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Saanich's Joel James Conway a man with a mission With International Women's Day still fresh in his mind, Joel James Conway says it's an ideal time to talk about sex education.
But you know it isn't just going to be about the birds and the bees. Conway, 30, is a husband, father and reformed porn addict on a mission to end exploitation and gender based violence and teach boys to become men of honour, respect and integrity. To fulfil the mandate of his social justice organization, the Fortress Foundation, Conway and his supporters are creating stories they hope will empower future generations to build a better world. Mary Galloway, the award winning First Nations actor and filmmaker, is among those lending their talents to one such story, Aspirations. The digital short, filmed in December, is the first instalment of Shift, the foundation's 12 part web series designed to encourage young men, those most likely to be affected by negative pop cultural influences in the sexualized digital age, to have more respect for pandora charms specials women and to make positive life choices. "One out of three women have been raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetime," says Conway, a Saanich resident, who worries that Hollywood and the porn industry have become sex educators in the absence of effective sex education at home and schools. The foundation aims to use the technology and platforms young men are familiar with to address the root causes of gender based violence. Aspirations draws upon the story pandora charms website of Brittni Ruiz, who worked for seven years as porn star Jenna Presley. She battled booze and drugs, and attempted suicide before leaving porn for God. Ruiz's story is paralleled with a high school drama featuring Galloway's character Celeste, an impressionable young aboriginal hip hop dancer who seeks love and fame pandora official website uk through the approval of her dance squad leader. The short film was directed by Alex Miller and shot by Victoria based cinematographer David Malysheff. Conway admits he was once one of the impressionable young men he's trying to reach. "I was into hip hop and I thought being a 'pimp' was a synonym for cool, but it's not cool," he said. "I [bought into] all those culturally embraced perspectives for years before it became clear to me they were inappropriate." Conway's inspiration came from "the brokenness in my own marriage" exacerbated by his longtime addiction to pornography, he says. "I didn't see the problem with it, but then I realized there is a facilitation culture we live in that allows for these social injustices to prevail," he says, noting human trafficking is one nasty byproduct. "Human trafficking has been a buzzword for some time and most of us think: 'That's what happens in Cambodia and Thailand.' But, no, this is what is happening next door. It's sexual exploitation." A video posted on Facebook last weekend in which Terry Cruz, the actor and former NFL player, revealed how he had been addicted pandora promotions australia 2014 to pornography for years, was a reminder of how prevalent it is. In the video, Cruz said porn addiction is a worldwide problem. "It really, really messed up my life in a lot of ways," he said. Conway's relationship with Nicole, his high school sweetheart who became pregnant with their oldest son, now seven, on her 19th birthday, has survived. The couple have another son, age two, with another child on the way. Nicole, 27, has taught sexual health in schools and is Conway's partner in the foundation. "The best accountability partner I could find was my wife, who is a strong, empowered woman," Conway said. Aspirations was made with support from social and law enforcement agencies and hundreds of volunteers, including dancers from Vibestreet Dance studio. "It was incredible seeing the community activated on such short notice," he says. Having Malysheff on board was "a godsend. He came on in such a dynamic way." Casting Galloway, seen at this year's Victoria Film Festival in her short film Ariel Unravelling and Fire Song, was a coup, as much because of her passion for the material as her acting ability, Conway says. After learning more about Conway's goals, Galloway says she didn't hesitate to accept the role despite its darker aspects.
"I've had to play similar dramatic scenes that can be tough unless you have the training to handle it," she says. "These are the kind of movies I want to be involved in, and want to promote." Aspirations will be available online following its VIP premire at the Parkside Victoria Hotel on May 5.
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