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News Release

Program at Moravian to Focus on Domestic Violence

Talk by Heidi Markow, founder of the Beginning Over Foundation

Bethlehem, Pa., March 26, 2010—Moravian College will hold a program focusing on preventing domestic violence. Heidi Markow, the Pennsylvania coordinator for Silent Witness will lead a discussion with Moravian students and representatives from the YWCA of Bethlehem on Wednesday, April 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Prosser Auditorium. Following the talk, the movie, "Beyond Beats and Rhymes," a documentary about violence found in musical media will be shown. The program is open to the public and admission is free.

Heidi Markow is founder of the Beginning Over Foundation, an organization founded in 2005 in memory of Heidi Markow's sister, Robin D. Shaffer. On June 15, 2005, Robin lost her life at the hands of her abusive husband. On that day, Heidi made her a promise. Today, Heidi's conviction is stronger than ever. Robin's memory will live on through the great work of the Beginning Over Foundation.  The Beginning Over Foundation is a charitable organization whose mission is to raise awareness about intimate partner violence through educational programs at schools, colleges, and public venues.

The Silent Witness Program, founded in 1990, has made a powerful national and global impact against domestic violence homicides. The mission of Silent Witness is to promote peace, healing, and responsibility in adult relationships in order to eliminate domestic murders. Silent Witness includes displays of life-sized red wooden figures of women who’ve been murdered in acts of domestic violence, with breastplate shields giving each woman's name and her story. Silent Witness is in all fifty US states, and has exhibits in fifteen other countries. Forty countries are involved through the internet and email newsletter.

“Beyond Beats and Rhymes” is a riveting documentary that examines representations of gender roles in hip-hop and rap music through the lens of filmmaker Byron Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist. Conceived as a “loving critique” from a self-proclaimed “hip-hop head,” Hurt examines issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s hip-hop culture. “Beyond Beats and Rhymes” BEYOND, produced and directed by Byron Hurt, is a co-production of God Bless the Child Productions, Inc. and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC). Executive Producer is Stanley Nelson. Executive Producer for ITVS is Sally Jo Fifer. Co-producer and Editor is Sabrina Schmidt Gordon.

"We need to educate people about the seriousness of domestic violence, we also hope to equip students with the capacity to challenge the forces which perpetuate violence and abuse and work against the progress of both women and men,” said Dana Haslett, a senior at Moravian. “Although we have come a way since a woman was not allowed to divorce her abusive husband, we still have a long way to go.”

“As a society, we need to work towards a state of peace where no one fears their partners or supposed loved ones,” Haslett explained.  “ Hopefully, the movie, ‘Beyond Beats and Rhymes’ will raise awareness regarding domestic abuse found in music and we will be able to rise above it and reform the music world and hopefully society as a whole.”

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.