Colorado Anti-Violence Program
Colorado Anti-Violence Program Newsletter
March 2008
As CAVP continues to grow and change, it's important to keep you, our community, up-to-date and involved. Here is a recap of recent news and developments.
In This Issue
Veronica leaves CAVP
Nia joins CAVP
Training Updates
Executive Director Veronica Garcia leaves CAVP
Here are Veronica's own words about the transition:
"After almost three years of working with the CAVP community I have decided to pursue my long-time dream of getting into medical school.  I will be leaving CAVP to attend school full-time.  I feel very honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a strong family of community partners, supporters, volunteers, donors, and co-workers here at CAVP.  Together, we have accomplished so much over the last several years, including securing financial stability for our work, strengthening the scope and effectiveness of our services, and nurturing emerging leaders to guide our community-driven response to violence within and against our communities.  Collectively, these undertakings have only begun to set the stage for true social change in the spirit of justice and equity.
I thank each of you for your ongoing support and commitment to our shared vision of a peaceful society free of oppression and violence for all.
In Solidarity,
Thank you Veronica for your years of dedicated service. Your shoes will be hard to fill.
The search for a new executive director is currently in progress.
CAVP welcomes Nia King as Development Coordinator
Nia King recently completed her internship with the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training with CAVP, and began working March 1st as part-time Development Coordinator.
Nia is an social justice activist, illustrator, drummer and successfully self-published writer as well as a current Metropolitan State College of Denver social work student. During her 5 month internship she helped bring in $6,000 for CAVP by coordinating the recent pancake breakfast and the fall mail appeal.
Program Updates: Trainings 
In February, CAVP presented three workshops entitled, "Stereotypes, Bias & Violence" to 81 students at Regis Jesuit High School's 3rd Annual Diversity Conference.  Students explored how stereotypes about gender, race and sexual orientation can lead to bias-motivated violence in our communities.
In January, Crystal Middlestadt and Kelly Costello traveled to Grand Junction to train and meet with members of the local community.  To increase safety on campus, they facilitated a LGBTQ workshop for almost 40 Mesa State College resident assistants.  CAVP staff also met with staff and board members from Western Equality to discuss ways to work more collaboratively.  Western Equality of Grand Junction strives to create a fair community and secure equal rights for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression.  CAVP is planning a second trip to Grand Junction this year to host a "Train the Trainer" session with Western Equality supporters.  The goal is to build training capacity in the local community so that they may conduct LGBTQ and violence related trainings for services providers, advocates and law enforcement in the area.
One of our biggest projects currently underway is the Transgender Shelter Access (TSA) project.  The mission of the TSA project is to create safer shelters and services for Denver's homeless transgender population. We work to ensure that shelters provide competent services to all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. TSA Trainers have begun to provide basic Transgender 101 workshops to fifteen of Denver's overnight shelters, day shelters, and transitional housing facilities in order to guarantee that shelters are able to comply with Denver's Anti-Discrimination Ordinance, which includes gender variance. The Colorado Anti-Violence Program has successfully trained 150 shelter staff at 10 shelters and agencies.  
Here's what some of the shelter staff have had to say about the training:
"This was an extremely powerful and information packed training. You both have educated me and helped me to realize my own issues and lack of knowledge/acceptance."
"With the training, I think I'll be more aware of the challenges the trans population has and how I can help to assist a person to overcome these challenges."
Get Involved! Upcoming Volunteer Trainings
Currently, CAVP is looking for new volunteers to become a valuable part of the organization.  There are many ways you can get involved, including completing administrative tasks, community outreach, building referral databases, and staffing the 24-hour crisis hotline. 

General Orientation
The general orientation will provide you with all of the tools you'll need to be an amazing volunteer with CAVP. This is also a great way to see if the CAVP crisis hotline is right for you.
The next general orientations will take place:
April training: Two Wednesday nights, April 9 and 16 from 6-9pm. You must attend both of these dates.
September training: One full-day training, September 6 from 8:30am-5pm.
Crisis Hotline Training
Because the crisis hotline training is about 30 hours long, you will be making a considerable time-commitment to both the training and the hotline itself. Hotline shifts are a half week long, where you will carry a pager for 24-hours a day. If you have any questions about how the hotline can fit into your schedule, please let us know.
The next crisis hotline training will take place:
September training: You must attend all of the dates below.
Saturday, September 6, 8:30am-5pm
Thursday, September 11, 6-9pm
Saturday, September 13, 8:30am-5pm
Sunday, September 14, 8:30am-5pm
Thursday, September 18, 6-9pm

For additional information about the Colorado Anti-Violence Program or to sign up for the volunteer training, please contact Kelly Costello at
Please remember to donate at to support the hard work that we do to end violence against Colorado's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer commnuities. Thank you.
Nia King
Colorado Anti-Violence Program
News Links
Annual NCAVP Reporting
CAVP has recently compiled statistics for the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs' annual reports on domestic violence and hate violence. For more information about NCAVP or to view previous reports, check out The 2007 hate violence report is due out in May 2008, and the domestic violence report in October.

The following information reflects incidents from across the state of
Colorado in 2007.
Domestic Violence
   125 total incidents
   11 incidents involving weapons

Hate Violence
  118 total incidents
  121 victims of hate violence
  9 incidents of HIV/AIDS-related bias
  28 incidents of transgender related bias
February's Rash of Hate Violence
This February, a disturbing rash of hate violence occurred against transgender and gender non-conforming people across the country, including:

February 4, 2008-A young transwoman of color was found murdered, from a gunshot wound to the head, in Detroit, MI.

February 10, 2008-Sanesha Stewart, a young transwoman of color, was stabbed to death in her apartment in the Bronx (New York).

February 12, 2008-Lawrence King, a 15-year-old, openly gay, gender non-conforming youth was shot in the head by a 14-year-old classmate in the middle of class in Oxnard, CA.

February 23-24, 2008 (weekend)-Simmie William, Jr, a 17-year-old, gay person of color was gunned down in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

You can make a financial contribution to the family of Sanesha Stewart to help pay for funeral expenses. please send a check or money order to:

Evelyn Stewart
3529 Tieman Ave. Apt 2
Bronx, NY 10469

More information and insightful commentary on media coverage of these crimes at

Pancake Breakfast Success!
Left to Right: Mercy Salazar (Board Member, Jerrilyn Page (Crisis Hotline Volunteer) and Mac Liman, (Crisis Hotline Volunteer)
CAVP's pancakes breakfast fundraiser was so successful, we hope to make it an annual event! Thanks to the many volunteers, about 150 participants, and 7 teams of celebrity chefs who worked hard to organize the event, came out for a great time.
Crystal Middlestadt, Direcor of Training and Education
Our celebrity chefs included: Cele Spink of the Indigenous Youth Sovereignty Project, Keith Garcia of the Denver Film Society, Jerrilyn Page of Paradise Kitchen, Dan Hanley of Watercourse and Denver VegFest, Morgan Matter of Derailer Bicycle Collective, Adam Tinnell of Louis Vuitton Night and Pete and Elizabeth of Hysteria (below). Thank you for your support!
Restorative Justice Project
February 2008 marked the culmination of a restorative justice project, taken on by CAVP. When we first received a phone call from an attorney explaining that his client, who had been found guilty of violating Colorado's bias-motivated crimes law, was sentenced to do community service hours with CAVP, we weren't sure we had the capacity to support this type of project.
Through much conversation, we recognized that the victim of the crime had requested CAVP as a site and we are committed to being accountable to and providing the services that fill community needs. Over a duration of about four months, Kelly Costello worked closely with the offender to create an individualized plan.  The primary goal was for this person to learn more about the impact of violence on the LGBTQ community, specifically hate crimes and bias-motivated violence.

The first half of the project focused on general research. He was given an opportunity to learn basic definitions as well as begin to apply his understanding to the community itself. Through an interview with a member of the LGBTQ community in Denver, he was able to get a working knowledge of how different people respond to specific language, such as queer. He began to understand that the LGBTQ community is not a homogenous, static entity, but filled with people with various identities, perspectives and politics. He also began looking at issues of violence.

The second half of the project focused more on his actions and involvement in the escalation of violence. He was able to track the sequence of events that led to the vandalism as well as identifying his role in this process.
The culmination project was a presentation to an audience of CAVP staff, board and volunteers. During this presentation, he gave a short narrative of the events, what he's been doing since his sentencing and what he has learned. CAVP has gained some knowledge, firsthand, from an offender of hate violence, a perspective to which we don't often have access. While he still has much to learn, we are encouraged by this restorative justice project that a door has been opened to education.