Youth Conference

About the Conference

This free, online event creates an intentional and accessible space for youth and students (ages 13-24) to have important discussions about healthy relationships – relationships with peers, family, partners, communities and with themselves. 

Our speakers and panel will unpack concepts of gender, healthy relationships, and authentic self-expression.

  • Date: Thursday, October 6, 2022  |  3:30-6:30 p.m. ET  
  • Venue: Online via Zoom 
  • Theme: Healthy Masculinities – A discussion about healthy relationships

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Keynote Speaker

In his keynote talk, Tyler will speak about his lived experience with mental health struggles and touch on the importance of vulnerability, compassion, empathy and the importance of challenging gender norms.

Tyler-Simmonds-NFF-Web-Sm.pngTyler Simmonds 

Tyler is an award-winning Canadian film director, with titles including In My Mind and the Lead With Love series. Tyler is also a keynote speaker and advocate for mental health and mindfulness, having spoken at many notable events such as TEDx and WE Day.

He was named one of the “10 Inspirational People Under 30 You Should Be Following on Twitter” by The Huffington Post, alongside Malala Yousafzai, Stephen Curry, and Shawn Mendes. 

Throughout his life, Tyler discovered that much of what is learned about being a man can be harmful to ourselves and those around us, although intentions may be good. 
 

Panellists

Our panel discussion will explore how traditional gender expectations affect all kinds of relationships and how healthy self-identity encourages healthy relationships.

Monica Boquin NFF Youth Conference PanellistMonica Boquin

Monica is a Community Engagement Manager at White Ribbon. She works to organize projects and build meaningful relationships to advance gender-based violence prevention and healthy masculinity initiatives. 

Monica has broad experience in managing and creating NGOs both in Canada and internationally. Before joining White Ribbon, she worked in creating different initiatives to support newcomers during their transition to Canada and also mentored and developed activities for post-secondary students

 

Mike Cywink NFF Youth Conference PanellistMike Cywink

Nimkii Giizhis nindizhinikaaz. Ajijak nindoodem. Whitefish River First Nation
nindoonjibaa. My spirit name is Thunder Day, I am crane clan and I am originally from Whitefish River First Nation. My English name is Mike Cywink and I work with the Centre for School Mental Health at Western, supporting Indigenous students throughout the Thames Valley District School Board. I run different programs based on healthy relationships as well as provide leadership opportunities, cultural connectedness and give Indigenous students a platform to use their voice and help change things for the better. I’m also a part-time student and trying my best to be a role model/mentor for my community. My art career has allowed me to create numerous murals throughout the London area, commissioned pieces at the London Welcoming Centre, Victoria Hospital, Western University, Fanshawe College and several projects with the London Arts Council. I’m trying my best to Indigenize spaces throughout the London area to help break down stereotypical walls and make things a better, safer place for Indigenous peoples. This life we live is not about us: it’s about the next generation coming through. We should always think about the next ones, in our actions, in our words and in our way of being. Representation matters.

Matthew Sereda NFF Youth Conference PanellistMatthew Sereda

Matthew Sereda is the Equity and Inclusive Education Learning Coordinator for the Thames Valley District School Board. Matthew is a recipient of a Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence and an Atlohsa Peace Award for his work towards Truth and Reconciliation. Matthew is a board member with the Canadian Courage Project and a committee member on the City of London's Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Oppression Community Advisory Committee.

 

 

Closing Keynote

To close out the conference, Amy and Fraser will give a talk on how deconstructing expectations of “masculinity” is key to creating a future without violence. 

Amy Keating - Youth Education Coordinator at Anova and closing keynote at NFF Youth Conference Oct. 2022Amy Keating

Amy (they/them) is a queer and non-binary public educator, scholar, and writer. They work as the Youth Programming Coordinator for Anova and are passionate about collaborating with young folks to end gender-based violence through art, workshops, and creating safe educational spaces for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth. In their spare time, you can find them writing, singing, and belly-laughing with friends. 

 

 

Fraser Brown - GBV Training Facilitator and closing keynote at NFF Youth Conference Oct. 2022Fraser Brown

Fraser Brown is a Certified Human Resources Professional with a passion for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. While earning his Honours Bachelor of Arts focusing on Studio Arts, Visual Culture, Fraser volunteered at the White Privilege Symposium while exploring the unrealistic expectations masculinity placed on men’s physique in a visual medium. Fraser then earned a Graduate Certificate in HR Management with experience working at Fanshawe College as the Sexual Violence, Peer Support, and Student Life Assistant, acted as President for Fanshawe’s 2SLGBTQIA+ Student Organization, and facilitated Anova’s Man|Made group, a professional development opportunity for young men to learn about healthy masculinity, accountability, and bystander intervention. Fraser has also had the opportunity to work for the Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children facilitating discussion groups with young men. 

 

This event is led by our NFF Youth Advisory Council.

 

March 2022 NFF Youth Conference Highlights 

Our passionate youth council held the first conference in March 2022. The event theme was intersectionality and identity. A variety of speakers presented their views on the conference theme followed by a Q&A session. 

Sandy Hudson, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement in Canada, led the roster of diverse speakers who took part in the conference. 

More than 100 participants joined the first NFF Youth Conference. Here’s what attendees said they valued about the event: 

  • “How relatable it was – I really felt connected to the speakers and the discussions we were having.” 
  • “How the speakers all focused on different areas, but their topics were intricately linked. I thought the moderators did a great job moving the conversation along!” 

Conference Recording