Jo Bruce, director of the Family Resource Center at Oak Ridge Schools, will discuss “Breaking the Cycle of Violence” during a Monday morning forum in Oak Ridge.
The community forum starts at 11 a.m. Monday, October 6, in the fellowship Hall of Grace Covenant Church, Trinity Center, at 320 Robertsville Road. It’s presented by the Women’s Interfaith Dialogue of Oak Ridge.
Bruce has held the director’s position at the Resource Center since its inception, a press release said. The local center, housed in Willow Brook Elementary School, is one of the original family resource centers established by the state of Tennessee in the fall of 1993.
In a summary of her presentation, Bruce said she will discuss the services she provides to families and students of the Oak Ridge school system in an effort to build trust and resilience.
“My hope is that by bridging the gaps for families of poverty and families living in violent homes, these families will be able to gain the skills and confidence necessary to become thriving members of their communities,” she said.
Bruce has a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University with a double major in social work and psychology. She served as a parent trainer in Campbell County, Tennessee. She has also held positions as a pre-school teacher in Oxford, Mississippi; test examiner for the U.S. Department of Defense in Fort Sill, Oklahoma; and child protection services case worker for the Tennessee Department of Human Services, now the Department of Children’s Services.
Bruce has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of education and social services. She said that advocating for families and children has been the focus of her life.
Since her husband’s tragic death in 2005 (a vice principal at Campbell County High School, he was a victim of a school shooting), Bruce said she has worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of Tennessee schools, including working at the state level on the Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Act. She has been a presenter at the state and national levels. Her professional affiliations include the National Association of Professional Women. National Association of Social Workers, National Educational Association, Tennessee Educational Association, and East Tennessee Council on Children and Youth, the press release said.
The Monday morning forum is free and open to the public. Donations are welcome.
The Women’s Interfaith Dialogue brings together women of diverse faith, color, and culture to explore, understand, and learn from one another for the purpose of advancing justice, compassion, friendship, and human rights, with a focus on women and children, the release said.