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Cultivating Insider Champions for School Policy

Blog post

Cultivating champions from within the education system is critical to the success of school-based efforts to promote healthy relationships and prevent dating abuse. 


  • It’s about relationship-building. Healthy, collegial relationships rooted in mutual respect, reciprocity and trust are the foundation for success.  
  • Cultivate relationships with existing champions. Who already is knowledgeable about dating abuse and healthy relationships and is willing to speak up and take action? Make a list of these people and meet with them. Map their relationships to decision-makers. Ask them to introduce you to other current or likely champions. 
  • Identify decision-makers and opinion-leaders to cultivate as champions. Interview policy makers, school administrators and others to gauge their views about dating abuse prevention policy and programs and carefully understand their priorities. Create and share materials and talking points to link dating abuse prevention policy to their priorities. Learn their processes and bureaucracies. 
  • Be helpful and useful in whatever you and your organization can. Build partnerships rooted in trust.  
  • Scaffold and support your champions in their leadership development and growth. The current teacher or administrator you are building a relationship with now, may become a school board member in 5-10 years.