40 Years Later…

In 1979, five women started Battered Women’s Support Services with the goal of ending violence against women.  Forty years later and the journey continues.  Join us at The Orpheum Theatre on November 25, 2019, the International Day for the Elimination of Gender Violence for a carefully assembled program featuring:


Tarana Burke: Founder of the ‘me too.’ Movement and advocate for survivors of sexual violence

Tarana Burke shares the story behind the genesis of the viral 2017 TIME Person Of The Year-winning ‘me too.’ Movement, and gives strength and healing to those who have experienced sexual trauma or harassment.

The simple yet courageous ‘me too.’ hashtag campaign has emerged as a rallying cry for people everywhere who have survived sexual assault and sexual harassment – and Tarana’s powerful, poignant story as creator of what is now an international movement that supports survivors will move, uplift, and inspire you.

#MeToo is not just an overnight hashtag sensation; Tarana has dedicated more than 25 years of her life to social justice and to laying the groundwork for a movement that was initially created to help young women of color who survived sexual abuse and assault. The movement now inspires solidarity, amplifies the voices of thousands of victims of sexual abuse, and puts the focus back on survivors. In her upcoming book, Where the Light Enters, Tarana discusses the importance of the ‘me too.’ Movement as well as her personal journey from “victim to survivor to thriver.”  Tarana’s continued work with the ‘me too.’ movement has earned her the honor of being named The Root 100‘s most influential person of 2018.

A sexual assault survivor herself, Tarana is now working under the banner of the ‘me too’ Movement to assist other survivors and those who work to end sexual violence. She is now Executive Director of the ‘me too.’ organization. On stage, she provides words of empowerment that lift up marginalized voices, enables survivors across all races, genders, or classes to know that they are not alone, and creates a place for comfort and healing to those who have experienced trauma.


Special performances by

DJ Kookum

Cheyanna Kootenhayoo also known as DJ Kookum is a Dene/Cree Filmmaker and DJ. She is a member of the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, originally from Cold Lake First Nations and is based out of Vancouver, BC. This hip hop, rap, trap, r&b, edm DJ is blowing up. This past year Kookum has opened for Princess Nokia.


Wildflower, Women of Turtle Island Drum Group

Wildflower, is a hand drum group that meets weekly. Together, healing from trauma, finding our voices and standing strong in our power through drumming and singing.  Many nations believe song and dance are sacred, and the drum beat itself is often referred to as the heartbeat of Mother Earth.

The drum group has grown immensely since its start and is often asked by local community and beyond to drum and sing at events, bringing empowerment and healing to the community.



M’Girl’s percussive based hand drum songs blends harmonies into a contemporary gospel style, reflecting both their cultural practice and their personal story of home. Led by Renae Morriseau, their music reflects their personal journeys and cultural worldviews held respectfully by each M’Girl living within the urban environment of the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada.


Leah McFly

A trailblazer, in her own right, Montreal based dancer, Leah‘McFly’ McKesey aka Waackeisha continues to push the envelope of what it means to be a dancer. Being the other half of “2 Marvelous” dance company, with her brother Linx. Their undeniable dance skills have landed them on stages around the world, opening for some of music’s greats, like A Tribe called Red, N.E.R.D, Big Daddy Kane, The Beach Boys, and Kaytranada, to name a few. She’s versatile; dancing many urban styles, and is internationally known for battling, teaching, judging and choreographing events, even Fashion houses abroad and is also a creative director and event coordinator of different events like; Chocolate Jungle 90s jam, Rawomyn exhibit, pop up shops and more.


Tonye Aganaba

Tonye Aganaba is a multidisciplinary artist, musician and arts facilitator residing on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Their new album ‘Something Comfortable’ is an intentional and devotional endeavour inspired by their battle with Multiple Sclerosis. The album serves as the score to ‘AfroScience’ an immersive performance and workshop series fusing live music, dance, visual art/digital media and storytelling to stimulate conversation and action around identity, addiction, healing and expression. Tonye’s shows, workshops and classes are connected and intimate experiences and evoke a kind of vulnerability that we all hunger for. 


Tickets:  A range of ticket options are available.
Ticket with a preshow reception with Tarana Burke at 6 PM $100
General admission tickets available at $30, $40 & $50
Get involved:  We are seeking ticket sponsorship for identified communities, if you would like to sponsor tickets please email endingviolence@bwss.org