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Active Witnessing Training

Break the Silence: The Power of Active Witnessing 

Thursday, April 20th, 6-9pm. 
At Canadian Memorial United Church
1825 West 16th Ave, Vancouver
Register here.

Workshops also happening May 11th in White Rock, and May 18th in North Vancouver.

Many in our community have been expressing their grief, heartbreak and fear about witnessing an increase in hateful rhetoric and hate-crimes both in Metro Vancouver, and around the world. Personally witnessing, or simply overhearing, hateful language and actions can be paralyzing. But taking a stand against violence is a key piece of spiritual work in our time. In some moments, challenging Islamophobia, homophobia, racism, and more, means being willing to speak up, to break the silence. For those of us raised to be polite and non-confrontational, and for those of us who have never been on the receiving end of this type of verbal violence, it takes training and practice to be ready to step into this role.

Active Witnessing training, sometimes called Bystander Intervention or Compassionate Intervention,  helps individuals develop the skills, language, and confidence to intervene in a variety of ways, to de-escalate tense situations and to support vulnerable people.

It’s a leadership skill, a community skill, we need much more of. Whatever your level of experience or comfort, whether you think of yourself as shy or bold, come join us. We all have a role in breaking the silence, and we can all use with training and support to find ways to do so. Register here.

In this half-day workshop participants will engage in the following:

  • Participate in experiential, diversity awareness and empathy-building activities using Courageous Conversations
  • Learn about the Active Witnessing Model: Offender; Receiver; Self as witness; Co-witnesses; and External/Outsiders
  • Learn and practice a wide range of verbal and behavioural responses to various forms of discrimination through an Active Witnessing perspective

In partnership with Canadian Memorial United Church and LeaderShift, trainers Angela Brown and Natasha Aruliah will share skills and techniques in a fun and supportive environment.

Angela Brown is an Education Consultant on Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity and Social Justice. She is an Anti-racism and Diversity Mentor at the Vancouver Board of Education and a Faculty Associate at SFU.

Natasha Aruliah is a facilitator, consultant, educator and coach, specialising in diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice and transformative change, with over 25 years of experience. She is on faculty at the Centre for Intercultural Studies at the University of British Columbia, the Justice Institute of BC, and is a founding faculty member of the Inner activist, a leadership program for social change agents.

About the Author
Christine Boyle is the Minister of Community Life at Canadian Memorial United Church.