To build upon our existing work, Project Respect has secured funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada to support communities of respect and inclusion in 6 partner schools through our SHIFTing Culture project. The project will provide opportunities for youth to build skills, share experiences, and create change as well as for teachers and staff to feel supported in addressing gender-based violence in their schools.
The following 3 program components will be delivered annually in each partner school until 2024:
Two-Part Consent Workshops
for a Full Grade of Students
Our curriculum engages youth in exploring the root causes of gender-based violence and thinking critically about messages they receive from the media and their peers about sexuality and violence. Using fun games, discussion, and other methods youth learn tools for challenging gender stereotypes and asking for consent. The workshops are delivered during schools hours and, generally, in required classes (such as Planning or English) for Grade 8, 9 or 10 students. Each of the two sessions should be between 60 and 80 minutes and can accommodate up to 30 students.
Youth Leadership and Social Action Training
Over 8 to 12 sessions, a group of youth will be engaged in a participatory, arts-based process to move through an anti-oppressive, healthy relationships curriculum. Participants learn a wide variety of leadership skills in the design and delivery of their projects, including: project coordination, facilitation, curriculum design, digital media production, communication skills, team work, and more. Each cohort collaboratively creates a social action project that is showcased for the wider school community. Running once per school year, the leadership training typically takes place in class time (such as a Social Justice Studies or Mental Health class) or during an ‘exploratory’ block and can accommodate up to 25 students.
Training and Support for School Staff
There are two components to what we offer to educators and other school staff.
a. Information sessions that provide staff with information about community resources (such as the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre’s Clinic), space to ask questions and an opportunity to collaboratively problem solve challenging scenarios.
b. Our Safer Spaces workshop is a comfortable space for adults who work with youth to develop the skills to prevent and respond to gender-based violence using youth-centered, trauma-informed, and consent based practices.
Staff training’s take about 90 to 120 minutes, are offered at a time convenient for the school, and can accommodate up to 25 participants.
A key aspect of this programming is evaluation research that will enable Project Respect to assess the effectiveness of these 3 program components, integrate feedback from students and school staff on an ongoing basis, and measure the extent to which Project Respect is contributing to shifts toward consent culture within and across school communities. Like our programming, our evaluation is designed in collaboration with youth.
If you would like to learn more about the SHIFTing Culture Project, please do not hesitate to contact our team.