Our Story: Community-led, Community-centered

Member of Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs

Mission & Vision

Founded specifically for violence prevention: We Aim To Change Places into Spaces People Want To Be!

Our mission is to implement comprehensive sexual and bias-based violence prevention strategies in environments underserved or not served by traditional resource centers and support victims.

Proper Groove is a community-led 501(c)3 charitable organization that uses place-based prevention practices to empower communities so they can stop sexual and bias-based violence while centering victims’ needs.

We envision a world where cultural norms develop communities that recognize, identify, and respond effectively to early signs of potential violence. We see the possibility for restoring survivors’ rights to safely and joyfully live life in all spaces.

We know that sexual and bias-based violence is preventable and actively fight against its perpetuation using comprehensive prevention strategies, the force of our community members, and the strength of our partnerships.

Bystander Intervention Training Goals
0%
Survivor Support Services Goals
0%
Legislative Advocacy Goals
0%

Board Members

Stacey Wright

Stacey Wright

Board of Directors - Legislative Advocacy Director

Stacey is chair of our campaigns committee and is the founder of the Yes All Daughters and co-founder of Bartenders Against Sexual Assault (BASA) initiatives. Her career as a bartender, and now a wine and spirits distributor, means she knows firsthand the challenges of combating harassment and assault in the alcohol industry. Her primary focus with Yes All Daughters is on policy advocacy and reform. She has successfully worked to pass a bill to train teachers and administrators on how to respond to victims of violence and she is currently working to pass ‘Lauren’s Law’- aimed at implementing mandatory consent and healthy relationship education in primary and secondary schools.

She loves spending time with her partner and her dogs, writing, hiking, and hosting Knitting Circle even though she doesn’t knit!

Autum Halliwell

Autum Halliwell

Board of Directors - Clinical Programs Director

Autumn is a clinical social worker with over a decade of experience working to protect some of the most vulnerable people and groups in our society. Her passion for this work comes from a strong desire to create structures of safety by empowering people to create the world they want to see. Her professional expertise in community building, sex education and therapy, trauma response, clinical supervision, and nonprofit administration establish her as a leader in the work of violence prevention and response. Autumn previously served on the boards of Ingersoll Gender Center and the Washington State Society for Clinical Social Work.

In her downtime, you might find Autumn baking something yummy, hanging out at a local coffeeshop with her friends and partners, daydreaming while listening to some great music, or planning some kooky adventure!

Valerie Nathlan

Valerie Nathlan

Board of Directors - Organizational Wellness & Advocacy

Valerie hails from a long line of Shamans and is a strong, beautiful woman of the Tsimshian and Haida Nations. Creating and sustaining a trauma-informed and wellness-focused practice is one of our core values. She is dedicated to the oversight of how we care for our organization and the people we call family. She is a proud Birthkeeper and we are lucky to have a board member dedicated to protecting our people and ensuring we grow with the best of values. She is also a tireless advocate for the Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls initiative.

She can often be found basket weaving or communing with Mother Earth in the company of her granddaughter.

Jeff Baird

Jeff Baird

Board of Directors - Director of Ethics & Legal Administration

Jeff is an attorney with an appellate attorney who graduated from Yale Law School. Using his skills to assist victims is something he loves doing. His research and skills are guiding the development of two of our program aimed at creating equitable and empowering opportunities for marginalized identities.

When Jeff isn’t doing attorney things, he loves playing fun Irish pub gigs with his band and is currently writing a novel.

Christine Heib-Ishitani

Christine Heib-Ishitani

Board of Directors - - Security in Nightlife Training & Development

Christine’s 31 years in security and nightlife work brings expertise in the implementation of our bystander intervention training. She is completing a bachelors degree in criminal law and forensics and conducts monthly Security Professionals in Nightlife meetings; bringing together local security, bar owners, managers. the police department, fire department, and the state liquor board.

Some of Christine’s passions aside from her work, are gardening, camping, cooking, family time, and playing with her dogs.

Ta Pemgrove

Ta Pemgrove

Board of Directors - Interim Executive Director

Ta is a Seattle native and is a sexual assault advocate, has almost two hundred hours of rape prevention education, and a background in nonprofit association management. After serving as a Funeral Director - Embalmer for a decade, she decided to pursue a degree in human services. She got involved in this work to find ways to better center victims’ needs at the core of services and has been in this movement for eight years. As a queer Femme, she is passionate about serving marginalized victims.

Besides gardening, she spends her spare time canning and preserving food...or eating it!

Staff & Committes

Johanna Hufstader

Johanna Hufstader

Restaurant Workers & Youth Outreach

A graduate and supporter of Fare Start, Johanna is passionate about reaching youth and and increasing workplace safety. She believes in teaching skills to prevent intimate partner & sexual violence and helping young people find their perfect match for resources. She is serving on our youth committee and is excited to contribute her voice to represent those who need advocacy.

She loves hiking with her dog, writing, watching documentaries, and studying Hawaiian Shamanism.

Our Strategy

How To Change Places Into Spaces People Want To Be: Improve responses to victims of sexual and bias-based violence, promote social norms that reduce the initiation or perpetuation of violence, and build capacity to create and maintain safer environments within communities; create empowerment opportunities for survivors and marginalized identities; provide relevant core services.

When we set out to bring bar bystander intervention training to our local bars in 2015 we quickly found out how difficult it was without the status of a nonprofit. We also learned that the existing programs in the US often do not align with primary prevention principles. After failing to find fiscal sponsorship for the programs we wanted to start we discovered there were many others wanting to contribute to creating services for unconventional spaces too. After officially incorporating in early 2017 we started on the most important part of prevention and survivor services work…listening and learning. Now, our core programs are growing strong.

Listening to the experiences and needs of our community members has connected people in powerful ways. We now have teams of volunteers who are devoted to developing programs based upon the feedback received about service gaps in the community. Our relationships with individuals and partners are most valuable to us. Keeping our organization in the hands of community members as much as possible will always be the most cherished of our values. We will need your help to do that. Recognizing that the ABILITY to fulfill our mission is mission critical, we researched and implemented sound management systems, strong governance principles, and mechanisms to assess and redirect that reflect the future. Flexibility and innovativeness are the benefits of being a younger nonprofit and that is us!

We have instituted our infrastructure and our programs with absolutely zero grants and we’d love to talk with you about why this is so significant. Your support makes a difference. If you’re interested in helping us move these programs forward in your city please let us know!