May Meeting: Harassment and Self-Defense

     

Continuing on our focus of more interactive and interesting subject material, the May AACWP meeting incorporated some fun elements and discussion that really got our members thinking. The Fort Worth Club was a great stage for this colorful afternoon where members learned and discussed issues with harassment in the workplace and how to defend yourself.

  

Members were greeted at the club with a glass of wine and a unique display of exciting little treats, all infused with liquor! The Fort Worth Club truly outdid themselves with an innovative presentation and remarkable menu of bites for both cocktail hour and the luncheon. Many members were overheard raving about the fun display during cocktail hour and the visual presentation of the courses during the luncheon.

  

During our lunch, members were treated to a unique education lecture and demonstration unlike our normal meetings. First, attorney at law Barbara-Ellen Gaffney spoke about the realities of sexual harassment in the workplace. Barbara-Ellen Gaffney is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Dallas Bar Association. She focuses her practice on the representation of management in all aspects of employment and labor matters. Her experience includes assisting in the defense of clients during EEOC investigations and civil trials and representing employers in negotiations and/or proceedings with the Department of Labor, the EEOC, and the Texas Workforce Commission.

      

Barbara-Ellen gave an incredible presentation and spoke on a subject meaningful for all of our members, focusing some of the presentation on how handling sexual harassment can be different for those who work in a more formal business atmosphere with a large company, such as those of us who work for venues or hotels, and the members who own or work for a small planning business. Many of our members had questions in regards to how this should be handled and what resources owners and employees have in that situation. For many small businesses, employees do not have to worry about harassment from within the workplace, but rather from other employees of other companies on event day. This opened up interesting discussion between members and Barbara-Ellen on a variety of topics. Barbara-Ellen did a wonderful job presenting many scenarios and helping members understand what our rights are and how to handle a varied number of situations that we or our employees could encounter.

      

For the second part of our education this day we welcomed Justin Everman, owner and creator of the Academy of Combative Warrior Arts, A.C.W.A. Justin created the A.C.W.A. after realizing that what most self-defense courses were teaching was not always based in reality. Self-defense should be instinctive, providing actual skills that would help anyone in need when an altercation happens in real life, no matter how unexpected. When most people think of a self-defense class you think of training in a well-lit studio room with a big group of people all dressed similarly in karate-style outfits while learning how to take down an attacker by somehow flipping them over or doing some kind of complicated move. But the A.C.W.A teaches students in a practical atmosphere, changing training areas to include low-light, realistic scenarios and using instinctive moves anyone could perform, all while wearing your normal everyday clothes. The focus is on no-nonsense practicality, making everything easy to remember and perform even under high stress because it becomes instinct, not some intricate dance of moves and rituals you must memorize.

Justin engaged the audience in funny conversation and surprising moments to keep everyone's attention and make it informative but also entertaining. Throughout the presentation he even encouraged members to perform certain motions and ways of speech and also brought several members to the front to participate in a variety of moves to demonstrate how easy they are and how effective in combating an assailant and giving a victim time to get away. Everyone learned many tips on how to stay focused on the environment around them and not distracted with things like modern technology, the differences between common myths about self-defense and the realities, and a variety of simple moves to protect in case of an attack. Many members left interested in taking a more formal course and learning more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones.

For more information on the Academy of Combative Warrior Arts and classes, please click here.

 

Thank you so much to all of our wonderful partners for this fantastic day!

Venue: Fort Worth Club

Speakers: Barbara-Ellen Gaffney, Thompson & Knight     Justin Everman, Academy of Combative Warrior Arts

Photography: Tracy Autem

Linens: BBJ Linens

Rentals: Enrique Elegant Design

Floral/Decor: Tami Winn Events

A/V & music: Harmland Visions

Paper: Paper Planet

Categories: Education, Events

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AACWP is a non-profit association primarily focusing on the education of wedding planners. Our leadership consists of current members providing support, resources, and networking for wedding planners, as well as professional development, certification, and continuing education.


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