FHSU Starts Economic Justice and Advocacy Program

In response to the pressing issue of gender-based violence (GBV) and its impact on workplaces and rural communities, Fort Hays State University is proud to announce the launch of the Economic Justice and Advocacy Certificate program. This innovative program aims to equip professionals in business management and human resources with the skills and knowledge to support and advocate for GBV survivors, with a focus on financial empowerment and career development. The initiative leads are Dr. Rachel Dolechek (Applied Business) and Dr. Ziwei Qi (Criminal Justice).

The prevalence of GBV in the United States remains alarming, with 20 people experiencing domestic violence per minute and more than 10 million victims (about half the population of New York) annually. This widespread issue affects individuals and families and has significant consequences for employers, with an estimated 50,000 instances of domestic violence occurring in workplaces each year. This results in a loss of 8 million days (about 21,903 years) of paid work per year or $1.8 billion (about $6 per person in the United States) loss in productivity.

Rural survivors face unique challenges, including geographical isolation, limited resources, and cultural tolerance of violence in intimate relationships. The Economic Justice and Advocacy Certificate program seeks to address these issues by providing professionals with the tools to empower survivors and promote economic independence.

Funded by the Innovation and Entrepreneurship grant, the program offers scholarships for completing the certificate, comprising ten credit hours of coursework. Students will acquire a foundational knowledge of victim advocacy and develop strong written communication skills through courses from criminal justice, business communication and sociology.

This program aims to foster a more inclusive workplace environment and empower professionals to advocate for GBV survivors.

The FHSU Innovation grant also provides financial support and resources to the community. Financial assistance of $700 per person supports tuition, fees, and skills development. Application forms for scholarships can be found at https://forms.gle/oTi1mkcK5NsPmeRX7.[BD1]

For more information about the Economic Justice and Advocacy Certificate program, contact Dr. Rachel Dolechek at [email protected] and Dr.Ziwei Qi at [email protected].