Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Youth Take The Lead: Healthy Relationships For Youth Forum

Youth Take the Lead: Healthy Relationships For Youth Forum 

On February 27-28 we held the Youth Take The Lead: Healthy Relationships For Youth Forum. It was a truly successful conference that created a platform to showcase some of the amazing initiatives that our Nova Scotia Youth are taking part in.
There were several presentations including Laura Swaine, Program Coordinator of the Healthy Relationships for Youth program. I think that all of us present would agree that Laura blew us out of the water with her knowledge and practical examples of many benefits of this program. There were graduates of the Healthy Relationships for Youth Program who shared their positive experiences and how the program encouraged leadership and empowerment.
For all photos of this event please visit the: Youth Take The Lead Album




Caroline MacRae, coordinator of The Resisting Violence Project: Rural Women and Girls Take Action, also gave an amazing presentation discussing the youth leaders who were involved with this project from six different rural areas including Canso, Sherbrooke, Port Hawkesbury, Paqtnkek, St. Francis Xavier University, and Antigonish. Each group created community action plan that addressed various issues around violence against women and how their communities can get involved to create change and awareness.

Caroline MacRae also introduced four videos that featured Nova Scotia youth identifying and speaking candidly on the forms of violence against women that they see and experience were screened. (To view videos please visit The Resisting Violence YouTube Channel). The topics addressed included hypersexualization, substance use in dating relationships, sexual violence, and media pressure. Each video was collaboration between youth leaders, community members, and documentary film maker, and assistant coordinator of The Resisting Violence Project, Cara Jones.

Who Needs Feminism?

This year during International Women's Week, we had a photo booth for people to take part in the,"Who Needs Feminism," project. Thank you everyone for participating!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

THE LINK CAMPAIGN: Men speaking out and taking a stand to end violence against women

The Link Campaign: Men Taking A Stand To End Violence Against Women

By traveling to the rural areas of Antigonish, Port Hawksbury, Guyborough, Paqtnkek, Canso and Sherbrooke, artist and media consultant Cara Jones has begun to take portraits of men, linking their passion and drive to take a stand and end violence against women.

This project is part of the Antigonish Women Resource Centre's, Resisting Violence Project: Rural Women and Girls Take Action. Stay tuned for more photos over the next couple of months.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

This was written by a youth leader, Mary Jo, and published in the school newspaper:

Halloween is just around the corner. The time of year where you can pretend to be anything you want. However, this has me questioning what teen girls want to be because, last time I checked, fire-fighters and police did not dress in fishnets. I'm not saying we should break out our turtle necks and petticoats to the next dance, but we should consider the underlying issue when it comes to behaviour and attire at school functions.
Self-esteem is a major concern for girls, not only at Dr. J, but throughout the western world. Insecurities, brought about by media pressure, plague women and girls. Approximately one in five women will have suffered from an eating disorder within their lifetime. Some of which will seek reassurance desperately by trying to maintain the attention of someone of the opposite gender. This behaviour is clearly demonstrated in our school at the dances.  Girls are willing to objectify themselves in order to be supplied with confidence about their bodies.
My question is why? Why are we willing to hurt and degrade ourselves in order to feel good about something we don't control? When it comes down to it, we can't (within reasonable means) change our appearance, it's genetics. Why do we bother being proud or ashamed of our looks? People are worth so much more than that. Girls should be proud of abilities they've worked to achieve, like being smart, athletic or talented. That way, maybe next time we go to a dance, we'll reconsider what we wear. Perhaps we'll decide that we don't need to be objectified, because we know we're worth more.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our middle school years can be some of the influential and confusing times in our lives.  If we had the opportunity to go back and speak to our twelve year old selves, what advice would we give? What words of encouragement would we share?

These are the voices of the Antigonish Women's Resource Centre.  Please enjoy this inspiring video.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Community Feedback Meeting 
Hypersexualization Action Plan

Youth in the community of Canso have identified hypersexualization and media pressure as a problem in their lives. 

With the support of the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre & Sexual Assault Services Association, They have been developing a plan to counter the effects of hypersexualization on young men and women in Canso. 

The hypersexualization of women in the media and culture has becoming a growing concern over the past 10 years.  How is it are these false representations of women and girls affecting our culture and the increase in violence towards women?


These young leaders are seeking feedback, constructive criticism, ideas, support, and help from the community in refining and realizing this action plan. 

Where: Canso Library

When: Wednesday, Sept. 5th from 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Who: Anyone and everyone living in the Canso area is wanted and welcome to attend.

* Snacks will be provided *

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Education is the Best Prevention Strategy Against Violence

I have been helping out a co-worker of mine with research for her Resisting Violence: Rural Women and Girls TakeAction project. So for days I have been reading and rereading articles about Women’s Rights, Activism, Feminism, Law and Education. Today I was reading through a journal called Canadian Women Studies and found an interesting article that really struck home for me!
 I had probably skipped by the article about ten times before I finally took the time to read it. The title “Sustainable Justice through Knowledge Transfer” didn’t seem like it would really connect with the project I was helping with, which is probably why I passed by it so much, eventually my curiosity gave in. I read the sub-text; Sex Education and Youth by Jessica Yee. I have been a fan of Jessica Yee since she came to my community to train me and two others to be youth facilitators in our community. It is because of her that I am trained to teach sexual education to youth!

 I quickly became engaged in the article, no longer for any benefit but my own personal interest. This article really stuck with me, it was exactly what she had spoken to me about when she was training. The article explains why good-quality education is important for our youth and that every program delivered must be specially designed to accommodate who it is being delivered to. Through the entire article I got many great messages, however, the message that I had deemed the most important would be that Education is the most effective prevention method, especially in violence against women.  

 I really found it interesting how she explained the difficulties of teaching youth about sexual health and how she chose to overcome oppression from teachers and parents who thought that her training was irrelevant. The struggles that she had experienced are very similar to what other educators and facilitators can relate too. The article over all is interesting, enlightening, and honest! Yee writes about many things that are often overlooked especially in Sex Ed. She lists what creates a healthy person, a healthy relationship, and pleasurable and safe sex. I loved the article, it helped me appreciate myself and realize the common issues that rise when facilitating a workshop and how to solve them.

Canadian Women Studies is a great feminist journal with many interesting articles on a variety of topics! I urge everyone to read it, and get a fresh, feminist view on common issues in our world.

- Guest writer Kathleen Shy