Help Us Create (a) Culture of Safety

A Message from  Erin & Amy:  While many of you who know us personally know that it has been a challenging time for us, we have resolved to seize the opportunity and become entrepreneurs!  Drum roll, please...

We're excited to announce the creation of Culture of Safety, LLC!

While we are incorporated as an LLC, we aspire to nonprofit status in the future.  Thus, we consider ourselves a mission-driven small business.  Our mission is  to create cultures of safety, strength, and respect in schools, workplaces, and communities through trainings across the city of Chicago and suburbs.

We are seeking financial support to cover the start-up costs of our new business venture -- liability insurance, web hosting, incorporation fees, etc.  We have tapped into our very tiny reserves to cover the most essential of these costs so that we can hit the ground running (we've already delivered two programs, with two more on the books for next week!).  Now we're turning to our community to help us to grow this into a sustainable entity so that we can continue to provide this transformative training to all who seek it.  We're also seeking volunteers to donate their expertise (or create in-kind trades) for accounting, graphic design, photography, and videography services.  If you have small-business skills to teach us or share with us, please get in touch!

Culture of Safety, LLC is a small business that offers empowerment-based violence prevention – specifically empowerment self-defense, bystander intervention, workplace safety, and self-defense for kids, youth, and teens in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.  Culture of Safety serves both individuals and organizations such as small businesses, large corporations, schools and educational facilities (K – 12 and higher education), nonprofit organizations, and private groups. 

We strive to help our clients create a culture of safety and mutual respect in their environments, and to help individuals know that they are strong and capable of keeping themselves safe in whatever environment they find themselves in.

We want to express our gratitude towards Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, NFP for supporting and encouraging us to continue doing the work that is so important to us and our community.  We are operating with their full consent and support.

What Is Empowerment-Based Violence Prevention?

Empowerment-Based Violence Prevention is an approach to violence prevention that helps individuals enhance their safety by helping them understand, maximize, and increase their own strength.  Culture of Safety recognizes that people feel safer when they know they can physically defend themselves if necessary, so many of our trainings include a physical self-defense section.  And we further recognize that safety strategies that rely entirely on physical self-defense can only be effective in a physical altercation.  Knowing that our clients do not want to fight if they don’t have to, Culture of Safety teaches students how to notice and respond to people behaving unsafely in their environments long before a fight happens, allowing them to prevent most violence before  it starts.  The result is a comprehensive approach to personal safety enhancement. 

Does It Work?

In a word, yes!  Evidence shows a 50% reduction in experience of violence after an empowerment-based safety training.  No other intervention is as effective.

About the Founders

Erin Epperson, PhD has been teaching empowerment-based violence prevention since 2012.  In addition, Dr.  Epperson is a teacher of samatha meditation, a practice that is especially helpful for survivors of trauma.  They are nationally certified both as an instructor of samatha meditation and as an Empowerment-Based Self-Defense Instructor, and often introduce short meditations into their self-defense teaching as a way of helping their students re-regulate their nervous systems.  Dr. Epperson is especially skilled in working with children, youth,  teens, and with the trans* community.

Amy L. E. Jones, LSW has been teaching empowerment-based violence prevention since 2003.  Amy has taught workshops for people with cognitive, sensory, and mobility impairments; social workers and other helping professionals, older adults, and college students. Amy is a licensed social worker in the state of Illinois.

Both Amy and Erin have extensive experience working in healthcare and social service settings, both with clients and staff.  All of our trainings are trauma-informed.  Erin and Amy are happy to tailor trainings to the specific needs of the clients they serve.

We are specifically seeking financial support for the following costs:

$600 - Liability insurance (already obtained)
$250 - LLC  Incorporation & Tax ID fees (in progress)
$375 - Office Supplies
$175 - Website & Email hosting
$500 - Uniforms & Equipment
$100 - Up front travel costs

Donations ()

  • Wai-Kwong Kwok 
    • $415 
    • 7 mos
  • Carrie Slack 
    • $75 
    • 7 mos
  • Claudia Graziano 
    • $100 
    • 8 mos
  • Cori H 
    • $50 
    • 8 mos
  • Brieanne Beaujolais 
    • $50 
    • 8 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Culture of Safety (2)

Amy Jones 
Organizer
Raised $1,735 from 14 donations
Chicago, IL
Erin Epperson 
Team member
Raised $990 from 7 donations
This team raised $275 from 5 other donations.
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