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Introduction/Supporting a Coordinator

Before we dive into this month’s blog series, I wanted to take a quick moment to introduce myself. I am Jolene Engelking, the Rural Projects Coordinator at the Sexual Violence Justice Institute (SVJI). If you have been around this blog for a while, you know that SVJI is a project of the Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault that focuses on helping communities improve the response to sexual assault through collaborations such as SARTs. I have been with SVJI for almost 3 years, so have had the joy of meeting many of you during that time. My focus is working with rural sexual assault response teams as well as state & territory level leaders to help navigate the exciting, confusing, and sometimes difficult work of improving the response to sexual violence. I also am the go-to person on staff for talking about case file review! You might have noticed my name more recently on the blogs so I wanted to take this time to say “hi”! Feel free to reach out to me about most anything SART related and I will do my best to help you (or connect you with someone who might be able to!).

Now that you know who I am, we can move on to the real work! Many coordinators that I talk to feel very alone in their work. They might be the only one doing any sort of systems change work in their agency. They might be the only person focused on sexual assault at their agency. Their team might show up to meetings but not really participate or expect the coordinator to carry all the work of the team. Team coordination can feel exhausting if a person feels they are doing things on their own. This next blog series will be looking at what supports a SART coordinator needs, how their supervisor/home agency can support them, how the team can (and should!) support the work of the coordinator, and other places a coordinator can go when they might need additional support.

What are ways that you support the coordinator(s) in your life? What supports do you appreciate as a coordinator? Leave your comments, thoughts and questions below!