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June 2017

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Speaking Out: White Ribbon Newsletter Winter / Spring 2017

 

Fatherhood is complicated. Fatherhood is humbling. Fatherhood is incredible. And it should be. How could it be otherwise? Where else do we learn more than we give, love unequivocally, and challenge ourselves to do more, do better, and leave a positive legacy?

The fatherhood stories we see in popular culture range from the good, to the bad, to the indifferent, to the downright offensive. In some ways that we think about it what means to be a man, fatherhood can often come to represent masculinity in its most stable form. For many men, being a dad is synonymous with a particular kind of untouchable, uncontestable masculinity.

However, the failing here is that singular idea of masculinity keeps us in the same boxes, with the same limitations, that perpetuate rigid gender roles and the harms associated with those stereotypes.

For many men, having their first child placed in their arms does indeed awaken a renewed confidence (panic?) in the need to provide a good, stable, enriching life for their child. The traditional narrative around masculinity would say that this is an impulse to earn money, to make sure they are protected from harm. The role of provider and protector is a big part of that story.

But isn’t caring for a child more than that? Does it not include the need to care, to empathize, and nurture? Does it not include changing diapers and patching boo-boos, and tearful homework sessions, and struggles with snow pants, school lunches, and cuddles on the couch? Does it not include supporting them through the excitement of their first date or sadness following a breakup? Fatherhood is more than just working the BBQ, driving to sports practice, and helping them move away to college for the first time.

These parts of parenting have little to do with the story of masculinity, and everything to do with the nurturing, caring and empathetic qualities that every parent calls on a million times a day.

So for all the dads reading this, the question we’d like you to think about this Father’s Day is whether being a dad makes it easier to understand what it means to be a man, or whether it makes it more complicated? And here’s the tricky part; we want you to think about that question outside of the well-worn concept that dads are supposed to be providers and protectors. Do you have a, let’s call it daditude that is your go-to to get through the toughest parts of parenting? How do you define that daditude? We bet it sounds nothing like the strong, silent, hyper-masculine stereotype.

Or maybe you’re not yet a dad, or never will be a dad. We want to hear about when you deploy your #daditude. Maybe it’s with nieces or nephews, students, younger siblings, those you mentor, cousins, athletes. Maybe you’re playing a caring father figure in someone’s life.

Help us define a daditude for the 21st century that allows men to parent outside of the limits of hegemonic masculinity, that allows all kids to thrive in supportive, empathetic and constructivedaditude that you set out.

Until the violence stops,
Todd Minerson
Executive Director
White Ribbon


Fatherhood: The Work-Life Balance

We know that it can be hard to manage the pressures and expectations at work, and be an engaged and involved parent at home. We are encouraged by recent research that shows “modern fathers are increasingly likely to embrace caring roles and assume more household management responsibilities” (The Vanier Institute of the Family: A Snapshot of Men, Work, and Family Relationships.)

White Ribbon Chair, Jeff Feiner encourages more fathers to take parental leave: “You can’t have gender equality in the workplace if you don’t have gender equality in the home. Sharing the domestic load with my wife is not only fair but also rewarding for me. Being able to spend quantity time, not just quality time, with my children has immeasurably enriched me. By challenging the default assumption that a mother will always be the primary caregiver, I am setting an example for my sons, and my daughter about what a healthy relationship and an active partner in a household looks like.”

We share more tips for fathers on our It Starts With You campaign.


 

Donate Now!

Help us advance and continue our critical work to educate and engage men and boys. Please make a charitable gift to White Ribbon.


Parker P. Consults: Embracing #daditude at the Office

We practice a lot of #daditude here at the office. We have great discussion and debate about how we balance equality in our own homes: how roles and responsibilities are shared, that we each can actively participate in not just the execution of meals, but also the planning, coordination and the logistics. We talk about how we challenge stereotypical images of women and girls, how we hold up strong role models — and how we confront gender norms. We also make the occasionally terrible dad joke.

But, for us, defining #daditude means opting into paternity leave, building relationships with our children and loved ones, being present for as much of the everyday routines as possible, challenging racism, homophobia and sexism when we see it.

Continue reading here.


Spotlight: Young and Potential Fathers

Young and Potential Fathers Initiative (YPF) is a non-profit organization supporting and mentoring African Canadian fathers who are on their way to becoming resilient, committed and involved parents and nurturing family members. Working out of its culturally sensitive, child-friendly base at Ujima House, YPF seeks to positively impact the lives of African Canadian children and their families.

Through a variety of programs and services such as Caring Dads, Super Dads Super Kids, The Incredible Years, Nobody’s Perfect and one on one supports, young and potential fathers and father figures are assisted in confronting challenges in employment, justice, anger management, access and visitation, education and understanding child development. Kwanzaa, Father’s Day and the Fatherhood Fair are popular with African diaspora families and feature treats of visual arts, music, performance art, digital art, enlightening and provocative discussions and culinary delights.

All YPF programs are free of charge and transportation assistance is available.


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March 2017

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Speaking Out: White Ribbon Newsletter Winter / Spring 2017

 

We’re excited to share some of the events, projects, and partnerships White Ribbon is working on for 2017. This newsletter will provide you with some concrete examples of things you can do to support the effort to end violence against women and girls.

We believe it is vital for men to work with other men to end sexual harassment, gender-based violence and promote consent culture and healthy masculinities. We rely on you to be the champions of change in your family, schools, workplaces and communities.

We hear from all of you that you want to do more, more often, to support this important work.  Below we share a few ways to get involved, year-round.

What’s happening in the gender justice movement:
Today is International Women’s Day. We have highlighted UN actions, plus activities both local around the world.  Today is a day to honour and celebrate women, every day is the day to keep working for gender equality. Now more than ever.

Ways you can support White Ribbon:
We invite you to join us for Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, our largest annual fundraising and awareness event. On May 31st, join us at Pecaut Square and show Toronto how we can end violence against women, one wobbly step at a time!

Our work in the community:
This month, the Canadian Council of Muslim Women released a toolkit developed with White Ribbon on preventing family violence among Canadian Muslims. We have also released new Draw the Line scenarios which promote conversations about everyday situations that men and boys find themselves in.

Spotlight on a community organization:
There are so many incredible community organizations working to end violence against women. In this issue, we’re sharing with you the amazing work of Moosehide Campaign – a grassroots movement of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men who are standing up against violence towards women and children.

Finally, here are five things you can do today on International Women’s Day, and every day.

  1. BELIEVE Violence against women is an everyday reality. Believe survivors’ experiences. Your support will make a difference.
  2. TRUST YOUR GUT Don’t walk on by if you witness harassment or violence against women on the street or anywhere: assess the risk, then intervene and confront or defuse the situation. If you need to, ask for help. Call 911.
  3. OFFER SUPPORT Ask if you can help women who have experienced violence and connect them to support services.
  4. IT STARTS WITH YOU Be a role model, lead by example. Question your own attitudes and behaviours and how they may disrespect or harm women. Sexist language and behaviours all contribute to a culture of violence.
  5. CELEBRATE WOMEN in your life and in your community, and commit to doing your part to promote gender equality and end violence against women.

Until the violence stops,
Todd Minerson
Executive Director , White Ribbon

P.S. stay tuned later this month when we reveal a very, very exciting new partnership!  More to come!


International Women’s Day

First started in 1975, each year on March 8th we celebrate International Women’s Day. The focus for 2017 is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”.

Join the conversation: Follow @UN_Women on Twitter and share your messages using the hashtag #WomensDay.

The International Women’s Day observance will be webcast live at webtv.un.org/

For local actions in and around the Greater Toronto Area, BlogTO has an excellent list, updated frequently.


Walk A Mile To End Violence Against Women

At White Ribbon, we are never short of ideas for how you can support our mission to end violence against women. One of the best ways you can help us deepen our work and raise awareness is to participate in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. This year, on May 31st, we’ll show Toronto how high our heels go, and how deeply committed we are to equality and safety for women.


Engaging Men and Boys to End Violence in the Family

We are honoured to announce the release of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW) Engaging Men and Boys to End Violence in the Family toolkit. The project looked at promising practices in engaging men and boys to prevent family violence in Canadian Muslim families. It examined such issues as physical intimate partner violence, physical parent-child violence, sexual violence, female genital cutting/mutilation, forced marriage, emotional abuse and elder abuse.

This toolkit provides resources to support communities to inspire, encourage, and engage men and boys in ending violence against women and girls.


 

Donate Now!

Help us advance and continue our critical work to educate and engage men and boys. Please make a charitable gift to White Ribbon.


New Draw The Line Scenarios!

Expanding on White Ribbon resources from the “Draw the Line” and the “It Starts With You” campaigns, and working closely with our partners, we saw a powerful opportunity to engage boys and young men to become active bystanders in preventing sexual violence from junior kindergarten all the way through college and university. Male-identified youth and their male educators in the shape of coaches, teachers, and fathers are uniquely placed to transform the strict masculine gender norms that can be so harmful. The project encourages male-identified individuals to become positive role models and allies in the prevention of gender-based violence.

The campaign provides educators and students with thought-provoking scenarios developed under the Draw-the-Line helm. We are currently working with experienced elementary and secondary educators to develop a powerful educator’s guide with curriculum connections and a train-the-trainer program that will help bring the materials to life in schools around Ontario and instill confidence in their use.


Spotlight: Moosehide Campaign

The Moose Hide Campaign is a grassroots movement of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Men who are standing up against violence towards women and children.

Wearing the moose hide signifies a person’s commitment to honour, respect, and protect the women and children in their life and to work together with other men to end violence.

Moose Hide Campaign uses cultural teachings to motivate and enlighten men about indigenous ways of being, ultimately changing the cycles of violence in our communities.


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December 2016

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Speaking Out: White Ribbon Newsletter Fall / Winter 2016

 

Welcome to the Fall / Winter edition of the White Ribbon newsletter.

As we wrap another campaign year, what we must be reminded of, now, more than ever, is that taking Action to end gender-based violence has never been more critical.

A sad reality has dawned on me in 2016.  Our march towards ending gender-based violence and realizing gender equality is not guaranteed to move in the direction of progress.  In fact, there is a real threat that we may be moving backwards.  Your action; our action is needed more than ever. Your actions matter.

While the public discourse may be more visible than ever, we have seen what happens to women who come forward to seek justice against acts of violence.  While social norms can change for the better, we clearly see how hatred and misogyny can be emboldened by political events south of the border.  While more women access services that provide safety and support, we are also adding more women’s names to memorials.  And the most vulnerable women are in as much danger as ever before.  Indigenous women, racialized women, disabled women, queer women.

We have it within us to make a difference.  We cannot be complacent any longer.  The only thing lacking is the will to change.  White Ribbon, and our women’s activists’ colleagues have many concrete steps you can take.

White Ribbon is committed to working across Canada and around the globe to engage men and boys in promoting gender equality and ending gender-based violence. Whether it be launching our new National Community of Practice and Huddle Up and Make the Call Toolkits or working to strengthen capacity to engage men and boys in ending violence against women and girls in Vietnam, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Zambia, Cambodia, or USA, we couldn’t do it without your support.

Please keep us in mind for your end of year charitable contributions and make a generous donation.  We’ve included a donation button below.

I will leave you with six short words to remember December 6th and to reflect on as we get ready to usher in another new year.

Never forget.
Have hope.
Take action.

Until the violence stops,
Todd Minerson, Executive Director White Ribbon


National Community of Practice Toolkit

Together with project partners, we’ve been building a national community of practice focused on challenges and GBV prevention methods for boys and men. We’ve come together in a national effort to provide expert advice and resources that work in schools, communities and workplaces alike. We’ve made program engagement more effective with proven methods to preventing gender-based violence. Teaching the power of allyship among boys and men doesn’t have to be a challenge. We provide simple solutions in one integrated toolkit. Please visit CanPreventGBV.


Make The Call Toolkit

On and off the field, we can make the lives of people around us safer and better. Taking a stand against gender-based violence in small but significant ways changes the game.  Whether you identify as an educator, youth, coach, student or practitioner our new toolkitdeveloped with our friends at the Toronto Argonauts Football Club, will help you promote healthy masculinity and accountable, equitable team cultures.

Find incredible resources for coaches/athletes to promote gender equality among our sports teams, schools and communities.


 

Donate Now!

Help us advance and continue our critical work educating and engaging men and boys. Please make a charitable gift to White Ribbon.


Kenya Equity in Education Project

This November, White Ribbon staff were in Kenya conducting a series of workshops. White Ribbon is one of the Kenya Equity in Education Project’s (KEEP) Innovation Partners. The primary objective of the three year project is to improve enrolment, retention and performance of marginalized girls in primary and secondary schools in northern Kenya. A vital KEEP output is to mobilize community support to keep girls in school longer to complete a full cycle of education.

The activity entitled “Engaging Men and Boys to mobilize support for girls’ education” is an initiative which contributes to changing attitudes and behaviors of men and boys toward increasing support for girls’ education. White Ribbon staff first traveled to Kenya in February 2014 to lead a training program for community mobilizers from the refugee camps and host communities in Kakuma and Dadaab where KEEP operates. The team returned to Kenya three more times at various stages of the project to provide training, to scale-up activities and to evaluate the impact of those activities. After three years of working with the community mobilizers, it is rewarding to see male community members understand the key role they can play in advocating for girls’ education and taking a leadership role in promoting gender equality.


Spotlight: OAITH

The Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH) is an Association of women’s shelters, transition houses, and VAW organizations that work to end violence against all women in Ontario. OAITH provides training and advocacy to educate and raise public awareness on diverse violence against women issues.

Held every November during Woman Abuse Prevention Month, OAITH’s annual Wrapped In Courage Campaign raises awareness on supporting women fleeing violence in their lives, including domestic violence. They work to the end the stigma around domestic violence, and bring women’s shelters and organizations and communities together to support women escaping violence. To learn more about OAITH and their training opportunities, visit www.oaith.ca and training.oaith.ca. Like them on Facebook or Follow OAITH on Twitter.


Survey: Ontario Ministry of Housing

SPR Associates is currently seeking participants for a survey as part of research for the Ontario Ministry of Housing to learn more about how people cope with difficulties, and Build Resilience After Traumatic Experiences.

The survey is looking to assess how persons who have experienced trauma have been helped by agencies & friends; their housing situation; personal attitudes and actions that people take to rebuild their lives after trauma.

The survey is completely confidential, anonymous, and should only take 10- 15 minutes.

We invite you participate in the survey here: http://www.spr.ca/PHB/resilience.htm


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June 2016

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Speaking Out: White Ribbon Newsletter June 2016

 

Welcome to the Fathers’ Day edition of the White Ribbon newsletter.

About four months after I started this role at White Ribbon, I became a father for the first time with the arrival of our son. Four years later, our daughter joined the family.  Both experiences, life changing and profound, served to transform my passion for this work into something very personal.  For me, being a father is simply the best job in the world.

We also know it can be one of the most important roles in challenging and changing the social norms that perpetuate gender inequality and violence against women.  In this issue we highlight some of our work with fathers, a recent conference in Peterborough, and our vital campaign, It Starts With You, It Stays With Him. When fathers are involved in promoting healthy relationships to their sons, and girls’ empowerment with their daughters – great things happen.

A huge thank you to everyone who came out and supported our 2016 Walk A Mile in her Shoes event.  We had over 700 participants, raised a ton of awareness, and over $145,000 for our education work with young men and boys.  It was a major public statement in the downtown core of Toronto that many men want to work to end violence against women and girls.  We are very grateful to everyone who was a part of the event.

On a more sombre note, we also want to take a moment to reflect and stand in solidarity with the LGBTQI2S communities around the world following the tragedy in Orlando.  We are gutted by the loss of so many through a violent act of hatred.  We need to connect all the dots between misogyny, sexism, homophobia and transphobia, and toxic masculinity if we are to truly realize a world free of this kind of violence.  At White Ribbon we are committed to making those connections. We work with the knowledge that these are also the benefits of our work with men and boys.

Fellow fathers:  while we recognize our roles this month, let’s realize how much more we have to do.  We need to continue to step up in our role educating our kids, boys and girls, on gender equality, healthy relationships, homophobia, transphobia and consent.  We need to step up our work around the home, and we need to show up in solidarity for gender equality initiatives in our workplaces and communities.  Take some time this Fathers’ Day to think about not only how lucky we are to have the role, but the opportunity we have to make a positive difference in the world.

Until the violence stops,

Todd


 

Role Modelling Fathers’ Day.

On Sunday, June 19th, we celebrate fatherhood.  This is a chance to focus on teaching our children how to achieve consent, set boundaries, and use respectful communication in all their relationships.  Promoting gender equality and healthy, equal relationships helps you do your part in creating healthy families and strengthening family bonds. It  is something we can all do.

And we can help.

Read Ian DeGeer and Kate Bojin’s blog post reflecting on the importance of involving fathers to end sexual violence.

Watch our series of Fatherhood Films highlighting the truly inspiring stories of engaged, involved fathers.

Visit our public awareness campaign It Starts With You, It Stays With Him for more tips, stories and resources.

Read our Give Love Get Love Involved Father and Gender Equity report, exploring the positive roles that fathers, organizations working with diverse fathers, and the fatherhood sector in Ontario in general can play.

 


Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Toronto 2016

700 people strapped on their stilettos, marched down Yonge Street and made a bold statement that violence against women has to end.

Thanks to all of our participants and sponsors, this year’s Walk A Mile In Her Shoes was a huge success! Funds raised will support White Ribbon in our work to engage men and boys to end violence against women, promote gender equity and healthy relationships, and build a new vision of masculinity.

Congratulations to our Top Fundraising Teams:
Town Shoes Limited Shoe Lovers
McCarthy Tetrault and
Stillettos for a Stance

Thank you for your commitment to ending violence against women and girls.

We look forward to seeing you next year!

 

 


Spotlight: Next Gen Men

Next Gen Men is a nonprofit organization based in Toronto focused on building better men through youth and peer engagement, education, and empowerment.

Promoting healthy masculinities and gender equality through after-school programs, Next Gen Men provides a fun, safe space for young men in grades 7 and 8 to explore ways they can take care of their health and support their peers, end violence and discrimination, and make a positive impact on their communities.

Visit their website (http://nextgenmen.ca/) and follow on them social media to find out more.


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We acknowledge and mourn the loss of life, community, and safe space in Orlando this weekend.  We stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ2 and Latinx communities of Florida, and with LGBTQ2 communities everywhere.   An act of violence and discrimination against one is an act of violence and discrimination against all.

We pledge to continue promoting peaceful existence for all, to call for the end of all gender-based violence, including violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We will work hard as we continue to promote healthy masculinities and allyship in North America and around the Globe.  We celebrate and draw inspiration from the resiliency, freedom seeking and loving nature of our LGBTQ2 communities.

In the words of the late Jack Layton, founding member of the White Ribbon Campaign, “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”

In solidarity today and always,

The White Ribbon Team.


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March 2016

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Speaking Out: White Ribbon Newsletter March 2016

 

Welcome to the first issue of Speaking Out, White Ribbon’s relaunched quarterly newsletter! We’re excited to share White Ribbon news with you and keep you updated on activities and issues in our world. We hope that you will find the content inspiring, relevant and useful.This newsletter will provide you with some concrete examples of things you can do to support the effort to end violence against women and girls. We hear from all of you that you want to do more, more often, to support this important work.

We rely on you to be the champions of change in your family, schools, workplaces and communities.

What can you expect to see in each issue of Speaking Out?

Information about White Ribbon’s activities:
Learn about our most recent event, What Makes A Man 2016 – a day of courageous, candid conversations about men and masculinities.

Ways you can support White Ribbon:
In this issue, we invite you to join us for Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, our largest annual fundraising and awareness event. On May 12, join us at Yonge Dundas Square and show Toronto how we can end violence against women, one wobbly step at a time!

What’s happening in the gender justice movement:
Today International Women’s Day. We’ve highlighted some of the UN actions and other activities around the world.

Spotlight on a community organization:
There are so many incredible community organizations working to end violence against women. In each issue, we will highlight the work of one of these organizations. In this issue, we’re sharing with you the amazing work of Reclaim Your Voice – an event series that gives survivors the chance to speak openly about their experiences in a supportive environment.

The re-launch of this newsletter comes at an important moment for White Ribbon.  2016 marks our 25th year of working with men and boys to end violence against women and girls. From humble beginnings in Toronto, White Ribbon has now spread to over 65 countries around the world, and while we are proud of all we’ve accomplished, the fact that we are still in business is not really a moment to celebrate.  It is a reason to reflect on what we have learned, and push for the transformative change we are all hoping for. Stay tuned for more on [email protected]!

Until the violence stops

Todd


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What Makes A Man

On February 19th, 2016 we had the honour of welcoming friends, colleagues, partners into heart-felt conversations of tough-truths, personal stories and ways forward for men and masculinity. We hosted panel discussions which explored manhood and sports, how to engage men in creating safer and inclusive environments, and the needs of indigenous people and roles for male allies. This year we included two Snapshot Series, which provided an opportunity to discuss personal life stories in a safe space.

We’ve collected many of these amazing discussions in a series of Storify posts, which can be read here.

We are excited to start working towards What Makes A Man for 2017!

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Walk A Mile, Shoes

Would you Walk A Mile in these shoes?

What if it was to help put an end to violence against women?

On May 12, from 12:00 – 1:00pm, join White Ribbon for Walk A Mile In Her Shoes, our biggest annual fundraising event – strap on a pair of heels and walk a mile through the Financial District to show your support for ending violence against women and girls. Read more > >

Walk A Mile shoesWalk A Mile In Her Shoes

 


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International Women’s Day

First started in 1975, each year on March 8th we celebrate International Women’s Day. This year White Ribbon will be joining UN Women in promoting their Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality Sustainable Development Goals #Planet5050.

UN Women’s #IWD2016 actions will draw attention to the 2030 agenda, which will

equally focus on new commitments under UN Women’s Step It Up initiative, and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.

For local actions in and around the Greater Toronto Area BlogTO has an excellent list, updated frequently.


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Spotlight: Reclaim Your Voice

Reclaim Your Voice is an event series which provides a platform for men and women who have experienced domestic violence, psychological and sexual abuse, to share raw testimonials, inspirational spoken word pieces and motivational speeches.

Each event gives attendees the opportunity to listen to survivors speak in detail about their experiences, and gives survivors the chance to speak candidly about their experiences while receiving the support of a welcoming and attentive audience.

Learn more on their website and please consider joining their mailing list to be notified of upcoming events.


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