Tag Archives: LGBTQ

nsjf 2011: ART SPACE

ART SPACE at the 2011 Niagara Social Justice Forum
Art in relation to marginalized communities and social justice has a long, complex and radical history. The committee of the Niagara Social Justice Forum honours this history and is committed to the concept of ‘art as a tool of social justice’. We are thus excited to have 3 distinct art series be presented at this years forum.

Each series is vital to the discussion of social justice and touch on complex issues that ultimately interconnect (as all issues do).

Below is information about each series that will be displayed in Pond Inlet from 9am – 4pm during the 2011 forum. We hope these small teasers will excite you to see all of the work live and get you thinking about your own participation in art as a tool for social justice.

Top Row: tapestry about homelessness by tina hjorngaard.
Middle Row: photos from Art to Help Save Pigs 
left: photo by Kevin Weil and right: Caged Pig by Dirk Giesselmann.
Bottom Row: photos from OUTWords –
left: photo by Sarah-Lee Umraugh and right: photo by Sofia Guerrieri.

COMMUNITY and HOMELESSNESS
an art project by tina hjorngaard, Ryerson social work student
Artist Statement: “I have created a communicative quilt through a participatory research project on homelessness. The end result is a work comprised of visual depictions of the meaning of ‘home’ from the perspectives of people with lived experiences of home-lessness in and around the greater Toronto area.”

ART to HELP SAVE PIGS
curated by SJES 5P70 student Ian Purdy

Artist Statement: “Art to Help Save Pigs is an initiative of the Toronto Pig Save collective. The multimedia art exhibit aims to promote animal rights and veganism by highlighting the plight of pigs and other “farm animals” heading to Toronto’s slaughterhouses by showing both what is and what is possible in our relationship with these complex creatures.”

For more info about Art to Help Save Pigs visit: http://torontopigsave.wordpress.com

OUTWords: A free program brought to you by The People Project (Toronto) mashing up media arts, leadership, queer-stories and current issues from around the world to fuel an OUTWords movement of young Spectrum LGBTTQQ2SIA* leaders.
participating artists: Anna Belayev, Javier Cacheiro, Heidi Cho, Sofia Guerrieri, Romeo Pierre, Gabriela Rodriguez, and Sarah-Lee Umraugh.

OUTWords is an intensive arts and leadership program for spectrum youth primarily between 17 and 21.  Participants have access to art, readings, videos, and activities that explore LGBTTQQ2SIA* histories and issues. The program encourages critical thinking, creative expression and collective advocacy.

The People Project is a collective and social enterprise dedicated to the practice and engagement of people empowerment for social change. Founded by youth leaders Kim Crosby and Natalyn Tremblay, The People Project works closely with Toronto’s LGBT youth community providing innovative and participatory arts and leadership programs and projects.

For more info about OUTWords and/or The People Project contact:  info@thepeopleproject.ca or visit: http://www.thepeopleproject.ca

*LGBTTQQ2SIA: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transexual, Queer, Questioning, 2-Spirited, Intersex and Asexual.

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nsjf 2010 featured in the Brock Press!

In the March 16th edition of the Brock Press, BP wrote a news feature about the Niagara Social Justice Forum 2010. Check it out below.

Brock Press: Brock University’s Local Newspaper
www.brockpress.com

Issue date: 03/16/10
Section: News

4th annual Social Justice Forum to take place at Brock
by Jacquie Clancy

On Saturday, March 20, Brock University will host the fourth annual Niagara Social Justice Forum at the Pond Inlet. The Forum is hosted by the Social Justice and Equity Studies (SJES) program at Brock and is sponsored by the SJES department, the Office of the Dean of Social Sciences, OPIRG Brock and the Women’s Studies, Child and Youth Studies and Sociology departments.

Cristina Murano, an SJES Masters student and Research Assistant at Brock, is a part of the Forum’s organizing committee, and will also be running a workshop that is a part of the daylong event. Along with Murano, two other Research Assistants, six Professors, an OPIRG representative and graduate student volunteers make up the organizing committee for the forum.

The focus of the Forum this year is largely based on the importance of community involvement. “The last few years they have been trying to make it a community building initiative for activists and social justice folks in the Niagara region, and that could be both on campus and off,” Murano said.

Murano is new to the Brock community and the Niagara Social Justice Forum, and this is her first year participating in the organizing of the event. However, she has been involved in activist work in the past and explained that her “involvement is new, but the work isn’t new”.

As mentioned, Murano is not only a part of the organizing committee, but is also running one of the 10 workshops that will take place during the Forum. Her workshop is entitled “The Other Side of Consciousness: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Queer Films” and will screen eight short films, each looking at a different issue in the LGBTQ community, followed by a question and answer session.

“I thought it would be great to do a workshop on how filmmaking can be a tool for social change,” said Murano, who will be screening a film that she directed and produced herself, entitled Chosen Family Love. Murano’s film was completed as a part of the Queer Youth Digital Video Project and was then screened at the Inside Out Film Festival in May of 2009. This particular workshop is only one of 10 workshops all focused on a different social justice issue; other workshops are focused on issues of Aboriginal Rights or the Homeless in Niagara.

“My workshop is one of many that is about an issue that needs attention. No matter where you are, people are thinking about issues of oppression and privilege and thinking about social justice issues,” she said. “The Forum is a really good way to introduce yourself to different kinds of themes and different work that people are doing on [these] issues.”

Although the event is being put on at Brock University, the entire Niagara community is involved with the social justice issues and workshops being explored throughout the Forum. “The Forum is a platform for community building and also bringing people together […] it’s kind of a way to bring it all together,” Murano said.

The Forum begins at 9:30 a.m. on March 20 and includes three sessions of workshops throughout the day followed by the Plenary in the Pond Inlet, which includes a screening of the film Six Miles Deep – a documentary about the Six Nations conflict in Caledonia. To round up the day’s events, there will be a performance of The Vagina Monologues at Market Square in downtown St. Catharines.

This is an important event that the organizing committee has worked hard to ensure will be informative and enjoyable for all its participants, from students to professors and community members. “I think for anybody interested in social justice issues, who want to make connections with people at Brock who are doing work in areas of social justice, [the Forum] is a really good space to make connections and network with people,” Murano said. “So if there are initiatives that students want to get involved in and they don’t know where to go or who to talk to, then this is a really good place for them to go to find out.”

The day-long Forum is free to attend and lunch is provided. The Vagina Monologues performance costs $10, with all proceeds going to the Niagara Sexual Assault Centre. For more information visit: www.niagarasocialjusticeforum.wordpress.com

The online version of this story can be found at:  www.brockpress.com/media/storage/paper384/news/2010/03/16/News/4th-Annual.Social.Justice.Forum.To.Take.Place.At.Brock-3890926.shtml

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nsjf 2010: The Other Side of Consciousness: LGBTQ Films

The Other Side of Consciousness:
Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Films
This workshop, as part of Session 2 Workshops at the nsjf 2010, will feature 8 short films that combine media, story-telling and honesty to engage with issues of sexuality, race, disability, gender, family, love, loss, Diaspora, home and self-acceptance. This event will be a space for those that identify as LGBTQ, questioning, and/or allies to gather and watch LGBTQ stories. It will also facilitate discussion around filmmaking as a tool for social change, particularly as it applies to marginalized communities. The structure of the event is 65 – 70 minutes of film screenings, followed by a 20 – 25 minute Question and Answer period. *Q & A to follow with directors Onyinyechukwu Udegbe and Cristina Murano.

7 of the 8 films are products of the Queer Youth Digital Video Project (QYDVP) and all films have screened at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival (www.insideout.ca).

[This event is organized by Cristina Murano, a graduate student in the Social Justice and Equity Studies program at Brock University and a past participant of the Queer Youth Digital Video Project.]

QYDVP History
In 1998, with the support of Charles Street Video (www.charlesstreetvideo.com), the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film and Video Festival initiated the QYDVP to provide opportunities for youth to learn video production in a supportive atmosphere. The QYDVP provides young artists with hands-on access to the latest video technology – which historically has been financially out of reach for most youth. As well, the QYDVP provides one-on-one mentorship and training with professional artists. LGBTQ youth under the age of 25 are mentored through the process of making their first videos – from storyboarding and shooting to post-production and editing.

After completion the works are screened at Inside Out and many have gone on to play at festivals around the globe. Each year, the videos are compiled on DVD and distributed free to schools and community organizations. To date, 77 youth have created work through the Project.

Description of Films in Accordance with their Stills Above:

Left Row, Top to Bottom:

Onyinyechukwu Udegbe: Everyday Monsters
Canada 2009  VIDEO 9 MIN
One woman watch(ed) – to stay at home within her own skin, navigating spirituality, bloodlines, sex, race and disability.

Karine Silverwoman: Hello, My Name is Herman
Canada 2007  VIDEO 9 MIN
Prepare to meet the filmmaker’s 91 year-old grandpa Herman.

Natalia Eileene Petite: A Refugee’s Refuge
Canada 2009  VIDEO 10 MIN
A refugee struggles with gender identity discrimination in the country she thought would be safe.

Cristina Murano: Chosen Family Love
Canada 2009  VIDEO 13 MIN
This documentary explores one woman’s complex journey through family as she negotiates sexuality, trauma, healing and love.

Right Row, Top to Bottom:

Mohamed Ali: Haram
Canada 2007  VIDEO 6 MIN
A mother wants her son to succeed in life yet finds herself grappling with more immediate issues.

Justine Yang: Cello in the Closet
Canada 2004  VIDEO 5 MIN
Lying in the darkness you will suffer temptation.

Gabrielle Zilkha: The Check-Up
Canada 2008  VIDEO 6 MIN
A patient emerges with an unusual diagnosis after a visit to the gynaecologist.

Krys McGuire: How to Build A Man
Canada 2007  VIDEO 4 MIN
Sound and text blast the message home.

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nsjf 2010 Workshops: Session 2

Niagara Social Justice Forum 2010: Saturday, March 20th from 9 a.m. – 5:45pm Pond Inlet, Brock University: FREE! Lunch Provided 🙂

11:30: SESSION 2: Workshops

Aboriginal Children in Care of Children’s Aid Societies
Presentation by: Wendy Sturgeon, Executive  Director, Niagara Chapter-Native Women Inc. & Marie Jones, Aboriginal Child Advocate, Niagara Chapter-Native Women Inc.
   Indigenous Children’s Rights are a social justice issue. There is a long history of dominant societies not only oppressing Indigenous individuals, families and entire communities but also creating legislation to keep Indigenous individuals in an inferior position, unable to succeed inter-generationally. This legislation was put in place to extinguish Native people altogether, and has been a powerful force of genocide.
   This presentation will take the observer / audience through the macro-view to the micro-view and will include the following: Truth Telling and History from a global / national Indigenous perspective, and an examination of the Ontario and Niagara perspective. There will be a fact sharing activity to demonstrate the effect of colonialism on indigenous children, particularly in North America and Canada.

The Other Side of Consciousness: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Queer Films
This event will feature 8 short films that combine media, story-telling and honesty to engage with issues of sexuality, race, disability, gender, family, love, loss, Diaspora, home and self-acceptance. This event will be a space for those that identify as LGBTQ, questioning, and/or allies to gather and watch LGBTQ stories. It will also facilitate discussion around filmmaking as a tool for social change, particularly as it applies to marginalized communities. *Q & A to follow with directors Onyinyechukwu Udegbe and Cristina Murano.

Conflict, Violence and Reconciliation: Lessons to be Drawn from Colombia
Invite conversation on conflict, violence and memory by using visual archival material. Focus on the visual record and memory as forms of labour, the meaning of truth and justice in visual media, the forms silence takes in the visual record, and solidarity work in the visual field in Canada.

Naming Homelessness
Our perceptions of youth homelessness tend to come from reports of youth in large urban centres or perhaps television ads for Covenant House in Toronto. The panel for this workshop will examine youth homelessness in Niagara.  We will hear from a participant in a study of youth homelessness and learn more about the causes and challenges of youth homelessness.

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nsjf 2010: Schedule

Niagara Social Justice Forum 2010
Saturday, March 20th
9 a.m. – 5:45pm
Pond Inlet, Brock University
Price: FREE. Lunch Provided
 
Evening performance of The Vagina Monologues
Market Square, Downtown St.Catharines
7:30 p.m.
Price: $10: All proceeds go to the Niagara Sexual Assault Centre.
Hosted by OPIRG. Refreshments provided.

 

Schedule:

8:45: DOORS OPEN. Coffee Available
9:00: Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:30: SESSION 1: Workshops
– Niagara’s Threatened Beautiful Landscapes
– Proper Shelter Saves Lives (Habitat for Humanity)
– Building Global Solidarity with Migrant Farm Workers in the Niagara Region
 
11:00: Coffee Break and Information Tables
 
11:30: SESSION 2: Workshops
– Aboriginal Children in Care of Children’s Aid Societies
– The Other Side of Consciousness: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Queer Films
– Conflict, Violence and Reconciliation: Lessons to be Drawn from Colombia
– Naming Homelessness
 
1:00: LUNCH
 
2:15: SESSION 3: Workshops
– Native Woman – Endangered Species
– Food Sovereignty in the Global South: A Development and Peace Appeal
– Peace Cafes: Opening Your Own Community Centre for Peace Education and Social Justice
 
3:45: Coffee Break and Information Tables
 
4:15: PLENARY: Film – Six Miles Deep (2009) about the Haudenosaunee Women and the Six Nations/Caledonia Conflict. Panel to follow with Director Sara Roque.
 
5:35: Drumming and Closing Remarks
_
For map, visit:
http://butler.brocku.ca/facilitiesmgmt/MB-CAMPUS-MAP.htm
*Pond Inlet is located in “J” block of the MacKenzie Chown Complex which is directly north of the Zone 1/Lot A parking lot

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15 Days Away: nsjf 2010 Is Fast Approaching!

In just over two weeks the 4th annual Niagara Social Justice Forum is happening at Brock University, and the excitement is definitely building!
 
The Forum, based on the World Social Forum model, provides a dynamic space for dialogue and learning. The model invites diverse groups to mount self-organized activities in a common space in their own ways and on their own terms, but within a shared commitment to social justice broadly understood.
 
Self-organized individuals and groups responded to an open call for proposals and put the day’s program together, which features exhibits, workshops, information tables, music, film, theatre and food.
 
“The organizers of this event were mindful to create an open and shared space for community groups and individuals to encounter one another without any interference in how they choose to do that,” says Janet Conway, one of the event’s lead organizers and a Canada Research Chair in Social Justice at the University. “We had about 85 people at the first Forum in 2007 and last year’s event attracted more than 150 participants. We also had more workshop applications that we could accommodate this year.”
 
“We’re encouraged by this growth and the fact that we are able to provide an open forum for individuals and groups working for social change in Niagara to connect with one another,” adds Conway. “The organizing committee has heard from past participants that the Forum has helped groups and individuals with like-minded interests and concerns to come together.”

The Forum opens at 8:45 a.m., and there are 10 workshops taking place throughout the day from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Workshop topics include Niagara’s threatened landscapes, homelessness, Aboriginal children and Children’s Aid Societies, food sovereignty, migrant farm workers in Niagara and Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Queer films, just to name a few.
 
The event’s Plenary at 4 p.m. looks at women’s leadership in the Six Nations/Caledonia land claim dispute and will feature a screening of the documentary film Six Miles Deep, followed by a talk with its director Sara Roque. This film tells the story behind the headlines and offers a compelling look into a community where the achievements and roles of women have long been admired and respected.
 
The day’s program will finish off at 5:20 p.m. with a performance by the Aboriginal big drum group Gathering Thunder.
 
Forum attendees are then invited downtown for a special evening performance of the Vagina Monologues at Market Square, St. Catharines at 7:30 p.m. Admission for this event is $10 with proceeds going to Niagara Sexual Assault Centre.
 
The Niagara Social Justice Forum features free lunch and drinking water and dishes will be provided. The event is fully accessible (wheelchairs, sign language) and childcare services are available on-site. Please register before March 8 for sign language and childcare services.
            
The Forum is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Social Sciences, the departments of Social Justice and Equity Studies, Child and Youth Studies, Sociology and Women’s Studies, and OPIRG Brock.

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nsjf 2009: Schedule

3rd Annual Niagara Social Justice Forum
Saturday, April 4, 2009.
9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Pond Inlet, Brock University
FREE ADMISSION!  ALL WELCOME!

And new this year! Cycle to the Forum as part of a bike pool!
Details: Gather at 8:00 am at Westchester and Glenridge.
Wear a helmet and dress for visibility.
Organized by Garden City Alliance for Sustainable Transportation.

2009 Schedule of activities includes:

Workshops:
– Nothing about us without us! ‘Photovoice’ as research & community development method
– Healing in Aboriginal nations
– Faculty for Palestine
– Arts Education and Social Justice: The Beautiful Women Project
– Migrant Workers in Niagara
– Finding Home: Working with LGBTQ Newcomer Youth
– Social Justice in the Classroom: A Diversity of Perspectives
– A featured performance of Tomson Highway’s “Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing
AND!
Art exhibits
Information tables
Music
Food

Also! Check out our evening coffee house!
Doors open 6:30.
‘Pay what you can’ donation
Live music, poetry and art!
Proceeds go to the artists.

The evening coffee house is hosted by the graduate students in Social Justice and Equity Studies, in partnership with Strega Café.
(Strega Café is located at 19 King Street, Downtown St. Catharines).

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