Dating and relationship educator Mike Domitrz willaddress the difficult issue of dating intimacy with humour and flare at York’s third annual “Can I Kiss You?” event.
The main show for students will take place at 6:30pm on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the Rexall Centre, Keele campus. There will also be a Train the Trainer session for student leaders in the afternoon
Domitrz, executive director of the Date Safe Project, speaks at schools, universities and other institutions across the US and Canada, and draws audience members into his show to help role-play awkward dating moments.
In the midst of the laughter are some crucial lessons about intimacy, including the importance of respecting personal boundaries. He also teaches audience members how to ask for what they want sexually or intimately – without having to play any of the games, including precisely how to handle a “No”.
“York is one of the most diverse campuses in Canada and each year it receives thousands of new students from a wide variety of backgrounds and life experiences provincially, nationally and internationally. A great many of these students have not been exposed to the level of diversity found on our campuses and may not appreciate how they could be vulnerable in certain situations,” says Noël Badiou, director of York’s Centre for Human Rights (CHR).
“York recognizes the potential for this vulnerability and continues to take action to increase safety for all of York’s community members. The ‘Can I Kiss You?’ event is one of these initiatives that helps raise greater awareness in an engaging manner about safety in the specific context of dating and intimate relationships,” says Badiou. “In the three years the event has been organized by the CHR, the message of safe and respectful dating practices has been well received.”
The show aims to inform and engage participants around the importance of respect and consent in dating. Through his role-playing with audience members and his portrayal of intriguing characters on stage, Domitrz engages everyone with this thought-provoking event by showing why asking first makes all the difference.
In addition, Domitrz will discuss skills for participants to use in their own relationships and how to intervene in potentially dangerous situations of others. Domitrz changes the educational approach from “No Means No” to teaching “Do You Ask?”, putting the responsibility where it belongs, on the person taking the action of touching another person.
“The event also stresses the importance of looking out for each other and being vigilant in situations where fellow York community members may be at risk, which is also very valuable as safety is a concern for every member of the greater York community and each of us has a role to play,” says Badiou.
The event is being sponsored by York’s Centre for Human Rights and Residence Life in Student Community & Leadership Development, along with the University’s college councils. GoSafe volunteers will be stationed at the Rexall Centre event to escort community members around campus after the event.
Several student groups, including Trans Bisexual Lesbian Gay at York (TBLGAY), the Aboriginal Students’ Association and Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Line & Leadership (SASSL), will be tabling and handing out information to students at the event to help inform students of the different resources and supports available on campus. In addition, American Sign Language interpretation will be provided at the event.
To view clips of Mike Domitrz’s past presentations and for more information about him, visit The Date Safe Project website.
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