March Guest Speaker: Anita Roberts, SafeTeen – Powerful Alternatives to Violence

Soroptimist International of Vancouver (“SI Vancouver”) was very happy and honoured to invite Ms. Anita Roberts, the founder of SafeTeen as Guest Speaker at our March 11th Meeting.

Many members in SI Vancouver have known Anita as Soroptimist 2011 Ruby Award recipient. Soroptimist Ruby Award is the award that honours the woman who, through her profession, has worked to improve the lives of women and girls, has had a significant impact on the lives of women and girls, and would inspire and encourage other women.

Governor of Western Canada Region, Dana Martin who attended SI Vancouver meeting that night was very excited to meet and chat with Anita again. She still remembered Anita’s impressive keynote speech at Soroptimist Western Canada Region Conference in Kamloops.


Anita started her speech with a beautiful Ode to Teenagers:

What is sullen then cheerful?
Is a handful, an ear-full
Can change on a dime
Plugged in or unplugged or always on line?

What makes us tearful
And at times fearful
Is both foolish and wise
And expert at pulling wool over our eyes?


When we make a mistake
It brings such heartache
Admit, apologize, that’s the direction
The gift is revealing our own imperfection.

Be present be mindful and cultivate joy
Have so much faith in your girl or boy
Live your own song
Come from the heart and we will not go wrong

They will find their own voice
Give them the power of choice
The skills to stand strong
The space to just be and find their own song. #

We have learned from her speech: In the situation where we encounter danger and fear, we have to breathe up to turn ourselves into a power mode as an alternative way to fight against violence – Powerful Alternatives to Violence!

Anita is the author of the book, “SafeTeen – Powerful Alternatives to Violence.” This book has been translated into Japanese and Traditional Chinese.

Soroptimist International of Vancouver - March Guest Speaker, Anita Roberts, SafeTeen

Her confidence and passion in her 40-year profession working in the field of violence prevention and women’s empowerment have successfully spread her messages out globally.

How powerful and effective Anita’s speech was? Look at the group picture we shot immediately after her speech – we started to raise up our arms and set into a confident TA DA pose that Anita just taught us – which was different from the “traditional” style we used to stand.


SI Vancouver would love to seek any possibility to work with Anita and SafeTeen program to benefit a wider range of women and girls in our community.

Anita Roberts’ Speech at TED

About Anita Roberts:

About SafeTeen: