An innovative youth-driven classroom program that propels technology through art and media to educate adolescents on how to build healthy relationships.
Raison d'art's newest initiative, portraitX, is a 5-year research intervention project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada to bring an arts-based and digitally-fuelled curriculum to public high schools across Canada in order to prevent teen dating violence.
Our unique intervention uses art and media to disrupt gender-based stereotypes and attitudes that can lead to violence, while teaching adolescents how to navigate the emotions that arise within relationships.
Six (6) classroom workshops are facilitated by our trained team to:
Equip youth with the skills to be critical of representations of discrimination and gender stereotypes in their lives.
Educate youth about various aspects of dating, relationships and sexual violence.
Effect positive change through collaborative art and media-making.
Technology has become an integral part of how we build relationships and how we perceive one another. Today, youth communicate with technology at their fingertips. Research shows that this digital exchange can often lead to harmful interactions, including sexual harassment. Through our intervention we aim to harness technology to shift culture towards healthier ways of connecting.
portraitX is born from the idea that it is important for us all to learn about healthy relationships and ways to prevent gender-based violence, including teen and youth dating violence. We know that gender-based violence has both immediate and long-lasting impacts on a person’s physical and mental health as well as consequences for families, communities and society as a whole. However, new research is crucial to understanding how our youth, living in this digital world, is impacted.
portraitX seeks to better understand this paradigm by researching the role that digital media plays in teen's gender biases. With our youth participants and our partners at McGill University, we ask how can we create a positive change in our virtual and our real life relationships while promoting essential social skills like empathy, self-awareness, respectful communication and critical thinking.
1 The 2016-2021 Government Strategy to Prevent and Counteract Sexual Violence, Gouvernement du Québec, 2016.
2 Johnson, “Limits of a Criminal Justice Response: Trends in Police and Court Processing of Sexual Assault,” in Sheehy, Sexual Assault in Canada: Law, Legal Practice and Women’s Activisim, 2012.
3 The 2016-2021 Government Strategy to Prevent and Counteract Sexual Violence, Gouvernement du Québec, 2016.
“Educating young Canadians about how to identify unhealthy relationships and ways to prevent dating violence is at the core of the Government of Canada’s efforts to promote gender equality and to end gender-based violence. I am proud to announce our Government’s support for portraitX, which is developing new ways to #InnovateforChange and to reach youth in a manner that will resonate with them and reflect
their experiences and identities.”
The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health Canada, 2019