Personal and Workplace Safety: a Q&A with Faith Kohler
Faith Kohler is working with the Fone-Trac travel safety app team to “get the word out” about improving travel safety and travel security, not just with the app, but in every way, shape or form. One of the ways Faith is working is by chairing workshops on personal and workplace safety, the “umbrella” issue under which all of travel safety resides. Here are some questions and answers with Faith –
Question. How did you get involved with this issue?
Answer. I started volunteering with the Homeless Outreach team as they launched their new Housing First program in Milwaukee in 2015.
Question. What prompted this effort, meaning how did you get that connection and fervor?
Answer. Their launch came around the same time that my last documentary film, 30 Seconds Away: Breaking the Cycle, premiered in the Milwaukee Film Festival. It was a natural fit to begin using the film to try to raise awareness about their mission and help connect them with funds, volunteers and resources.
Question. Did you have any experiences “out on the streets” or as a “Federal agent” that prompted you to become so passionate about personal security?
Answer. Because their outreach workers navigate the same areas where I shot most of the film during my law enforcement days, I was well aware of the potential dangers they face working on the streets. I thought piloting FoneTrac with their team would be a good way to match FoneTrac’s innovative approach to personal safety with their innovative approach to housing.
Question. What’s coming up on your agenda? What other efforts are you engaged in to raise consciousness about personal safety and security techniques and best practices?
Answer. Let me tell you about GeUrSix (website in development, yay!). The workshops are part of a program I am preparing to launch…it’s called GetUrSix and it is designed to teach people how to overcome fear and reduce fear using a positive, proactive approach. Using a phrase taken from military and law enforcement slang, I am teaching people how to be accountable for their own safety and improve their outcomes in any situation. My program includes GetUrSix in the workplace (recognizing and deterring violence and conflict), GetUrSix at home (assessing physical security risks and modifying behaviors), GetUrSix for travelers, GetUrSix in your community (for volunteers and outreach workers), and GetUrSix at school (for students and staff). My approach uses a combination of environmental mindfulness and self-awareness to empower people as they discover their own personal safety options. I actually got the idea to create this after I screened my film at a university and they asked me to come back…to train their student volunteer corps how to work safely with the homeless community and in some of the underserved and higher-crime neighborhoods they volunteered in.