Green Dot: What to Know Before the Launch


Faculty and staff who participated in the first round of facilitator training of the Green Dot program pose by the Iowa State University sign.

Grace Ekema

The Green Dot program is launching this Wednesday at 11 a.m. outside of Parks Library. Here are five things you should know about the program before checking it out:

1. What is a Green Dot?

According to the Iowa State Student Wellness Green Dot page, Green Dot is any choice, behavior, word, or attitude that promotes safety for everyone. It communicates utter intolerance for power-based personal violence in our Iowa State community. A green dot is also anything you do to make the community safer.

“Red dots are choices and behaviors in time where you’re caused harm to another person,” said Jazzmine Brooks, the Sexual Misconduct Prevention Coordinator and Green Dot Coordinator for Iowa State.

There are two types of green dots: 

Proactive Dots are the little things you can do to make violence less likely, or what you do to decrease red dots. Reactive Dots are the choices you make in response to a situation that might be harmful or could lead to something harmful.

2. How did Green Dot begin?

Green Dot started in 2006 on the University of Kentucky campus. Through the next four years, the program received lots of funding and support that lead to expansion across schools and in turn created a larger focus for the program by 2010. Soon the program was enabling training sessions and technical assistance to campuses across the country and adapting programs for middle school and K-3 audiences. Green Dot has also expanded to countries like South Africa and Taiwan.  

3. What is Green Dot’s mission?

The overall mission of the program is to mobilize communities by harnessing the power of individual actions.

“The Green Dot Launch is an interactive program that is our kick-starter to educate the campus community about the program. The Green Dot program is our violence prevention strategy,” Brooks said. “We have a three year plan with Green Dot where they are helping us with our Engagement plan. In order for the program to work and stay sustainable, we need to start educating people on some of these topics.”

4. Who will be at the launch?

“We have about 50 plus Green Dot facilitators,” Brooks said. The full list of those in attendance can be found on the Green Dot Facilitators page which also highlights student leaders, campus and community members that support the program, and includes a full listing of those attending. “Specifically our Peer Wellness Educators- they’re the peers that are paid and trained to talk about these subjects,” Brooks states on a more specific note of who will be at the launch. 

5. What will you get out of the program from visiting?

“All participants are welcome to interact,” Brooks said.  “We are challenging folks. We are bringing about really hard conversations that folks don’t really talk about that often. So the easiest way to do that and with this practice is just to aim to talk about bystander intervention.”

Some of the interactive components of the program include a red dot wheel with questions on situations with the types of dots, giant Jenga to learn more about green dots and a brick wall where people can talk about and write down their barriers. There will also be raffle prizes with themed baskets.

Brooks also noted that they are encouraging participation with punch cards, which participants can use to receive prizes like t-shirts, pop sockets and other items. 

To learn more about preventing violence on our campus, visit the Green Dot Launch this Wednesday outside of Parks Library at 11 a.m. 

For more information, visit Iowa State’s  Green Dot page.  The page includes information about more programs related to Green Dot, how to request a bystander training, leadership tool kits and other resources on a variety of topics through Green Dot. Green Dot’s social media can also be found on the website.