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March 31, 2017
|A pair of Northwest students look at T-shirts comprising the clothesline project at the base of the Memorial Bell Tower on the Northwest campus.|
Artists representing the Northwest Missouri State University community spread messages of violence prevention this week during a “clothesline project” sponsored by the University’s Green Dot program.
The Clothesline Project was founded in 1990 in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to create awareness of violence against women and as a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. The shirts are hung on a clothesline in public view as testimony to the issue of violence against women.
Northwest students and local artists painted more than 150 shirts that were displayed through the week at the University’s B.D. Owens Library, J.W. Jones Student Union and Memorial Bell Tower.
On Friday, the shirts of all colors and sizes hung on a series of clotheslines around the Bell Tower. The shirts featured words of love and encouragement with positive symbols such as sunshine, flowers and smiley faces. Some quoted the likes of Gandhi, Maya Angelou and C.S. Lewis. Some featured handprints with phrases such as “Hands are not for hitting” and No trespass.”
The initiative aligns with Northwest’s Green Dot program, which the University launched in fall 2015. It is a federally supported bystander intervention program intended to help reduce incidents of stalking, partner violence and sexual assault. The initiative is based on a national violence-prevention strategy that advocates for community members playing a role in creating a non-violent culture and safe campus.
Northwest Green Dot Coordinator Danielle Koonce brought the idea to Northwest after participating in the project at other institutions. In addition to directing Northwest’s Green Dot program, Koonce advises Concerned Advocates for Relationship Equality (CARE), a student-led peer education program.
Koonce and CARE students solicited other student organizations at Northwest to submit T-shirts for the project and then distributed painting kits to groups that voiced interest. CARE also hosted a painting party.
In addition to messages of violence prevention, Koonce said she was touched to see T-shirts promoting social justice. One T-shirt included the phrase “Protect Me Too” with a transgender symbol.
“I also loved that some folks made Green Dot-themed shirts, even though it wasn’t a requirement,” Koonce said. “I am happy to see how the Green Dot message has become a part of the fabric of Northwest.”
Within the Green Dot strategy, so-called green dots represent moments when individuals use words, behaviors or actions to try to stop violent acts, which are symbolized by red dots.
“This display speaks to the heart of Northwest,” B.K. Taylor, Northwest’s assistant director of wellness services and prevention, outreach and education, said. “The Bell Tower is an iconic symbol of Northwest, and every shirt is a Green Dot — a commitment to eliminating violence not only at Northwest but in Maryville and all of northwest Missouri.”
Taylor added, “This display has inspired me and I am sure it inspires others. Green Dot is our heart, violence prevention is our calling. Together we are making the change we need.”
For more information about Northwest’s Green Dot program, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/wellness/greendot/.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468