More than 300 boys from 11 junior high schools in the Calgary region have graduated from a program that teaches tolerance and aims to make schools safer.
WiseGuyz is a voluntary one-year program run by the Calgary Sexual Health Centre. It teaches students about human rights, sexual health, gender and positive relationships.
The program is funded through the Alberta government’s Family and Community Safety Program and it’s receiving an additional $45,000 grant from the Ministry of Status of Women this year so it can be expanded to locations in Fort McMurray, Edmonton, Camrose and Hanna for the 2018-2019 school year.
“Our government is committed to promoting gender equality and shifting the culture of consent. This funding will help to provide critical education to young Albertans and help to end gender-based violence. We are proud to partner with the Calgary Sexual Health Centre to expand the work of WiseGuyz to more communities.”
~Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services
Schools with the WiseGuyz program report a noticeable change in school culture, saying students feel safer and there is greater acceptance. Participants report greater awareness around progressive male norms, safe sexual relationships and sexual diversity.
“WiseGuyz is an investment in the future of young men. By challenging stereotypes about masculinity and fostering healthy relationships, we are reducing incidences of bullying, homophobia and dating violence.”
~Pam Krause, president and CEO, Calgary Sexual Health Centre
This year, Premier Rachel Notley proclaimed May as Sexual Violence Awareness month. This funding is part of the government’s commitment to end sexual violence by challenging attitudes and shifting towards a culture of consent and gender equality.
The Calgary Sexual Health Centre is a non-profit charitable organization that aims to normalize sexual health in Alberta by providing evidence-informed, non-judgmental sexual and reproductive health programs and services.
The centre has received funding for this project through Family and Community Safety Program grants for the last three years. More than $292,000 was provided from 2015 to 2017 and more than $73,000 was provided in 2018.
The Family and Community Safety Program provides grants to community projects to address family and sexual violence, child sexual abuse, and supports for families and capacity building, as well as promoting healthy relationships. Since the program began in 2015, $33.7 million has been invested in community projects.
The Status of Women Community Grant Program supports the projects of non-profit and charitable organizations that improve the lives of women and girls in Alberta.