News and Events

Kerr chosen for U.S. State Department professional exchange program
CVIC leader traveling to Myanmar to provide guidance, exchange best practices

Nov. 13, 2019 - Kari Kerr, director of community innovations with the Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC), has been selected to travel to Myanmar as a U.S. outbound participant in the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Professional Fellows Program (PFP).

In May, CVIC hosted two of the six YSEALI Professional Fellows who came to Grand Forks as part of an exchange sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, through the University of Montana’s partnership with the University of North Dakota Center for Innovation. The fellows had expertise in business entrepreneurship, sexual violence prevention, healthcare and environmental science.

Naw Kyu Ju Ni, a sexual violence prevention coordinator with the Tearfund in Lashio, Myanmar, works with victims and survivors of violence and educates her community, partners and church leaders on positive masculinity. During her fellowship she observed CVIC programs and learned about services the agency provides greater Grand Forks to enhance safety and healing for victims of violence, as well as prevention and education programs it provides.

She was, Kerr said, particularly interested in CVIC’s Safer Tomorrows Road Map, a plan to end violence in two generations, and equally impressed by the good working relationships CVIC has with local government, community agencies and law enforcement partners.

Kerr, a native of Grand Forks who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UND, will now extend CVIC’s partnership with Ju Ni, traveling to Yangon, Myanmar to support her work and implement an action plan she created while in Grand Forks.

“I am inspired by the work Ju Ni is doing to help victims of sexual violence in the extreme conditions she described,” Kerr said. Many areas of the country are remote, with travel and communication difficult. Some victims, Kerr said, travel days to reach services.

“In three short weeks, we built a lifetime connection with Ju Ni. I am honored to have the opportunity to go to Myanmar and support her work,” Kerr said. “The Center for Innovation’s efforts to bring YSEALI fellows program to our region is providing one more way Grand Forks professionals are making a global impact.”

The Center for Innovation hosted the fellows in partnership with the University of Montana’s Mansfield Center, connecting them with professional placements, or “fellowships” and homestays. The Center invited UND’s participation to expand YSEALI’s geographic footprint. In addition, the Center for Innovation’s connections with the Grand Forks business community—as well as the town’s and university’s welcoming atmosphere—were in alignment with the professional goals of the YSEALI fellows. 

“The Center for Innovation was excited to support the YSEALI Professional Fellows Program because it provided a unique opportunity to bring together social innovators and community leaders with amazing young professionals from South East Asia,” said Amy Whitney, Center for Innovation director. “The Center fostered new collaborations in Grand Forks, Montana and with many amazing young professionals internationally. It is humbling to have great community partners such as Kari and CVIC and to help them expand the impact of their work on a global scale.”

Kerr’s travel dates and itinerary are under development. She said she will travel to a number of locations while there, meeting with community and civil society leaders.

The YSEALI Professional Fellows Program  is managed by the Mansfield Center at the University of Montana and funded by U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to provide opportunities for professionals in Southeast Asian countries for hands-on learning in shared issues by enhancing leadership and professional skills in civic engagement.

Domestic Violence Court inaugural year to be featured at Oct. 22 meeting

October 16, 2019 - A panel of presenters will recap the Grand Forks County Domestic Violence (DV) Court’s first year at 12 noon, Tuesday, Oct. 22 as part of the Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force meeting at the Grand Forks County building’s sixth floor conference room.

The DV Court launched in August 2018 as a pilot project, the first in North Dakota, to increase offender accountability with court orders, enhance victim safety and reduce instances of re-offending.

Panelists include District Court Judge Jason McCarthy, Grand Forks County State’s Attorney Haley Wamstad, DV Court Project Coordinator Max Kollman, and Job Service North Dakota Workforce Center Manager Dustin Hillebrand. 

The Community Violence Intervention Center’s Coordinated Community Response Project is hosting the annual task force meeting as part of its program to improve community response to domestic violence victims and profile best practices on system response by providing an opportunity for agency representatives to meet and discuss current issues and share training information.

Social work continuing education credit is available or a certificate of attendance can be requested for other continuing education credits. Pre-registration is requested to

Jody Thompson receives 2019 CVIC Peacemaker Award

Oct. 11, 2019 - Grand Forks Public Schools Associate Superintendent of Elementary Education Jody Thompson has been named the Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) 2019 Peacemaker Award recipient, recognized for his partnership in the Safer Tomorrows initiative to end violence in two generations.

Thompson provided instrumental leadership in CVIC’s efforts to develop a community plan to end childhood exposure to violence, serving on the Safer Tomorrows Governance Team from 2011-2016 and on the agency’s board of directors from 2012 - 2019.

CVIC tries to make us a better community whether that’s within the school system or working with local partners, Thompson said.  “Anytime the public schools can be involved we want to be front and center. I gladly accept the award on behalf of the Grand Forks Public Schools and all the county schools involved in the Safer Tomorrows Road Map.”

“Jody was influential in CVIC’s successful efforts to implement prevention programs in schools throughout Grand Forks County,” said CVIC President/CEO Coiya Tompkins. He also paved the way for CVIC to begin delivering individual and group therapy to students in the Grand Forks area schools. “More kids are being reached with prevention education and healing services than ever before as a result of Jody’s efforts,” said Tompkins.

The award, which CVIC gives annually to a local citizen who demonstrates outstanding commitment to ending violence in Greater Grand Forks, was announced Thursday, Oct. 10 at CVIC’s Take Back the Night rally, an awareness event held as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.



Awareness events to shed light on personal violence, honor champions and encourage community engagement

October, 2, 2019 - The Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) and its CVIC at UND program will host the annual Take Back the Night March and Rally Thursday, Oct. 10 during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, as well as honor a Peacemaker Award winner who champions change as part of a bold initiative to end violence in two generations.

The march leaves at 6 p.m. from the UND Wellness Center to the Chester Fritz Auditorium for the rally, which begins at 7 p.m. Both are free and open to the public.  As part of the rally, two individuals who have experienced violence in relationships will share how their past experiences have shaped their advocacy and empowerment. A return shuttle to the Wellness Center will be available after the rally for those who participate in the march.

The Take Back the Night events are the culmination of a two-day North Dakota Clothesline Project on display from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 9 -10 at the UND Wellness Center. The impactful display features dozens of shirts designed by adults and children who have been harmed by violence. The display is also free and open to the public.

“We know there are many people in our region living with violence who may never be heard unless the community stands together to break the silence,” said CVIC President/CEO Coiya Tompkins.

“In order to end violence, we must bring attention to its impact and talk about the benefits of a community-wide support system,” she said. “The march and rally provide an opportunity to give a voice to those who have been harmed and for all of us to remember our role in creating a more peace-centered environment.”

CVIC provides crisis support, advocacy and intervention services for people impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes, as well as prevention and education programs in the region's schools and communities. In 2018, CVIC provided services to more than 3,200 people. Its prevention efforts reached nearly 19,000.



Gate City Bank partners with CVIC to launch intervention program

August 14, 2019 - The Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) announced today a three-year investment from Gate City Bank in Grand Forks to sponsor the launch of Green Dot, an innovative bystander intervention program.

CVIC is bringing the program to greater Grand Forks as part of its Safer Tomorrows Road Map initiative to virtually end violence in the region in two generations, partnering with Altru Health System and others to carry out violence prevention activities.

The Green Dot program engages the community through education and awareness events with a goal of permanently reducing rates of violence and empowering residents to proactively engage in healthy relationships.

Ryan Coye, Gate City Bank senior vice president said, “Gate City Bank is proud to partner with CVIC to end violence in our community.  The bank’s investment in CVIC and the Green Dot program will provide our community members with a better way of life.”

This week, an intensive four-day bystander intervention training program will certify more than 30 to be Green Dot intervention trainers.  In addition, 30 volunteers from 18 organizations are part of team co-coordinated by CVIC and Altru Health System, implementing the program in the region. The first event is the Green Dot Trot, a 3k run on Sept. 7.

“We are grateful to Gate City for providing leadership and inspiration toward building a community in which all people are safe and respected,” said Coiya Tompkins, CVIC president and CEO. “Gate City’s investment will directly impact our efforts to reduce violence.”

To learn more about Green Dot or to register for the Green Dot Trot visit:



CVIC announces 2019-20 board of directors

Aug. 5, 2019: The Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) announced the appointment of Catherine Gillach, assistant superintendent of secondary education for Grand Forks Public Schools, to its board of directors, as well as a full slate of officers and board members for 2019-20.

Gillach has worked closely with CVIC to advance the agency’s outreach in Grand Forks area schools to provide healthy relationship education and therapy services to students.

“The collaboration CVIC has with countless other Grand Forks organizations ensures wrap-around supports are in place for those who need it, which I believe is pivotal for actually moving families forward toward healing and regaining self-efficacy,” said Gillach. “I have been an ongoing donor to CVIC since moving into the community and consider it an honor to join this visionary and dedicated board of directors.”

She joins board members: Chairperson Darla Adams, health care education consultant; Chairperson-elect Pete Hoistad, retired certified public accountant; Randy Boettner, owner, Custom Aire; Will Kusler, location manager, Markit County Grain LLC; Dr. Linda Neuerburg, retired; Eric Plummer, associate vice president and chief of police, University of North Dakota; Mac Schneider, attorney, Schneider Law Firm; Kyle Thorson, owner, Archives Coffee House; Dominique Buchholz, pastor, Sharon Lutheran Church; Jody Hodgson, general manager, Ralph Engelstad Arena.



Coiya Tompkins named to lead CVIC

May 29, 2019: The Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC) in Grand Forks announced today its board of directors has unanimously selected Coiya Tompkins as its president and CEO to lead the organization in its bold plan to end violence in the greater Grand Forks region. She will begin July 17.

Interim President & CEO Edie Dahlen remains with the agency as its director of community investment.

After spending nearly two decades in corporate communications, marketing and public relations roles, Tompkins has found her professional calling in non-profit development and leadership. Most recently, Tompkins served as development director for Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead, an organization that helps single mothers and their children transition from poverty. 

She also served as a partner/vice president of marketing and operations for Western Agency, an independent insurance business based in Minot, N.D. Before returning to North Dakota in 2014, Tompkins spent 12 years in health care in Arizona, serving as vice president of corporate communications and public relations for Sun Health, marketing director for Tenet Health, and public relations director for Banner Health.

"The board is grateful to Edie and her team for their dynamic leadership during this transition," said Darla Adams, co-chair of the transition/selection committee and incoming board chair. "We are excited now to move forward under Coiya's leadership and continue the innovative work for which CVIC is widely known, toward virtually ending local violence in two generations."

CVIC provides crisis support, advocacy and intervention services for people impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes, as well as prevention and education programs in the region's schools and communities. In 2018, CVIC provided services to more than 3,200. Its prevention efforts reached nearly 19,000.

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