- Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
Media Contact for AG Healey, Robert Kraft Host Annual ‘Game Change’ Student Leadership Summit
Boston — Attorney General Maura Healey and Chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft today hosted their annual student leadership summit at Gillette Stadium for their groundbreaking anti-violence education program “Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership.”
The goal of Game Change, launched in 2015 by AG Healey and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, is to implement long-term anti-violence and healthy relationship education in Massachusetts schools with a focus on developing peer leaders at the high school level who can provide trainings to their middle school counterparts.
“With the support of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, Game Change is providing thousands of young people with tools they need to prevent relationship violence, treat one another with respect and be upstanders – not just bystanders,” said AG Healey. “Together, we’re sending the message that dating violence and sexual assault are never acceptable.”
“Three years ago, Maura Healey and I met to discuss some ways we could positively effect change in our community in the areas of relationship violence and sexual assault,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “By teaming up with the attorney general, we have been able to reach young people in the most impressionable years of their life to impart this important message and equip them to speak up, stand up and change the status quo with domestic violence. As we have learned in any endeavor, the best opportunity for success is to assemble a great team. In this program, empowering students to help end relationship violence has been a game changer.”
To date, Game Change has trained students, teachers, coaches, and service providers across Massachusetts in the MVP curriculum. Participants have trained, hosted events and led discussions for more than 20,000 students. Student leaders representing more than 100 communities across the state are now equipped to intervene when they witness signs of violence and to help other young people do the same.
Today’s summit was attended by 265 students and 48 teachers from 26 high schools and middle schools in Massachusetts. The summit featured welcome remarks from Andre Tippett, Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs, followed by student-led workshop sessions about initiatives and strategies to educate their peers about healthy relationships.
The day also featured a teacher roundtable session facilitated by four experienced Game Change teachers who provided insight and advice to fellow teachers about building and maintaining successful Game Change programs. The sessions were followed by remarks from Hannah Carvalho, a senior and Game Change Captain from Dartmouth High School, and an award ceremony to recognize exceptional Game Change teams. The summit culminated with remarks from AG Healey and Robert Kraft.
During the first phase of Game Change, which ran from January through May 2016, nearly 200 staff from 90 high schools and nine domestic violence organizations across the state were trained in the MVP curriculum. For the program’s second phase, which ran throughout the 2016-2017 school year, staff from Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) provided direct trainings on preventing relationship violence to students at each of the 34 participating high schools across the state. In the third phase, which ran during the 2017-2018 school year, trained high school student leaders worked directly with local middle schools to educate them about building healthy relationships and stopping teen dating violence.
Run by the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, the MVP trainings give participants the skills to recognize the dynamics of power and control that can lead to relationship and gender-based violence. Trained students, teachers, and coaches learn how to recognize the signs of an unhealthy relationship and when to intervene or reach out for help.
For more information about Game Change, please visit www.mass.gov/ago/gamechange or contact the AG’s Policy & Government Division at 617-963-2700.