Written by: Courage to Act’s Education Working Group
“The statistics around gender-based violence on campus and in our communities have not changed in over 30 years. This tells us that what we are doing isn’t working. This work needs to be sustainable, long-term (10 to 20 years for a change), well funded, and well planned. We need to do things differently because what we have done in the past hasn’t worked”
– GBV Educator (Quoted in the Courage to Act Education Toolkit)
Over the past two years, the Education Working Group has been documenting resources, testimonials, and promising practices while creating skill- and capacity-based tools for campus gender-based violence (GBV) prevention education. We are excited to introduce and share a glimpse into the Education and Training Toolkit: Addressing and Preventing Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions. Read on for a sneak peak into the work.
When considering what to write about for this toolkit, we quickly arrived at several key areas of gender-based violence (GBV) prevention education. Building off of the Courage to Act report (Khan et al., 2019) we attempted to respond to key recommendations stemming out of the report’s listening and learning sessions. Since only a small body of Canadian research currently exists on the topic (and the little that does continues to centre experiences of white, cis-gender, able-bodied, heterosexual women), we tapped into the wisdom of those immersed in GBV prevention education, including our own knowledge and experience. This is a resource we wish existed when we first started in the field. By approaching this work with humility and honesty, we speak a lot from our own stories, mistakes, and successes from working in the field, while holding true that we don’t know all the answers.
Who is this toolkit for?
These tools were designed with campus GBV educators in mind. We know that those spearheading campus GBV prevention education have low capacity since they are often involved in a large variety of campus-wide educational initiatives, programs, and outreach. We also acknowledge that many of those in Canadian post-secondary institutions (PSIs) have large portfolios that manage both GBV prevention efforts and provide concrete frontline support to survivors of GBV. We have done our best to shape these tools to be tangibly helpful, to support and sustain the work while meeting the needs of unique PSI environments.
The intention of this toolkit is to help campus GBV educators build on their skill sets, in order to be responsive and proactive in engaging in their roles at their PSIs. These tools are about building capacity! We know that for all of us, this work is a lifelong learning and unlearning practice and it will take many years before we see real concrete change at our PSIs. And, we know change is possible!
What can you expect from this toolkit?
This toolkit is full of resources, articles, tools, worksheets, workbooks, curious questions, and group and individual reflection exercises (to name a few). It can be used as a resource, a roadmap, or a blueprint for current and future GBV educators.
The tools in each chapter are echoed by GBV educators across the nation and Courage to Act Community of Practice members. The work is built upon existing stepping stones from the legacies of frontline workers, GBV survivors, activists and advocates, anti-violence organizations, student advocates and unions, educators, academics, storytellers, artists, and too many more to name.
We approached this toolkit using a multidisciplinary approach to GBV prevention education, drawing from fields of study such as education, creative arts, feminism, Black feminism, critical race studies, public health, psychology, social work, Indigenous ways of knowing, anti-oppressive practices, performance studies, cultural studies, public policy, and sociology. We further anchored our approach in the 9 principles of effective design for GBV prevention education outlined in the Courage to Act report (Khan et al., 2019).
We invite GBV educators to explore all chapters while having the choice to start where it feels right. Woven throughout the chapters are many resources, best practices, questions, and testimonials that will enhance the work. We explore topics such as evaluation and assessment, auditing institutional readiness, education planning, how to build an educational task force, and we offer an ongoing learning tool for educators. Check out a preview of each chapter:
Chapter 1: Reviewing Key Concepts from the Courage to Act Report
Chapter 2: Evaluation & Assessment: Gender-based Violence Prevention Education Toolkit
Chapter 3: A Needs Assessment Tool for Campus Gender-based Violence Education Prevention
Chapter 4: Building and Supporting Education Task Forces at Post-Secondary Institutions
Chapter 5: Developing Gender-Based Violence Education Prevention Action Plans at Post-Secondary Institutions
Chapter 6: A Workbook for Campus Gender-Based Violence Educators
Before engaging with the toolkit, we recommend that all readers review the foundational Courage to Act report. Specifically, this section: Gender-Based Violence Prevention Education (Khan et al., 2019, p. 67-99). We offer space in the toolkit to adapt concepts and approaches in recognition that we all work for PSIs with different resources (time, staff, financial resources, etc.) and with different social and economic contexts. These tools are meant to evolve and shape to your unique post-secondary community through collaboration.
We know that there is still much work to do. This work is evolving, but not at the speed we need it to. Our hope is that this toolkit is enhanced, improved, and built upon by current and future generations of change-makers. We still have many questions that puzzle us as we continue to search for solutions. We need real, radical, transformative, sustainable change if we want to end campus GBV. It takes all of us. We hope this toolkit inspires possibilities for creating better and safer campus communities.
Has this piqued your interest? Join us virtually on November 23, 2021, at 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (EST) for the launch of this toolkit. Stay tuned on our social media for registration details.
The Education Working Group creates capacity and skill-building tools, shares resources, and documents best practices for campus gender-based violence educators. The Education Working Group is one of three Working Groups with the Courage to Act project. Each Working Group is composed of experts in their respective fields from across Canada. The Education Working Group’s membership includes CJ Rowe and Jenn Flood, with contributions from Jaye Garcia, Dr. Salina Abji, Farrah Khan, and Woo Kim.
Suggested Citation: Education Working Group. (2021, September). A Sneak Peek Into Courage to Act’s Education Toolkit. Courage to Act. www.couragetoact.ca/blog/educationtoolkit