On August 18th, 2021, Dr. Vikki Reynolds, a renowned activist/therapist who works from a decolonizing framework to bridge the worlds of social justice activism with community work and therapy, joined us for the last session in our National Skillshare Series to lead a workshop and rich discussion on solidarity, collective care, and sustainability as a means of responding to gender-based violence.
Top three highlights from the workshop:
Vikki spoke about collective accountability to the intention of justice-doing and decolonization in gender-based violence work. Violence against indigenous women is intrinsically connected to the creation of the settler-colonial state. All of our institutions are based on the intersectionalities of violence and colonization, therefore we are inextricably linked to the harm that is caused through colonization. Interlocking systemic oppressions require a response of solidarity and cultures of resistance.
Attendees were encouraged to reframe the understanding of those who slip through the cracks to that of structural abandonment, as the prior obscures our responsibility. We need to give people the resources they need when experiencing gender-based violence and its impacts. Institutional and individual power and responsibility must be held in tension.
Consider that vicarious trauma, compassion fatigue, and burnout are terms and measures created by the trauma industry. You cannot fatigue compassion; compassion is a generative force, embedded in our personal experience. If we can stay in line with the values and ethics of our work and invest in collective care, we can have sustainability.
“Revolutionary love is a commitment to others and a solidarity with their cause.” – Vikki Reynolds, describing revolutionary love as conceptualized in “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire
“Leaning in [vs calling in] requires that we start creating relationships of respect and dignity for others before transgressions happen. When it happens we look for the ethics of the other person.” – Dr. Vikki Reynolds
Vikki also provided a workbook for folks to use after viewing the keynote presentation. Here’s some information about the workbook.
Our work resisting gender-based violence is hard, heart-breaking and requires us to swim upstream against systemic oppression. It is no accident that you are in this struggle. Reflect on your path and ongoing work in the gender-based violence movement using the Workbook on Solidarity, Collective Care & Sustainability – Responding to GBV, created by Vikki Reynolds in collaboration with Courage to Act to accompany the workshop delivered August 18th.
Download a print and digital workbook below!
After Vikki’s workshop, Courage to Act Co-Directors, CJ Rowe and Farrah Khan, shared some exciting project updates about what’s coming up in years 4 and 5 for Courage to Act, and how to access our amazing new tools and toolkits.
For the past three years, the Courage to Act project has laid a strong foundation for preventing and addressing GBV at Post-Secondary Institutions. In this next phase of the project, Courage to Act will leverage the research, tools, and national networks that we have created in partnership with PSIs across the country in order to focus on knowledge mobilization and systems/culture change. We will:
Increase awareness and application of tools, policies, and procedures created in early phases of this project through piloting, consultation, and community engagement;
Improve knowledge and resources on GBV prevention and education through the release and promotion of new tools;
Address key gaps identified in our research through the creation of two new evidence-based tools on sexual harassment and sexual violence in experiental learning as well as community risk assessment for gender-based violence for PSIs; and
Continue to build and enhance collaboration and capacity-building across PSIs through our National Skillshare Series and expansion of the Knowledge Centre.
Courage to Act’s network of national experts have created a number of ground-breaking tools and resources to support gender-based violence intervention and prevention efforts on your campus. Keep a lookout, because as of September 2021, 21 of these tools will be made publicly available for immediate and free download through the Courage to Act Knowledge Centre, a national repository of tools and toolkits created through the Courage to Act project. More tools will be released in 2022 via the Courage to Act Knowledge Centre.
For those interested in learning how to get involved with years 4 & 5 of the project, Farrah and CJ shared the following opportunities:
Project Advisory Committee
Research Advisory Committees
GBV Community Risk Assessment Advisory
Experiential Learning Advisory
Communities of Practice
Frontline Gender-Based Violence Community of Practice – Review the Response & Support Tools
Educators Community of Practice – Review the Education Toolkit
If you are interested in getting involved with any of the above listed opportunities in years 4 & 5, please contact Anoodth Naushan, Project Manager, at anoodth[at]couragetoact[dot]ca
National Skillshare Presentation
Watch the presentation below or on our Education page.
Download the transcript here.
Blog Post Suggested Citation: Courage to Act. (2021, July). Vikki Reynolds Workshop & What’s Next for Courage to Act: Highlights from the National Skillshare Series Presentation. Courage to Act. www.couragetoact.ca/blog/vikkiskillsharehighlights
Workbook Suggested Citation: Reynolds, V. (2021). Solidarity, Collective Care & Sustainability: Responding to Gender-Based Violence. Courage to Act.