Quick Exit
Quick ExitQuick Exit

Leading Change Summit 2023

Circles of Change: Inspiring Ethical Spaces in Gender-based Violence Prevention

May 2023, Edmonton 

The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) is excited to announce the 2nd Leading Change™ Summit. Building on the bold conversations from our 2019 event, the 2023 Summit will focus on ideas, research, and emerging practices in visioning, fostering, and sustaining more ethical spaces in gender-based violence prevention.  

Call for Proposals

Submission Deadline: October 15, 2022

We are experiencing a rising tide of awareness around intersectionality and systemic discrimination, at the same time as a reversion of women’s rights and freedoms across the globe. The Leading Change™ Summit will create a forum to explore how we can face these opportunities and challenges, incorporate different ways of knowing, and apply new ways of interacting to create lasting and meaningful change in the pursuit to end gender-based violence and transform our culture. 

To create a powerful and meaningful event, ACWS is seeking proposals from those working on the front lines in education and awareness, those advocating for emerging and traditional practices in changing social norms, those researching varying modalities for violence prevention, and those with lived experience to share about their work, experiences, obstacles, challenges, and successes. 

Prevention and cultural transformation is key to lasting change. Let’s lead change together. 

Topic Ideas

Information about the Summit theme and potential areas of focus

ACWS is seeking proposals for presentations and sessions at the Summit. To make the event meaningful and memorable, we are welcoming both traditional and creative formats for presentations. The audience at the event will consist of service providers, educators, and professionals from the gender-based violence prevention sector and from other sectors that share the desire and common accountabilities to prevent violence, promote healthy workplaces, and inform policy to transform our society.  

Proposals should address how participants will be able to engage with the presenters’ work, expand collective learning, enhance their technical skills, learn from one another’s recent work/research, challenge existing practices, learn from survivor experiences, and build community. 

The Summit theme, Circles of Change: Inspiring Ethical Spaces in Gender-based Violence Prevention, is intended to welcome a wide array of sessions and discussions. Potential topics of interest include, but are not limited to: 

  • The intersections of prevention and intervention 
  • Forms and tactics of gender-based violence, e.g. Coercive controlling violence 
  • Exploring layered vulnerabilities and intersectional Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to approaches that support prevention among populations at higher risk of experiencing violence 
  • Indigenous contexts for healing, justice-seeking, and violence prevention  
  • Examples of implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, the Reclaiming Power and Place Report Calls for Justice, and the Alberta Pathways to Justice  
  • Creating culturally safe spaces for clients and staff to promote prevention and healing 
  • Developing responsive and respectful prevention programming in multicultural contexts 
  • Lateral violence prevention and intervention 
  • Transformative Justice and Justice Reform 
  • Economic interventions to help prevent violence (e.g. childcare, education, training, poverty reduction)  
  • Strengths-based and transformative approaches to prevention 
  • Addressing domestic violence in the workplace 
  • Engaging men and boys 
  • The evolving client experience (i.e. who are we serving, what is their reality) 
  • The role of the media in gender-based violence prevention and transforming social norms 
  • Practical assessment tools, practical skills development in creating ethical spaces 
  • Organizational support within the sector (i.e. creating ethical spaces for employees and clients) 
  • Healing modalities and emerging practices to support those working in gender-based violence prevention 
  • Understanding trauma, including the intersection of addictions, mental health, and trauma 
  • The effects of gender-based violence on brain development 

How to Submit a Proposal

Evaluation Criteria:

ACWS is seeking presentations from a variety of sectors delivered in traditional and creative formats exploring these topics for an audience of gender-based violence sector service providers, and professionals and educators from other sectors that share the desire and common accountabilities to prevent gender-based violence, promote healthy workplaces, and inform policy. Proposals should address how participants will be able to engage with the presenters’ work, expand collective learning, enhance their technical skills, learn from one another’s recent work/research/lived experience, challenge existing practices, and build community. 

Key considerations in selecting presentations will include: 

  • Connection to the Summit theme 
  • Maintaining a focus on gender-based violence prevention and transformative change 
  • How the session incorporates themes of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion 
  • Ensuring session proposals define learning goals or outcomes 
  • Ensuring speakers represent a broad scope of perspectives, experience, and backgrounds 
  • Balancing traditional and non-traditional session formats (e.g. panels, speaker presentations, facilitated learning, experiential sessions, etc.) 
  • Balancing theoretical knowledge and practical tools 
  • Balancing topics of interest to front-line workers, organizational leadership, urban/rural, direct prevention work, and indirect prevention work 
  • Creating engagement opportunities for various knowledge and experience levels (fostering safety to ask introductory questions, complex topic exploration, having bold conversations, and more) 

Submitting a Proposal 

There are three primary ways to submit a proposal for the 2023 Leading Change™ Summit. You can:

  • submit a proposal to present a session or workshop;
  • participate as a survivor sharing your story; or
  • host or moderate a session.

If you have a proposal that does not align with one of these categories, please contact us directly at leadingchange@acws.ca to discuss your idea and alternate methods for submission. 

Ready to Submit?

I would like to: 




Submission Deadline: October 15, 2022

What is Leading Change?

Leading Change™ is the call to action of the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS), and offers tailored gender-based violence prevention training to workplaces, schools, government, sports groups, and communities.

More Info