The Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund’s mission is to promote dynamic educational programs, particularly those in the areas of the development of healthy teen relationships, the arts, and community service.
Mission in Action. The focus of the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund has been on funding educational initiatives in the Boston area. Breakup violence continues to be a priority with efforts directed at increased awareness and prevention education. Our promotion of healthy teen relationships also reflects themes of the arts and community service.
In January, 2022, Co-Founder Malcolm Astley made a presentation with Regional Director Tara Small of the One Love Foundation to the State Sub-Committee on Prevention and Youth Resiliency, discussing the resources and skills the two foundations provide to youth in New England and across the country. In the process they focused on enabling youth as change agents regarding healthy teen relationships and violence prevention.
In January Co-Founders Mary Dunne and Malcolm Astley joined with Dr. Gene Beresin of the Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital to create two podcasts on the topic of teen relationships and specifically break up violence. https://www.mghclaycenter.org/multimedia/teen-breakup-violence-part-1/
Later in the month Malcolm returned to Lincoln-Sudbury High School’s annual senior training with One Love’s Escalation Workshop and spoke to the topics of taking care of one another and skills in being an upstander.
In February Malcolm worked with the Task Force at Wayland High School on the topics of why recent efforts in media postings on sexual harassment were important to address as well as the procedures for airing concerns using available channels with clear knowledge of how they work.
In March Malcolm worked with Yamini Ranjin on material for her Women of Wayland podcasts regarding healthy relationships and violence prevention: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/loved-to-death-malcolm-astley/id1471535994?i=1000546133442
He also returned to Lincoln-Sudbury High School for their Mentors in Violence Prevention work on the challenges of break ups and addressing effectively and safely the potentials for violence.
Later in March Malcolm spoke at Lasell University on the foundation’s work and issues in relationship violence and prevention at Sharyn Lowenstein’s class on Justice, Revenge and Human Rights.
April, 2021 was the 10th anniversary of Lauren’s murder. We chose to mark the date with a celebration of her life on her birthday, April 1, available as a video on our website. Mary and choral teacher Rachel Carroll carried out the leadership. As of 1.16.22 the video has received 1450 views. Lieutenant Governor Polito and President Biden were featured in the celebration along with Lauren’s friends and teachers and top a cappella group Backlight.
The foundation began work on a documentary video, due out this summer, to provide a working explanation for older youth, educators, parents and the public at large on the factors that join together to create break up and relationship violence and promising points and resources for intervention and prevention.
We have continued to fund the annual conference on understanding violence and its prevention at Elon University where Lauren was to have attended.
Malcolm and Mary were interviewed this past summer by British documentarian Deeyah Kahn to provide material for her upcoming documentary on boys’ and men’s violence against girls and women and each other worldwide.
Malcolm continued participation on the Governor’s Council to Address Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence which council meets monthly, and on the new prevention subcommittee, Building Safety Nets and Resiliency in Children and Youth.
The foundation has supported the production through Teen Health Comics of three classic comics on the topics of healthy relationships, substance abuse prevention, and preventing depression and suicide, available on line at https://teenhealthcomics.org .
In October Malcolm was interviewed by Tamisha Civil on WEZE 590 AM regarding work with the Metrowest Commission on the Status of Women asked him and Mary Dunne to take part in a panel on the topic of instruction in healthy relationships and violence prevention. Later in the month the panel took place via the internet, attended by about fifty citizens.
A week later Malcolm joined with Joy Stanley of Cumming Georgia via the internet in one of her classes making use of the Loved to Death program with one group of thousands of middle and high school youth with whom she has worked over the years using the material to educate them regarding healthy relationships, warning signs of danger, and understanding violence prevention.
In November Malcolm again spoke in Sharyn Lowenstein’s class at Lasell, this one on Violence, Forgiveness, Transformation and Human Rights. His topic was again the work of the foundation, healthy relationships, warning signs of violence, and steps toward violence prevention.
In early December, 2019 Malcolm spoke about warning signs and violence prevention with Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School seniors before they watched and discussed the One Love video Escalation.
2019-2020: Lectures and discussions were curtailed significantly during the pandemic, though gradually on-line visits came into use. Curricula and other resources on relationships were presented through a video now available through both foundations.
At the start of Fall, 2020, Malcolm and Mary joined with Joy Stanley of Cumming Georgia via the internet to answer questions in one of her middle school classes making use of the Loved to Death program with one group of thousands of middle and high school youth with whom she has worked over the years.
Later in October Malcolm again joined a class of Sharyn Lowenstein’s at Lasell University, this entitled the Riddle of Gender, to discuss foundation work on healthy relationships and violence prevention.
For prior action, please see previous Key Events in 2019 and Action Archive