about us

We empower the next generation to love in a healthy abuse-free way to end the cycle of relationship violence.

Love and relationships are one of the most important things in our lives, yet we are taught almost nothing about it. What is Love will change this! We teach young people, parents and schools how to identify healthy and unhealthy relationships. With this new understanding, we teach them how to avoid abuse and how to love in a healthy way.

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CHRISTY STILLWELL

founder & executive director

I am a high school drop-out and teen runaway, and understand firsthand how violence can shape a life.  I grew up with a Dad who hit and used his words to scar. I had a loving grandmother that tucked me under her wing, kept me safe, and gave me the chance to get back on track. Years later, I was sitting in a Community College interpersonal communication class with tears running down my face. Thinking why are we not teaching our young people these skills in every classroom? This learning would have helped me navigate my trauma and prevented many unhealthy relationships. It was these early experiences that inspired me to become a compassionate, patient, strong voice for young people.

For the last twenty years, I have worked to implement a healthy relationship curriculum into schools across the country. I facilitate workshops, educator trainings and speak in schools, juvenile detention facilities, universities and youth serving organizations. I work with legislators to help them understand why this needs to be a priority and how relationship violence intersects with our communities’ mental health crisis. I do this work because I am dedicated to creating a community of socially and emotionally intelligent youngsters, committed to success, increasing empathy, taking responsibility, repairing harm, and building strong kind healthy relationship skills. 

I believe this will change their lives.
~Christy Stillwell

our team

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Christy Stillwell

Founder & Executive Director
Christy leads a dream team of passionate and dedicated social change heroes who work to promote healthy relationships. She brings years of experience in the nonprofit sector to oversee the strategic direction of WIL, working to scale programming to every high school in the United States. She is a recognized expert on relationship violence prevention and healthy relationship curriculum. Christy is committed to increasing awareness about these critical issues impacting the lives of our young people. Christy has an M.A. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in psychological educational curriculum design. She is a published author and researcher of The New Dating Landscape For Today’s Teens and Inspiring Healthy Relationships In The Digital Age.
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Dr. Lauren Reed

Independent Evaluation
Dr. Reed is an assistant professor of social work at Arizona State University. Lauren has worked with adolescent and adult survivors of dating and domestic violence and has facilitated community-based youth-led programs to empower youth to end relationship violence and promote gender equality in their communities. Dr. Reed specializes in designing and implementing research evaluations for community and school-based programs working to prevent dating violence.
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Ali Cortes

Education & Engagement
M.A Clinical Psychology & MFTI, Agent of change for youth and families using clinical and cultural relevant interventions is a calling. Empowering individuals to harness their personal strengths and leverage them to live positive lifestyles is my passion and mission.
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Suzanne Austin

Operations
Suzanne utilizes her more than twenty years of experience in project management of business and operating systems to support our strategic fund development. Her industry experience includes software engineering, multimedia communication, networking and education. She is a passionate advocate for children, civil rights, social action, poverty alleviation, economic empowerment and teaching our kids how to love in a healthy way.
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Andrew Gil

Curriculum Development & Educator
M.A. Educational Counseling. Andrew is committed to helping youth succeed academically and socially. While attending UC Berkeley he was heavily involved with CAl Athletics and IM Sports and spent most of his time mentoring and coaching youth in Oakland, California. His experience as a counselor, coach, and mentor is essential in helping our teens build strong loving healthy relationships.
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Catherine Steininger

Marketing & Communications
Catherine has worked in the intimate partner violence prevention field for more than a decade. She has extensive counseling experience with individuals, groups, and training educators. She uses this experience to create our print and marketing materials as well as our social media presence to help us amplify our message to reach as many teens, parents and schools.
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Erin Kozaki

Philanthropic Giving
Erin works to develop a stronger What is Love presence in the community and expand our reach through sustainable giving. Erin received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, where she also stayed active as a member of the UNLV women’s basketball team.
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Jennifer Steinwertzel

Bringing people together
Jennifer leads our philanthropy development team. She is a passionate educator, writer and business owner committed to supporting youth in their journey to learn how to love better. It took Jenn a long time to first, get the help she needed and to second, realize that stumbling in life can be our greatest gifts leading us to our truest self. She believes if we can be brave enough to turn to where we stumble, we can succeed. Jenn has a special gift of bringing like-minded people together to create social change and action.
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Teaching Team

our school-based educators
Our school-based educators conduct classroom presentations, support parent workshops and youth led awareness campaigns. Through a robust training and supervision process they build critical skills needed to start this private difficult conversation with teens. They help create a safe space for our youth to be supported, valued and empowered.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT

help is available

Text “listen” to 741741 to connect 24/7 confidentially to a kind support counselor.

Call 866.331.9474 to speak with a trained LoveisRespect peer advocate for support for yourself or a loved one.

Call 800.799.7233 National Domestic Violence 24/7 hotline to talk to an expert for support for yourself or a loved one.

Call 911 If you are in immediate danger.

WHAT IS LOVE

contact us

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