As Canadians of all diversities, we will not tolerate violence against women (VAW). The issue of gender-based violence is of concern and must be addressed at all levels in society. Small organizations such as the Urban Alliance on Race Relations and its partners, which work on Violence Against Women concerns, have strived to meet this challenge through gender-based violence prevention projects, with limited resources. While some progress has been made, publicly reported incidents, such as the frosh week chants on some university campuses across the country, in which males and females participated in inappropriate commentary and actions promoting gender-based violence, remind us that there is still much more work that still needs to be done to change attitudes and mindsets to foster a safe and caring environment at our institutions of higher learning. It is important to acknowledge that while some post-secondary students engaged in misguided chants, there were many others who challenged the practice by bringing an activity that may have been thought of as inconsequential to public notice.
Questioning and challenging socially unacceptable norms that perpetuates sexism requires persistence and commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. By working with the Humber Students’ Federation and Humber College, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations hopes to make commonplace the examination of the ill effects that activities, which may seem inconsequential, could have on women.
The Making Noise @Humber project works to entrench in the social fabric of post-secondary life, a practice of critically examining activities that promote gender-based violence. Creating a change in practice is best done through a process of information sharing. If you would like to know more about the work being done by the Urban Alliance on Race Relations to address gender-based violence on post-secondary campus, please visit the Making Noise @Humber page.