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“Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness headlining the Leading Change Summit for gender-based violence prevention

Join Johnathan Van Ness (JVN) for a personal conversation on the serious topic of gender-based violence tackled with characteristic compassion and humour. 

For Immediate Release: Edmonton, Alberta. 

March 7, 2023

The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) welcomes JVN (he/she/they) as the keynote speaker at the headline event of the 2023 Leading Change™ Summit. The Summit will focus on ideas, research, and emerging practices in visioning, fostering, and sustaining more ethical spaces in gender-based violence prevention. This public headline event will occur Wednesday, May 3, at the River Cree Resort & Casino.

Jonathan Van Ness is an Emmy-nominated television personality, comedian, New York Times best-selling author, podcaster, hairstylist and founder of JVN Hair. His work as a hairdresser and grooming expert on “Queer Eye” has highlighted the importance of self-care and self-love for survivors of gender-based violence. His platform is a beacon of self-acceptance, especially for marginalized communities. JVN’s work as an advocate and ally for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community has made him a highly sought-after personality and public speaker. 

On a more personal level, JVN has spoken publicly about his own experiences with sexual abuse and how it has affected him, making him a powerful and relatable figure for those who have also been affected by gender-based and sexual violence. JVN’s platform and influence help raise awareness and bring attention to the issues of gender-based violence, helping to break the stigma surrounding it. 

“Imperfection is beautiful. To anyone who has ever felt broken beyond repair, this is for you. If you’ve ever been excluded, or told you were not enough, know that you are enough, and beautifully complete.” — Jonathan Van Ness, Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love

“We are thrilled to have such an amazing and compassionate advocate headlining our 2023 summit. Jonathan Van Ness is a passionate, spirited soul whose work has touched lives worldwide. We can’t wait to present this special, personal conversation with a living legend.” — Jan Reimer, Executive Director, ACWS

This event is sponsored by CN Rail.

Tickets to see Jonathan Van Ness at the keynote are available to the public, and will be discounted to those attending the full summit. Purchase tickets now!

Leading Change™ Summit

Sponsored by the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters, the 2nd Leading Change™ Summit will build on the bold conversations from the 2019 event. The 2023 Summit will unite people from across the sector interested in violence prevention to focus on ideas, research, and emerging practices in visioning, fostering, and sustaining more ethical spaces in gender-based violence prevention. 

Leading Change™

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

The Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters (ACWS) 

ACWS is the provincial network organization of domestic violence shelters in Alberta. We bring nearly four decades of experience and knowledge to serve our 39 members operating over 50 shelters across the province for women, their children, and seniors facing domestic abuse. We advocate for ACWS members and work with them to end domestic violence through culture-shifting violence prevention programs, collective data and research, and front-line training. With support from ACWS, Alberta shelters are helping to provide safety, support families, and improve communities.

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