Beyond the Women’s March: Inclusive and Intersectional Organizing

February 20, 2017

Monday, February 20, 6:00PM–8:00PM, Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St. Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories

Organized by members of the panel, and sponsored by SFU's Institute for the Humanities & Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group (SFPIRG)

Flickr/Ted Eytan

We acknowledge that this event takes place on the traditional, occupied, and unceded Coast Salish Territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tseil-Wauteuth peoples. In doing so, we recognize the impacts of genocide and extractivism which create the spaces in which we gather today, and thank our hosts in their stewardship and protection of the land for time immemorial.

Beyond the Women’s March: Inclusive and Intersectional Organizing

On January 21, millions of women and allies around the world took to the streets against the inauguration of a misogynist white supremacist to the highest office of the United States. The name of the movement, the Women’s March on Washington, was chosen in reference to the historical civil rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the famous speech, "I Have a Dream.”

While it was assumed by many that the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington - Vancouver collaborated on a foundation of intersectionality, a statement released by Black Lives Matter Vancouver on January 20 demonstrated that there had been some major oversights in decision-making which contributed to the exclusion of critical voices in Vancouver’s march.

The Vancouver March went on and the criticism from the community did not fade—fuelling intense discussions on Facebook, including a thread of comments that were deleted from the event page by the main organizers. An apology statement was released a few days after the initial call-out, which included an invitation for conversation between the organizers of the march and Black Lives Matter - Vancouver.*

The conversations on social media have largely moved on—but is our work really done?

As a follow-up to the event, local organizers are holding a public discussion to deconstruct elements of the white-centric feminism that led to much of the poor representation witnessed at the March. The panelists—including individuals who attended and did not attend the March—will share their ideas on how to move forward as we continue to organize and build on the movement, with inclusivity and intersectionality at the forefront.

*The initial meeting between the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington - Vancouver and Black Lives Matter - Vancouver has already taken place.

Banner Credit: Angela Peoples holding sign (Kevin Banatte)

PANELISTS

Stephanie Allen is a graduate student in the Urban Studies program at SFU and her research focuses on affordable housing policy and practice. She also works full-time as a real estate developer with a focus on multi-family housing, having worked for over 14 years in both the private and public sector in Alberta, Arizona, and in communities across BC. Stephanie keeps it real in her pursuit of adequate, affordable, and safe housing as basic human right which she sees as vital to creating healthy, inclusive, and equitable cities. She is currently working with members of the Black community on how to address the past displacement that occurred when the City of Vancouver erected the Georgia viaducts.

mia susan amir is a writer, interdisciplinary performer, curator, cultural organizer, and educator. Born in Israel/Occupied Palestine, mia is an anti-Zionist Jew of mixed Sephardic and Ashkenazi descent. She has lived most of her life in Vancouver, BC, on the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh. mia is the Creative Director of The Story We Be (SWB), a Vancouver-based institute that centres the role of story in transformative political change, and collective healing. An instructor at SWB, and in Continuing Education at Langara College, and the University of British Columbia, mia teaches creative writing, interdisciplinary performance, and embodied creative-political praxis. An artist disabled by chronic illness, mia’s work creative and teaching work sits at the intersections of disability justice, feminism, anti-racism, anti-capitalism. She is learning what decolonization means in her practice of work and life as an uninvited settler. mia holds an MFA from Mills College, Oakland, CA, Traditional Ohlone Territories, and is a student of somatics and trauma.

Daniella Barreto is an organizer with BLM-Vancouver and a Master's student in population & public health. She has lived and worked on Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh lands since 2003 when she immigrated to Canada from Zimbabwe. She has a background in facilitation and community outreach. Daniella is committed to anti-racism and anti-oppression work, and to having tough conversations towards social change.

Cicely-Belle Blain is a queer, non-binary, Black writer, artist and community organizer who has been a settler on Coast Salish lands for four years. Originally from London, England, they have been working on bringing social justice, accessibility and inclusivity to spaces, mainly at UBC, where they studied European Studies and Russian. They now work as a youth worker for QMUNITY, BC’s queer resource centre and are a co-founder and organizer of Black Lives Matter – Vancouver, among other community initiatives.

Rhiannon Bennett is a Musqueam Band member and an active member of her community volunteering her time on a variety of community organizations. Rhiannon is well known for asking the tough questions in a manner that encourages engagement and dialogue. Professionally, she has worked with Indigenous youth and families with the overarching themes of her work being decolonization and reconciliation. In 2015, Rhiannon was the first Indigenous person elected to the Delta Board of Education. Rhiannon is passionately working towards creating a more equitable world for all people. Please note: Although interested in participating in this conversation, as one of the speakers at the Women’s March on Washington - Vancouver, Rhiannon is unable to join us on Monday.

Judi Lewinson (also known as JudiLew) is an award winning writer, director and producer who has has enjoyed an adventure filled career, packed with eclectic projects in Canada, the United States, the UK and West Indies. Early in her career, Judi discovered that social justice and positive corporate citizenship are more than a trend. They are the key elements in the foundation for mutual success. What has always been a natural conversation for her and her peers is today seeing a global realization, for which she has become a leading voice. The conversation is for all ages. Judi prides herself in being able to inspire and facilitate awareness, positivity and growth on projects in the entertainment, political and private sectors, in a manner that is entertaining, educational and uplifting. In addition to her film, television, and digital media work Judi is working on her next novel, the first in the Shadow & Light series, “We The Equal,” as well as finishing up her non-fiction title “#YourPrivilegeIsShowing – Maintaining Social Justice in a Social Media Age.”

Morgane Oger is a long-time resident of Vancouver, Morgane is a passionate advocate for education, families and human rights. Morgane attended UBC where she obtained a degree in mechanical engineering with an option in naval architecture. She currently works as an entrepreneur in the high-tech sector, consulting on software architecture for Canadian corporations. Morgane is a transgender mother, co-parenting two young children enrolled in the public school system. Morgane’s work in public education and LGBT rights has been recognized by lawmakers and parliamentarians of all major parties, many of whom now work closely with her despite political differences. In 2016, her advocacy and close collaboration with BC NDP lawmakers as well as influencers in conservative circles was credited as being instrumental in adding gender identity and gender expression to the BC Human Rights Code. Morgane is currently engaged in changing the Canadian Human Rights Act and Canadian Criminal Code in close collaboration with all three parties in parliament. Her advocacy work was captured in the 2015 award-winning short documentary “In Alliance” which was screened at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and the Cannes Shorts Films Festival. As the BC NDP Candidate for Vancouver-False Creek in the 2017 British Columbia provincial election, Morgane will be the first transgender person elected to public office in Canada if elected.

Daniyah Shamsi - volunteer contributor and stage manager for the march Daniyah has been a queer settler on unceded coast salish lands since 1995 when her family immigrated from Saudi Arabia. She offers a deep perspective into intersecting topics specific to the local community, with a focus on events organizing, having participated in multiple political gatherings and co-created many safer and inclusive dance spaces. A champion for the causes she holds dear, you can find her DJ’ing at various events, volunteering with KARMIK in nightlife harm reduction, organizing within the events industry to include equitable representation, intersectional feminism and, social justice, or simply contributing good work wherever she can. Currently, she organizes with the Diversity: Arts Music & Entertainment project and also co-ordinates events with Vancouver Pride Society.

Audrey Siegl, sχɬemtəna:t, St’agid Jaad, is an independent activist from the traditional territory of the Musqueam. She has been active on grassroots environmental and social justice political front line movements. Audrey has worked on raising awareness on housing issues in Vancouver's Downtown East Side, with Greenpeace Canada on initiatives to protect the arctic from oil drilling an recently participated in a direct action with actor Emma Thompson in London England. She also worked with LUSH Canada on the Save the Grizzly Stop the Trophy Hunt Campaign. Audrey is an Associate of the Institute for the Humanities.

Nancy Trigueros is a Mexican-Canadian, special education educator, human rights activist and advocate who worked in femicide cases in Juarez, Mexico. Founder of a community Self-Help group Mexican Living in Vancouver. In Canada worked representing mostly women and journalists cases before the Refugee Board. Nancy has been a strong advocate in human rights abuses against undocumented migrants and political prisoners. Helped in denouncing deportation practices leading to the CBSA recommendations in 2014. Received along with other community organizers the BC Civil Liberties Award for the collective efforts in the Transportation, NO Deportation successful campaign.

Moderator

Samaah Jaffer is an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University, pursuing a joint major in International Studies and World Literature and a minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic History. She is currently the program assistant at SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, where she helps to facilitate public programming within the overarching themes of social justice, sustainability and critical urbanism, arts and culture, and democratic engagement. She is also the B.C. Editor at rabble.ca — an independent news outlet for progressive Canadians.

Accessibility Information

The venue is accessible by either the Hastings Street or Cordova Courtyard entrances. The Hastings Street entrance is at ground level, while the Cordova Courtyard entrance can be accessed by a ramp outside the Woodward's Westbank Atrium. The entrance to the ramp is across from JJ Bean Coffee, under the Stan Douglas Mural. Inside the building all venues are accessible, by elevators, wide corridors. The World Art Centre has unfixed seating. The washrooms on level 2 (same floor as the event) will be marked gender neutral, with one wheelchair accessible stall in each washroom.

The venue is a ten-minute walk from Waterfront Station (Canada Line, Seabus) and a five minute walk from the Stadium-Chinatown Station on Skytrain's Expo-Milennium Line. It is also located on a major bus route. For more details, visit: http://www.sfu.ca/sfuwoodwards/venue/visitor-information/getting-here1.html

There will be sign language (ASL) interpreters for the entire duration of this event. This event will be livestreamed and we ask that guests turn off their mobile devices if possible, or choose airplane mode.

We cannot guarantee that the space will provide the kind of accessibility needed for individuals who live with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, however, we ask attendees to respect that this will be a scent-reduced event to do what we can to support access and participation for those who live with MCS. For more information and suggestions on how to start reducing scent (it’s a process!), please read: 

http://www.peggymunson.com/mcs/fragrancefree.html
http://www.brownstargirl.org/blog/fragrance-free-femme-of-colour-realness-draft-15

This event is for all ages. we are unable to host a childcare option on these premises. Food and drinks will not be provided.