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Gate City Bank Helping to End Community Violence Through Partnership

Bystander Intervention Increasing, Thanks to Bank’s ‘Green Dot’ Commitment

GRAND FORKS, ND – In August 2019, Gate City Bank made a three-year commitment to help launch Green Dot, a bystander intervention strategy that reduces power-based personal violence in the area.

Power-based personal violence is a form of violence that has a primary motivator: assertion of power, control and/or intimidation in order to harm another person. This includes relationship/partner violence, rape/sexual assault, stalking and other uses of force, threat, intimidation or harassment.

Green Dot is a program of the Community Violence Intervention Center (CVIC), which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. The idea is to view Grand Forks and the surrounding area in terms of an interactive dotted map, which is shown to volunteers who participate in Green Dot training sessions.

In these sessions, red dots represent a choice that has reportedly been made to cause harm to another person, while green dots represent bystander acts (specifically those involving civilian intervention-based training techniques) that have been conducted to improve the safety of community members.

In addition to donating $75,000 toward the initiative, Gate City Bank has supported the program by contributing multiple volunteers. To become a certified bystander, one must go through 24 hours of training, while trained bystanders go through six hours of training. Participants learn to:

  • Direct: Reach out to someone directly to see if they need help.
  • Delegate: Alert someone else or the authorities. (For example, call 911.)
  • Distract: Create a distraction to diffuse the situation. (As an example, if you see someone in a heated argument, consider asking them to take a photo of you.)

Lori Tweten, Senior Customer Service and Sales Supervisor, has become a certified Green Dot trainer, and Becky Mindeman, Senior Vice President of Retail Banking, has been trained through the Green Dot Program. Both serve on the Green Dot Committee, and Mindeman is a CVIC board member.

“At Gate City Bank, part of our mission is to help customers, communities and team members create a better way of life, which involves supporting programs that help promote those people’s well-being,” Mindeman says. “We’re so thankful to partner with an organization dedicated to lessening violence.”

CVIC is grateful for its partnership with Gate City Bank, which is already making a difference in Grand Forks and surrounding communities.

“One of the key ways we’ve been able to impact the health and safety of community members is through partnerships with area businesses and donors,” says Coiya Tompkins, President and CEO of CVIC. “Gate City Bank has contributed significant funding and volunteers.”

Gate City Bank looks forward to strengthening the Green Dot program – and many of its other regional, community-focused initiatives – in the years to come.

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