By Senior Airman Rose Gudex
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The color red often signifies something negative. That could mean marks on a map where a certain wrongdoing happened, some sort of outbreak or flashing red lights signaling distress. Green Dot is here to add more positive acts to the world and hopefully drown out some of the red with green.
The Air Force partnered with the non-profit Green Dot organization to provide violence prevention education and tools to Airmen over the next five years. Implementers at Peterson Air Force Base have already begun the process to educate Airmen on the topic.
“Green Dot is all about education and Green Dot is all about doing something,” said Senior Master Sgt. Pamela Condon, 21st Space Wing Staff Agency command section superintendent and Green Dot coordinator. “It is a culture change.”
The organization was created by Dr. Dorothy Edwards who saw a need to be more proactive and innovative to prevent violence rather than react to it. Her initiative created a program that has been used successfully at college campuses, businesses and other locations for over 10 years
“In order to create a culture shift, a critical mass of people will need to engage in a new behavior or set of behaviors that will make violence less sustainable within any given community,” according to the Green Dot website.
The education Airmen go through to learn about the new behaviors is an hour long and eliminates excessive PowerPoints, Condon said. Instead, it educates people with activities and discussions in a positive environment to begin the conversation about violence and ways to combat it.
A myth already circling about Green Dot is it’s replacing the required annual sexual assault training, however that is not the case, she said.
“Green Dot is not another (sexual assault, prevention and response) training, although it does fulfill that requirement,” Condon said. “This year we are focusing on stalking, domestic violence and sexual assault.”
Peterson AFB already trained half of the leadership tier about Green Dot and their role in the program. The other two levels include bystander training, or early adapters, and overview training.
“Early adapters are your influential Airmen … selected by their leadership who recognize their influence amongst peers,” Condon said. “Once they attend the training, they are going to be pumped up and want to spread the word.”
Bystander training is scheduled to begin at Peterson AFB at the end of June, she said. The remaining Airmen will be required to attend the overview training later in the year, with the first session taking place at the fall Wingman Day.
Sometimes people don’t step in because they don’t believe one person can change the world, but Condon said if you have 10, 20, 30 or even 1,000 people doing just one small thing, it makes a larger impact. And that is where those influential Airmen will step up to be the “trend-setters.”
“A lot of little somethings make a big something,” she said.
The takeaway from this training is that Airmen can make a difference in any situation, Condon said. It could be saying something if they see someone put something in an unattended drink or as small as helping out a frustrated parent of small children in line at the grocery store.
“It’s just about being humane and caring for each other,” she said. Each small action adds up and hopefully soon, the green dots will overtake the red dots.