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Farrah Khan

Consent Culture Educator and Activist

Farrah Khan picked up a microphone to speak out about sexual assault as a teenager and has not put it down since.  As a nationally recognized counsellor, educator, and policy advisor, she has spent two decades working diligently to raise awareness on this topic.  Farrah’s innovative research, passion, and sense of humour create an engaging dialogue that highlights pleasure and fun while addressing the realities of gender-based violence.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

Pleasure Principles: Cultivating Consent, Accountability and Empathy on Campus 
Talking about consent and pleasure can be awkward. Too often there is an expectation that youth should automatically know how to communicate boundaries, be accountable to their peers and handle rejection. The reality is many young people struggle with knowing what to say or do when things get weird and maybe feel unsafe. Prioritizing fun and pleasure over shame and fear, Farrah shares principles that help students better navigate through these experiences. Through storytelling and pop culture examples, Farrah uses her research and sense of humour to help students understand how sex and relationships are a collaboration not a conquest. She will also share ways for students to intervene in situations that could lead to sexual violence and support others when they disclose their experience. Farrah skillfully facilitates inclusive discussions that leave students entertained and inspired with tangible tools that prevent sexual violence on campus.

Cultivating Consent Culture in the Workplace
From movie sets to bars to the boardroom, there is an unprecedented conversation about sexual harassment in the workplace happening in North America. This keynote and/or interactive workshop is an opportunity to talk about sexual harassment and how the changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act impact employees. Drawing from two decades of experience as an educator, counsellor and policy advisor, Farrah Khan will share tangible ways to be an effective ally to prevent and address harm. Together with participants she establishes a shared language about the continuum of gender-based violence and consent. Using scenarios and pop culture references, participants will explore how to connect with their peers, “call in” individuals, and support survivors. You will leave equipped with meaningful skills to recognize the signs of workplace violence and harassment, respond effectively to disclosure and how to refer to appropriate resources.

Creating Campuses Where Consent Comes First
There is an unprecedented degree of conversation in North America on sexual violence at post-secondary campuses. Drawing from two decades of experience in addressing sexual violence as an educator, counsellor and policy advisor, Farrah shares how educators and staff can proactively address sexual violence on campuses. As a recognized leader in the field, she provides tangible tools to actively intervene to prevent sexual violence. Beyond prevention, Farrah shares strategies to respond effectively to disclosures of sexual violence and work with those who have caused harm. Using examples from her own work, Farrah establishes a shared language about the continuum of sexual violence, myths of harassment, consent and trauma. She demystifies complicated regulations and procedures to ensure the greatest level of accessibility of the issue. Participants will leave inspired with meaningful strategies to engage faculty, staff and students to take an active role in preventing sexual violence.

Platform Plus

Panelist/In Conversation

Farrah's background allows her to bring fascinating insights and lively discussion on a range of topics including: the nature of consent; the silencing around sexual violence takes place within the LGBT community; how race plays such a huge factor in how the media addresses both survivors and perpetrators of sexual assault; and how the very words we use to speak about sex affect our understanding of the issues.

Workshop - Cultivating Consent Culture in the Workplace

This interactive workshop addresses the changes to the Occupational Health and Safety Act for employers and employees. Through a participatory session using public scenarios and pop culture references, you'll learn and explore:

1 - Tangible ways to be an effective ally to prevent and address harm.
2 - Effective language for addressing the continuum of gender-based violence and consent.
3 - How to connect with your peers and support survivors.
4 - How to source effective resources to help.

You will leave equipped with meaningful skills to recognize the signs of workplace violence and harassment and respond effectively to disclosure .

Awards

2017
Fashion Magazine | Ten Favourite Feminist Role Models

2016
Community Educator Award, Harmony

2013
Canadian Women’s Foundation | Michele Landsberg Award

2011
Toronto Community Foundation | Toronto Vital People Award
Toronto Star | Top Ten People to Watch

2010
Urban Alliance on Race Relations | Community Award
The Canadian Council of Muslim Women | Women Who Inspire Award

  • Miss Khan handled the subject with delicacy...She offered examples to inspire...and her keynote gave those in attendance a lot to think about... It underscored the importance in providing a space in our communities where conversations can take place addressing sexual violence. And that while we all should speak out on the issue, our first step must be to listen. - The Martlet, University of Victoria

Summary Profile

Farrah Khan’s experience as a nationally recognized gender justice advocate informs all of her work. Farrah speaks across North America to help organizations recognize and address harassment, gender-based violence, consent, bystander intervention, trauma and disclosures. Farrah’s heart and compassion is exhibited in everything she does and it is this quality that makes her an exceptional speaker, advocate and change maker.

Farrah holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto and is the Sexual Violence Support and Education Coordinator at Ryerson University. Farrah regularly contributes to national media, including CBC The National, Toronto Star and the Globe and Mail for her expertise in addressing violence against women.

In 2016, she was appointed to the Government of Canada’s Federal Strategy Against Gender-based Violence Advisory Council. She was named co-chair of Ontario’s first permanent provincial roundtable on Violence Against Women in 2015 for her subject matter knowledge and collaborative approach to addressing the systemic, community and personal barriers that survivors of sexual violence face.  On both the Roundtable and Council, Farrah provides high level advice to governments on emerging issues.  

She has created innovative educational tools including a bystander intervention program and a colouring and activity book for survivors and allies entitled, We Believe You. The colouring book has been used across North America by educational institutions and sexual assault crisis centres.

Farrah’s move to work in a university setting hasn’t dampened her passion for grassroots organizing. Farrah developed, with other feminists, the #WeBelieveSurvivors campaign in response to the Jian Ghomeshi trial. The hashtag became a rallying cry that dominated social media and reframed public discourse on sexual violence.

Her infectious passion for the subject and accessible approach makes her a sought out speaker. Farrah is dedicated to ensuring marginalized voices are centered, heard and amplified. She supports survivors leadership by helping them engage with mainstream media, lobby policymakers and build campaigns. She mentors young feminist groups including We Give Consent, Project Slut and femifesto. With femifesto Farrah researched and created Use the Right Words: Media Reporting on Sexual Violence for journalists.

As an author, Farrah wrote Caring for Yourself is a Radical Act, an illustrative self care guide for youth working in community that explores trauma, institutional betrayal and community care. She also edited Heartbeats: the IZZAT Project, a graphic novella and co-wrote the play based on the book about healing from family violence as South Asian young women.

Farrah works tirelessly to ensure the diverse communities who have been subjected to multiple forms of violence are heard. She uses art to explore inclusion, healing and justice. Since 2007 she has created award winning programming for Muslim women to create, conspire and connect including: Our Collective Dreams,  AQSAzine and Outburst! Young Muslim Women Project. Farrah’s work with Outburst was chronicled in the award winning 2016 documentary called Listen To Me.  Her short films about being queer and Muslim have been exhibited at A Space Gallery, screened at the Art Gallery of Ontario, as well as at festivals in the Mix Festival New York and the BFI LGBTQ Festival UK.

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