On Dec. 6th, 2018 we gathered at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies to honour lives lost by gender-based violence. We wanted to thank each individual who came, listened, participated and discussed the role men play in violence prevention in the Bow Valley. Special thanks to Lana Wells, who has been recognized for her work as a leader in reducing and preventing domestic violence through community initiatives and academic work at the University of Calgary. Lana’s signature project Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence, is committed to engaging men and boys in the movement to stop domestic violence and violence against women.

We really appreciate the men who sat on our discussion panel for breaking stereo-typical masculinity barriers and advancing gender equality. Earlier this year, YWCA Banff hosted Leading Change, a gender-based violence prevention training program, created by the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS).  YWCA Banff secured funding from the Alberta Status of Women in order to offer the program free of charge. Leading Change aims to increase men’s knowledge of issues surrounding domestic and sexual violence, and empower them with tools to become allies who speak out against violence and make informed decisions when witnessing sexism, homophobia and violence in their day to day lives. Men from throughout the Bow Valley volunteered their time to attend the training, and participant feedback revealed that 100% of the men felt better equipped to prevent or interrupt abusive behaviours against women and girls.

Lana Wells moderates a panel discussion with men from Leading Change at the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies.

See you next year for our annual Red Rose Evening!