“Because, the power of #MeToo isn’t just naming it. Naming it is just the beginning of the journey” -Tarana Burke
Leading up to BWSS 40 Years Later Commemoration with Tarana Burke at the Orpheum Theatre on November 25th, 2019, BWSS asked local activists to share how “Naming it is just the beginning of the journey”…
“It is an honour to be invited to attend and commemorate the BWSS 40th Anniversary on such an important day as we continue to work to ending violence against women. My journey with BWSS began in 1993 when I saw what the power of women supporting women can be BWSS has been doing and continues to do what is at the core of Tarana Burkes work.
I actually participated in and was witness to what was likely the first organization in Vancouver to address institutionalized and systemic racism between 1996-98. BWSS was a leader in the making of it’s own organization more inclusive of women of colour and Indigenous women. I was proud to be a part of this important period in BWSS history.
These were the issues that were so important to me while providing a safe place for “all women”. Along the way the issue of transgender women either being a service user or provider arose. For four years while I was there it was a non issue but all that changed after 1997 coinciding with the changes in the organization. I had always identified as female and therefore the the sole purpose of my work was supporting “all women” either in or leaving abusive relationships.
The issue of trans inclusion just fell in my lap as I started volunteer training with Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s organization and was told that transsexual woman weren’t welcome. This became a historical case spanning 15 years as I fought for the rights of transgender people. The case was the catalyst for change across the country as well as North America and many parts of the world. It set over 400 points of law providing grounds for protection under the human rights code as well as the catalyst for adding Gender Identity and Expression to the federal human rights code. The case changed the course of Canadian Feminism.
90% of Gender based services are now inclusive of transgender women across Canada. The women that make up these organizations did so not because they had to but because it was the “right thing to do”. Although this was not always easy BWSS was with me from the start setting the foundation to my activism to this day.
Naming it is not the end of the journey. Continue to challenge, confront, support and believe! End the re-victimization! #Believe me too!”
We are seeking ticket sponsorship for individuals who otherwise would be unable to attend, if you would like to sponsor tickets please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are so grateful for our generous sponsors!
- Davida LeComte
- Luiza Brenner
- LOVE Fundraising
- Cystech Solutions Inc.
- SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement
- Elevate Inclusion Strategies
- Vancouver Community College Faculty Association
- Massy Books