards presentation recognizes exemplary Arts programs and practitioners in Massachusetts schools and encourages expanded access to the Arts for all students as a means to personal, social, emotional, and intellectual development, as well as the development of arts/crafts skills and “artistic literacy.”
  • Women of Wayland Podcast (Yamini Ranjan): Women of Wayland Seasons II and III . This podcast series strives to connect and inspire by giving voice to the remarkable stories of women in and around Wayland, stories that otherwise might never be heard or come to light.
  • Opera del West (Eve Budnick): The Importance of Being Earnest, an opera by Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Opera del West will give a performance of the opera version of The Importance of Being Earnest by Contemporary composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco at the Boston Center for Arts and The Center for Arts in Natick. 
  • Melrose Alliance Against Violence (Rebecca Mooney): “Voices for Healing” This virtual Community Coffee House will feature performances of music and spoken word by children, teens, and adults. “Voices for Healing” aims to encourage self-expression, to give voice to marginalized communities, and to create an intergenerational culture of healthy relationships.
  • Jewish Family & Children’s Service (Nancy Schachter): TeenSafe. This leadership-development program trains teens to recognize the signs of domestic and dating abuse and empowers them with the knowledge, tools, and personal confidence they will need in order to help.
  • Surviving in Numbers (Alison Safran). The initiative will create and distribute training tools for parents and teens on safe dating and the prevention of sexual violence. It will also produce and distribute a guidebook on self-care for survivors. 
  • LEAP Self-Defense, Inc. (Lynn Carberry Masterman): Anti-racist and Gender-inclusive Violence Prevention Training. LEAP Self-Defense will develop and pilot trainings to equip teaching staff with anti-racist, culturally responsive, and gender-inclusive teaching methods for self-defense programs that will reach approximately 300 young people in Boston this year.
  • Teen Health Comics (Sarah Mausner): Suicide Prevention Initiative. This initiative is a collaborative effort in partnership with Teen Heath Comics, Minding Your Mind, and The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide. Project will include the completion of “Promise Me,” a depression- and suicide-prevention comic, and also the presentation of an online program for youth and families via Zoom during the spring of 2021.
  • The Second Step (Suzanne Wakefield): Student Partnerships for Violence Prevention and Awareness. This program will support the development and growth of new student-led clubs at area high schools to increase local teens’ understanding of relationship violence, healthy teen relationships, and resources for support. 
  • Brandeis University (Mei-Ling Ellerman): Coercive Control Research. This project will conduct interviews and a literature review about amending the legal definition of abuse to include coercive control, the challenges and benefits of passing this legislation, and suggestions for community participation. The report will aim to generate discussion about coercive control legislation in Massachusetts and also prove useful for lawmakers in other states.
  • Prana Recovery Centers (Amy Williams): Embodied Healing Therapy. Grant will support the creation of a website and video to explain Embodied Healing Therapy, a transformative mode of treatment particularly valuable to survivors of trauma, and to develop a sliding-scale for community members who may need financial assistance in order to participate in treatment.
  • Wayland Public Schools (Arthur Unobskey): Supporting Healthy Relationships at Wayland High School. Mini-grant will join the Wayland Public Schools Fund in support of WPS efforts to create and refine curriculum, provide professional development for teachers, and clarify a district-wide plan for creating and maintaining a safe, affirming, and harassment-free environment in schools.
  • Wayland High School Choral Groups (Rachel Carroll): Masterclass Series. Funding will support a series of inspiring masterclasses featuring musicians and artists who advocate for diversity in the arts.
  • Wayland High School Theater Ensemble (Aidan O’Hara): Musical Revue Accompanist/Music Director Support. Grant will help fund the unusual music support and personnel needed to produce a musical production during a pandemic. Specifically, funds will help to bring in guest artist and music educator Allie Lutkevich to help teach and prepare students for a unique performance plan in 2021.
  • The Lived Experiences Project (Nichole Argo):  The Lived Experiences Project is an anonymous storytelling platform that aims to amplify the voices of people who have experienced identity-based bias or discrimination in Needham, MA, to provide data on the type of bias and discrimination that is experienced locally, and to instigate local dialogue around belonging and inclusion. This mini-grant will allow for the hiring of a part-time program associate, support crucial to these goals.

 

The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund is pleased to announce its 2020 mini-grant recipients

This marks the seventh year that the LDAMF has awarded grants in support of innovative, creative initiatives in the three areas of its mission: Effective Teen Relationships & Violence Prevention, the Arts, and Community Service. These grant recipients carry Lauren’s spirit and memory into their important work.

A total of 15 project proposals were funded this year. They are:

  • Deborah Marion of Golden Tones Chorus: “Collaborative Intergenerational Music-Making.” High school students and retirees will build a bridge across generations as they rehearse and perform loved songs together.
  • Joe Oneschuck of Wayland High School Band and Jazz: “A Masterclass of Music and Spirit.” Professional trumpeter Ashley Hall will visit WHS to perform and to work with students on their craft and also to discuss risk taking and vulnerability in the life of an artist.
  • Rachel Carrol of Wayland High School: “Lauren Dunne Astley Anniversary Project.” Planning for and bringing to light a meaningful remembrance on the tenth anniversary of Lauren’s death (spring 2021).
  • Charlotte Salitsky, for TEDxYouth@Wayland. The student-led TEDxYouth@Wayland event on May 17, 2020 will bring powerful young voices to the stage and will include speakers whose topics aim to deepen empathy, build understanding, and empower young people to act.
  • Luisa Barros of Atlant Music: “Unity Peace Festival.” The goal of this annual afternoon celebration of music, arts, and community is “to bring the community together to celebrate our neighborhoods, spread a message of peace, and help young people and families connect with organizations and programs that provide services to youth.” The Unity Peace Festival will take place on June 13, 2020 in Dorchester.
  • Aidan O’Hara of Wayland High School Theater Ensemble: “WHS Theater Arts Lobby Display/Gallery.” This semi-permanent display of framed photographs will celebrate the rich history of theater and the performing arts at Wayland High School.
  • Eve Budnick of Opera del West: “A Night of Divas and Doggies.” This performance of two one-act comedic operas at The Center for Arts in Natick on March 22, 2020 will have something for everyone — humor, pathos, and excellent music in an intimate local venue (and a chance for young professionals to gain experience
  • Yamini Ranjan: “Women of Wayland – The Podcast.” An exciting, creative initiative that aims “to connect and inspire women in our community by telling remarkable stories of women around us.” This will be the second season of the Women of Wayland podcast.
  • Rafaela Carlisle-Swedberg of the Brookline Police Department. Support to allow officer Carlisle-Swedberg to attend The National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence for training in recognizing, identifying, and effectively intervening in cases of domestic violence and teen-dating violence.
  • Nancy Schacter of Jewish Family and Children’s Service. “TeenSafe” is a leadership development program that trains teens to recognize the signs of domestic and dating

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