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Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention Gives “ Lighting the Way” Awards to Jackson Katz and Alan Heisterkamp for their outstanding work in violence prevention


Sioux City, IA - November 16, 2006

The Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention presented two awards at their annual holiday reception for community partners and colleagues Thursday, November 16th at the Orpheum Theater.

The awards were given to both a local and national partner and have been named the “Lighting the Way”award.

Receiving the local “Lighting the Way” award was Dr. Alan Heisterkamp, principal of North High School, and a champion of the school based violence prevention curriculum “Mentors in Violence Prevention” for the past six years.

Heisterkamp is currently the principal of North High School in Sioux City, previously serving as Assistant School Principal at West High School, East and Hoover Middle Schools. Before his years as an administrator, Alan taught mathematics and coached at North High. He earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics from University of Northern Iowa, a Master of Art degree and in 2002 a Doctorate of Education, Secondary Administration, both from University of South Dakota.

He volunteers his time as a Sunday school teacher, for many community activities, and has played guitar in a local band. He and his wife Pat are raising three teenage daughters and one son all involved in yet more activities.

Stafford said, “When the Waitt Institute began exploring ways to introduce violence prevention concepts and programs here in Sioux City, Alan stood out, stood up is more accurate, as an early supporter. He shared our vision of engaging our community, youth and adults, all of us, to work towards creating a climate that promotes respect, safety, and responsibility for our behaviors and actions. Violence prevention is more than abstaining from negative behavior. Utilizing the Mentors in Violence Prevention program, he has been a tireless champion for supporting opportunities for youth to consider healthy options in risky situations, recognize that everyone has leadership skills and that we all can make a difference.

Alan is true leader; showing up when it would be easier to be elsewhere, voicing concerns when it would be easier to remain silent, doing the hard work of blazing trails when most of us wait for someone else to do it. He has remained steadfast in his commitment to making the world a better place for us and our children.”

The recipient of the national “Lighting the Way” award was Jackson Katz, founder of MVP strategies, author, and a leading national gender violence speaker and expert.

Jackson Katz is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work in gender violence prevention education with men and boys, particularly in the sports culture and the military. An educator, award-winning filmmaker, and author of an influential new book The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help, Katz also co-founded and authored the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program at Northeastern University. Today MVP is the most widely utilized gender violence prevention program in college and professional athletics including seven NFL teams. As founder and director of MVP Strategies, he and other MVP staff have provided training to scores of universities and high schools and directs the first worldwide gender violence prevention program in the history of the United States Marine Corps. He holds academic degrees from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Harvard, and is currently a doctoral student in cultural studies and education at UCLA. A native of Boston, he now lives with his family in the Los Angeles area.

Since 2000, Jackson has worked closely with the Waitt Institute For Violence Prevention to guide the training and implementation of MVP in Sioux City high schools, middle schools, and Briar Cliff University. With its primary focus on bystander leadership, the Mentors in Violence Prevention program continues as a major part of WIVP’s prevention plan that focuses on changing social norms that accept violence as a part of life.

Judy Stafford, Vice President of the Institute said, “ Even though his work takes him all over the world, he continues to provide generous support, critical guidance, and taking time to check on our progress. His pioneering and tireless efforts to engage bystander men in the movement to end men’s violence against women coupled with his passion for confronting the messages and beliefs that perpetuate violence, reflect his deep commitment to bring light into the darkness of the culture of violence that dims far too many futures for our children. “

Cindy Waitt, President of the Waitt Institute, said, “These two men have been true champions in violence prevention and valued partners in our strategies locally and nationally. We couldn’t be prouder that they chose to partner with us in our work engaging men and youth in the prevention of family violence.”

The Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention is committed to changing social norms that accept violence as a part of life. We do this by supporting primary violence prevention work in our hometown, our nation, and our world.