Our History – How We Got Here
Move to End Violence grew out of the bold vision of the NoVo Foundation. Rather than accept a world fueled by competition, domination, and exploitation, NoVo invests in strategies that lead to social transformation –- bringing us closer to a world thriving on partnership and collaboration.
A primary strategy is to improve the status and well-being of girls and women worldwide, who often experience violence, poverty, and discrimination simply because they are born female. Those same girls and women, once they are free from violence and injustice and their rights are fully realized, can lead the way to a better world. But, for far too many, violence stands in the way. Violence against girls and women has a devastating impact on virtually every community and country in the world, including the United States.
How can we end violence against girls and women in the United States? Thanks to the tireless work of countless advocates and activists we have made progress. Attitudes have shifted, resources have been allocated, and systems have been changed to help address the problem and alleviate its effects. And, yet, staggering rates of violence against girls and women remain. Powerful, systemic forces stubbornly persist and perpetuate oppression.
What Could We Do Differently to Realize Lasting Change? Ask the Experts.
We saw the opportunity to invest resources in helping strengthen the effort to end violence against girls and women. We began by seeking the counsel of over 140 stakeholders in order to understand what they felt the movement would require to achieve this enduring social change. The resonance among those interviewed was striking.
What We Found
All of the stakeholders honored the accomplishments of the past and present and acknowledged a deep desire and heavy sense of responsibility to go further and do more to truly end violence. They were confident in their ability to envision and lead us toward a world in which girls and women live free from violence, but identified fundamental challenges to doing so.
A Call For Support
Stakeholders called for support to:
- Prioritize advocacy for social change, including the dedicated time, training, and opportunity to do so;
- Free up staff resources to take advantage of such opportunities; and
- Address burn-out through opportunities to strengthen leadership and develop self-care practices at the individual and organizational levels.
Throughout these interviews, stakeholders highlighted the innovation occurring in the movement within marginalized communities and by leaders whose analysis reflects an understanding of the compounding ways that power and oppression operate. They lifted up approaches that centered the most marginalized and engaged survivors in the full complexity of their lives. They noted that much of this work is being done in isolation and has not yet garnered the attention or support it deserves. Stakeholders reported the need for a learning community of like-minded individuals committed to leveraging each other’s ideas and aligning around a common vision for moving forward as a movement.
Designing Move to End Violence
In response to what we heard from the stakeholders, we set out to design a program that would build a powerful movement. We aimed to uplift the innovation occurring within the field; create the space and opportunity for leaders to align around a collective vision; and strengthen the capacity of individuals, organizations, and the movement to affect lasting social change to end violence against girls and women in the United States.
An extraordinary team of individuals with expertise in strategy, social change, movement building, organizational development and evaluation made up the core group responsible for designing this initiative. They now serve as core members of Move to End Violence’s faculty.
To help ensure that the design reflected the wisdom of the stakeholders and stayed true to the needs of the movement, an Advisory Committee of 11 stakeholders were routinely consulted throughout the design process. This Advisory Committee included individuals with a vast range of experience. Collectively, they work to end sexual violence, domestic violence, sex trafficking, child sexual abuse, and gender violence in conflict zones. Their work includes a diverse set of social change strategies and occurs at the local, state, national, and international levels.
Move to End Violence Launches
In 2010, NoVo Foundation launched Move to End Violence as its signature operational program with a first cohort of Movement Makers. Now nearing the half-way mark of this program, we have:
- Invested deeply in nearly 53 Movement Makers and their organizations;
- Supported Movement Makers and their organizational colleagues in adopting a more sustainable, impactful way of doing this work;
- Convened individuals and organizations who may once have seen each other as competitors, but now see themselves as a beloved community of fellow travelers; and
- Supported these leaders and their allies to envision and practice a new way of moving forward together.
Our work is far from done. And we cannot do it without all of you. We are now actively expanding our efforts to share these resources – and the learnings of the Movement Makers – beyond the convenings of these leaders to advocates like you who play a critical role in this journey to end violence against girls and women.
Together, we will create a powerful engine for social change.