Learning Courage

Addressing Sexual Misconduct and Abuse in Schools with Compassion, Integrity and Clarity

aka Institutional Courage   |   Portsmouth, NH   |  https://learningcourage.org/

Mission

To promote and support institutional courage and effective action regarding sexual misconduct in schools by providing practices, insights and resources that reduce incidents and promote healing when incidents occur.

Ruling year info

2020

Founder

Mr Jamie Forbes

Main address

698 State St

Portsmouth, NH 03801 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

84-2757690

NTEE code info

Single Organization Support (B11)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learning Courage helps schools reduce and respond to sexual misconduct and abuse in k-12 schools. 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 males experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. This amounts to 630,000 children annually in the US alone. The impact of this abuse can be catastrophic, both in personal and societal terms. Survivors of abuse frequently wrestle with shame and a sense of self worth which can manifest in substance misuse, difficulty with intimate relationships, and mental health challenges. A recent study suggests that the annual cost to the US economy is in excess of $104 billion. Learning Courage focuses on reducing incidents and helping survivors heal when they have been harmed.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Membership

Learning Courage is a nonprofit membership organization. As leaders in understanding how to prevent and respond to incidents of sexual abuse and misconduct, we help members plan for ways to reduce incidents and respond thoughtfully and quickly when they occur. One of the things that makes Learning Courage unique is our comprehensive understanding of the issues. Another is that we focus on reducing survivor harm and maximizing their healing. Members receive customized support through a membership representative, who guides schools to the resources they need today while also focusing on ways to reduce risk in the future.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Sexual identity

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Learning Courage has two primary goals. The first is to reduce sexual misconduct and abuse in schools. The second is to support the healing of those who have been harmed by sexual violence.

We do the first by helping schools understand where risks exist and then creating an action plan to reduce those risks. The action plan has both short and long-term goals that focus on both prevention and response. Areas in the Action plan include policies and procedures, faculty and student handbooks, reporting procedures, investigation guidelines, and many more.

We also have a certification program that has three different levels. The goal for all members is to achieve the highest level of certification, and the Action Plan provides guidance for what is required of each member to achieve a higher level of certification.

Members also have access to a library of content that we are constantly adding to and revising, based on conversations we have with schools and professionals in the field. As our name suggests, we are constantly learning about how to do this work better. And we share these insights with our members.

Achieving the second goal of supporting the healing of survivors requires changing the way that institutions have historically responded to reports of misconduct. While reducing institutional exposure is important, the evidence is clear that supporting survivors and their healing is actually the best risk reduction approach for both the individuals who have been harmed and the institution where the incident took place. And it's the right thing to do from a moral and ethical standpoint. Focusing on the individual and supporting their healing minimizes secondary trauma and demonstrates a commitment not just to the individual but also to the community. This approach reduces the length of time required to process and respond to each incident; it also generally costs institutions less in terms of consultants, attorneys, and others brought in to support school leaders.

These are our goals and the tools we use to support schools.

Our strategies are to partner with member schools and share tools and resources that help them make their schools safer from incidents. And also we help schools develop appropriate plans so they can respond to incidents in ways that minimize trauma and support survivor healing when they do occur.

Learning Courage offers the following to our member schools:
- Customized Action Plans based on self-assessments and Learning Courage’s assessment of risk and how to mitigate it;
- Training and education in both prevention and response for school leadership, faculty, staff, students and parents;
- Online resources, including model policies and procedures, assessment tools, and resources for school leaders, faculty and other constituents; and
- Tailored assistance to schools on crafting policies and procedures, developing action plans, troubleshooting specific school incidents, ensuring a survivor-centered response, building alignment between boards and school leaders, identifying experts for training and helping to shift school culture

By offering critical and tailored resources and assistance, Learning Courage fills a critical gap in schools’ preparedness to reduce and respond to child sexual abuse. Furthermore, relating well-informed, responsive, and accountable environments within schools can have positive efforts in child sexual abuse prevention and response beyond school walls.

Learning Courage currently has 4 member schools, impacting more than 2,000 students. Our model has been received with strong enthusiasm in the education field. Our impact would be greater, with more member schools if it weren’t for the global pandemic. Evidence suggests, however, that school leaders will be able to refocus and re-allocate their budgets after the Coronavirus is no longer a threat to school safety.
This past summer (2020), Learning Courage published sample content on best practices to its website, which serves as an example of the type of online resources that will continue to be published and offered to partner schools. We have shifted focus from gaining additional members to continuing to develop our website and content. One example of this shift is a podcast recorded with United Educators, one of the country’s leading insurance underwriters. The focus of this podcast is understanding the sexual misconduct risks inherent in remote education.

Financials

Learning Courage
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Learning Courage

Board of directors
as of 8/5/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr Jay Althoff

SHIFT

Term: 2019 -

Tim Driver

Age Friendly Ventures

Jamie Forbes

Learning Courage

John Siegfried

Pentucket Regional High School

Margaret Simpson

Community Organizer

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/31/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data