Kaleidoscope 2019 Conference

24th Annual
2019 International Conference
Dates: November 20-22, 2019
AT THE KENSINGTON HOTEL – Ann Arbor, Michigan!


Battering intervention requires a focus on a broad-ranging kaleidoscope of information. Essential community and individual considerations, including history, culture, geography, gender identity, education, job role, and many other unique factors impact the prism from which intervention programs are designed and implementation. This year’s BISC-MI Conference focuses on looking inside group rooms of battering intervention programs (BIPs) to provide conference participants with the opportunity to explore in-depth strategies, techniques, and tools. Our internationally recognized faculty bring a wide spectrum of experiences and extensive backgrounds in both the direct service and administrative components of BIP programming. The program has been specifically designed to meet the needs of a wide-range of provider experience, from the most seasoned to brand new. Additionally, survivor advocates, criminal and civil court personnel, child protection workers will strengthen strategies to engage those who have been abusive and deepen insights regarding the role of battering intervention’s in ending domestic abuse.

For the first time BISC-MI is very excited to offer a track to encourage the development of NEW BIP programs. The implementation of this specialty track requires that at least 20 participants sign up. We are happy to announce and confirm that this track is confirmed and will be conducted at the conference! We encourage participants falling under this category to attend as a community team representing the survivor service organization, court, child welfare, law enforcement, potential BIP providers, or other community partners. Conference faculty will meet with these groups to explore issues of policy development, coordinated community response, participant engagement and program structure.

We hope you’ll join us in taking a look through the  to view and review how we make make meaningful change happen inside battering intervention programs.

The Office on Violence Against Women has once again approved our request to invite OVW grantees to attend The Battering Intervention Services Coalition of Michigan (BISC-MI) 2019 International Conference to be held November 20-22, 2019.

Grantees from Disabilities, Justice for Families, ICJR, Rural, and Underserved programs have conditionally approved their grantees to attend this conference.  Grantees are required to contact their OVW program specialist to get approval specific to their award and to ensure that a Grant Adjustment Notice (GAN) is issued. A GAN must be completed before grantees commit or expend any funds related to attending this conference.

The reference number for this conference is OVW-2020-MU-002. This number must be used by grantees when requesting approval via a GAN or in their “memo to the file”. This approval and assigned reference number is for this conference only.   

All Early Registration is extended to November 7, 2019

Registration Before October 31, 2019
Member Early Bird: $350.00 | Non-Member Early Bird: $400.00

Registration After October 31, 2019
Member $400.00 | Non-Member $450.00

Newly added Daily Registration Rates: 
Member $175.00 | Non-Member $200.00

Breakfast and lunch included in the registration cost

This course is approved by the Michigan Social Work
Continuing Education Collaborative

Course Approval: #081619-00
Up to 20 Michigan Social Work CE Hours
Up to 20 BIPSCC CEU’s

Click here if you need a completed w9 document

Make lodging reservations early with THE KENSINGTON HOTEL – ANN ARBOR! 

The conference hotel is now full, please see below for information on the overflow hotel

NOTE: Lodging reservations is a separate process from conference registration


The conference block is now full at The Kensington Hotel – Ann Arbor! No worries! You can still make reservations at the conference overflow hotel – a fantastic new sister property, located right next door to the conference hotel.

To make reservations, call the EVEN Hotel – Ann Arbor at (734) 761-2929 and ask for the BISC-MI Annual Conference room block. It is necessary to call the hotel for reservations given this late date; online reservations are not available at this time. Please note: the EVEN Hotel – Ann Arbor is recently and formerly the Holiday Inn & Suites – Ann Arbor. Don’t worry if you still see remnants of the Holiday Inn & Suites in online marketing and branding as they transition fully.

Rooms are offered at the conference rate for the nights of Tuesday, November 19 – Thursday, November 21 (checking-out Friday, November 22). EVEN Hotel – Ann Arbor offers BISC-MI guests a reduced rate of $102.00/night for single and double occupancy, plus applicable taxes. If you are state of Michigan tax exempt, be sure present appropriate documentation at hotel check in.


The Kensington Hotel – Ann Arbor offers BISC-MI guests a reduced rate of $102.00/night for single and double occupancy, plus applicable taxes. If you are state of Michigan tax exempt, be sure present appropriate documentation at hotel check in.

The deadline for making reservations is Friday, November 8, 2019 but the conference block may easily fill sooner and rooms will no longer be available at the reduced rate. If the Kensington Hotel block fills, BISC-MI will share information for alternate partner hotels in the area, but reduced rate offers are not guaranteed.

Rooms are offered at the conference rate for the nights of Tuesday November 19 – Thursday November 21 (checking-out Friday November 22). If you wish to request additional dates outside that window, reservations must be made by calling the hotel directly; the online reservation link will not accept dates outside the conference block window.

To make reservations online:


Address3500 S State St, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Phone:     (866) 315-7075
Email:      ask@kcourtaa.com

Easy Parking! 
Ample, free self-parking is available at the Kensington Hotel Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108

Register Now!

The Ed Gondolf COMPASS Award

Recognizing and honoring those who have significantly guided and expanded efforts to protect survivors through advancing and evaluating accountable perpetrator intervention research and programming.

The 2019 COMPASS Award will be given to:
Nicole Westmarland Ph.D.


Conference Materials in downloadable form

Day One: Wednesday, November 20, 2019

8:15am-8:45am Registration Check In

8:15am-8:45am Continental Breakfast – Provided

8:45am-9:00am Welcome

Plenary 1:
The Heart of The Work: Group Process
Chris Huffine
In describing battering intervention there is often emphasis on the philosophical orientation of the program as well as specific skills and tools that are being taught. What is often overlooked and undervalued is the actual structure of the group and the facilitation style used with the group in the room. This session will focus on the Allies in Change model of group facilitation, including the structure of group sessions, the emphasis on present day experiences, and the use of group process.

10:30am-10:45am Break

10:45am – 12:15pm
Plenary 2: Re-Imagining Services for Abusive Partners
Lisa Nitsch & Angelique Green-Manning
House of Ruth Maryland has transformed the way they offer intervention services for abusive partners. Their focus on cultural relevance and accessibility led to the development of a unique approach that includes wrap-around services for participants that aim to increase engagement and reduce lethality. With an emphasis on their process the presenters will share their vision of a holistic approach to engaging abusive partners.

12:15pm-1:15pm Lunch – Provided

Plenary 3: Intersectionality and Healing Circles
Rhea Almeda
Intersectionality offers possibilities to decolonize the political and institutional aspects of social location and standpoints of people in their lived experiences in multiple contexts. Identities simultaneously, come with privileges, advantages, disadvantages, and varying levels of power, some of which are mutable and others not. Healing circles are an interrupting force to dominant paradigms. Unlocking the shackles of gender, race, class and sexual orientation, as well as other markers of patriarchal wounding are at the core of patriarchal violence. Healing circles provide the primary context for healing through the foundational pillars of critical consciousness, empowerment and accountability.

So, You Want to Start a Battering Intervention Program?
This training session, part of the STARTING A NEW BIP TRACK will be facilitated by BISC-MI Board member Jeffrie Cape, a conference faculty member, and a staff person from the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.

2:45pm-3:00pm Break

Plenary 4: Enhancing Accountability in Battering Intervention Programs Through Community Engagement
Ulester Douglas
Male intimate partner violence against women is a macro problem grounded in patriarchal, sexist ideology, and thus requires systemic solutions. However, society is deeply invested in seeing the problem as one of individuals–a few bad guys who have lost their way–and that the problem can be solved with some good counseling.

Battering intervention programs must be intentional in not unwittingly reinforcing this belief in its policies and practices. The goal of this session is to discuss how Atlanta-based Men Stopping Violence uses its BIP classes/groups to assert that male violence against women is a community problem, and to demonstrate how it engages communities to be a part of the solution.

History and Foundational Components of a Battering Intervention Program
This training session, part of the STARTING A NEW BIP TRACK will be facilitated by BISC-MI Board member Jeffrie Cape, a conference faculty member, and a staff person from the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence.


Day Two: Thursday, November 21, 2019

7:30am-8:00am Registration Check In

7:30am-8:00am Continental Breakfast – Provided

8:00am-8:15am Welcome

Plenary 5: Conceptual Clarity and Accountability
Jeffrie Cape
Most programs have a philosophy that they identify as the underpinning of their program. However, often the program’s policies and implementation do not match up with the stated philosophy. Conceptual clarity is the process of assessing and incorporating policies and exercises that align with the stated philosophy. Accountability is a concept that is seen as key in most battering intervention programs. However, most of the accountability discussed is external (courts, families, programs holding individuals accountable). In this session a definition for internal accountability will be shared along with a framework for engaging in ongoing discussion

9:45am-10:00am Break

Plenary 6: Liberation Based Practices and De-Siloing the work with men who use violence.
Rhea Almeda
Questioning the healing value of individual paradigms and methods of practice, ranging from diagnosis-based psychiatry to standard trauma treatment focusing on individual pathology, while dismembering individual, family, and larger system connections. Countering the silo-ing of men’s experiences through fatherhood programs, supervised visitation, relationship & mental health programs Liberation Based Healing Practices centers all identity markers in healing circles and liberation praxis.

How should Battering Intervention Programs Work with Community Partners
This training session, part of the STARTING A NEW BIP TRACK will be facilitated by BISC-MI Board member Jeffrie Cape, a conference faculty member, and a staff person from the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. 

11:30am-12:30pm Lunch – Provided

Plenary 7: The Journey to Us: Reducing Resistance & Increasing Motivation
Angelique Green-Manning & Lisa Nitsch
Most BIP participants are motivated by a criminal legal system mandate, a child protective services referral or some other external influence. Appreciating the experience that helps participants find their way to you can be beneficial in reducing resistance, increasing motivation and ultimately, improving outcomes. When should you start talking about fees? How much information do you give at first contact? How do you respond to someone suggests your program is a bunch of bulls#$%t? Workshop participants will be challenged to consider how their program policies and their individual approach may be unnecessarily contributing to resistance and getting in their own way.

Program Design, Philosophy and Policies
This training session, part of the STARTING A NEW BIP TRACK will be facilitated by BISC-MI Board member Jeffrie Cape, a conference faculty member, and a staff person from the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. 

2:00pm-2:15pm Break

Plenary 8: Addressing Male Sexual Violence Against Women in Battering Intervention Programs
Ulester Douglas
Despite the prevalence of sexual violence in male-intimate-partner violence against women cases, many battering intervention programs do not address this topic in their groups/classes in any substantial way. The faculty will examine Atlanta-based Men Stopping Violence’s curriculum lesson on sexual violence with an emphasis on its functional and transformative definition of male sexual violence against women.  The presentation will include a discussion of the challenges and opportunities that arise in presenting this lesson.

Next Steps, Resources and Tools
This training session, part of the STARTING A NEW BIP TRACK will be facilitated by BISC-MI Board member Jeffrie Cape, a conference faculty member, and a staff person from the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. 

3:45pm-4:00pm Break

Plenary 9: Faculty Panel Discussion
Rhea Almeda, Jeffrie Cape, Ulester Douglas, Chris Huffine, Angelique Green-Manning, Lisa Nitsch, Nicole Westmarland
This panel presentation will be a lively and participatory conversation with the conference faculty who will share and discuss their knowledge, skills, resources, experiences, concerns and wisdom of working in the battering intervention movement 

Day Three: Friday, November 22, 2019

7:15am-8:15am Continental Breakfast – Provided

8:15am-8:30am Welcome

Plenary 10: Project Mirabal: Past, Present, and Future

Nicole Westmarland
Project Mirabal was a UK multi-site study into Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programmes (BIPs). It was led by Professor’s Nicole Westmarland and Liz Kelly with support from a team of researchers and administrators. The headlines are now well known – looking across six ‘measures of success’ many men took steps towards change. Nearly all forms of physical and sexual violence were substantially reduced or even ceased entirely across the whole of our sample. However, other forms of domestic violence and abuse were more resistant to change. In this presentation, Nicole will go beyond the headline change findings to bring together our theories of why and how some men choose to change. Throughout the presentation Nicole will reflect on what this means in relation to the past, present, and future of domestic violence perpetrator programme research.

BISC-MI COMPASS Award Presentation: Nicole Westmarland Ph.D.

10:00am-10:30am Hotel Check Out

Plenary 11 Full Panel Discussion on Project Mirabal: Past, Present, and Future

12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch – Provided

Plenary 12: The Allies in Change model: Core and Distinctive Content
Chris Huffine
This session will highlight some of the most important and distinctive aspects of the Allies in Change curriculum as well as a brief overview of the Allies in Change model.

2:30pm-2:45pm Break

Plenary 13: Inside the Room
Jeffrie Cape
This session goes inside the battering intervention room and explores specific exercises from the HEAL/ADA programs and delves into facilitation strategies and tools that can be incorporated into many program models. Use of stories, analogies, motivational interactions are some of the concepts that will be shared.

4:15pm -4:30pm Conference Wrap up and Gift Raffle

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Disclaimer: Any opinion, findings, recommendations or conclusions, expressed by any author(s) or speaker(s) do not necessarily reflect the views of BISC-MI. BISC-MI reserves the right to substitute a qualified instructor or topic due to unforeseen circumstances.

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