Qmunity executive director CJ Rowe leaves for new SFU sexual violence prevention office

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      Vancouver-based queer organization Qmunity has announced the departure of their executive director.

      On September 8, the non-profit LGBT centre issued a statement to state that their executive director CJ Rowe has accepted a position at another organization.

      Rowe began in the position in June 2016, replacing Dara Parker who left the position in March 2016 after four years. Rowe has also regularly contributed commentaries to the Georgia Straight.

      While transition arrangements are underway at Qmunity, an executive search firm will also be identifying candidates for the position.

      The statement also indicates that the new executive director will be in charge of the development of the new Qmunity space located at Davie and Burrard streets.

      The new 10,000-square-foot space, which will replace the current second-floor premises at Bute and Davie streets, was announced at Qmunity's International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia Breakfast by Mayor Gregor Robertson in May.

      Vancouver councillor Tim Stevenson and Qmunity executive director CJ Rowe, at Qmunity's 13th annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia in May 
      Craig Takeuchi

      On September 7, Simon Fraser University announced that Rowe has been appointed as the director of the newly created Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office.

      Rowe (who uses the pronouns they, their, and them) has previously worked for 10 years as diversity advisor at the University of British Columbia, and helped lead the development and implementation of UBC's Sexual Assault Intervention and Prevention Education Plan. Rowe also has worked as a policy analyst with the Ottawa-based women's resource centre Womenspace.

      Rowe has a UBC doctorate in education, a master of arts in legal studies from Carleton University, and two bachelor of arts degrees in sociology.

      “Dr. Rowe is well-respected across the country for not only their breadth and depth of knowledge of the topic, but also because of the collaborative and intersectional way in which they approach this work," SFU vice-president, academic and provost, Peter Keller stated in a news release. "I believe Dr. Rowe will engage the various members of the SFU community—students, faculty and staff—in meaningful dialogue about sexual violence and through these conversations, will help shift culture in a positive way.”

      The Georgia Straight contacted Rowe for comment but they were unavailable for an interview due to being away from Vancouver at the moment.

      However, in a news release, Rowe expressed appreciation for being accepted in the new position.

      “SFU is currently engaged with creative educational programing such as active bystander intervention, leading consent-based communication and cultural shifts, supporting survivors, and exploring healthy boundaries and relationships," Rowe stated. "This work is critical in building a supportive campus. I look forward to collaborating with the broader campus community to build upon existing programming from a feminist, intersectional, and anti-oppressive lens. Together, we will bring the University’s Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy into action."