Anita Roberts has been working in the field of violence prevention and women's empowerment since 1976. She is the Founder and guiding force behind the internationally acclaimed, Safeteen Program.
Chosen as a Canadian representative on Violence Against Women to the United Nations, Roberts is a visionary, inspirational speaker and award winning author. Her book, Safeteen: Powerful Alternatives to Violence has been translated into Japanese and Chinese. Anita has traveled to five continents to empower women, train educators and parents and to teach youth to hold their power and speak their truth.
Awards & Recognition
- 2011 Soroptimist Ruby Award for Helping Girls and Women
- 2002 YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee
- 2001 YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee
- 1994 VanCity Book Prize for "Last Chance Cafe & Other Stories"
- 1985 Canadian Representative to the UN on Violence Against Women
The Writings of Anita Roberts
Agents for Change
Facilitating a culture of empowerment and safety in schools and communities around the world.
Emmy Chahal is deeply passionate about social justice and education, so facilitating workshops with Safeteen is a dream come true. Emmy is a poet, a mental health advocate, a feminist, a nature enthusiast, and an aspiring educator working towards a more compassionate world. Emmy grew up on unceded Coast Salish territory and recently graduated from UBC Okanagan with a B.A. majoring in Cultural Studies and a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. She is also a qualified yoga instructor and has led women’s circles. Emmy is strongly influenced by the United World College movement, as a graduate of Pearson College, where she learned about the incredible power and possibilities of diverse youth coming together.
Emmy is honoured to be an Agent for Change; she firmly believes in holding your power, speaking your truth, and coming from love – these are indeed the values that inform her life.
Rupert Common is a Hip Hop performance artist living on unceded Coast Salish Territories, in the city known as Vancouver. He got involved with Safeteen after a friend of his suggested he apply for an interview. At this time, Rupert was co-hosting a community event in collaboration with several organizations all seeking to end violence against women. The event featured local Hip Hop artists and a panel of speakers. It is this cultural fusion of street-dance, spoken-word, rap, live music and social justice that exemplifies why Rupert is involved with this amazing company.
As a Hip Hop dance teacher and facilitator, Rupert works at studios and schools teaching at a recreational level. He also created and runs his own "artist alias workshop," which explores artistic development through poetry, rap and freestyle. As a performer he has toured across B.C. with ArtStarts in Schools, acting as an MC and dancer with the group Project Soul. With this crew he has stepped onto the stages at the Winterruption and Children's Festivals as well as the Queen Elizabeth theatre for the CFL player awards ceremony. As a spoken word artist he has performed at the Canadian Festival of Spoken word and at the Verses Festival.
Rupert currently attends VCC music school and is recording his first album. He performs on the streets as singer-songwriting busker, and is an officially curated artist with an online social media company. His poetry and lyrics have more and more begun to reflect his experience with the community and the world, as he explores themes of masculinity, identity, anti-racism, colonialism and misogyny within his rhymes and words. For more info on his arts visit www.rupertcommon.com.
Maya sincerely admires Safeteen's guiding principle of creating personal safety from a place of self-acceptance, respect and honesty. She seeks to embody this in her life.
Graduation from UBC's english Honours program in 2015, Maya's undergraduate research explored the interconnectedness of the sacred and the profane, the wild and the unnatural, and the divisions we create inside ourselves. She has been working with youth for the past four years and is excited to continue having investigative and empowering conversations as a Safeteen Facilitator.
She enjoys spending time outdoors, playing music, and being with friends and family.
Stephanie has been working with youth for over 10 years. She started as a camp counsellor and continued to work with youth in an after-school program once she received her social work degree. She loves working with preteen and teenage girls and believes the energy and truth they bring to life needs to be honoured and preserved.
Stephanie loves being a Safeteen facilitator and tries to hold her power and speak her truth in all the facets of her life. She has learned so much from the girls and women she has taught Safeteen and is grateful every time for the gifts she receives.
Tamara is a dynamic presenter with over 15 years of experience as a Safeteen facilitator. Tamara is a certified counsellor with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and is currently a school counsellor. Tamara brings to Safeteen her experience working in trauma-based counselling with children, youth, and adults as well as her experience facilitating Forum Theatre/Theatre of the Oppressed workshops with YouthCO AIDS Society. Tamara also finds joy in providing professional development opportunities to build capacity and working collaboratively with those supporting our learners around safety strategies, healthy relationships, and well-being. As a passionate educator and counsellor, Tamara is committed to social justice initiatives and empowering children and youth with skills for self-regulation, building healthy boundaries, and authentically connecting from a place of truth and compassion.
Tamara lives on Vancouver Island with her life partner, Jeremy, their PowerGirl daughters, Gabriela and Celeste (Coco), and her courageous mother, Beatriz.
With over a decade of experience working with at-risk youth and facilitating groups, Lindsay is a valuable addition to the Safeteen team. Her love of group facilitation began during a placement with the Correctional Service of Canada delivering programming to federal offenders on conditional release. From there, Lindsay became a Go Girls! facilitator with Big Sister of Canada and was awarded Program Mentor of the Year for 2015. Over many years as a facilitator, she has worked with an incredible range of populations, spanning a multitude of cultures, races and socio-economic backgrounds. Since moving to Vancouver in 2016, Lindsay has continued to hone her facilitation skills; creating and delivering workshops on a variety of topics, including sexism, self-esteem, and grief & loss.
Lindsay’s passion is rooted in the idea of mentorship, role-modeling and creating confident, balanced leaders. Pulling from her own life experiences, Lindsay believes wholeheartedly in the resilience of youth and the power of being able to connect with each other. Her gift is to be in front of a group, fostering connection, empathy and empowerment.
Lindsay possesses a degree in Psychology, a diploma in Community and Justice Services, and most recently a Diploma in Wellness Counselling from Rhodes Wellness College. Through her most recent educational experience, Lindsay learned the value of vulnerability, and the beauty of the connection that it fosters. There, she uncovered a richer, more skilled version of herself that she is so excited to share with the participants of Safeteen workshops!
“Our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become” ~someone super smart and insightful~
Megan Gilron is a BFA theatre production and design graduate from UBC. While pursuing her degree she acted and participated in university outreach programs as the resource coordinator at the Women’s Centre and performed in Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues.
During this time in her life, she began to think more and more about trying to combine her interest and self-directed research of sex education and feminism with her love and training in theatre. She spent a year living in Paris and travelled throughout Europe to perceive different cultures and their approaches to both of these topics.
Megan’s multiple interests and streams of knowledge, as well as her extensive work with youth and children, have finally found a home with Safeteen. She is honored to be an Agent for Change and is incredibly fulfilled to see and feel the impact each workshop has on the incredible young women she gets to work with.
Warren is a half Okanagan Indigenous, half Caucasian man from the Syilx (Okanagan) Territory in Penticton, British Columbia.
For the past 5 years, Warren has passionately chosen a path of intensive facilitation training, delivering workshops across BC and performing as an Inspirational Hip Hop Rapper/Beatboxer.
Today, currently living in Vancouver, Warren reflects on ‘why’ he has chosen to do youth empowerment work. He says: “I realized that I do this because it’s what my heart calls for. I wake up everyday and remember that my passion comes from my story. I used to be the very youth that I am now dedicating my life to support...it gives my life meaning...and brings me much love.” With a humble heart and passion for what he does, Warren continues to deliver youth workshops as a fun, genuine and empathetic facilitator.
Benji is a passionate community member, loving uncle and friend, living and working in ways that empower and emphasize the quality of our relationships. Benji spends time thinking and acting around ideas of social justice, specifically in relation to education, culture and media.
As Benji continues to come to terms with the ways in which he perpetuates oppression as a white settler cisgendered queer man, he has been actively unlearning and relearning. Getting at the root of violence and exposing power dynamics, language and behavior and transforming how we choose to act and respond to conflict is at the forefront of his intentions. Non-violent communication and mindfulness has given Benji a framework in addressing violence in his community and his most intimate relationships. Ben is interested in co-cultivating a culture of nurturance, one rooted in self-determination, ‘power-with’ and informed consent of our actions and ways of being - a culture that produces an abundance of love and support, for everyone to actualize their intentions, expressions and desires.
Most recently Benji co-developed a worker-cooperative around making furniture out of construction and demolition wood waste. He currently hand-dyes yarn to pay rent. Benji can often be found working with his hands, making embroidery, reading books about social theory and petting neighbourhood cats.
As a painter, performer, and poet, Shubhi spends a lot of her time immersed in the arts. When she is not chasing creative pursuits, she can be found at BCIT where she is completing her B.Sc in Ecological Restoration after receiving her diploma in Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation.
Advocacy has been a re-occurring theme in her life. Shubhi has worked with youth in various capacities for over seven years. She began her journey as a member of the Youth Arts Council of Surrey where she organized events for youth, and along the way, she worked as the assistant director of the Surrey Youth Theatre Company for a season. More recently, she advocated for student housing, grants, and better transportation as the Vice President External Affairs of the BCITSA.
Shubhi is glad to have come full circle; she went from attending a Safeteen workshop when she was a teenager to delivering the very same workshop to other youth, allowing her to connect with the youth on a better level.
Lisa is an engaging and compassionate facilitator who enjoys finding creative ways to teach challenging concepts. She has deep gratitude and respect for the Safeteen program and believes wholeheartedly that it not only changes, but saves lives.
Lisa is keenly aware of the struggles and sacrifices of the women who have come before her. She has been able to follow her dreams because of the doors they have opened. Lisa is committed to continuing their work, as a parent, mentor and advocate.
With faith in the inner power and potential of today’s young men, Daniel is passionate about creating a space where they can be safe to communicate openly. Bringing with him a wealth of experience in theater, performance and facilitation, as well as working with youth (notably as the eldest of four brothers), Daniel approaches his work with a sense of warmth, humour and an open heart.
A musician of many incarnations, Daniel holds a music degree from the University of Manitoba and tours North America with folk/roots trio Red Moon Road.
Candice-May Langlois is honoured to be a member of the Safeteen - Agents for Change. Her past experience in facilitation is with YouthCo's Theatre Troupe, practicing Forum Theatre/Theatre of the Oppressed with communities and high schools throughout BC's Lower Mainland.
Candice-May strongly believes that speaking and sharing her truth about her struggles in high school with bullying inspires young women to find their own voices and inner power. Through compassion and sensitivity combined with her playful and honest approach, Candice-May creates exciting and relatable workshops for today’s youth to learn and grow from within a safe environment.
Candice-May is passionately curious and dedicated to Safeteen's mission in providing today’s youth with Powerful Alternatives to Violence and empowering young women to grow in wisdom and confidence.
Aspen is a creative and compassionate man. Choosing to follow his own creative vision for his life has not always been easy and yet; Aspen is deeply convinced of the necessity of following his own truth in order to fully bring forth his potential. Aspen believes true collective harmony can only be had if all voices are free to choose. The principle of non-violation is one of Aspen’s guiding lights.
Now, as a facilitator, Aspen is deeply honoured and excited to offer to youth the practical skills, support and encouragement he wished he had during those times of his life. It is a privilege to Aspen to assist in others' self-actualization. Currently, in addition to youth facilitation, Aspen instructs yoga. Aspen sees both as opportunities for deeper self knowing, deeper self-love, and greater personal empowerment.
Richard is a young and enthusiastic student of human rights, global issues and social justice. In 2007 he began working with youth at risk in South America. Since then he has travelled to Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba where he has coordinated a number of events, and worked with various organizations.
Richard has facilitated workshops with youth from a range of backgrounds on topics such as globalization, human rights, culture and peace. Richard moved from Vancouver to Winnipeg in the Summer of 2010 and is extremely excited to continue his work with Safeteen in Manitoba.
Melanie has been passionate about youth empowerment since she was a teen herself. Growing up in Bathurst, New Brunswick, she faced many struggles during her youth and made many unwise/uneducated choices. She caused herself a great deal of harm with her lack of knowledge, boundaries, and understanding of self-respect; especially when it came to sexuality and intimate relationships. After finding herself in the “system” and seeing others’ struggles first hand, she decided to dedicate herself to empowering our youth. She proceeded to obtain her BAA in Criminal Justice with an emphasis on youth care, and then worked with youth in a variety of settings including different types of group homes, and mentorship.
Melanie is thrilled and honoured to be a part of Safeteen’s team. To have the opportunity to share with local teens the skills she wishes she would have known herself as a young woman. Skills that will allow these teens to hold their own power, all while coming from love and understanding. To find the ability to be their innermost authentic self and have the courage and confidence to do so. To cultivate their wisdom and the ability to utilize it, and share it with others. To find their voice, and thus speak their truth.
Melanie’s high energy and playful spirit bring lightness and fun to her workshops. Besides being passionate about youth empowerment, she is also passionate about mother nature, circus arts, and connection to self, spirit, and fellow living creatures. She also teaches Yoga and Acroyoga around the city of Vancouver, and flies the friendly skies with Westjet.
Lindi Nolte is a Spoken Word Poet, an English Teacher, an Inspirational Speaker, and a Nature Enthusiast. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in South Africa in 2010, and graduated from the UBC Bachelor of Education program in 2016. Lindi is a lover of performance poetry, story telling, and public speaking. She is dedicated to empowering youth by offering them tools to be creative leaders and expressive communicators in a complex society.
Lindi believes assertiveness skills are essential to having healthy relationships and being successful in life, which is why she is so excited to teach these skills to young women in the Safeteen workshops. She hopes by creating a community of women who support and love one another, we will have a safer and more compassionate world.
“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Jian is an entrepreneur, father and life-long mover. He is the co-owner of Distrikt Movement and founder of The Varsity Initiative, an organization promoting youth empowerment through excellence in fitness, community and life. He holds a CrossFit Level 1 Certification, 200 YTT through Africa Yoga Project, Capoeira (Brazilian Martial Arts) Instructor Certification, and is an experienced speaker/facilitator on Community and Youth Engagement /Youth Empowerment issues. Jian is deeply committed to creating a connected and engaged community through his work.
“I am proud to be able to offer this to youth, to support young men in being themselves, create meaningful relationships, and to help them get out of conflicts safely and without losing their dignity. Personally, the Safeteen skills have challenged me every day to step up to being a better human being. It has allowed me to look deeper into myself and see who I am, and from that try to create who I really want to be. It is certainly a journey – and one that I know I will be in for life as the journey is the destination.”
Bill has worked on gender and violence issues with youth and educators since 1999. In his role as Director of the Safeteen Boys Program Bill facilitates youth workshops, trains new Safeteen Agents for Change, and co-leads Educator Trainings locally, nationally and internationally.
Bill is an inspirational speaker who brings compassionate insight, the power of personal choice, and hope for a better world to his work. With humour and skill Bill invites the boys and men he works with to step into their full humanity with dignity and courage.
"I am a strong believer in the power of personal choice and heart centered action. My own personal journey and the undeniable impact on the thousands of young men I have worked with, give me an enduring passion for this work."
Sheena is thrilled to be a Safeteen program facilitator. Learning and presenting this important material has only helped pave the path she has been on toward a broadened awareness and understanding of what society and culture dictates to us about our “roles” and identities as men and women.
As a professional touring musician she spends a lot of time on the road with her band, Red Moon Road, meeting new people from all walks of life and points of view. She has a deep passion for communication and expansive dialogue that she brings to every workshop.
“I am just so excited to be a part of this program. I wholeheartedly believe in its message and wish that someone had this type of conversation with me when I was younger. It is an honour be a part of a movement that encourages women and girls to come to know their boundaries, understand their power and find their voices.”
Born in the North Okanagan, Lindsay came into the Safeteen program with a background in creative writing, performance poetry, anthropology, biology and pop culture.
Upon meeting Anita Roberts on a plane ride, it was his authentic, creative, captivating presence and his admiration for his mother and sisters that made the fit with Safeteen now turn into his life's passion.
From summer camps and skateboard coaching in high school to immigrant & refugee youth work, Lindsay has been developing connection with youth since he was one.
Being attracted to comedy and creative expression he believes to break down the male guise and stop the cycle of violence we must first examine our influences. In his work, he allows the youth to creatively observe and dissect how this affects our emotional connection to our environment and our reactions to it. He believes attaching our choices to our own influence on those around us can serve as a great foundation for positive growth in our culture of masculinity.
Lindsay truly believes that, "When the power of love overcomes, the love of power, the world will know peace."
Justin Roll is a youth worker and consent advocate raised in North Vancouver. He graduated from Simon Fraser University in 2015 with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Sociology. Before working with Safeteen, Justin was a children's after school program leader in Burnaby for three years, running subsidized childcare programs as well as cooking and nutrition classes in Burnaby Community Schools. He more recently transitioned into running a community leadership group with youth in North Burnaby and occasionally volunteering as a consent ambassador at events around Vancouver including the Vancouver Pride Parade.
Justin has found that having open and honest dialogue about difficult topics such as violence and consent enables us to grow and become more compassionate people. He truly believes this enables individuals to be more informed in their choices and have more control over their lives.
Sol Diana is a poet, performer, youth facilitator, and aspiring teacher. He was raised by Filipino change makers and artists on unceded Salish lands, and is continuously navigating the responsibilities that come with this layered identity.
On top of being a proud Safeteen Agent for Change, he is also one of the program coordinators of the Kababayan Academic Youth Mentorship Program, a student-run non-profit based at Tupper Secondary that holds space for the academic, professional, and social flourishing of Vancouver's current generation of Filipino Youth. He is honoured to know the brilliance and excellence that these youth carry.
Tricia’s experience in a high school Safeteen workshop in 1997 inspired her the following year to become a founding member of the youth group that created Project Respect an award-winning multimedia campaign aimed at preventing sexualized violence.
Since then she has worked with youth in Sri Lanka, India, Nepal, Ukraine and throughout BC as a program coordinator, youth advocate and facilitator; delivering hundreds of social justice & violence prevention workshops for schools, camps, rallies & symposiums.
Informed by her studies in Education at SFU, as well as training in community theatre, arts based facilitation and expressive movement, Tricia works from an anti-oppression framework, holding a steady container for people to practice courage and build resiliency.
As a first generation settler of Scottish & English ancestry, Tricia was born and raised on unceded Coast Salish Territory. She operates in solidarity with frontline indigenous communities and grassroots environmental justice organizing. She teaches a Somatics & Tensegrity movement practice and loves all fertile endeavours related to growing food and using creative activism to foster systemic change.
Angela is a Safeteen Facilitator and a Registered Clinical Counsellor with a MA degree in Counselling Psychology. Angela has been passionate about social justice issues from a young age and has had the privilege to travel to many parts of the world, including Sri Lanka in 2007 where she volunteered in violence prevention and education programs.
Her employment experience includes supporting youth facing various challenges in Residential homes and Safe Houses and working with young adults at a Residential Eating Disorder Center. A primary focus of the programming was to provide the residents with tools for self-reflection, setting boundaries and speaking their truth.
Angela is also a yoga instructor, which contributes, to her style of facilitation. She utilizes breath and body-awareness, as well as self-compassion practice; in order to approach youth work in a holistic, integrated way. Angela’s genuine care for others, and belief that every person is doing their best with the tools they currently have, increases her motivation to work towards empowering young people with knowledge and assertiveness skills.
Dini has always been passionate about change. At the age of 15 years, she co-founded, “Beyond Hello”, a program that connects people who are homeless to their loved ones. Since 2009 the program has reconnected over 500 families.
Dini graduated from the Global Stewardship Program at Capilano University, which focuses on social and environmental justice, development and world politics. The program opened her eyes to local and global issues. Through this program she had the opportunity to grow as a slam poet and currently performs at rallies, social and environmental events and schools.
In the summer, she works at the Eastside Opportunity Society as a camp leader, childcare worker and as support staff for children with disabilities, which she has found to be one of her most rewarding experiences.
She feels truly fortunate to be a part of the Safeteen – Agents for Change team and strives to pass on the skills she believes in to youth. Her playful nature and passion for change make for an always fun, open and dynamic learning environment.
“Throughout my life I have learnt that everyone has a story, that everyone deserves a chance. A chance to have someone believe in them, to receive encouragement, understanding and a positive outlook. I strive to be someone who facilitates these possibilities.”
David Yates is a teacher, facilitator, and performing artist with unquenchable curiosity and a passion for the heartfelt, soulful, and deep. Founder and owner of Night and Day Dance since 2006, he has taught couples and individuals to connect through movement in Canada and the US since 1998.
Most recently, he has begun exploring the relationship between movement, social interaction, and personal storytelling in a range of workshops that support a more holistic approach to embodiment and being. At the heart of this work is communication and awareness; David’s work helps empower others to update their experiences from the inside out.
From 1976 to this day we have reached hundreds of thousands of youth & educators across 5 continents. Many thanks to past Safeteen - Agents for Change for their heartfelt contributions and continued support.