Welcome to the Association

Hello! Hola! Bonjour, Hallo, שלום (Shalom), Ahoj, नमस्कार (Namaskāra), Aloha, سلام (Salam),

Kon’nichiwa (こんにちは), 你好 (Nǐ Hǎo), Ciao, Kamusta, สวัสดี (S̄wạs̄dī), Zdravo, Haberi, 안녕하세요 (Annyeonghaseyo), γεια σας (geia sas), नमस्ते (Namaste), Përshëndetje, Привет (Privet), ԲարեւՁեզ (Barev Dzez), Hej, Olá!

My name is Samantha Waterman, and I am the Executive Director of the new Association of

ESD Professionals. I would like to introduce myself to the Association’s new members and the

ESD community. I came to empowerment self-defense (ESD) from the world of politics. My

career started in political polling, moved into campaign-finance & election law, and

transitioned to political campaigns and government. I’m never more fulfilled than when I’m

faced with a challenge that will serve the greater good, so I am honored now to be working

with the amazing people of ESD who dedicate their time to empowering others and stemming the tides of violence.

I am happy to announce that membership registration is open! We invite everyone who works in empowerment self-defense to join us and a growing ESD community.

Our mission is to support and connect ESD professionals, broaden the reach of ESD, and

elevate and fortify ESD as a profession. We hope that you will consider membership in the

Association, whether you are an instructor, student, staff member, executive, volunteer,

researcher, writer, artist, or advocate. If you are a social worker, mental health professional, or

other professional working in the violence-prevention sector and you believe in the principles of ESD, please join us.

Why create a professional association? As ESD has grown, it has touched and improved

thousands of lives. It is our dream to grow ESD big enough to impact the lives of millions, to

expand its reach to everyone in the world. To accomplish this dream, we must dramatically

increase the number of ESD practitioners by expanding instructor-training, and to do that we

believe that the profession needs credentialing, continuing education, accreditation, and

ethics programs. To accomplish this dream, we must create a unified voice that can

penetrate the noisy world of advocacy, politics, and media so that we can effect great

change. To accomplish this dream, we must create an ESD-aware environment, a changed

culture that is primed to welcome and deploy ESD instruction. We believe the Association can help accomplish this dream.

Many heroes have given their time, creativity, and hard work to empowerment self-defense.

Some ESD pioneers have made their living teaching ESD, many have volunteered their time to ESD. These individuals and organizations have changed lives and created a profession. In

order to take their work, your work to the next level, in order to grow ESD by magnitudes and into a profession worthy of universal recognition, we have created this professional


By joining the Association, you won’t only strengthen your own ESD practice, you will also be

helping to build a cohesive global community where ideas are shared and collaborations

thrive. We hope to drive more visitors to your websites, increase traffic on your social media

channels, encourage more people to take your courses, increase attendance at your events,

and bring you more business, collaborators, and volunteers. And through all of our work, we will aspire to broaden the diversity and inclusiveness of ESD.

Together we can change the world.


Thank you to our inaugural members! Thank you to our founder Yudit Sidikman for her vision, dedication, and philanthropy. Thank you to the Board of Directors for their time and

commitment to the Association. And thank you to our staff and consultants for their

enthusiasm, creativity, and hard work. Together, this team has made the Association possible.

To learn more about the team and the Association, please visit our website.

Programs, Features & Benefits

Check out what the Association has to offer and what will be coming online in the coming


Available Now

  • Networking—Online Feed, Groups, and Forums to chat, collaborate, advise, and share.

  • Participation & Leadership—Run for Board seats, participate on councils, commissions.

  • Association Events—Conferences, roundtables, IG Live chats, hangouts, symposia, etc.

  • Career & Business How-Tos—Relieving pressure from the business side of ESD practice.

  • Career Center—Jobs board for employers and employees.

  • Liability Insurance—Providing access to insurance with quick & easy online application.

  • Research—To bolster its real-world impact, sharing & sponsoring ESD research.

  • Special Projects—Women of Color Study, Measurements Report, and Finding ESD.

  • Member Directory—Fostering connectivity among members.

Coming Soon

  • Featuring & Honoring Members—At conferences, in magazine & blog, on podcast.

  • Master ESD Event Calendar—ESD & violence-prevention events around the world.

  • Credentialing Program—Elevating the practice of ESD and engendering public trust.

  • Continuing Education Program—Maintaining your credential.

  • Accreditation Program—Qualifying providers who can award CE credits.

  • Code of Ethics & Conduct—Ensuring the integrity of ESD practice.

  • Advocacy & Lobbying—Influencing public policy and increasing government funding.

  • Resource Lists—Grants & other funding opportunities and calls for research.

  • Magazine & Blog—Articles, stories, poetry, art, & music from the ESD community, online.

  • Podcast—Interviews and discussions on hot topics, latest research, and features.

  • Master ESD Directory—Making it easy to find ESD professionals everywhere.

  • Store—ESD swag.

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