Women Find Strength In Numbers: Niagara Leadership Summit for Women another sold-out event

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“The message was one of support, inclusivity and confidence at this year's Niagara Leadership Summit for Women.

The event, now in its fifth year, was hosted by the YWCA and held at Brock University on Saturday,

The theme was Make Your Move. Together.

Speakers and workshops dealt with issues of self-confidence, how to get involved and raising your voice. For example, Paralympian Jessica Lewis gave a workshop on how to not be limited by your limitations.

"It's really to inspire women of different backgrounds, whether it's business, whether you're a parent, whether you're a student, whatever you do, to feel a part of the community in a meaningful way and to feel valued and that you're skills and whatever it is that you bring to the table is important in making change — and we all can be leaders in our everyday lives," said summit founder and organizer Julie Rorison.

Kim Karin Milan, a Toronto-based writer, was keynote speaker.

"I really wanted to talk to women and girls about the ways we can support each other and help amplify women's leadership and wanting to make leadership models that are not just about one particular kind of woman or girl but also for women and girls of different levels, racial background. Something that is really authentic and diverse," said Milan.

She also talked about creating spaces for those leaders to find themselves and grow.”

Read more

Keep Me Safe & I'll Keep You Wild

Tiq Milan and Kim Katrin Milan make their marriage work with humor, honesty and a commitment to bear witness. They spoke onstage  at TEDWomen 2016: It’s About Time, in San Francisco. Photo: Marla Aufmuth / TED

"3,000 Facebook messages in three days, that ended in marriage 3 months later.

From the start, Tiq and Kim Katrin Milan’s relationship was a whirlwind romance — a unique union rooted in a deep love, respect and mutual admiration that came across warmly as they stood hand in hand on the TEDWomen stage.

Tiq is a transman; Kim a queer, cis woman, “God was never supposed to bless a union for folks like us, and the law was never supposed to recognize it,” says Tiq.

Both poets, writers, and creatives with a long history of community work, their relationship stems from a beautiful balancing act of two complementary, opposite spirits that dance and flicker in tandem. With Kim as a lifelong traveler and Tiq born into a large family, they’ve promised each other a life as vibrant, uncompromisingly bright as their authentic selves." Read more.

Outsources: Love and Activism: A Conversation with Tiq Milan and Kim Katrin Milan

Kim Katrin Milan & Tiq Milan at Elixher's Launch Party 

Kim Katrin Milan & Tiq Milan at Elixher's Launch Party 

Host Sean Kenney speaks with Kim Katrin Milan and Tiq Milan, a married couple deeply engaged in activism for the queer and transgender community.

As activists, political advocates, writers, and presenters, Tiq and Kim’s work and personal backgrounds provide a window into the unique challenges and sources of power inherent in queer and transgender communities of color. Tiq and Kim speak about their ever-evolving relationship to identity, community engagement, and resilience in building a brighter and more equitable future. Check out the full interview here.

Favorite Resources

Starting a new series sharing my favorite tools and resources I use as a human rights educator and lecturer. This week Dear Hearing People from Sarah Glide

Dear Hearing People

The Deaf community tells all hearing people what’s truly on their minds— and it’s a big deal.

Posted by Sarah Glide on Thursday, April 7, 2016

One of my all time favorites that I have been using for 3 years has to be this incredible one

Any other recommendations for video resources focusing on Audism?

LOVE YOUR BODY: New year, same old beautiful you

Kim: Our love and our relationship is part of our advocacy. There isn't a lot of diverse representation of black queer couples loving each other and celebrating each others' bodies and beauty. We want to give an example to our communities. For many people involved with trans people, it's a hidden thing, and we want to challenge that narrative. There's nothing secret about the way we love each other: we love each other out loud.

Tiq: As people not tethered to an organization, we're constantly involved in our work. So we considered doing this shoot as part of our work because we want to be possibility models for other people.

Read more via Now Magazine

Transgender-Cisgender Couples Talk About Their Relationships

Transgender-Cisgender Couples Talk About Their Relationships

We had transgender-cisgender couples discuss their relationships. Here's what they had to say:

Posted by BuzzFeed LGBT on Saturday, December 5, 2015

Cake Face

"The inherent bias in makeup is evident in the 11 shades of beige that are standard to most lines, with one or two “dark” shades tacked on almost as an afterthought (not to mention its varied environmental impact). As with other parts of my life, I work to make consumer choices that are aligned with my values...

My feminism is so fundamentally different, it has always been grounded in Indigenous resistance, women in intricately woven skirts with tattoos on their faces, sex workers and strippers, hood ass femmes with acrylics and gold doorknocker earrings, beautiful and inspiring trans women who remind me to be proud of our sisterhood. These are women hustling day and night to take care of themselves even when the rest of the world decries that their bodies are not valuable or even beautiful. These folks are challenging a double standard that exists and that glorifies the creativity of some white girls for wearing things that we as women of colour are punished for. With all of this in mind, ethical beauty is more of a framework than a fixed idea. It is about femmes getting to express autonomy over their bodies and representation in a way that aims to do little to no harm."

The Movement in Mizzou: Reflections on Resistance


"Despite this cultural and political climate, at least 71 percent of Black millennials feel they have the ability to make a difference through political participation. These young people of color are taking a stand on the issues that matter to them, according to research from The Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago. This is true both on a grassroots and electoral level. In 2012 the level of voter turnout for Black millennials was higher than that of white voters of the same age.

Whether it was the abolition of chattel slavery, the civil rights movements of the 1960,s or the current #BlackLivesMatter movement, progress has always been the product of the tenacity and solidarity between marginalized communities. There is still so much more work to be done and the urgency of these intersecting issues means that the resistance must be insistent."

via Telesur

Feministing Five: Writer, Artist, Educator Kim Katrin Milan


Suzanna Bobadilla: Your work seems to frequently touch on the theme of transnational. Could you share how this international perspective shapes your work? 

Kim Milan: It’s important to be present in the fact that no one is objective. Everyone is subjective — we all have our subjective experience. In order to inspire others to name their own subjectivity, I want to lead with that. I never want to ask something of someone that I’m not willing to give. I lead with this understanding that so much of the work that I do is informed by how I have grown up, growing up in a mixed race household, growing up as an immigrant, growing up in Canada but going back to the Caribbean a lot, and I now I live in the United States.

I’ve gotten to see how interconnected the world is. I remember when I was backpacking through Nicaragua where all of these old men had pesticide sprayers attached to their back. I get to see it on one end, but also on the other when I’m in a store in the US and I have a choice to buy those bananas. Recognizing that I have a privilege to travel around the world where borders are determined by other people, I always want to make sure that I am giving that access to other people. All of these systems are made by people and they can and will be unmade by people. 

We’ve seen that a lot of education can get hoarded in educational institutions and a lot of people don’t really have access to what’s going on. Now that we have the Internet, we can share that a little bit more and it’s important to really share and educate as many people as possible to share how much power we have and how interconnected we are.

Read more via Feministing

Ritual of Remembering - Sunset Service Toronto

"A remembrance ritual that interrupts objects, space and sound to integrate an idealized world with the lived world & the divine with man. An installation paying reverence to all things sacred, and the sacred in all things

Ritual of Remembering brings together a diverse collective of artists and curators to produce a multisensory spiritual-arts experience."

Serena & Venus: Creating Mirrors

Serena and Venus reflect back entirely new possibilities for the future of sports and of black girls.
"You guys know about vampires?" Dominican American writer Junot Diaz asked. "You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There's this idea that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. And what I've always thought it isn't that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. It's that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”
That process of ongoing dehumanization through an absence of representation or tokenizing ones at best has been plaguing the career of Serena Williams. Coming from humble beginnings out of Compton, she has had a career unmatched in length, skill and success. Despite this, over the years Williams has been described by online commenters and journalists alike as a "gorilla," as “manly", "savage” “aggressively off-putting” even in articles praising her accomplishments. These comments are indicative of the racialized sexism that Serena has encountered throughout her career and an industry that is ill prepared to challenge it.

Read more at Telesur

Loving Out Loud: On Black LGBT Love

"Growing up, both Tiq and I had an absence of possibility models. The stigma created in culture and popular media are impossible to ignore both as individuals and for those who loved us. We have had our parents wonder if we would ever find loving healthy relationships as Black, Queer & Trans people. But once we started talking, we loved each other right away despite all the messages that told us it would be impossible. We married within 3 months and began fusing our collective work using our visibility as a tool to advocate for the civil rights for our communities."

Read more at Telesur

Anchor Tracey Spicer goes 'au naturel' to protest 'extreme grooming'

Karl Stefanovic said he wanted to prove that women on television, including his co-host, are held to a different standard than men. They're judged on how they look instead of how well they do their job.

Fellow Aussie Tracey Spicer has known that for some time, but only recently became fed up. The broadcaster, host, and writer realized that after 30 years in the business, she had become — in her words — "a painted doll" and decided to ditch the hair, makeup, and other beauty routines that cost her $200 a week. 

Not all women, of course, avoid the hair and makeup aisles. Many defend their lip gloss or visit to the esthetician as confidence-boosters and even a method of self-expression.

Listen to the Segment via CBC The Current

Blackness Without Borders: Global Caribbean Solidarity for Haitians

Today, Danticat along with another U.S.-based Caribbean writer Junot Diaz are calling for protests, including travel boycotts against the deportations of residents of Haitian descent. For the Dominican-born Diaz, the blame lies in the “indifference to racial and political tensions” that exploit and dehumanize Haitian migrants, “who are attempting to save themselves from the ruin inflicted by other people.”

I am struck by the way that injustice is legislated. Whether we speak of the Holocaust, Apartheid or Jim Crow, legality has been used as a political construct that validates human rights abuses and absolves lawmakers of the moral depravity of their actions.

Creation of nation states are always accompanied by a hierarchy of personhood and one that is not exclusive to the Caribbean. With Canada and the United States both finding migrant workers fit to produce the bulk of the food supplies, even recently bringing in dozens of Mexican firefighters to Edmonton, Alberta to help battle wildfires in northern Alberta, but without affording any of the rights and protections given to a citizen.

Read more at Telesur

Latina Magazine: Creating New Representations of Love

Why is this mini-series so important, and revolutionary, for you, and for black youth, including Afro-Latinxs?

Kim: I grew up with diverse examples of love. My grandmother is Venezuelan, and my grandfather is Indian. When I moved from Trinidad to Canada, I was struck by how white the media representations were. The same is true here in the U.S. And, as Dominican-American author Junot Diaz said, the way to make human beings feel like monsters is to deny them any representation of themselves. If we don’t see ourselves, we begin to feel like we don’t belong, like the love we imagine for ourselves doesn’t exist. We wanted to be that model, and show that there are loving relationships. - via Latina Magazine