Storytime To Change the World - by Aura Freedom
Read by cool people who give a damn.
Read by cool people who give a damn.
The 65th UN Commission on the Status of Women is completely virtual this year, which gives you a unique opportunity to attend as if you were a delegate in New York.
Last year, the entire Commission – normally held in New York – was cancelled due to COVID (including Aura Freedom’s event), but we are back virtually this year and want to take you with us!
Register for free HERE to join our team for an amazing two weeks of online feminist events to choose from. Once you register, add our event “Relentless Resilience” on March 18th at 2:00pm to your agenda and we’ll see you there!
We are so thankful to all those who contributed to our Mommy ‘n Me Comfort Kits for women and kids experiencing and fleeing violence during COVID-19.
We provided kits to women being supported by Aura Freedom, as well as to our community partners Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto, FCJ Refugee Centre, and Women’s Habitat Etobicoke.
We couldn’t be more grateful to all those who donated on Giving Tuesday. Every single dollar counted and we see you ALL! Shout out to Lush Cosmetics North America and Another Story Book Shop in Toronto for their contributions to our Mommy ‘n Me Comfort Kits.
Check out our video below!
Homeless girls experience higher rates of sexual violence and exploitation than those with stable housing. Our Giving Tuesday 2019 campaign supported violence prevention programs from our Peer Prevention Project to youth living in shelters.
Donations raised through our video allowed our Peer Prevention Project to provide gender-based violence prevention workshops and GIFT PACKS with warm socks, soap, shampoo and menstrual hygiene items to 120+ youth across Toronto. A hot lunch was also provided by Aura Freedom in the shelters so that youth could share a Holiday meal with our youth staff.
A very special thanks to Lush Cosmetics North America for their generous donation of soap and shampoo for the gift packs and thanks to all those who donated for Giving Tuesday!
In September we attended the ‘#MeToo Moving Forward’ conference in Iceland on the impact of the #MeToo movement. We attended workshops and sessions led by fellow feminists, activists, academics, and government officials including the Prime Minister of Iceland Katrín Jakobsdóttir.
A highlight was meeting American political activist Angela Davis and engaging with feminists and change-makers from around the world.
The conference was a part of the Icelandic Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2019 and organized in collaboration with RIKK, Institute for Gender, Equality and Difference at the University of Iceland.
In August 2019, we stood in solidarity with the Sudanese women’s group Kandaka International for Women’s Rights to support Sudan’s survivors of wartime sexual violence.
Our Executive Director gave a talk on sexual violence in conflict and presented an interview she had with survivor Vasfije Krasniqi-Goodman (photo below), a survivor of the war in Kosovo and winner of the 2019 Kim Bok-dong Prize.
The sisterhood was alive and well and after all the tears, we even managed to laugh and sing during the ‘photoshoot’.
In 2019, Aura Freedom participated in the 2019 Women Deliver conference in Vancouver, Canada. Aura Freedom was a Bronze sponsor with a gorgeous booth in the Fuelling Station showcasing our work.
Over 4 intense days, our team attended countless sessions and workshops with over 8,000 activists and feminists from 169 countries. Hundreds of feminists from around the globe stopped by our booth to take part in our FEMINIST MOSAIC and we couldn’t love these faces more.
Our Executive Director was featured at the ‘Expert Desk’ as an expert of sexual exploitation and human trafficking and was available to answer questions for media channels and other stakeholders.
We were also a partner of the Women Deliver Mobilization Canada team, which connected Canadian organizations attending the conference and called for action on gender equality and women’s empowerment in conjunction with the Government of Canada. As a result of our participation, we attended several high-level events with the Mobilization Canada team and advocated with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Honourable Maryam Monsef and other Canadian officials.
Let’s keep the momentum going and the fire lit to make gender equity a reality in our lifetime.
In May 2019 we hosted the experiential learning event “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” that raised awareness of the root causes of sexual exploitation and human trafficking and honoured survivors and their family members. Supported by the Department of Justice Canada and Lush Cosmetics North America, the event explored how marginalized communities in Toronto (women and girls; Indigenous, Black and LGBTQ2S+ youth; Newcomers, etc.) are more vulnerable to sexual violence and exploitation and how communities can empower each other to break the cycle. Guests also learned how Aura Freedom’s Peer Prevention Project is currently addressing these issues.
Through art and music by local Toronto artists, this interactive event communicated powerful messages to over 100 attendees. Survivors of violence and trafficking were honoured at the event by their peers, raising awareness and creating community solidarity. Attendees learned what services are available to them in Toronto through our community partners and where/how they can safely seek help for situations of sexual violence/exploitation.
We even had an impromptu drumming performance by Indigenous musician and Juno winner Brenda Macintyre.
What a night!
On May 21, we attended an event with The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and International Development, along with other members of Women Deliver 2019 Mobilization Canada at BMO Canada to discuss the importance of the upcoming Women Deliver conference and how to keep the feminist movement going in the face of backlash.
An inspiring morning and a taste of things to come in next month’s massive Women Deliver conference in Vancouver, where Aura Freedom will be exhibiting!