Advocacy & Community Education

Community Ambassador

TFF Community Ambassadors are trained to go into the community and share information about foundation services, programs, and community resources. They also assist with satellite events and merchandise sales. These volunteers have played an important role in expanding our reach and building our relationships with partner organizations and community members.

Crisis Intervention

Due to an increased need for crisis support as a result of growing levels of awareness and organized response to issues related to sexual assault, TFF dispatches our crisis intervention team to provide onsite crisis support to individuals impacted by sexual assault, including personal and secondary trauma. By placing trained crisis intervention volunteers on-site at local events, TFF can provide emotional support to individuals working towards eliminating sexual assault. TFF crisis intervention volunteers are able to support triggered event participants, offer space to destress and provide referrals for ongoing support. This year, these services have been provided for events at Michigan State University, hosted by the Capital Area Latinx Youth, East Lansing High School, and the Capital City Film Fest. 

Title IX Advocacy

The Title IX Advocacy Program will train up to 20 volunteer advocates per year to inform K-12 students and their families of their rights and the responsibilities of school districts under the Title IX Federal Civil Rights Law prohibiting sexual discrimination in sports and schools.

The Title IX advocate’s responsibility is to work collaboratively with area schools and their Title IX Coordinators to protect and advocate for survivors of sexual violence and gender-based violence. If need be, advocates will assist students and families in filing Title IX complaints to the proper authorities, attend meetings with families at their schools and connect them to invaluable community resources and services to address the aftermath of sexual and gender-based violence. If warranted, advocates will also refer families to further legal assistance.

Trauma-Informed Midwifery, Education, and Doula Program

In partnership with Red Cedar Birth, TFF has developed a doula program that will offer midwife and doula services to pregnant and parenting teen survivors of sexual violence. A peer-led monthly birth chat where teens can discuss their feelings and experiences about birth, pregnancy, sexuality, parenting, triggers, and navigating institutions such as the juvenile justice system, hospitals, residential facilities, schools, and workforce entry/reentry. The State of Michigan provides abstinence-only sex-education, and many teens enter into their sexual and pregnancy experiences with very little and often inaccurate information related to their bodies, sexuality, and pregnancy. This doula care will be supplementary to their existing patient relationships with area medical doctors and participants will deliver at local hospitals.

Supported by three doulas with specialized, trauma-informed training, teen survivors will be provided with high-quality, competent, and experienced labor companions to help them navigate the birth experience. Doulas will support the creation of birth plans and provide emotional support and information to help new parents make decisions and communicate effectively with medical staff. During delivery, they will advocate for the client’s wishes while providing emotional and physical support. Research has shown that simply having a doula in the room decreases the rates of c-section, epidural, induction, and other unnecessary interventions, as well as exponentially increasing the positive feedback from the client about the birth experience, which we know can set someone up for a decreased risk of postpartum depression.

People of color do not receive adequate prenatal care, experience high rates of infant mortality, and are often victims of institutional oppression and violence in medical environments. The Trauma-Informed Doula Care Program of The Firecracker Foundation will help teen survivors heal and cope during a challenging time while creating a safer birth and healthier future for their children.

Community Education

The Firecracker Foundation is proud to offer the community educational opportunities to support prevention efforts as well as critical culture shifts that make children less vulnerable to sexual harm. We are currently offering Darkness to Light: Stewardship of Children training designed to help adults prevent child abuse, psychoeducational workshops for families on topics ranging from “Safety and Consent: How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse” to “Grooming: What it Looks Like” to “Healthy (Sex)uality.” Firecracker staff often creates custom content to meet the needs and challenges of the schools, faith communities, businesses, and groups requesting training and presentations. Contact us with your training request today!