Courage to Act: A Starter Kit for Senior Administrators

The institutional responsibility to provide a safe learning and working environment for all post-secondary students, staff, and faculty is inextricable from the responsibility to address and prevent campus gender-based violence. Senior administrators, in particular, must demonstrate strong leadership to maintain a post-secondary environment where GBV is unacceptable. 

Unfortunately, gender-based violence remains a reality in post-secondary spaces: almost three-quarters of post-secondary students in Canada have either witnessed or experienced unwanted sexualized behaviours. Further, institutions have not done enough to honour their responsibility to address this urgent issue. 

As senior administrators, it’s essential that you make meaningful commitments to address gender-based violence supported by action — and that you connect and embed these commitments and actions into academic plans and other institutional frameworks. This not only supports safer learning and working environments but is also a critical component of risk mitigation and supporting recruitment and retention efforts. 

Possibility Seeds has compiled the following evidence-based tools and toolkits to support those in senior leadership positions to take action to protect the institution and the people who are part of it.

There are 230+ Calls for Justice prescribed in the Final Report of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This worksheet contains a list of these Calls for Justice for post-secondary institutions with guiding questions to support you and your post-secondary institution in exploring these further.

This workbook is designed to assist PSIs in creating a well-planned response to a critical incident and details the steps for the Coordinated Response Team before, during, and after a critical incident. 

Use the Right Words: Media Reporting on Sexual Violence in Canada is an all-new guide for journalists, media, and communications professionals to discuss and report on sexual and gender-based violence in a trauma-informed way that prevents additional harm. 

This tool provides an aerial framework and instructions on collaborating with other stakeholders on sharing relevant information, both on and off-campus to properly respond to experiences of GBV.

This whitepaper focuses on information sharing between post-secondary institutions in cases where there has been a finding of sexual misconduct, and the respondent has moved/is moving on to a different institution. It includes strategies or promising practices for PSIs to avoid “importing the problem.”

This final report shares findings from Possibility Seeds Sexual Harassment in Experiential Learning Research-to-Action Project, along with promising practices and recommendations for PSIs; experiential learning providers; and governments.


These resources were compiled from Courage to Act’s 70+ cutting-edge, evidence-based tools and toolkits to help address and prevent gender-based violence at PSIs across Canada, all freely available for download on the Possibility Seeds site. They will be valuable to those seeking to address and respond to campus GBV and represent the start of a meaningful conversation. We encourage readers to seek training, education, and professional development opportunities in relevant areas to enhance their knowledge and sustained engagement with this work.


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