TRU receives city grant for consent cafés

Consent Café was named one of the nine winners of the 2022 community grant awards

The City of Kamloops has awarded $11,651 to Thompson Rivers University’s Consent Café for the 2022 Social and Community Development Grants. They were chosen amongst the 19 submissions that the city received.

The funding won for this year will go toward various aspects of the program.

“It will increase our ability to partner with our educational partners and provide us the opportunity to further develop our Consent Café curriculum and research program. The grant will also allow us to develop and publish resources and materials, provide honoraria for Elders, purchase necessary supplies, and hire a Consent Café program assistant,” said Tanya Pawliuk and Chelsea Corsi, Human Service Programs Coordinators, and partners of the grant.

Part of the money will also go towards five other Consent Café’s in the city from April to November of this year.

The Consent Café is an educational program for young adults that aims to teach about consent and sexual violence prevention in an activity-based way.

“Our program employs a K-16 model with the hopes of introducing prevention education early for scaffolding learning about consent and sexual health throughout their remaining high school and college or university years,” said Pawliuk and Corsi.

“Talking openly with youth about sexual health and violence prevention is critical work; they have a right to have these conversations in a safe, open, and trauma-informed space,” said Pawliuk and Corsi on the importance of Consent café.

Pawliuk and Corsi shared their gratitude for winning this year’s grant. “For us, it means that we live in a city that is committed and willing to invest in consent and sexualized violence prevention and response education, this is a profound statement from the city, and we are so grateful for their willingness to support our work.”

Working on something like Consent Café has been a gratifying time for both Pawliuk and Corsi. They shared what they most enjoy about operating this program. “Time with the youth is energizing, fun, and always informative. Also, the opportunity to intentionally collaborate with our community and campus partners is very rewarding and has enriched our learning goals and objectives in this work.”

“We could not do it without them. Honestly, we have been so amazed and inspired by the commitment of our community to consent and sexualized violence education for youth. We know how lucky we are to do this work,” added Pawliuk and Corsi.

The university is always looking at ways for students to be involved in programs. “Students can become engaged in overall wellness work, including both the Consent Tea which is an annual TRU event offered in November, and the Consent Café as a member of the Student Wellness Ambassador Team,” said Pawliuk and Corsi.

For anyone interested in forming part of the team, the SWAT Leader applications for the 2022-23 academic year will open on March 1, 2022, and can be found by going to the universities wellness ambassadors page.