5 speakers, 5 topics on love, women's health

Carol Todd to talk about how social emotional learning can save kids' lives; other speakers discuss body image, empowerment and LGBTQ+ issues

Valentines’ Day is quickly approaching but there are times when a box of chocolates is not enough for the women in our lives.

Tomorrow, Feb. 11, a local business college is hosting a series of talks, Be the Love, 5 Talks on Loving Yourself and Loving Others, with the focus being women’s empowerment, with proceeds to support a pay-what-you-can counselling service for people in need.

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Among the speakers will be Carol Todd, who channeled her grief over the suicide of her daughter Amanda Todd, into a non-profit that supports mental health and well-being for Tri-City children.

Todd, founder of the Amanda Todd Legacy Society and is also a School District 43 learning resource teacher, will speak on “Educating the whole person: How social and emotional learning (SEL) can save lives.”

Todd’s daughter, Amanda Todd, was a victim of cyberbullying and sextortion and was 15 when she died by suicide, weeks after posting a heart-wrenching YouTube video detailing her bullying and online exploitation.

Since her daughter’s death, Todd has become a staunch anti-bullying and pro mental health advocate. 

Social and Emotional Learning is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive attitudes.

Other speakers include:

Angela Marie MacDougall, executive director of the Battered Women’s Support Services, who will speak on “Stand in your power. Use your voice”; Alex Sangha, founder of Sher Vancouver, will speak on “Loving our LGBTQ+ family,” Renae Regehr, will speak on “Loving Your Body,” and Dr. Saira Sabzaali, a registered clinical counsellor, will speak on “Finding meaningful “me-time.”

All proceeds from this fundraiser will go to Moving Forward Family Services (MFFS), a non-profit that provides free or affordable professional counselling services to those who cannot afford private therapy. MFFS offers thousands of free therapy sessions each week in donated spaces from Vancouver to Mission. For more information or to donate, visit mffs.ca.

The event takes place  Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Bell Performing Arts Centre in Surrey, 6250 144 St, Surrey, from 7-9 p.m.

Tickets are $10and available at Eventbrite.

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