October 5th, 2020     by Team Shameless     Comments

Illustration: Saul Freedman-Lawson

Shameless is an independent Canadian voice for smart, strong, sassy young women and gender expansive youth, covering issues that matter since 2004! It’s a fresh alternative to typical teen magazines, packed with articles about arts, culture and current events, reflecting the neglected diversity of our readers’ interests and experiences. Grounded in principles of social justice and anti-oppression, Shameless aims to do more than just publish a magazine: we aim to inspire, inform, and advocate for young women and gender expansive youth.

The 2021 Conference: Feminist Media as Social Justice

Shameless is thrilled to announce we will host the our second annual Talking Back Feminist Media Conference online on March 13-14, 2021. This conference is funded by the Toronto Arts Council.

The conference theme is Feminist Media as Social Justice. This will be a space to collaborate, co-create, imagine, celebrate, scheme and dream about the radical potential of feminist media as it relates to building a better, more just world.

This year, we’re going virtual! We are hoping that this shift in format allows new presenters and audiences to access and contribute to the conversations in exciting ways.

We invite proposals in a number of creative formats—think talks, discussions, workshops, etc. If you’re interested in presenting, we are releasing a call for proposals below. We will also be available to help first-timers through the submission process - no prior experience is required! To request support in the submission process, please email us at ASL interpretation and live captioning will be available during the submission process upon request, and will be available for presenters and attendees during the conference.


The conference will be divided into four main tracks for sessions:

Track 1: Advancing, expanding, critiquing and defining feminism through media
How can we advance, critique, define and re-define feminist politic through media? How are we creating spaces for growth and dialogue? How can we effectively challenge and advance feminist circles that harm our most vulnerable communities (eg., IBPOC, trans and two-spirit people, sex workers, etc.)? How do we remain accountable to a justice-seeking politic for all women and trans people?

Track 2: Building community, forming and nurturing relations through feminist media
What does community accountability look like in feminist media? How can we form, maintain and nourish relationships of care through media creation and consumption? How can we create entry points, open doors to new (real life or virtual) spaces? How can feminist media activite these spaces? How do we move away from a white supremacist perspective of us vs. them and towards a shared responsibility for / commitment to the collective? What is the role of care, compassion, empathy and humanity in this work?

Track 3: Supporting and contributing to social movements through feminist media
How can feminist media contribute in meaningful ways to social movements? How can we advance the shared goals of decolonization, racial justice, abolition, reproductive justice and equity in tangible ways? In what ways is feminist media an access point or bridge for movement-building? How can we sustain and support these movements beyond the news cycle?

Track 4: Feminist forms of media creation
How can we practice feminist in politic in the process of media creation? How can we re-distribute resources, challenge capitalism while surviving within it, centre and honour under- and mis-represented voices? What new forms is feminist media taking, and what ways of working radically reimagine our relationships to production, capitalism, and each other?


Are you interested in presenting a workshop, giving a talk about a cool media project that you’ve been a part of, sharing your super rad knowledge, or assembling a group of people to come up with new and exciting schemes? We are looking for conference presenters!

Please note: All presenters will be paid an honorarium of $120.00.

Sessions are 75 minutes long, and can take on a number of formats, including:
- Presentations or talks
- Panel discussions
- Workshops
- Performances
- Story-telling
- Show-and-tell
- Crowd-sourcing knowledge and wisdom
- Some combination of formats!

Please note: we are also accepting applications from folks who have sessions shorter than 75 minutes—if that’s the case, we can work together to either a) group you with other shorter presenters or b) turn your session into something longer. If you have an idea for a shorter session, just make a note of it in your application and we’ll be in touch!

**HOW TO SUBMIT A SESSION PROPOSAL: DEADLINE EXTENDED to Friday November 6th, 2020, 11:59pm EST **

No experience is required to submit a proposal! If this is your first conference, first time putting together a proposal for something, or first time considering speaking or presenting to a group, we want to hear from you! You can submit a proposal as an individual or as a group.

Talking Back Feminist Media Conference Call for Proposals

The link above will take you to the proposal submission form. The application is divided into five sections:

SECTION 1: Contact information
All the information we need to address you and get in touch, as well as voluntary self-identification so we can do our best to make this conference as diverse as possible.

SECTION 2: Session proposal
Here we have the bulk of the proposal. We will ask you to select a track (Please note: if you have an idea that does not fit into any of the tracks above, you can still apply! We know how hard it can be to fit amazing things into boxes, regardless of how amazing those boxes might be!), name your session, and select a format (or come up with your own!).

Before you fill this out, it would be helpful to work through the following questions:
What key questions, ideas or themes do you want to address?
Eg. “How can we build community through feminist media making?” or, “Ethical fundraising,” or “feminist maker spaces”

How do you want to address these topics?
Eg. “I want to facilitate a workshop where participants will share their experiences of representation in media.”

What do you want attendees to leave with?
Eg. “I want attendees to leave with lessons learned from the case study I presented.”

What is your relationship to these ideas?
Eg. “I have been reading feminist magazines for years.” or, “I have been the lone voice expressing these challenges in my institution.”

Please use the space below to describe your session in more detail

What do you need to make this presentation work?

We will also ask what you need from us to make this session work (special equipment, room needs, etc.).

SECTION 3: Supports
In this section we’ll ask you what support you might need from us to see your session through. Some folks get nervous speaking in front of an audience, others might need help designing an outline. We’re here to help!

SECTION 4: Access needs
In this section, we ask what you’ll need from us and the space to be able to access it. Do you need childcare? ASL Interpretation? Lots of breaks to collect your thoughts? Let us know and we’ll do our best to design a conference that works for everyone!


We totally get how overwhelming it can be to submit a proposal, especially for the first time. We’re here to help! If you would like support with filling out this call for proposals, please email to discuss.

We can arrange to communicate by:
- Email
- Phone
- Instant message (Google chat or WhatsApp)
- Video chat

We can provide the following support:
- Answering questions about the conference, proposal questions or selection process
- Coming up with an alternate format for you to present your proposal (ie. audio or visual)
- Building on an idea you might have to turn it into a proposal
- Maybe more! Just ask!

Whether you are experienced or new, it is fine to write “I’m not sure” as an answer to any question in your proposal. We can work on figuring it out together.

Tags: call for proposals, conference, media savvy

« The Long History of Defunding the Police

To Those Who Have Painted My World Orange »