the north face puffer Interface joins the Women’s Center for Advancement for free workshop

On March 22nd, Interface School and the Women’s Center for Advancement (WCA) are teaming up to provide a free two hour introductory workshop to anyone affected by domestic violence.

Shonna Dorsey, Vice President of Fundraising and Community Development for Interface, and Amber Knecht, Senior Project Manager at Bozell, will be co facilitating the event. Both Dorsey and Knecht have been affected by domestic violence in their lives. They’re helping to provide an opportunity for people to learn from survivors who have been in their shoes.

Dorsey said that in some cases, there are financial reasons why a person stays in an abusive relationship. Interface and the WCA want people to realize that there are avenues out there for financial independence.

“Our goal is to provide hope and awareness that there are other ways to become more self sufficient,” said Dorsey.

“It’s just enough to make you feel like, oh my goodness, this is something I could do,” said Knecht. “It opens up a whole new level of opportunity that you may never have even thought of.”

Shonna Dorsey, Amber Knecht, photobomb by Elise.

Nationwide, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience domestic violence at some point in their lives. In the Omaha area alone, there are roughly 100 new domestic violence reports a week, and those are just the ones being reported.

“We know there’s a huge population of people that have been affected by this,” said Dorsey. “I have been assaulted by someone, and I know that part of the reason why I was able to leave and do what I do now is because I was not [financially] dependent on that individual.”

“It’s not only the women in the relationship but their children,” added Knecht. “It could be that they’re struggling with what to do or how to make sure it doesn’t happen to them too.”

Past Interface class. Photo courtesy of Interface.

The upcoming workshop is the first one Interface has done with the WCA, but the goal is to make the workshop a regular event that people can rely on. Even if they can’t do it now, they know it’s an opportunity that will be there again in the future when they need it.

“Even though this is a short workshop, it’s important to open people eyes to the possibilities,” said Dorsey. “Even if one person is able to say ‘I was able to go from this situation to that situation’ and can tell their story, we definitely need more of that.”

Knecht herself graduated from Interface two years ago.

“I firmly believe one of the main reasons I have my job here at Bozell is because of Interface, because of the skills I learned there and the connections I made,” said Knecht.

“It’s important to me that more people that know about this, more people know that there are options out there and that it’s not something that you have to bury and be ashamed of.”

Intro to Web Development Workshop for Domestic Violence Survivors

Location: Women Center for Advancement, 222 South 29th Street, Omaha

No prior experience is necessary. This workshop is free and laptops are provided.

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the north face womens shoes Interface joins the Women's Center for Advancement for free workshop