The Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women invites you to participate in a series of six MANifest Change workshops for male allies*.
* We use the term "male ally" for men, masculine-identifying people, and guys of all kinds who actively support gender equity, challenge discrimination and abuse experienced by women, girls and gender non-conforming folks.
The MANifest Change project supports men and boys to prevent common forms of gender-based violence (GBV) - sexual harassment, sexual assault and domestic abuse.
Workshop sessions will take place on Thursday evenings from 7-9pm at the Sandy Hill Community Centre (250 Somerset St. E). The venue is physically accessible and offers free parking.
Six workshops that will help you to develop the knowledge and skills you need to take action against gender-based violence.
Jan. 25: Skills for supporting friends, family or colleagues affected by GBV
Feb. 1: Exploring Masculinities
Feb. 8: Impacts of GBV
Feb. 15: Consent Culture
Feb. 22: Active Bystander Skills
Mar. 1: Handling Power and Privilege as an Ally
See the full workshop descriptions.
Why a workshop series for male allies?
Men and boys have an important role to play in preventing GBV, but it's tough to do it alone. We need to take our cues from women and gender non-conforming folks while developing our own voices. And it can be confusing - what do I do when a friend tells me they've been assaulted? Should I get involved when I notice a colleague being harassed at work? What if I make things worse for the person I am trying to support? Is it more effective to confront a family member's sexist attitudes through debate or should I just shut him down?
The goals of meeting together with a skilled facilitation team for six sessions are:
- Men who value gender equity gain more skills to put our values into action so that women, girls, LGBTTQ people, men and boys experience less violence;
- We will connect our efforts to prevent VAW to the efforts of Ottawa’s VAW organizations so that our actions support the work of survivors and their advocates;
- We expand and strengthen the community of people working to end GBV so that no one has to take action alone.
Who is this workshop series for?
People of all genders are welcome to participate, particularly
- men and masculine-identifying people who value gender equality and want to learn more about common situations of GBV in Ottawa, and what we can do about it;
- women and gender non-conforming folks who want to contribute to the learning of male allies while honing their own violence prevention skills.
What we expect of you
Commit to participating in at least 5 sessions. The workshop series will include many discussions and small group activities. This sort of learning works best when people know each other. Because of this, we ask that participants come to as many workshops as possible so that we can build a sense of community among participants.
Respect differences. We know that everyone who participates in the workshops series will have their own ideas on how to achieve the goals of building skills to end gender-based violence, supporting survivors, and strengthening the community of people working to end gender-based violence. We welcome differences in opinions and the rich learning environment that stems from these differences, and ask workshop participants to do the same.
Focus on building skills rather than personal healing. We want the workshops to be a place where people feel comfortable talking about their thoughts and experiences if they want to. However, the workshops series is not designed to be a counselling session, or a space for intensive personal healing (OCTEVAW's member agencies offer a variety of counselling and support services and we can help you connect with them if you wish). Instead, we want to focus on building the understanding and skills we need to prevent or intervene in situations or gender-based violence.
Be mindful of the fact that the group may include survivors of various forms of gender-based violence, including people who have witnessed violence in their family, friend group, or workplace; and people who have harmed others in the past and are taking steps to change and be accountable for their behaviour.
What does it cost?
The MANifest Change workshop series is free to anyone who would like to participate. We do not want cost to be a barrier to anyone. However, we also want to compensate the community advisors who are sharing their expertise with us, and the Indigenous elders who will help us to recognize and honor the land on which our workshops will take place. If you can afford it, we ask that you contribute between $10 to $40 to help us cover these costs.
Learn more about OCTEVAW, MANifest Change and the workshop organizers.