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Toronto Event at York University: Queering Urban Justice

January 13th, 2014     by Jennifer Marston     Comments

For the past few months I have been lucky enough to work with a bunch of folks to bring together this amazing panel. If you have any time off and live/work near York University, please join us for an afternoon of Queering Urban Justice with Che Gossett, Rio Rodriguez and Syrus Marcus Ware on Tuesday 21 January, 2.30-4pm, York University , Faculty of Environmental Studies, Building HNES (Health, Nursing and Environmental Studies) Room 140. To access a map of York University, click here.

The annual Equity Seminar Series is launched this time with a panel on race, sexuality and the city. Queer of colour and other intersectional approaches are often missing from dominant accounts of the city, yet they are essential in understanding who pays for and who benefits from urban development. The speakers are activist scholars who have been part of struggles against gentrification, police violence, racism, disablism, classism and transphobia in the criminal justice system, and queer and trans of colour community building in cities like Toronto, Berlin and Philadelphia. SPEAKERS: Che Gossett is a black gender queer and femme fabulous writer and activist. They are a contributor to Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (eds. Nat Smith and Eric Stanley) and The Transgender Studies Reader v. II (eds. Aren Azuira and Susan Stryker). This past summer they had the honor of being part of a phenomenal delegation of archivists and librarians to Palestine. They are currently working on a biography of queer Japanese American AIDS activist, Kiyoshi Kuromiya. Rio Rodriguez is a Toronto-based Latin@ queer educator who believes in the power of art and culture to empower our queer, trans and POC communities. Rio is a border-crosser, hails from the Dominican Republic, and has been doing radical community-based education on everything from the prison-industrial complex, free post-secondary education to queer empowerment for over 10 years. Rio has recently developed engaging curriculum for OUTWords, an award-winning 6 month long arts and leadership program for LGBTQ2SIA spectrum young people. This curriculum empowers young queer people with the tools to go far beyond simple “tolerance”, and begin to understand the cultural and historical roots of homophobia and transphobia, practice self-care and self-love, and create meaningful art and expression for social change. Today, Rio is a UofT Student, is hosting radical queer history tours of Toronto’s Church-Wellesley village, and is also busy exploring the possibilities and limitations of queer liberation through community based urban education. Syrus Marcus Ware is a black, disabled and queer visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. He is a prison abolitionist. Syrus worked for a few years at PASAN, and while there helped to write Responding to the Epidemic Recommendations for a Canadian Hepatitis C Strategy. He is a former member of Friends of MOVE Toronto, and is one of the organizers of Toronto’s Prisoners’ Justice Day events. Syrus is a member of the Gay/Bi Trans Men’s HIV Prevention Working Group for the Ontario AIDS Bureau and one of the creators of “Primed: A Back Pocket Guide for Trans Guys and the Guys Who Dig ‘Em”, the first sexual health resource for trans MSMs in North America. Syrus’ chapter in Who’s Your Daddy?: And Other Writings on Queer Parenting (Sumach Press, 2008) entitled, “Going Boldly Where Few Men Have Gone Before: One Trans Man’s Experience of Fertility Clinics” and his co-authored chapter, “How Disability Studies Stays White and What Kind of White it Stays” are part of curricula at several colleges and universities. He is currently co-editing a book chapter (with Zack Marshall) about disability, Deaf culture and trans identities in the forthcoming Trans Bodies, Trans Selves (2013). Chair: Jin Haritaworn Co-organizers: Ronak Ghorbani and ACE (Accessibility, Community and Equity at FES). ACE is a student-led space that was launched in 2011 to build discussion, awareness, and action around issues of equity, diversity and social and environmental justice at FES and beyond. Co-sponsor: OPIRG York Tuesday 21 January, 2.30-4pm, York University , Faculty of Environmental Studies, Building HNES (Health, Nursing and Environmental Studies) Room 140. To access a map of York University, click here. The venue is wheelchair accessible. Sadly we weren’t successful in raising funds for ASL interpretation for this event but we are hopeful for the rest of the series.

Tags: event listings, queeriosities, race and racism, trans-

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