More Than Words is a 4-year project (2019-2023) funded by Women and Gender Equality, as part of a national $50 million Gender-Based Violence program Promising Practices to Support Survivors and their Families. More than Words seeks to investigate and learn from the use of Indigenous-focused youth-led survivor engagement through the arts, looking at impacts on the producers themselves (young people) and on their families and communities in relation to their experiences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The title of the project has multiple meanings. First of all, it is meant to symbolize action and not just words. But it also refers to the significance of images and art (and not just words) as critical entry points to reflection and meaning-making.
The project builds on the SSHRC- IDRC Partnership Networks for Change and Well-being: Girl-led ‘from the ground up’ policymaking to address sexual violence in Canada and South Africa. In that project, we have laid the foundation for collaboration and successful partnering over the last six years by building skills and capacity for Indigenous young people to respond to SGBV in their own communities through arts-based approaches.
In More Than Words we will pilot and evaluate a blueprint or trail for how this work can be rolled out as a critical intervention to other communities. Through MTW we will support a generation of youth leaders who have already participated in Networks for Change as they mentor (or become aunties) a new generation of youth and organizations across Canada engaged in similar endeavours to form a network of young people, practitioners, and researchers focused arts-based and storytelling approaches to address SGBV.
This project is supported by
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