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Humberto – Executive Director, White Ribbon


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Atheist Republic (News)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): n.d.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What was family background and personal background in terms of becoming started in activism that is against violence against women?

Humberto Carolo: It dates back to my student years. Even as a boy and young man, I have always been interested in social causes and in the helping profession. It is an early interest of mine, back in the early years when I lost my mother when I was 6-years-old.

It led me on the path to begin studying social sciences, studying the gender relations and sociology, human sexuality. I did a lot of volunteer work while I was in university. I got in student council and student politics.

I was the human rights officer for our student council here at the University of Toronto. When I graduated, I started working in the community in HIV prevention. I have gone to White Ribbon when it officially opened up to coordinate initiatives between Canada and Brazil on the topic of engaging men and boys in gender equality and reducing violence against women.

That opened the pathway into this work.

Jacobsen: It is the largest organization of men and boys looking to prevent and eventually end violence against women and girls. With that as its mandate, what is its current status since it was started in 1991 in Toronto?

Carolo: It was created by 3 men 2 years after the December 6th Montreal Massacre. Our founders felt men needed to come forward, step up, and speak out against violence against women. The White Ribbon as a symbol to pledge for men to never commit or condone or remain silent about violence against women.

It was a grassroots movement. It started in Toronto and spread across Canada and the United States. Further from there, today, we counted about 65+ countries around the globe where initiatives of White Ribbon, e.g. campaigns, have been implemented.

Jacobsen: How can people become involved with it?

Carolo: I would encourage everyone to visit our website at, connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. There is a pledge people can take online on our website. Then there are specific campaigns that we ask people to get involved with to make change and accept change for the individual and collective levels.

It Starts With You campaign starts with a series of things including fathers and family members and how they can promote gender equality and healthy relationships, and what people can do in everyday life.

We also provide tools for educators such as male teachers on how to engage students and how to be good role models on gender equality and respecting women in schools, in the community, and in the home.

It is engaging young people and young men on this issue because for us we know that most of the violence committed against women and girls is committed against men, but not all men believe in or use violence.

A lot of men stay violent because they do not know what to do or what to say. We try to encourage everyone and try to give men and everyone the tools and language to speak on these issues in the community, in the schools, in the workplace, and so on and so forth.

We ask people to check out our resources and campaigns to see how they can get involved in a way that makes sense for them. In a workplace, they can organize an event or a working group. Same at the universities with the campaign or starting a club.

They can start a task force and bring in speakers and organize events to help raise awareness. Or in our case here in Toronto, we help organize a Walk a Mile in Our Shoes. We invite everyone to literally walk a mile literally in the shoes in order to show support, raise awareness, and to stand in solidarity with women and girls.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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