Talks for Teens

The series, held on Facebook Live each month, is aimed at teens and youth. We have a great line-up of inspiring speakers, talking about everything from gender dynamics to healthy love, to dating violence. There are many ways to incorporate these series into high school classes and clubs or at youth organizations or centres.

Matt Sereda - How Teachers Can Support Students in Healthy Relationships and Dating Issues

December 5, 2018

Synopsis

Matt Sereda, the Equity Learning Coordinator for the Thames Valley District School Board, speaks about what teachers need to know when talking about healthy relationships with their students. Given the increase in hate crimes in Canada and especially Ontario in the past year, he emphasizes that teachers and educators have awesome opportunities to talk, share, and teach about what a world free of violence might look like. In his talk, he discusses the Ontario curriculum and understanding its need to guide all aspects of education, the importance of looking through a trauma informed lens and taking into consideration lived experiences and different cultural backgrounds of students coming into the classroom, and also provides examples of  many organizations with resources to help educators in modelling healthy relationships including; The Fourth R Healthy Relationship Program, White Ribbon, and the Centre for Education and Research on Violence Against Women and Children.

Karen B.K. Chan - Rejection Resilience: How do you become more resilient in the face of rejection and other kinds of emotional pain

November 8, 2018

Synopsis

Karen B.K. Chan talks about rejection and consent and describes the ways in which we can reconcile these two ideas. She gives examples about the ways in which people are romantically and sexually rejected and provides insight into how we can get through relationships when there are problems like rejection, as opposed to ignoring them. She introduces useful tools that can be used to help build resilience including the Learning Zone Model, which includes the Comfort Zone, Stretch/ Learning Zone, and the Panic Zone, and the Compass of Shame Model, which describes the Panic Zone in more detail. She emphasizes the importance of the Stretch/ Learning Zone as the ideal zone to be in, and the path to resilience. Throughout the talk, she provides useful prompts that can be used to generate discussion around the topic of rejection and resilience, which are listed below.

Prompts

  • What are some ways that people get romantically or sexually rejected?
  • How do we get through relationships instead of just ignoring it and leaving when there are problems?
  • What are some problematic things that people do to get others to do things that they do not want to do?
  • What are some ways we see people dealing with rejection?
  • How do you deal with rejection?

Véronique Church-Duplessis and David Garzon - Dealing with Rejection and Healthy Masculinities

October 10, 2018

Synopsis

Veronique Church-Duplessis and David Garzon, work with the White Ribbon national charity based in Toronto, discuss the ways in which we can work with men and boys to prevent gender-based violence and promote healthy masculinities as well as healthy relationships. While giving examples of situations that have occurred in their own lives as well as common scenarios we see around us regarding masculinity, they talk about how we can deal constructively with rejection, which is an inevitable part of everyone’s lives. They also provide very useful tips and strategies to talk and teach about relationships in different ways and discuss how popular culture influences our thoughts regarding relationships while doing so.

Prompts

  • What are some messages we get from the media and popular culture about issues regarding masculinities, rejection, and relationships?
  • How can this issue of not dealing with rejection in a healthy way connect to healthy ideas about what it means to be a man in our society?
  • What are some tips and strategies we can use to deal with rejection in a constructive way?
  • How can we talk and teach about relationships in different ways?
  • What skills and ideas do we want to emphasize when we are talking about healthy relationship as opposed to the ones we hear in popular culture?

Nadine Thornhill - The Connection between Pleasure and Consent in Healthy Dating and/or Sexual Relationships

September 12, 2018

After twenty years working in theatre, Nadine’s career in sex education began with a part-time job as a workshop facilitator that quickly developed into a passion for learning and teaching others about sexuality. Her combined experience in theatre and sex education eventually led to her position as the Program Coordinator for Insight Theatre, an educational program for teens at Planned Parenthood. It was here that Nadine clearly saw the benefits of providing youth with factual, comprehensive information about sex. She is committed to effectively communicating with youth about sexual issues. Nadine also holds a Doctor of Education in Human Sexuality, with a concentration in child and adolescent sexual development. Through her articles, advice column and blog, Nadine is well known for her friendly, relatable approach to sexual subject matter.

Dawn Novak - Dating on the Spectrum: What everybody should know.

June 13, 2018

Synopsis

Dawn Novak retells the story of her daughter, who was unfortunately murdered in her own apartment; the absolute worst outcome of an abusive and unhealthy relationship. She introduces the concept of a spectrum including three points of reference – healthy relationships, unhealthy relationships, and abusive relationships – which can be used to successfully evaluate and improve relationships which are unhealthy. As she explains this concept, she stresses the importance of the quality of individuality and the process of decision making, which are two crucial elements that are necessary in healthy relationships. She also provides various helpful strategies and examples throughout her talk that can be employed in helping people reach and maintain healthy relationships and avoid unhealthy and abusive relationships where all control is ultimately lost.

Jackson Katz - Violence Against Women: It's a Men's Issue

May 31, 2018

Synopsis

Jackson Katz, an educator, filmmaker, and author internationally renowned for his activism on discourse around gender, race, and violence talks about how gender violence intersects and is interconnected with various other issues. He emphasizes that this overlap fails to be considered by many organizations due to gender, race, and class politics. By employing the correct usage and practice of the “bystander approach,” he discusses how gender violence is everyone’s issue, and how everyone has a role to play in preventing it from happening. He talks about how the most transformative work happens when we challenge the fundamental internal beliefs and structures of the way society works to help maintain the foundation of beliefs. Through the implementation of initiatives such as gender transformative programming it allows young men to think about how cultural attitudes and beliefs about manhood affect their behaviour.

Prompts

  • What about getting men in the sports culture to get involved with gender equality?
  • When you hear the word “bystander,” are you really conversing about what that means?
  • How do we get more men to help so that we do not only have mixed-gender programs? When, and how early should we start?

Julie Lalonde - Outside of the Shadows: Let's Talk About Stalking

April 17, 2018

Synopsis

Julie Lalonde, has been working in the violence against women sector for 15 years. She talks about her experience as a victim of sexual harassment at the Royal Military College. She talks about how stalking is gendered and discusses why it is not something that is largely discussed as a part of the conversation around sexual violence, given the fact that Canada surprisingly does not have a single organization whose goal is to address criminal harassment. She touches on some of the root issues which have made criminal harassment a problem, including the feeling of entitlement and the manner in which society tends to romanticize stalking behaviour through daily occurrences we are prone to, such as popular culture and media. She also provides extremely helpful information and tips regarding the steps that should be taken once you realize that yourself, or someone you know is being stalked, as well as tips on how to become an ally against stalking behaviour and criminal harassment.

Prompts

  • Why don’t we talk about stalking?
  • Why has stalking failed to be a part of the conversation around sexual violence?
  • What do you think causes criminal harassment?
  • What are some of the root issues that have made this a problem?
  • What should you do once you realize you are being stalked?

Matt Schaaf - Men and Boys: Agents of Change and Empowered Bystanders to End Violence Against Women

March 7, 2018

Synopsis

Matt Schaaf works with the Ottawa Coalition to End Violence against Women as well as MANifest Change, an initiative that facilitates workshops empowering men and boys to challenge violence against women and gender-based violence wherever it is encountered. He discusses healthy relationships, and specifically focuses on what it means to be a man in a healthy relationship. He introduces the interesting and relatable concept of the “man box,” as a place many males are put into, where they are forced to comply with physical, emotional, and sexual pressures daily, while providing various helpful scenarios and examples of unhealthy relationships to illustrate this concept. He emphasizes the importance of trustworthy people in men’s lives who are available for them to talk to and call on for support.

Prompts

  • What kind of person/ man do I aspire to be?
  • What can men do to make relationships healthier?
  • If someone is not happy in a relationship, what can I do to help?
  • Does it hurt anyone to share a nude picture of someone if the person does not know about it? What are the things that we need to consider when we encounter situations like these?
  • What happens when things do not go positively?
  • How can we support each other to act the right way?

Steph Guthrie - A New Paradigm for Violence Prevention: Men Taking Responsibility

February 14, 2018

Synopsis

Steph Guthrie, an education consultant and Impact Producer of feature documentary “A Better Man,” talks about teen dating and healthy relationships. Applying the film’s approach to violence prevention, she focuses on the importance of asking the people who caused violence, to take responsibility for their actions. With regards to preventing relationship violence, she discusses common misconceptions we have about relationships, the pressures both girls and boys face when involved in relationships and gives very useful advice on dealing with these misconceptions and pressures in order to ensure overall equality, safety, and happiness. She emphasizes the need to develop emotional literacy in relationships to help us understand and communicate on our own, and other people’s feelings, and to help us in acknowledging our impacts on other people.

Prompts

  • What are some of the skills involved with emotional literacy around consent, dating, and sex?
  • Why might we hide how we feel about somebody?
  • Why is it that we only call girls words like “needy” and “clingy” but never males?
  • What are some examples of stereotypes and pressures that girls face that affect their relationships?
  • What are some of the pressures and messages we usually hear about how to approach sex and relationships?
  • What are some examples of the verbal and non-verbal ways we communicate do demonstrate uneasiness in a sexual situation?