Winnipeg MFRC pledges to weave 10,000 stars to end violence 

The Winnipeg Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) has made the pledge to weave together 10,000 stars for the One Million Stars to End Violence project. The hope is that this project can open the gate to conversations on violence of all forms.

As a Star Weaver Community, the Winnipeg MFRC will be spending the next few months encouraging community members and organizations to help make the 10,000 stars. The MFRC is reaching out to other MFRCs across the country, military organizations and community organizations in Winnipeg.

The Winnipeg MFRC is one of a handful of organizations in Canada that have made the Star Weaver Community pledge.

It was adult social services worker Kim Smyrski who first brought the idea to the MFRC after seeing an article on CBC Manitoba about the project.

“An international project that sends a positive message about violence against women, bullying and racism is something we want to be part of,” explained Smyrski.

The One Million Stars Campaign was started in 2012 by Samoan-Australian artist and weaver Maryann Talia Pau after a local woman was raped and murdered in Brunswick, Victoria, Australia. Every year Pau collects stars from across the world, from places like Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Europe and the US.

For its part, the Winnipeg MFRC plans to hold workshops for star weaving and will use unique materials, like the community newsletter, to weave their stars, says Symrski.

Military community members are encouraged to take part in the initiative by invite other military members and civilians to take part, include star weaving in their next board or staff meeting, challenge your local MFRC to set their own goals or even just weave solo.

“It’s been really heartwarming to see the commitment to this project,” said Smyrski.

The stars will be part of an international art installation comprising of one million stars that will be displayed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

In the past, stars have been displayed at  Royal Exhibition Building Melbourne, Queen St Mall Brisbane (G20), Myer Melbourne and the Sydney Opera House.

Smyrski hopes that the project can catalyst change within local communities and across Canada.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge that these issues exist inside and outside of the military community and that we have to have a conversation and dialogue about these subjects and look at how we can individually and collectively work towards a future where all genders can be safe, there’s no bullying, women can be safe and it doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation is,” noted Smyrski.

The Winnipeg MFRC goal to weave 10,000 stars is April.

To learn more about the One Million Stars project click here.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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