Darren Ho, Fall 2013
Highlighting the experiences of recent Semester in Dialogue grads: Darren Ho, Conflict and Governance (2013).
What semester did you participate in?
Fall 2013, "Conflict and Governance" with Sean Blenkinsop and Geoff Mann.
Tell us about your individual projects in the Semester - What was the goal of your project?
For the small group project, my team focused on a conflict in Vancouver’s Davie Village. We researched and reported on the ongoing “mainstreaming” or “homogenization” of Queer spaces in the village, and what it meant for different stakeholders of this conflict. The goal of this project was to explore the areas where Queer spaces were diminishing, or transforming.
In what way did the project have positive impact your community?
As a result of the project, we now have a report on the issue of mainstreaming in the gay community, which we can present to community leaders and planners. Also, our group introduced our classmates to Vancouver’s gay district—some of whom have never been or may not have known a lot about Davie street.
How did the project impact you personally?
As a gay community organizer, it was meaningful to be able to put down some of my thoughts and findings in an academic setting. Having spoken to some of the different stakeholders about the issue, I am now more aware of the intricate details of my own community (the Davie street community). I also now understand this issue on a deeper level. For example, I now have some insight onto the business side of Davie Street, and how it connects with the community aspects of the village.
What do you think you will do differently now as a result of the semester?
I want to think more critically about existing systems of governance, and perhaps challenge them.