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Celebration as Resistance

2560“This is a really beautiful way of celebrating each other, while the world is burning down outside: we’re here, we’re not going anywhere.” – Coco Layne, one of the attendees of New York’s Queer Lunar New Year dance party

Resistance can take shape in many ways. For some, it is through study. Others, through direct action, and community work. The Guardian article linked below tells the story of the Yellow Jackets Collective who organized a dance party that invoked their commitment to anti-oppression, intersectionality, and counter-hegemonic struggle.
In these difficult times, we have to allow ourselves to celebrate ourselves and honour those who have paved the way before us. Our rejoicing co-exists with our struggles. Those at the margins should not apologize for taking up space that the system tries to take away at every opportunity. In between the moments of mourning and sorrow, we can remind each other to feel and hold each others’ embodied joy.

Asian, queer and dancing defiance: ‘Everything we do now is resistance”

Don’t miss the 2017 McGill Sexual Health Fair

2017 Sexual Health Fair

2017 Sexual Health Fair

Check out McGill’s Sexual Health Fair being held this coming Thursday, February 16th, 2017 from 14:00 to 18:00 in the SSMU Building. Room 108. Sex, sexuality and sexual identity mean different things to different people. Join us at the McGill Sexual Health Fair to learn and discuss in a sex positive environment.

For more information, check out the Facebook event here.

Mental Health and Self-Care for the Queer Activist of Colour

It’s understandable that at times, one finds themselves emotionally, mentally, and even physically drained given the state of current affairs. A number of studies have shown the deleterious impact of systemic realities on marginalized peoples’ health. Activism is often a channel through which these individuals find opportunities to connect with community, self-empower, and undertake sense-making processes in the context of a society that disadvantages them.

The system is not here to make it easier on vulnerable persons to undertake counter-hegemonic struggle. Researchers from the University of Rhode Island, Drs. Annemarie Vaccaro and Jasmine Mena, published the article linked below in 2011 wherein they studied the experiences of university-based queer activists of colour. The study uncovered the internal and external pressures inherent in donning the role of “activist” as well as the heterogeneous ways that these individuals cope with the challenges.

It’s Not Burnout, It’s More: Queer College Activists of Color and Mental Health

Welcome to Black History Month 2017

Black History Month 2017

Black History Month 2017

Welcome to Black History Month 2017 at McGill University. This marks the 10th anniversary of Black History Month being observed in the province of Québec and the 1st year that McGill will be recognizing it at an institutional level. The Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) Office, in collaboration with partners across the University and throughout the wider community, will be bringing you a host of informative and engaging activities throughout the month of February. We welcome you to join us in the celebration! Come out to meet some of the People of Colour in your community and find out more about Black histories and experiences at McGill, in Montreal, and across Canada and the world. A schedule of events can be found here. For any information or to get involved as a volunteer, please contact blackhistory.sede@mcgill.ca.

Resisting intolerance

In the wake of the Islamophobic attack on the mosque in Sainte-Foy, Québec this past Sunday, McGill’s own Sameer Zuberi, a long-time activist and human rights advocate, spoke on CBC’s The National to offer his perspective on the rise of intolerance and why we must resist.

Injustice anywhere…

Humanity is one brotherhood

Humanity is but a single brotherhood

On Sunday, January 29th, 2016, just before 8 p.m., a terrorist attack was carried out against a Sainte-Foy mosque where the faithful were gathered in prayer. When the guns fell silent, 6 people lay dead and several others were injured, some critically. Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims.

The most disheartening aspect of this atrocity is that it isn’t entirely unexpected, nor is it new to this province or country. As we have watched messages of hate and intolerance proliferate around us, it is important to remember that violence knows no borders, and it was unlikely that we would remain untouched by it.

As Canadians, we tend to think of ourselves as impervious to such things. We are the “good people”. We aren’t like those “other” countries. And yet Canada has known ongoing colonization, over 200 years of slavery, the Head Tax of 1885residential schools, internment camps, the massacre at Polytechnique, …

As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” If we don’t actively fight against the rising tide of populism, bigotry and hatred, we will find ourselves engulfed by it.

In solidarity, peace, and friendship.

Credit: D. Mathieu Cassendo

Credit: D. Mathieu Cassendo

Montreal vigil: January 30th, 2016 @ 18:00 – Parc metro station

Deadly Québec mosque shooting

Attaque terroriste à Québec

#SalamQc #PrayForQuebec

“Peut-on être raciste sans le savoir?” by Dr. Régine Debrosse

Article on Le Devoir by member-at-large, Dr. Regine Debrosse, McGill alumna from the Department of Psychology and postdoctoral research fellow at Northwestern University.

Peut-on être raciste sans le savoir?

Mental Health for Racialized Students

(From the Huffington Post, JED Foundations)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research demonstrates that BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) are more vulnerable to mental health difficulties and face systemic barriers to resource access.

Article from the Huffington Post: Students Of Color Aren’t Getting The Mental Health Help They Need In College

In strength and solidarity

Many of you might know of the unsettling white supremacist flyers seen circulated across our campus last semester.
The Subcommittee on Racialized and Ethnic Persons would like to take this opportunity to reach out to racialized community members and affirm that we stand in solidarity with you especially in times that you feel unsafe and unwelcome. No doubt that a number of us feel scared in light of these events. Should you have questions with regards to resources that can provide support, please contact the subcommittee at rep.equity@mcgill.ca

Link from the CBC:

Canadian campuses see an alarming rise in right-wing populism

(Content Warning: racism, alt-right, white supremacist)

Where are all the “other” people?

Photo credit: bet.com

Photo credit: bet.com

 

I’m sure it doesn’t come as a big surprise to learn that there aren’t huge numbers of women and racialized minorities in the big technology firms (excluding Asian males who represent a significant portion of the tech industry). Anyone who has been following the #Gamergate madness is well aware of the fact that the tech industry is not the most diverse space in the universe. That said, I think many people would be shocked to learn that the gaming industry would rather you not mention it. In fact, people who have been outspoken on the issue of the lack of women and minorities in the high tech industry have often seen their careers cut short.

What the heck, high tech?

Check out this article on why the Big Technology thinks diversity is a dirty word.

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