BROCKPORT, N.Y. – The College at Brockport, in partnership with the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) is being honored with the an 2017 Unsung Hero Award, presented by the One Love Foundation in honor of Yeardley Love. Brockport student athlete, Ed Suriano will be present in New York City for the awards presentation, and has been an integral piece in making the SUNYAC and One Love Foundation partnership a reality.
"We are very proud to have Ed representing our college and our conference in bringing such an important issue to light," noted Brockport Athletics Director Erick Hart. "Ed has seen the impact that domestic violence can have on a college campus first hand, and has turned a negative situation into one of lasting impact. He is a phenomenal representative of the Golden Eagle spirit, and how we can come together to make a change for the better."
The One Love Foundation, whose mission is to change the statistics around relationship abuse by educating young people about the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships, announced today the New York regional recipients of the 2017 Campus and Community Unsung Heroes Awards. These awards recognize students and academic communities that have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to expanding One Love's presence at their schools and galvanizing their campuses in a movement for healthier communities that can change, and save, lives.
This year's award recipients have put a combined number of more than 5,000 students through One Love's "Escalation Workshop" in less than two years. The Escalation Workshop is a 90-minute, film-based experience that educates about the warning signs of an abusive relationship, creating a safe zone for discussing an all-too-common problem.
"We are recognizing these amazing individuals because they are heroes," said Sharon Love, Yeardley's mother and founder of One Love. "The work they are doing to educate their friends and communities is inspiring and shows the power each of us has to make a difference."
Outstanding Community Unsung Hero Award – The State University of New York
The One Love movement is most powerful when both students and administration are equally invested in shining a spotlight on the issue. The State University of New York (SUNY) exemplifies the impact that's possible when this alignment happens. For that reason, we are honoring a campus community where multiple leaders from multiple walks of life at the school have come forward to help advance One Love's work and to educate, empower and activate the young people at their school. Here are the individuals that are leading the movement at SUNY:
- Joseph Storch – Associate Counsel at the SUNY Office of General Counsel. Joe has spearheaded the efforts to bring One Love to all SUNY Campuses and beyond through trainings, webinars, and consistent referrals to One Love.
- Ed Suriano – President of SUNY Athletic Conference Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Inspired by the story of his classmate Alexandra Kogut, who was killed by her boyfriend in 2012, Ed has been leading the efforts for SUNY Athletic Conference's 10 Million Yards for Yeardley Challenge to be held Spring 2017.
- Ben Chatley – Ben is also a representative for the SUNY Athletic Conference. Ben organized, trained facilitators, and held Escalation workshops with all student athletes, educating over 350 young people in just over a 1-month period at SUNY Fredonia, a completely student-driven initiative.
- Kylie Mathis – Kylie created Team One Love Geneseo, a group of students dedicated to bringing education about healthy and unhealthy relationships to Geneseo. From their creative social media campaigns on their "Team One Love Geneseo" social media accounts to holding Escalation Workshops, Kylie leads Team One Love Geneseo with confidence and understanding of the importance of educating others about this important issue.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher said, "One Love is a valued partner as we work to prevent relationship abuse on college campuses, and it is an honor to see Joe, Ed, Ben, and Kylie recognized for their leadership in SUNY's ongoing initiatives. SUNY prevention efforts are truly the effort of our entire system, with campus presidents, faculty, staff, and students collectively working toward a common goal – to ensure safe learning environments where all of our students have the opportunity to succeed."
"While I am honored to accept this award, it is only on behalf of the individuals who are truly making a difference in preventing violence on our campuses—the many dedicated faculty, administrators, campus and system leaders, and students from colleges across SUNY," said Storch. "Ending relationship abuse on our campuses will only come through the impassioned teamwork of so many, and I am deeply proud of our dedicated SUNY professionals and of our student leaders like Ed, Kylie, and Ben."
ABOUT THE ONE LOVE FOUNDATION
Founded in 2010 to honor the memory of Yeardley Love, One Love's mission is to end relationship abuse by educating young people about healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors and empowering them to be leaders driving change in their communities. Over the last two years, more than 100,000 young people in communities across the country have participated in the Escalation Workshop and almost 60 million have viewed the #ThatsNotLove campaign on social media. For more information, please visit www.joinonelove.org.