Violence against women is a men's issue.

If there was ever a moment to promote men's accountability, thanks to the women in the #MeToo movement, we now have it. Men are being held accountable through mainstream media coverage, through memes and social media, shaming, legal actions, and more. 

Fresh to this public crisis, we see many men locked in their shame, unclear where to turn for solutions and opportunities for men, families and communities to change. The good news is that we are increasingly looking to change. 

Please attend this special day-long event on Saturday, March 3 at East Vancouver's Raycam Community Centre. Join us to discuss our role in leading healthier lives and building healthier communities. Today is all about helping men (self-identified) change our behaviour. Honour your own path forward and make time for real change. Meet other men who have made changes in their lives. 

If you aren't sure why men should be involved in ending male violence against women and children check out this Jackson Katz video. 

What are we going to be doing?

This gathering is an experiment at filling in the huge gap in guys getting together to talk about our sh#t. We will build a welcoming large tent for this dialogue. Men (self-identified) are welcome to learn, reflect and act on our need to grow and change. We are providing a mix of inspiring keynote speakers in the morning with a dozen panelists in afternoon breakout sessions. There will also be time for informal conversation and eating together. 

Picture Keynote Speaker: Chris Huffine, Psy.D. 
Chris is an inspiring and knowledgeable speaker, as well as a licensed psychologist who has worked with thousands of abusive men for the past 25 years. Chris is the Executive Director of 
Allies in Change in Portland, Oregon, and provides trainings around North America, and is an adjunct faculty member at Portland State University. He will have lots to say in a keynote talk on the social context of our violence, as well as in a breakout session on men's accountability. 

Check out the conference schedule

This is primarily designed as a conference to initiate new discussions and reflection by men who are interested in deepening their understanding of this work. We will have opportunities to share together without fear of being policed on language or making sincere mistakes. We will have a range of knowledgeable speakers helping reflect a range of opinions and strategies and these men and women will share lessons learned from their lives, the streets, from the rez, from a broken immigration and justice system. 

So this is not an academic conference on masculinities, but more of a concrete way for men to enter this conversation wherever they are at. There will be workshops for people who are deeply committed to this work already to help them with strategies, but for people more new to this work speakers and space to build your analysis on men's role in violence. A bit of both. 

There will be workshops and panel discussions with most attendees being men. Some women will also be attending the event. There will be a "sanctuary room" for men-only who need time to talk with a counsellor or speak with another men confidentially.  
Meet men that have overcome intergenerational trauma, foster homes and broken families, from an exploitative system, and from our failures. We will learn about the changes and self-criticisms these men have made to make their lives better for themselves and in some cases, for the people they hurt. These experiences will be shared. We will talk about male violence, consent, everyday sexism, community interventions, the power of mutual aid, and learning to do less talking + more action by men. 

We will have speakers and workshop facilitators who can present on the history of men showing up to challenge male violence in our society, as well as to deep dive into many issues like: 
  • better parenting 
  • better relationships 
  • the roots of male violence 
  • how to start and sustain men's accountability circles 
  • personal health and well-being 
  • overcoming shame to be an effective ally 
  • men's emotional reliance on violent porn and using women's bodies 
  • restorative justice and reducing recidivism 
  • resisting and transforming rape culture: therapeutic work with men who use violence 
  • male survivors of male violence in solidarity with women
  • educating boys about misogyny 
  • being more than an 'active bystander' 

Men and older youth from any background, sexual orientation, are welcome to gather. The costs for this event are large, and while we have secured some funding, we need to ask people who have resources to pitch in. Registration is free or by donation for low-income men. And for waged men or agency or trade union-sponsored workers please contribute more. It's easy to register online or leave your name with Raycam frontdesk staff. 

Take this day to prepare to improve yourself, your understandings, and make a commitment to your life, your family, community, work, faith, campus, or group! 

Participating women: While this is primarily a day for men to get going on this work, we anticipate some women will be participating. We recognize the support we have received from women who operate support efforts to work with men who have been violent. Women should inquiry at Thank you. 

[Website page edited Feb 27, 2018]