Kevin Vowles speaks authentically and openly about identifying as gender-fluid and the social isolation experienced growing up, not fitting into gendered expectations, amidst violence and cultures of hyper-masculinity.
Kevin speaks passionately about the need to address gender-based violence through building emotional intelligence, consent culture and deconstructing gender. In doing this, violence against not only women and girls can be prevented, but also against men and boys.
Kevin has 15 years' experience as an educational practitioner and is a seasoned public health promotion and violence prevention professional. Kevin has worked as an employee and consultant for award-winning violence prevention programs such as SWOVA's Respectful Relationships program and organizations such as White Ribbon.
Kevin has contributed as an author to the creation of several curricula, including Internet Safety, Peace Kids & Respectful Relationships (SWOVA), Walking In Her Moccasins (Congress of Aboriginal Peoples), and Engaging Men and Boys to End Violence in the Family (Canadian Council of Muslim Women). Kevin has done professional development for the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, the British Columbia Teachers Federation, and worked with sports teams at the professional and university level. Kevin has been a standing committee member of the Canadian Women's Foundation Teen Healthy Relationship Granting Committee since 2012.
Keynote: On Preventing Violence
Kevin’s engaging passion and methodology for preventing violence, come shining through in a keynote. Kevin shifts the narrative from vilifying men, who commit violence, to one of understanding the social learning mechanisms that contribute to violence, to reach men and boys. Acknowledging both the universality of experiencing violence, as well as the gender-based nature of men’s violence against women, Kevin uses an empathy centred approach to bring the conversation to a place of compassion and dignity. Reaching out for resources and supports becomes a crucial primary prevention approach in Kevin's approach---destigmatising accessing mental health resources. Discussing the ways of preventing violence successfully used in the field for nearly a decade, Kevin leaves audiences feeling hopeful, inspired, equipped with methods that they can use in their own lives to engage men and boys in this vital conversation. Finally, highlighting the amazing strides made by #MeToo and #AfterMeToo, Kevin talks about ways of supporting survivors and lifting barriers such as victim blaming which prevent the conversation from moving forward.
Men and Boys Preventing Violence
This workshop begins by addressing the need to reach out for resources and supports, through an acknowledgement of the universality of the experience of violence and mental health issues that can arise when people stay silent. Highlighting high rates of sexual abuse and domestic violence for boys, Kevin includes men and boys as victims of violence and engages with a non-shaming approach. Unpacking the social learning mechanisms (video games, pornography, peer based learning etc.) that men and boys learn through gender norms and expectations, Kevin moves participants into a state of greater understanding about the ways in which toxic masculinity infiltrates all our lives. After establishing and understanding the root causes of violence, Kevin moves participants into concrete ways we can all prevent violence:
Emotional intelligence development
Building consent culture
Deconstructing and Moving Past Sexualized Violence
Facilitated exclusively by Julie S. Lalonde and Kevin Vowles, this workshop establishes the root causes of sexualized violence, including victim blaming, gender expectations, and social learning mechanisms. Building consent culture, partying safety, bystander intervention techniques, and deconstructing bro-culture that leads to misogyny and objectification of women, participants are guided on a gender-transformative journey. Galvanized to action, participants leave motivated to create and maintain safe spaces in their social lives that can lead us into a world free from sexual violence.