December 2002

Grant Results

SUMMARY

Starting in 1999, Ribbon of Promise developed a grass-roots campaign against school violence. The campaign, also known as Ribbon of Promise or ROP, grew out of community response to a fatal school shooting in Springfield, Ore., in May 1998, which left two dead and 25 wounded.

The next day, Springfield firefighters distributed blue ribbons throughout the city as a sign of local resolve to end such incidents. Local volunteers adopted the symbol and formed a nonprofit organization to encourage communities across the nation to take steps against school violence.

Key Results
Ribbon of Promise pursued activities in four areas:

  • Raising public awareness of school violence and prevention strategies.
  • Providing the public with information about school violence.
  • Identifying promising approaches to end school violence.
  • Developing tools to help communities cope in the aftermath of school violence.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the campaign development with a $50,000 grant.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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RESULTS

During the grant the organization—later named Ribbon of Promise National Campaign to End School Violence—pursued activities in four areas:

  • Raising public awareness of school violence and prevention strategies.
  • Providing the public with information about school violence.
  • Identifying promising approaches to end school violence.
  • Developing tools to help communities cope in the aftermath of school violence.

The group reported to RWJF that it had:

  • Distributed approximately 100,000 blue ribbons in the United States and abroad. Students, teachers, parents, business people and politicians were among the recipients. ROP began charging 25 cents a ribbon to cover costs.
  • Developed a speakers' bureau to make available survivors of school shootings, ROP leaders, students and others for such events as conferences and school assemblies.
  • Produced publicity materials, including two brochures about ROP, fact sheets on school violence and news releases and reprints of articles on related topics. Schools, community activists, government agencies and the media distributed packets.
  • Created a database on school violence and related legislation and posted the information on the campaign Web site (no longer available).
  • Developed a student-run program called By Kids 4 Kids (BK4K) to facilitate student solutions to school violence. BK4K initiated production of a 12-minute video—"Not My Friends—Not My School"—aimed at encouraging students to report threats of violence.
  • Created a program called Parent Advocates for Safe Schools (PASS) to stimulate adult involvement. PASS developed a school-safety checklist for parents and promoted establishment of 24-hour community hotlines for reporting threats of school violence.
  • Sponsored the April 1999 premiere in Eugene, Ore., of a one-act play—"Bang Bang You're Dead" by William Mastrosimone—which portrays the consequences of school violence. The author created a separate Web site (www.bangbangyouredead.com) to disseminate the script free of charge and to publicize scheduled performances across the country. There was a discussion guide developed for use with the play.
  • Established an ROP chapter in Port Orchard, Wash., and formed partnerships with local groups in Colorado, Wisconsin and Kentucky.

Communications

The ROP campaign received media coverage in Oregon and national publications, including USA Today. The network program "CBS This Morning featured "Bang Bang You're Dead." Cindy Brown, executive director of the ROP organization, appeared twice on the syndicated television talk show "Leeza." The campaign fielded numerous media calls in wake of the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colo., that left 15 dead. (See the Bibliography.)

Other Funding

In addition to RWJF funds, corporate contributions and fund-raising events ($31,814), individual donations ($9,988), ribbon sales ($8,828) and in-kind contributions ($9,674) supported the campaign.

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AFTER THE GRANT

After the grant ended, campaign personnel completed production of the "Not My Friends—Not My School" video and distributed 450 copies. They also sought to develop a new program called KidSafe to protect students in kindergarten through third grade and to establish additional chapters. A shortage of funds and staff hampered these efforts, however.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

National Campaign to End Violence in Schools

Grantee

Ribbon of Promise (Springfield,  OR)

  • Amount: $ 50,000
    Dates: January 1999 to December 1999
    ID#:  035695

Contact

Cindy Brown
(541) 726-0512
cbrown@ribbonofpromise.org

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Brochures and Fact Sheets

"BK4K: by kids 4 kids." Ribbon of Promise, 1999.

"Bang Bang You're Dead: Discussion Guide." Ribbon of Promise, 1999.

"National Campaign to End School Violence." Ribbon of Promise, 1999.

"Safety Checklist." Parent Advocates for Safe Schools, Ribbon of Promise, 1999.

Audio-Visuals and Computer Software

"Not My Friends—Not My School," a 12-minute video about school violence and what students can do to stop it. Springfield, Ore.: Ribbon of Promise, 2000. As of January 2001, 450 copies had been distributed.

Theatre Productions

"Bang Bang You're Dead," by William Mastrosimone, premier, Eugene, Ore., April 7, 1999.

World Wide Web Sites

www.ribbonofpromise.org (no longer available) provides information about the Ribbon of Promise campaign and services. Springfield, Ore.: Ribbon of Promise National Campaign to End School Violence. 1998. Estimated 19,000 visits per month since tracking began January 1, 2001.

www.bangbangyouredead.com provides information about the one-act play Bang Bang You're Dead by William Mastrosimone, including places and dates of upcoming performances and access to the script free of charge. Los Angeles, Calif.: William Mastrosimone. 1999. Estimated 4,200 visits per month.

Presentations and Testimony

Cindy Brown and student Vanessa Frambes, "Panel Discussion," at the 1999 National PTA Convention, June 28, 1999, Portland, Ore.

Dennis Murphy, "EMS Response to School Violence Helps Stop the Bloodshed," at the EMS Today National Conference, EMS Today, March 27, 1999, Denver, Colo.

Dennis Murphy, untitled presentation, at the New Mexico State Mayors' Summit on School Violence Prevention, June 29, 1999, Albuquerque, N.M.

Press Kits and News Releases

A selection of news releases sent by the Ribbon of Promise campaign to various local, state and national news media in 1999:

  • News release on The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant award to Ribbon of Promise, January 19, 1999.
  • News release announcing upcoming speech by former Los Angeles police officer Ron Shipp at Lane County Fairgrounds, January 19, 1999.
  • News release on the first performance of the play "Bang Bang You're Dead," April 1, 1999.
  • News release on plans to establish a Ribbon of Promise chapter in the Littleton/Denver area, April 22, 1999.
  • News release on the request for the public to join in a moment of silence for Columbine High School shooting victims and families, April 24, 1999.
  • News release on a donation to Ribbon of Promise from Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, May 13, 1999.
  • News release on Ribbon of Promise's "United Action Plan," May 21, 1999.

Print Coverage

"Bang, Bang: A Cautionary Play," in USA Today, April 5, 1999.

"Bang, Bang: A Powerful Tool," in Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore., April 5, 1999.

"Ask the Tough Questions," in Denver Post, April 23, 1999.

"Ribbon of Promise," item in Classified Chronicle, newsletter of Colorado Classified School Employees Association, May 1999.

"A Primer on Ribbon of Promise," in Springfield News, Springfield, Ore., May 19, 1999.

"Group Launches New Campaign," in Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore., May 20, 1999.

"Parents Launch Safe Schools Campaign," in Springfield News, Springfield, Ore., August 21, 1999.

"National PTA Addresses Youth Violence," in Our Children: National PTA Magazine, August–September 1999.

"Ribbon of Promise: A National Campaign to End School Violence," in Grapevine, newsletter of the Oregon Medical Association Alliance, Fall 1999.

"School Violence Strikes Close to Home," in AMA Alliance Today: The Magazine for Physicians' Spouses and Their Families, October 1999.

"Group Urges Formation of Anti-Violence Chapter," in Denver Post, October 27, 1999.

"Ribbon of Promise: A Non-Profit Organization Dedicated to Ending School Violence," in Newsletter of the Parenting for Peace and Justice Network, November–December 1999.

Television Coverage

"CBS This Morning," CBS Television, a feature on the premiere of "Bang Bang You're Dead," April 7, 1999.

"Leeza," syndicated television talk program, appearance by Cindy Brown, Ribbon of Promise executive director, to discuss Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colo., April 29, 1999.

"Leeza," syndicated television program, appearance by Cindy Brown, Ribbon of Promise executive director, to discuss Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colo., May 11, 1999.

World Wide Web Coverage

"Upcoming Events and New Programs," www.cyberangels.org.

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Report prepared by: Jan Hempel
Reviewed by: Michael Brown
Reviewed by: Richard Camer
Program Officer: Barbara Matacera-Barr