Can networking really overcome violence?

This is a post by Actualizing Change program participant Natalie.


Can networking really overcome violence?

In trying to figure this question out, I begin to rewind to when I first came to know Check Your Head. It was May 2011 and I was coming out of hibernation/drying off from my first winter on the Canadian West Coast (not even daring to imagine what its like in the rest of Canada). I craved work that inspired me and inspired others to become agents of change. Fast forward to January 2012 to when Check Your Head’s Youth & Gender Media Project and Gender Representations workshop were born. Along with 13 other youth, I began to realise there were others out there that not only craved this same lofty goal but were actually already making changes in their own way.

Check Your Head’s Youth & Gender Media Project volunteer opportunity really allowed like minded individuals to meet monthly to exchange ideas, develop thoughts and friendships formed on the basis of creating change we all wanted to see. For myself, I was able to push the frontier of my beliefs and perspective to a more expansive view of greater inclusion. I was also able to acknowledge and take my rightful role of reducing perpetuated discrimination based on characteristics of gender. I really believe through these gatherings I was able to start to make the changes from within and like a cup spilling when filled with so much water, I was able to share these insights when co-facilitating workshops for youth, as well as with everyone else in my life. Despite completing the program more than 6 months ago, I have been fortunate to remain in contact with many people from the group as a strong network has been formed.

The program has since continued with a new cohort, exuding strong passion, desire and commitment to address this issue. The hope is with creating formidable connections with volunteers in both groups, a strong uniting voice can take place where ideas, friendships and action can reach the right volume at which it can be heard.