This week, the NoVo Foundation kicks off its Move to End Violence initiative, a groundbreaking, 10-year, $80 million initiative designed to strengthen the movement to end violence against girls and women in the United States. The program is designed as a series of five cohorts, each on a two-year cycle. Over the life of the initiative, Move to End Violence will engage over 100 individuals and as many organizations, establishing a powerful infrastructure of sophisticated leaders and organizations to lead the effort to end violence against girls and women in the United States.
“Many have expressed shock at IMF leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest in connection with a sexual assault here in New York,” said Jennifer Buffett, President and Co-Chair of the NoVo Foundation. “But given the epidemic of sexual violence against girls and women, we shouldn’t be surprised. Thanks to the tireless work of countless activists we have made progress, but staggering rates of violence remain worldwide. Powerful, systemic forces persist and perpetuate it. Our goal with Move to End Violence is to prevent violence against women before it starts, and to create a culture where powerful men—and all boys and men— don’t think they have the right to abuse women.”
After consulting over 200 advocates, practitioners and thought leaders, NoVo initiated a new, long-term strategy: rather than funding organizations in isolation, the Foundation created a comprehensive program that aims to build capacity in the field by connecting and cultivating innovative leaders and organizations working for social change. The initiative will provide these leaders the opportunity to step back from the pressing needs of their day-to-day work to envision a world free of violence against girls and women, and strengthen the movement’s capacity to take strategic steps towards that ambitious goal.
Move to End Violence’s pilot cohort includes 16 visionaries from eight states selected from a pool of over 140 applicants. During their 2-year cohort experience, they will engage in movement building work, transformative leadership development, social change skills trainings, and organizational development. Additionally, each of their organizations will receive a significant grant from the NoVo Foundation. The progress and experience of the cohort will be chronicled at On The Move, a blog that will combine the work of Move to End Violence with commentary from leaders and practitioners in the broader movement. In addition, Move to End Violence will be creating online communities through its Facebook page and its Twitter account @MoveEndViolence.
“For too long, this movement has lacked the funding necessary to commit sufficient time and energy to addressing root causes,” said Jackie Payne, a consultant to NoVo and the director of the initiative, “Because of NoVo’s extraordinary commitment, Move to End Violence will fill that void by strategically investing in the movement’s capacity to end violence against girls and women.”
Violence against girls and women is an epidemic in this country. In the United States, 17.7 million girls and women have been victims of rape or attempted rape. An average of three women are killed per day by their partners or ex-partners. Seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence has occurred in the past year. Approximately one in three adolescent girls is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
“Move to End Violence is a hallmark program of the NoVo Foundation,” said Jennifer Buffett. “We believe that lasting and profound social change happens when philanthropy makes space for gradual, yet systemic change.”