Jana’s Campaign Receives National Award

Hays (KAN) – Jana’s Campaign, Inc. has received national recognition for its teen dating violence prevention program. In January, the Mary Byron Project of Louisville, Kentucky, awarded Jana’s Campaign with the “Commended Program Award” as part of their Celebrating Solutions Awards program.

“We are thrilled to be the recipients of this award and honored to be recognized by the Mary Byron Project,” said Christie Brungardt, co-founder of Jana’s Campaign. “We know that prevention of gender and relationship violence is critical work and we are grateful for and humbled by this award.”

The “Commended Program” honor includes a cash award for Jana’s Campaign. These resources will be used to expand the organization’s teen dating violence prevention activities for students, teachers, coaches, parents and administrators across Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska. The program’s ultimate goal is to help adolescents and young adults recognize and understand the difference between caring, supporting relationships and those that are controlling, manipulating or abusive.

“Our work in secondary education is crucial,” said Kelley Parker, Executive Director of Jana’s Campaign. “As young people enter into relationships, they need to be able to recognize unhealthy relationship behaviors. We are excited to continue our work with secondary schools in implementing effective prevention programming across the region.”

In the past three years, Jana’s Campaign has worked with more than 300 middle and high schools to implement gender and relationship violence prevention programming, including faculty/staff training, classroom curriculum implementation, school assemblies, bystander intervention training and more. Jana’s Campaign was created in honor of the late Jana Mackey who lost her life to dating violence in 2008.  Mackey was a law student at the University of Kansas at the time of her death.  A year later a committed group of activists created Jana’s Campaign, Inc. with the single mission of reducing gender and relationship violence. Mackey was a 2000 Hays High (KS) graduate.

The Mary Byron Project was established in 2000 in memory of the young woman who was tragically murdered by a former boyfriend. Her murder led to the creation of automated crime victim notification technologies. The Mary Byron Project created the Celebrating Solutions Awards to showcase and applaud local innovations that demonstrate promise in breaking the cycle of violence.

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