Blog > Sexual Violence Prevention Month Community Conference 2024

Sexual Violence Prevention Month Community Conference 2024

April 25, 2024

It takes a community to end sexual violence!

Tak­ing place on Thurs­day May 16th 2024 at the Gas­works (141 Park St N, Hamil­ton) this is our sec­ond year run­ning SVPM­CC. This year our theme is Inter­sec­tion­al Approach­es: Build­ing Sol­i­dar­i­ty with Sur­vivors. We are so excit­ed to be able to pro­vide a full day or speak­ers and pan­els aimed at learn­ing more about sup­port­ing sur­vivors with diverse expe­ri­ences and iden­ti­ties. Break­fast and lunch will be provided!

Speak­er Bios (more to be added soon!)

Strengthening Communities: a Talk about Transformative Compassion to End Violence

Deb Singh is a Toronto-based activist, writer and consultant. Working for the last 20 years as a survivor-led Counselor and Director within the gender-based violence sector at the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre and the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres, Deb brings a unique perspective on education, equity, diversity and inclusion. Deb implores a feminist, anti-oppression politic creating innovative ideas and solutions to ending violence using the tools of neuroplasticity and transformative justice. Providing talks and panel discussions, small to large scale trainings, conflict mediation and consulting services, Deb brings nuance and complexity to the table in ways that support learning and positive cultural shifts in work places and beyond. Deb is a cisgender, working-class, queer, Indo-Caribbean mom who's a settler on Turtle Island and is polyamourous. While Deb runs with the unicorns, she also takes transit like the majority of the people.

Growing Community: Solidarity in Urban Indigenous Communities Safety and Unity

Meagan Byrne is an Apihtawikosisân (fed: Métis Nation of Ontario) new media artist, game designer, writer, philosopher and founder of Achimostawinan Games (AchimoGames), an Indigenous indie game studio out of Hamilton, Ontario. Creating digital interactive works since 2014 Meagan's designs incorporate narrative, game mechanics, sound and traditional art and are deeply rooted in indigenous futurisms, language and Indigenous feminist theory. She sees her work as a constant struggle to navigate the complexities of Indigenous identity within a deeply colonized system. Meagan uses her work to explore questions of cultural belonging, the Indigenization of media and the future of Indigenous language and culture. Her previous work has been shown in festivals such as imagineNATIVE Film Festival, Toronto; Different Games Conference, New York; and IndieCade; California. She was the first Digital and Interactive Coordinator at imagineNATIVE & developer of the iNDigital Space exhibition and Night of the Indigenous Devs showcase. She has served on the boards of Mixed Reality Performance Atelier, Dame Making Games, and Indigenous Routes. She currently co-organizes Indigenous Game Devs.

Growing Community: Solidarity in Urban Indigenous Communities Safety and Unity

Sonia Hill, is Mohawk, Lebanese, and Scottish, with family ties to Six Nations and Beirut. Sonia was born and raised in Ohrónwakon, the place in the ravine/ditch, Hamilton, ON. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns. Sonia is the co-creator and coordinator for Kahnekanoron, an on the land sustenance learning program for Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQIIAAPP+ folks living in and around Hamilton. Sonia is a unit 1 member and VP External for CUPE 3906 and co-chairs the Prisoner Solidarity Working Group. They previous cochaired the Indigenous Solidarity Working Group for 3 years with CUPE 3906 and co-created the Indigenous Students and Studies Welcome Week team at McMaster back in 2016. Sonia is an auntie, cat mum, writer, student, teacher and community organizer.

Growing Community: Solidarity in Urban Indigenous Communities Safety and Unity

Jordan Carrier a nêhiyaw-iskwêw (Plains Cree Woman - uses she/her pronouns), currently resides in the lands protected by the Dish with One Spoon Wampum Agreement in Hamilton, Ontario. She is originally from Regina, Saskatchewan and is a member of Piapot First Nation in Treaty Four. She is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, kokum and community Auntie.

Jordan holds a Diploma from Mohawk College in Native Community Care, a Bachelor of Education in Aboriginal Adult Education from Brock University and a second degree (Hons BA) in Indigenous Studies at McMaster University. She is currently working towards a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Engagement at Wilfrid Laurier. Jordan has worked in the urban Indigenous community of Hamilton for almost 20 years. Holding such positions as an Indigenous Youth Worker at a secondary school and in Indigenous Student Services at McMaster University. She also volunteers with many grassroots initiatives within the City of Hamilton.

Trau­­ma-Informed Care Using An Inter­sec­tion­al Framework

Mirand (they/them) is the Public Education Coordinator at SACHA – Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton and Area). In this role Mirand works with schools, community organizations, sports teams, faith groups, workplaces and anyone else interested in learning more about sexual violence prevention, the interconnectedness of sexual violence and oppression, and how to support survivors. Mirand values community care, action, empowerment, and knowledge sharing as tools to fight oppression and ending all forms of violence. Mirand brings their experiences navigating the world as a queer, non-binary, disabled survivor to their work in education, building community, and support. Finding ways for everyone, including themself, to prioritize compassion, joy, and rest is a staple of their work. In addition to being a Public Educator, Mirand spends their time with their amazing partners, family, and friends, creating poetry, listening to folk punk, cuddling their cats and dog, baking, playing board games, and having thoughtful conversations anywhere they go.

Trau­­ma-Informed Care Using An Inter­sec­tion­al Framework

Rand Clayton (them/them) is a social work PhD student at McMaster University. Besides formerly being a counsellor with SACHA, Rand has dedicated much of their time to fighting sexual violence in their community. In 2020 Rand founded Marching Arts Access, Safety & Inclusion Network (MAASIN), an organization dedicated to increasing equity and supporting survivors in the marching arts (marching band, drum corps, colour guard, etc.). They spearheaded MAASIN's PROSPER program which supports survivors in finding resources to heal and/or engaging in the whistleblower process. The PROSPER program also facilitates public education opportunities such as workshops on recognizing sexual violence in ensembles and how to support survivors when they disclose their experiences. Rand usually tells people MAASIN is "essentially SACHA for marching band." Over the past four years, MAASIN grew from a grassroots group to non-profit organization of which Rand is now the Program Director. Rand is incredibly passionate about ending sexual violence in the performing arts, playing tuba, and hanging out with their cat.

Trau­­ma-Informed Care Using An Inter­sec­tion­al Framework

Sarah Adjekum is a registered social worker, educator, and researcher based in Hamilton Ontario. Her research focuses on the trauma and embodied experiences of place. As a social worker she has specialized in providing support to survivors of trauma, individuals in crisis and with acute mental health needs. Sarah's approach to trauma informed care is holistic and informed by her work in community activism. She brings an analysis of race, settler colonial and gendered violence to her work.

Trau­­ma-Informed Care Using An Inter­sec­tion­al Framework

Rachel has been volunteering on SACHA's Crisis Line for four years now. Outside of SACHA Rachel has spent the last several years working with low-income and homeless populations in both Toronto and Hamilton. Rachel's educational background is in Sociology from York University. In her spare time Rachel enjoys stargazing while petting her cats and sipping tea.

Anti-Racist Approach­es to Sup­port­ing Black and Racial­ized Survivors

Jessica Bonilla-Damptey is a Latinx/Indigenous woman from El Salvador, living and raised in Hamilton. She is the Mother of 2, Tia of 4 and Madrina of 3. She is often involved in community based projects and believes that it is important to include children in those projects. Hikes, dance parties, sorbet, being in water and in hammocks are some of her favourite things. A graduate of the School of Social Work, Indigenous Studies and Health Studies Programs at McMaster University, she committed to and works to creating a world without violence and oppression. Jessica is on the executive of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC), is the Co-Chair of the Woman Abuse Working Group (WAWG), a Steering Committee member for the Hamilton Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition (HAHTC) and is the Director of the Sexual Assault Centre (Hamilton and Area) – SACHA.

Anti-Racist Approach­es to Sup­port­ing Black and Racial­ized Survivors

Dr. Ruth Rodney is a registered nurse and Assistant Professor at York University’s School of Nursing where she teaches global health, women’s health, qualitative methodologies, and theoretical approaches to nursing science. Dr. Rodney is also the Associate Director of the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University. She entered the academic and research field with 15 years of frontline nursing experience in several clinical areas in Canada and globally. Her research focuses on healthy relationship development, violence prevention, and health promotion, primarily using critical qualitative methodologies to examine how communities can create environments that support healthy relationship development in Canada and the Caribbean. Her work is informed by Caribbean, Black, and Indigenous feminist theorists. She is an academic fellow at the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research at the University of Toronto and currently serves as Chair of the grant review committee for the Youth Opportunity Fund which focuses on funding Black and Indigenous led community projects addressing systemic barriers in Ontario. Dr. Rodney is the proud mother of a bright little boy, named Kymani and serves her community in Hamilton, Ontario as a board member for the Afro Canadian Caribbean Association and the Canadian Mental Health Association-Hamilton.

Anti-Racist Approach­es to Sup­port­ing Black and Racial­ized Survivors

Ahona Mehdi (she/they) is a community organizer and undergraduate student at McMaster University. Ahona is passionate about disability justice, anti-oppression, abolition and dismantling the school-to-prison nexus. From 2019 to 2020, they were a student trustee with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), where they exposed issues of racism, Islamophobia and ableism among the HWDSB board of trustees. During this time, they also worked with Hamilton Students for Justice (HS4J) to terminate the HWDSB’s violent Police Liaison Officer (PLO) program, putting motions forward, advocating to trustees and consulting with/collecting testimonials from hundreds of students. Currently, Ahona acts as the Education Project Coordinator at the Disability Justice Network of Ontario (DJNO) and sits on the Hamilton Encampment Support Network’s (HESN) Steering Committee. In their work, they conduct research on the impacts of violence, criminalization and the school-to-prison nexus on queer, racialized and disabled youth. Ahona works to create networks for racialized, Muslim disabled and queer youth to connect, co-learn, heal and re-imagine a world where students can learn outside of these carceral systems.


9:00am — 9:30am Reg­is­tra­tion & Breakfast

9:30am — 9:55am Welcome

10:00am — 10:10am Guid­ed Mind­ful Move­ment Exercise

10:15am — 11:05am Strength­en­ing Com­mu­ni­ties: a Talk about Trans­for­ma­tive Com­pas­sion to End Vio­lence with Keynote Speak­er Deb Singh

11:10am — 12:15pm Grow­ing Com­mu­ni­ty: Sol­i­dar­i­ty in Urban Indige­nous Com­mu­ni­ties Safe­ty and Unity

12:15pm — 1:10pm Lunch

1:15pm — 1:20pm Mes­sage from Cen­tre de san­té com­mu­nau­taire Hamilton/​Niagara

1:25pm — 2:30pm Trau­­­ma-Informed Care Using An Inter­sec­tion­al Framework

2:35pm — 3:40pm Anti-Racist Approach­es to Sup­port­ing Black and Racial­ized Survivors

3:45pm — 4:00pm Guid­ed Mind­ful Move­ment Exercise

4:05pm — 4:30pm Clos­ing, Thanks and Goodbyes


Acces­si­bil­i­ty Information

The Gasworks is a wheelchair accessible venue. The conference takes place on the main floor. There will be all-gender washroom options available. Free parking is available at the back of the venue.

We will provide a light breakfast and a hot lunch. If you have dietary needs please let us know when you register.

Masks covering the nose and mouth are required when not sitting at a table eating or drinking. For folks who cannot be indoors during lunch while masks are off we will provide an outdoor space for folks to eat upon request. Masks will be provided at the event.

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