Organization Name: RESPECT
Mission: Building healthy relationships using theatre and community collaboration.
Funded Program Description: Strengthening Mental Health Through Theatre.
Comments: Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, RESPECT’s plans for implementation of this grant are on hold. Schools that RESPECT anticipated traveling to are in process of determining what school will look like next year and whether outside groups will be allowed in. RESPECT’s work, however, has not stopped, especially as we know the mental health implications of the pandemic are large. RESPECT is adapting all of our programs to be offered remotely – even for local organizations to ensure that during a shutdown, schools, educators, counselors, and organizations, can rely upon RESPECT to meet social-emotional learning objectives. Additionally, RESPECT is developing new educational theatre programs (which will be able to be performed live) that focus on topics relating to COVID-19, such as maintaining boundaries – both mental and physical, as well as handling anxiety and big emotions. Our staff has been taking time to participate in trainings hosted by the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands and Collective for Youth. Finally, RESPECT’s anti-bullying message has been important in shaping discussions about identity-based bullying, such as harassment due to race, gender identity, or immigration status. During today’s social and political climate, we know that these matters require significant and sensitive discussion and we are strengthening our efforts to do that. Our board member, Sgt. Howard Banks, will be leading a workshop for our staff on these issues to enhance our work on these topics.