Founded by Beverly Jacobs, (former Amnesty International researcher and past president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada) the Embracing the Families Gathering is an initiative to bring together family members of Aboriginal women who have been confirmed murdered or remain missing. The intent is to provide a venue and organized gathering for family members of the disappeared to identify the support that they need at the grassroots level and advance strategies for ensuring that these needs are met.
The Embracing the Families online fundraiser is dedicated exclusively to raising the funds necessary to make this gathering possible. As partners in this initiative, Amnesty International has agreed to receive and hold funds until they are ready to be directly administered for the event. 100% of the proceeds will be dedicated to the gathering.
In efforts to raise awareness and encourage donations, a social media campaign entitled, “Stop the Silence” has been created by project collaborators, The Mix 3 Productions Ltd., an Aboriginal owned media company based in Vancouver, B.C. This includes a collaborative video poem written by Canadian slam poet, Khodi Dill and First Nations rap artist, Theresa Point, as well as an online benefit concert featuring some of Canada’s leading Aboriginal musical talent.
The date and details of the planned gathering has yet to be determined. The success of the online fundraiser will help determine the size, timing and location of the gathering.