In the Blog


September 24th, 2015     by Caitlin Blennerhassett     Comments

Illustration: Erin McPhee

Yesterday was the Autumnal Equinox! Get out yer scarves and pumpkin spice lattes and celebrate the first day of Fall (it’s 20 degrees in Toronto).

Yesterday morning it was announced that Mohamed Fahmy, Canadian journalist, has been granted a pardon by Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and was released from prison. Fahmy, while working for Al-Jazeera, was sentenced to three years in prison after losing a second trial on 2013 terrorism-related charges for operating without a press license and broadcasting material harmful to Egypt, a charge widely denounced around the world. The Canadian government is currently working to facilitate Fahmy’s departure from Egypt.

The province of Ontario announced an increase of $1.75 million for 42 sexual assault centres across Ontario! Funding will expand support for survivors of sexual violence throughout the network of the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC). The increase in funds is part of an Ontario-wide Action Plan, It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment.

This was a big week at the Emmys; at Sunday night’s awards show Viola Davis took home an award for her starring role in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, making her the first Black woman in the show’s 67 year history to win the award for Best Actress in a Drama. Even more noteworthy was her speech calling the entertainment industry to task for its racism and lack of roles for women of color. For writing and reactions on both her win and acceptance speech check out NPR.

Uzo Aduba also won her second straight Emmy for her work as Suzanne on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black. Her speech will make you cry.

This week it was announced that Ta-Nehisi Coates is going to write Black Panther for Marvel! This move signals a precarious though growing commitment from the mainstream comics industry to increasing the diversity of superheroes, coming alongside the announcement of Amadeus Cho, the first Korean-American Hulk, and a new series focused around Cybourg, a Black superhero. Black Panther is said to originate from Wakanda, a fictional African country. The comic series will begin next spring.

This Saturday is Etsy: Made in Canada Day! Toronto’s event is happening this Saturday at the MaRS Centre Atrium at 101 College Street at University Ave. Admission is free!

This Saturday is also the 35th Annual Take Back the Night co-hosted by the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape and Black Lives Matter – Toronto. This year’s theme is All Black Lives Matter: Black Communities Take Back the Night. Meet at 6pm at the Scadding Court Community Centre at 707 Dundas St. West for lots of events followed up by a Rally and March at 8:30 – 10pm. The event and rally will be livestreamed.

Don’t forget to get your tickets to the second annual Shamie Awards, happening on October 16th! Every dollar raised goes directly to funding the magazine, helping fuel our mission to bring alternative voices to the media landscape. Check out our website for more info, we hope to see you there!

Tags: activist report, body politics, event listings, media savvy, news flash, race and racism

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