Tag Archives: Politics

EVENT: Indigenous Perspectives on the War of 1812

Alternative Histories and Artistic Representations

Alan Corbiere, Ojibwe Cultural Foundation, Shelly Niro, artist, and curator Carol Jacobs, Brock University Elder in residence

Moderated by Renée Bedard, Tecumseh Centre

PLUS the exhibit:
Four Artists from Six Nations, paintings & photographs by Haudenosaunee artists

Friday, March 23rd, 3 – 5 pm | Niagara Artists Centre | 354 St. Paul Street | http://www.nac.org/home.html

This event is organized by the Social Justice and Equity Studies Program at Brock University in place of the Niagara Social Justice Forum for 2012. We hope you can join us.

Sponsors: Social Justice and Equity Studies MA, History Department, Aboriginal Education Council, Tecumseh Centre for Aboriginal Research and Education, Aboriginal Student Services, Women’s and Gender Studies, Brock University, and the Niagara Artists Centre

Questions? Contact Professor Margot Francis: mfrancis@brocku.ca


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nsjf 2011: Thank You & Photos from the Forum!

A big, warm, heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who attended and participated in the 2011 Niagara Social Justice Forum. We, the 2011 NSJF committee, hope everyone who was involved in the pre-forum organizing and hosted/participated in a workshop, art series, performance and/or panel on April 9th had a spectacular experience. THANK YOU again for being an instrumental part of the forum and social justice as a whole.

See you next year 🙂
And if you are interested in hosting a workshop, panel, art series and/or performance at the 2012 Niagara Social Justice Forum please visit our website in the fall for information about submissions.
All the best,
2011 Niagara Social Justice Forum Committee

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nsjf 2011: Brock hosts 5th Annual Niagara Social Justice Forum April 9

by Jeffrey Sinibaldi
University Marketing and Communications
905-688-5550 x4687

March 30th, 2011

On Saturday, April 9, the Social Justice and Equity Studies program at Brock will host the fifth annual Niagara Social Justice Forum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Pond Inlet and various other locations at the University. This full-day event is free and open to everyone.
This annual event is an open forum for individuals and groups working for social change in Niagara to connect with and interact with one another.
“Last year, we attracted more than 170 participants, which is more than double the number of people we had out to our first forum in 2007,” says Margot Francis, assistant professor, Sociology, and member of the Forum’s organizing committee. “Building on the success of last year’s Forum and responding to feedback we’ve received, this year’s program looks to incorporate more workshops and art-based activism into the day’s agenda.”
The Forum begins at 9 a.m., and there are 18 workshops taking place over four concurrent sessions throughout the day from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Workshop topics include animal rights, the environment, health care, migrant workers, religion and social media, just to name a few.
The event will also feature numerous info tables and an art space set up in Pond Inlet throughout the day, a lunchtime walk along the Niagara escarpment and a performance by the Niagara-based WomEnchant women’s choir in Pond Inlet at 4 p.m.
A screening of the documentary Reel Injun will also take place at oneforthyfive Gallery in downtown St. Catharines (145 King St.) at 6:30 p.m. The film by Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond takes an entertaining and insightful look at the Hollywood Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through a century of cinema.
The annual Niagara Social Justice Forum at Brock University provides a dynamic space for dialogue and learning. It 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.
The Niagara Social Justice Forum features a free vegan lunch, and drinking water and dishes will be provided. Vegan food, provided by Rise Above Bakery, will also be available at the downtown screening of Reel Injun.
The Forum is fully accessible (wheelchairs, sign language) and childcare services are available on-site. Please register before April 1 for sign language and childcare services.

To register for sign language and childcare services: socialjustice.nf@gmail.com

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nsjf 2011: Invitation to Organize Activities


Hosted by the Social Justice and Equity Studies Graduate Program at Brock University, the 5th annual Niagara Social Justice Forum includes a day-long programme of concurrent activities including workshops, performances, exhibits and information tables in a fair-like atmosphere. Last year’s event attracted over 150 people from both campus and the community and explored a wide range of issues.

Examples of workshops from past programmes are:

“Native Woman – Endangered Species”
“Faculty for Palestine”
“The Other Side of Consciousness: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Queer Films”
“Conflict, Violence and Reconciliation: Lessons to be drawn from Colombia”
“Food Sovereignty in the Global South: A Development and Peace Appeal”
“Nothing About Us Without Us! ‘Photovoice’ as Research and Community Development Method”

The main goal of this event is to build relationships between student groups, activists and community organizations working on social justice issues in the Niagara region. The purpose of this ‘call’ is to invite individuals and groups with an activist orientation to submit a proposal to host a workshop, performance, exhibit or information table. The themes should have strong local relevance. We encourage activities including art, music, drama or non-traditional modes of interaction.


  • In one page or less provide a title and brief description of proposed activity. Workshop slots are 90 minutes in duration. Exhibits, information tables and performances can vary in duration.
  • Make clear its relevance to the event.
  • Suggest what groups may participate.
  • Identify who is proposing and will organize the activity. Include contact information.

We will accommodate as many proposals as possible, while aiming for a diversity of issues and kinds of activities. Those proposing activities are responsible for mobilizing the necessary resources to mount the activity. Forum organizers will co-ordinate the event, provide food, space, childcare and technological support, as well as outreach and promotion of the Forum’s activities. The event is free, accessible and open to the public.

For more information and to submit proposals contact the Niagara Social Justice Forum committee at socialjustice.nf@gmail.com or 905 688 5550, ext 5591. For questions and/or to submit a request for an information table contact Mary Breunig at mbreunig@brocku.ca or 905 688 5550, ext 5387.


The Niagara Social Justice Forum will be held on Saturday, April 9, 2011.

For more information about the Niagara Social Justice Forum explore our website!

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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

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: The Vagina Monologues

Hosted by OPIRG Brock The Vagina Monologues is the evening performance of the Niagara Social Justice Forum 2010.

The Vagina Monologues is an episodic play written by Eve Enlser. Ensler is a playwright, performer and activist who originally starred in the play at an off-Broadway theatre in Manhattan, New York in 1996. The Vagina Monologues has been staged internationally, translated into 45 languages and performed in over 130 countries.

In 1998, Ensler and others launched V-Day, a global non profit organization that has raised over $70 million for women’s groups through benefit performances of The Vagina Monologues. The Vagina Monologues is the cornerstone of the V-Day movement and performances take place worldwide each year between February 1 and April 30.

In 2004 Eve Ensler in conjunction with Jane Fonda and Deep Stealth Productions produced and directed the first all-transgender performance of The Vagina Monologues, with readings by eighteen notable trans women, and including a new monologue documenting the experiences of transwomen.

$10 Tickets for The Vagina Monologues can be purchased in advance at OPIRG Brock (204 Alumni Students Centre Brock University, 500 Glenridge Ave.) Strega Cafe (19 King Street, St.Catharines) or CARSA (43 Church Street, Suite 503, St. Catharines). Tickets will also be available at the door. All proceeds from this performance will be donated to Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre.

For more info about Eve Ensler, The Vagina Monologues and V-Day visit: www.vday.org

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