When Love Works Dynamically Trains Staff from 3 Community Centers on Healthy Relationships


“There are over 4,000 universities in the United States alone, yet less than 1% have curricula devoted to healthy relationship development. You can’t tell us that gaining skills to navigate personal and professional relationships is not at least as important, if not more important than any specialized knowledge for a career.”

-Cullen & Elitia Mattox, Co-founders of When Love Works Dynamically (WLWD)

During an anti-violence resource rally in the Van Dyke community, residents, local organizations, and agency partners publicly denounced the ongoing conflicts, including a recent gun violence tragedy. Ms. Saundra Johnson, Director of the Medgar Evers Van Dyke Cornerstone, envisioned a creative way to support the community’s concern with violence: WLWD’s Healthy Relationships Capacity Training.

The uptick in gun violence in Van Dyke Houses became the impetus for fifteen staff members from community centers in the Brownsville, Tilden, and Van Dyke developments to participate in the healthy relationships training. In two weeks,  this staff-only cohort identified their communities’ unique needs and developed skills in responding to relational violence. The accelerated training equipped participants with essential tools to support the children and families that utilize the community centers, particularly those impacted by domestic violence. 

Investing in capacity-building for local organizations is crucial to MAP’s mission to bolster community-driven public safety. WLWD co-founders, Elitia and Cullen Mattox, hope this work will be integrated into regular programming and not solely employed in response to tragedy.