By Meagan Malloch
Humber will be working over the next two years to find ways to talk — and deal — with violence against women.
In collaboration with the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, the college and the Humber Student Federation have created a two-year plan to educate students on the importance of stopping violence against women.
The program, called Make Noise at Humber, will be raising awareness by gathering information based on student surveys.
“The first year we gather all the information to understand what people know or don’t know about gender violence,” said Ashley Martin, HSF Vice President of Administration at the Lakeshore campus.
“The second year we put all the data together and create an action plan,” she said.
The alliance on race relations run a variety of programs for young people, and in the past it has worked with institutions like Brock University, University of Toronto, and the YWCA.
“Urban Alliance on Race Relations is very happy to partner with Humber College and HSF on this student led project,” said Jason Merai, the alliance’s project coordinator, in a press release. “I think working with students is a fantastic way to really connect with the issues that are important.”
Collaborators said they want to bring to light that gender based violence is a reality for some people, and have a advisory committee to help with the development of the project.
Jill Cunningham, the director and community engagement manager for Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter in northwest Toronto, said it is important to have young people involved in the initiative.
“Our priority in 2012 is to raise conciseness to help women and bring awareness,” said Cunningham.
The shelter works to build a supporter base that not only helps women who are being abused but “enable the education and awareness needed to create a generation of young people who understand that violence against women is wrong.”
The White Ribbon Campaign is also in partnership with the Make Noise and an official with the campaign said it is important that a safe and inclusive space exists in a place like Humber.
Jeff Perera, community and youth engagement manager at the White Ribbon Campaign, said not talking about the issue can be equally serious.
“Sometimes the silence alone speaks volumes,” Perera said.“With Humber’s spirit and community it is important to nurture it and make people comfortable.”