There is increasing understanding among researchers and practitioners of why engaging men and boys is crucial in violence prevention efforts. However, little is known about how to engage them in meaningful and effective ways. That’s why Lana Wells, Associate Professor and Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence at the University of Calgary, was happy to bring Shift’s work on this emerging field to the Leading Change Summit in Edmonton.
The summit, with its theme of engaging in bold conversations to end gender-based violence in a changing world, was an important venue for Wells to talk about Shift’s three-year initiative called Engaging Men in Violence Prevention and Gender Equality Learning Collaborative (EMC). This action research initiative partners with fifteen human service and government organizations to design and test new ways of engaging men in settings where they naturally congregate, such as workplaces, sport settings, theatre community, and other settings in the community. EMC is trying to build the capacity of key influencers within diverse settings to advance gender quality, promote healthy masculinities, and build healthy relationships to stop violence against women.
At the summit, Wells also participated on a panel discussion on the importance of funding violence prevention efforts as she has spent twenty years advocating for human rights, gender equality and social justice.
It was a pleasure for Shift to co-host, with the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, Dr. Michael Flood’s speaking events as he is an internationally recognized sociologist and author of the book Engaging Men and Boys in Violence Prevention. Flood gave the keynote at the summit and engaged in conversations with community leaders, researchers and practitioners throughout the duration of the program.
Wells in partnership with YWCA Banff co-hosted Dr. Flood in Canmore at the Beehive Gallery for an intimate conversation on how we can better engage men and boys in violence prevention throughout the Bow Valley.