CARE makes plans for White House Grant

Joe Lowe | News Editor

UNC Wilmington’s CARE has now made plans for the White House grant it received this past month.

On behalf of the White House, CARE, UNCW’s Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Program, received a grant of $300,000 from the recently launched “It’s On Us” campaign. The campaign is an effort by the U.S. Department of Justice to bring awareness to the victimization of women across college campuses. The funds will be used to further improve programs encompassing sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking prevention. It will be dispersed in increments of $100,000 over three years. Despite just receiving the grant, CARE knows what specific efforts the funds will be allocated towards within the coastal North Carolina community.

UNCW is one of just 18 universities that will receive a portion of the $6 million awarded nationwide. The university had to go through an application process including standard paperwork and an on-site visit by the DOJ to obtain the award. In 2009, DOJ representatives previously visited the campus for a similar grant, and came again in 2013 because CARE’s current initiatives enthralled them.

“UNCW has a very long standing commitment to violence prevention,” Rebecca Caldwell, Director of Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention & Education, CROSSROADS and CARE programs, said. “We’ll be ten years old in August, and UNCW has given more resources to violence prevention than many other schools in the region. CARE is the largest program of its nature in the state.”

The “It’s On Us” campaign was launched this September by Obama and his administration in an effort to end sexual violence on college campuses. Along with this campaign, the Obama administration has created the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, a task force focused on education and developing proper practices on responding to sexual assault on college and university campuses.

At the White House launch, Obama was quoted as saying, “”It is on all of us to reject the quiet tolerance of sexual assault and to refuse to accept what’s unacceptable.” The campaign aims to focus on the idea every individual is responsible for assault prevention at universities like UNCW. Currently, over 200 universities have committed to participating in “It’s On Us”, despite not receiving the grant.

As a part of the application process, all applying universities submitted proposals explaining what the funding would be used for if selected. According to Caldwell, the university sent a detailed budget stating exactly how the money will be spent. Despite the budget, the university can use the money towards other ventures with the permission of the DOJ.

CARE acts as the lead agency and dictates where the money is distributed. The money will go towards educational initiatives for the Abron’s Student Health Center on treatment and testing procedures. Portions of the funds will be used to send local and UNCW police officers to sexual assault educational conferences as well as organizing conferences on the UNCW campus. However a majority of the grant will stay within CARE in an effort to expand its bystander intervention programs.

“We will bring some trainers to campus and open those trainings to the local community,” said Caldwell. “If we bring a police trainer we will send the advertisement out to all policemen in the region for a chance to come to some free on campus trainings.”

CARE will be working alongside several other organizations to raise awareness, such as: the UNCW Police Department, Wilmington Police Department, UNCW’s Student Health Services, Office of the Dean of Students and Transition Programs, and several local sexual assault prevention centers.