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What Does it Take to be a GBV Ally?

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Embrave Agency to End Violence recently launched the second campaign in our Unstoried Series of films, What Does it Take to be a GBV Ally? So, what does it take to be an ally in the work to end gender-based violence (GBV)?

Allyship is not an identity- it’s a practice of working in solidarity with marginalized groups to dismantle the systems that challenge that group’s basic rights and ability to thrive in our society. In the work to end gender-based violence, these groups include women, Two-Spirit, genderqueer, trans, and non-binary communities. Allyship is an ongoing process of forging relationships based on trust and accountability. An ally is committed to unlearning toxic and restrictive ideas of ‘manhood.’ They recognize their inherent privilege and leverage it to challenge and reconstruct unjust power relations.

This year-long campaign seeks to spark critical conversations on allyship that are not happening enough (or in the spaces they should be) in Peel Region. ­ We want to encourage you to think about what it takes to be an ally in social, institutional, recreational, and religious spheres. What does an ally look like in the workplace, on social media, or at school?

To help start the conversation, we asked eight popular influencers hailing from across Canada including Grammy Award-winning recording artist Sean Leon, actor Ellyn-Jade, and visual artist Callen Schaub, among others, to share what they think it takes to be an ally in the work to end GBV.

The campaign draws upon our influencers’ insights to explore some of the strategies we can all start taking today as allies in the work to end gender-based violence. Community members, organizations, and corporate partners alike are invited to join us in taking part in this free campaign to learn about allyship in the work to end gender-based violence.

Join the movement to end gender-based violence in Peel and beyond. Whether you are a teacher, corporate professional, small business owner, or community member, supporting the campaign is easy.

Join the conversation by sharing campaign posts. Simply reshare our campaign posts or download our Campaign Toolkit to share campaign videos, graphics, and posts on your social media pages.

Support the work to end gender-based violence by donating to Embrave’s Brave Spaces Fund for Anti-Violence Public Education. All campaign proceeds will support Embrave’s anti-violence Public Education programming in our community. Public Education programming is a critical strategy in the work to end gender-based violence, and unfortunately is not currently funded. With our Public Education Program, we will ensure that community members have access to critical information and resources including how to recognize violence, who it affects, and how to access lifesaving supports.

We asked popular influencers to share what makes them allies in the work to end gender-based violence.

What does it take to be a GBV Ally?

Lights, camera, action…

Take One: It takes listening.

Listen to and learn from women, 2 Spirit, trans, and gender non-binary folks about their experiences.

Take Two: It takes respect.

Practice enthusiastic consent. Talk to the young people in your life about respect, boundaries, and consent.

Take Three: It takes self-reflection.

Reflect on your own attitudes and actions. Do they reinforce harmful beliefs and behaviours or support positive change?

Take Four: It takes holding others accountable. 

We need more allies who have the courage to speak out about violence against women, 2-Spirit, gender queer, trans, and non-binary people facing violence.

Take Five: It takes calling out misogyny.

Speak out against sexist comments, demeaning language, homophobia, and misogyny.

Take Six: It takes starting a conversation.

Engage in dialogue around healthy and harmful ideas of masculinity.

Take Seven: It takes offering support.

If someone in your life shares their story of violence with you, believe them. Ask them what they need from you in terms of support. 

Take Eight: It takes action.

Lead by example. You can start by donating to Embrave’s Brave Space Fund to support anti-violence public education programming in our communities.


About Fela

Created in the revolution, Fela, co-founded by veteran Director X and long-time manager and business partner Taj Critchlow is a lifestyle brand that celebrates inclusion and diversity. A production company that specializes in making cutting edge content in the realm of music videos, commercials, documentaries and films. Their core strength is having the innate ability to tell cultural stories authentically while being a voice for the unheard and underrepresented. Their mantra is: “Own Your culture, Tell Your Stories.” Our team of directors have created ground-breaking music videos for Drake, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalia, Jay Z, SZA, Coldplay, Black Eyed Peas, Eminem and many more.

Director Kimberly Vietch

Kimberley Veitch has always envisioned creating a career out of humanity. With a strong interest and focus in the field of women in development and sexual violence in conflict; Kimberley has the intention of dedicating her future empowering women and raising awareness to social injustices against women on an international scale. ‘Live to inspire and be inspired’ is a quote Kimberley has adopted in her everyday life.

What Does It Take to be a GBV Ally? Social Media Campaign Toolkit

Educate your organization about allyship and raise awareness about resources and supports for survivors of gender-based violence in Peel Region.

The What Does It Take to be a GBV Ally? campaign is a free internal/ external campaign you can use to educate your organization and its followers about allyship and the work to end gender-based violence. It’s also a chance for you to promote your organization’s existing diversity and inclusion and anti-violence and harassment policies.

Here’s how it works:

  • Set a timeline for your posts. Depending on your campaign goals, you can share every consecutive day for two weeks or on the same day each week for two months or longer.
  • Share these posts along with the accompanying influencer interviews and graphics and the hashtags: #Whatdoesittake? #GBVAlly
  • Support the work to end gender-based violence by donating to Embrave’s Brave Spaces Fund for Public Education.

GBV Allies

What does it take to be a GBV ally poster feat. Sean Leon
Sean Leon

Matthew Sean Leon (born January 30, 1991) is a Canadian rapper, singer, and record producer from Toronto, Ontario. He is the founder of the IXXI Initiative, formed in 2012 in Toronto.

What does it take to be a GBV ally poster feat. Ellyn Jade
Ellyn-Jade

Ellyn Jade is an actress, known for Vikings (2013), Frontier (2016) and Burden of Truth (2018).

What does it take to be a GBV ally poster feat. Rayvn Wngz
Rayvn Wngz

Ravyn Ariah Wngz is an African, Bermudian, Mohawk, 2Spirit, Queer and transcendent individual. … Wngz is a co-founder of ILL NANA/DiverseCity Dance Company, a Queer multiracial dance company that provides affirming accessible dance education to all LGBTTIQQ2S communities.

What does it take to be a GBV ally poster feat. Callen Schaub
Callen Schaub

Callen Schaub is an abstract artist based in Montreal, Canada. He is recognized for his vibrant paintings using trapezes, pendulums, and spinning machines. Schaub openly shares his painting process with viewers and inspires fans everywhere to participate in his “Fake Art” movement.

What does it take to be a GBV ally poster feat. Emmanuel Jah
Emmanuel Jal

Emmanuel Jal is a living expert in mental health and resilience. He started his life as a child soldier in war torn South-Sudan and after overcoming a number of struggles, transformed his life into one of a successful recording artist, peace ambassador, philanthropist and entrepreneur.

What does it take to be a GBV ally poster feat. Jeff Perera
Jeff Perera

Jeff Perera builds bridges between people of all genders having spoken to tens of thousands of people across North America about gender, masculinity, empathy-building, and men helping end gender-based violence. Jeff is a storyteller inspiring new models of possibility for men and young men, and healthier versus harmful ideas of manhood where we work, live, play, worship or study.

What does it take to be a GBV ally poster feat. Karen Craggs-Milne
Karen Craggs-Milne

Karen is a leading go-to expert for organizations that are serious about ‘getting equality work RIGHT’. A proud Kenyan Canadian, Karen CraggsMilne is a recognized global expert with over 20 years of international experience promoting equity, diversity, anti-racism, gender equality and inclusion.

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