Monday, December 06, 2010

December 6th, 2010

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, PC, MP, Minister for Status of Women.
Greetings friends and supporters of the White Ribbon Campaign.

December 6th in Canada, is our National Day of Remembrance and Action on Ending Violence Against Women.

As usual it offers us one day out of the year to pause and reflect on the horrors of the Montreal Massacre; how far we have come (or not come as it may be); and how we must continue to be utterly dissatisfied with the status quo.

December 6th has always been a difficult day for me, filled with painful memories of that traumatic day 21 years ago, profound experiences through university as our country (and myself personally) struggled to come to grips with the issue of violence against women, incredible hopefulness at what has been accomplished, and seething frustration at how much still remains to be done.

To that end, in that mix of emotions, I want to share six simple words I would ask you to take forward for the other 364 days of the year.

Never forget.
Be hopeful.
Take action.

Never forget the lives lost on December 6th 1989; never forget the millions more affected and traumatized by violence against women around the world. Never forget, because if we do, history is destined to repeat itself, as we have learned from so many of this planet's other great struggles for justice against inhumanity.
Be hopeful, because while hope is not a strategy, hope is a belief system, hope is a catalyst, hope is a motivator. If there is no hope for a safer, less violent world then there is no point, and I have met and heard too many survivors and families to concede this.

Take action, because we can all do more, and we can all do something. Speak up, speak out, listen, learn, act. The kinds of changes we need to see take place on an individual level as much as societal levels. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "The difference between what we are capable of doing, and what we actually do would suffice to solve most of the world's problems." And as we say around White Ribbon Campaign, we are capable of doing a lot more.

Until the violence stops,

Todd Minerson
Executive Director
White Ribbon Campaign

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