The Rowan House Society's fifth annual 'Breakfast with the Guys' on Wednesday morning was filled with powerful information on abuse prevention.
Not only was the breakfast itself hardy but the words from guest speaker Dr. Jackson Katz filled the minds and hearts of the audience.
The women's shelter brought in Dr Katz, hailing from Boston, who has been leading the change in abuse prevention since the early 1990's.
"Domestic and sexual violence prevention and advocacy, Rowan House does incredible work in this area. I think it's important that men speak really positively about the contributions of these women, and I think we as men need to be saying the work that these women are doing isn't just helping women and girls, although it is, it's also helping men and boys."
He's spoken around the world even being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on his approach to getting to the roots of abuse prevention. He's given a TED talk as well as working with the Australian army in 2013. You can watch a powerful speech by Lieutenant General David Morrison here.
Katz is a co-founder of the Mentors in Violence Prevention program which he addressed through the 'Bystander Approach'.
"The Bystander Approach if its taught well can help people think through their ethical obligations to each other, to themselves and to their group. And by the way it's not just men as bystanders, its women, it's others who aren't men or women, everybody in a given peer culture, whether it's a group of 16-year-olds, a group of 46-year-olds in the workplace, it could be in the military, it could be on a team, but it could be anywhere, a group of friends - what can each of us do."
The event was held at the Foothills Centennial Centre with many people driving in from the area including Calgary, High River, Black Diamond and throughout the foothills. Considering the driving conditions, it was almost a packed house with a good mix of men and women attending. The conversation continued with a workshop from 1 till 3 p.m. and then wraps up Thursday morning with an informal open dialogue session from 9 till 11 a.m. in Calgary at the Glenmore Inn and Convention Centre.
As Rowan House executive director, Linette Soldan, quoted Eckhart Toole at the beginning of the event "Awareness is the greatest agent for change."
For more information on the books Dr Katz has authored as well as his groundbreaking film can be found on his website.