on Nov 28th-29th the Youth Project will be hosting our 10th annual GSA Conference, Transformative Futures, virtually on Google Meets and Zoom. Read more about this year's theme below.
You are welcomed to our GSA Conference, Transformative Futures with an Anti-Oppression panel on Saturday morning. This will be a space to reimagine the world, examine the systemic inequities of institutional power systems, and discuss current calls to action in response to global injustice.
The workshop will be facilitated in three parts by Kate Macdonald, Teo Ferguson, Naomi Bird, and moderated by Carmel Farahbakhsh. Kate will discuss the core values of anti-oppression and visionaries/leaders in the field, Naomi Bird will examine the relationship between anti-oppression and the land and land justice, and Teo Ferguson will illustrate the crucial intersections between anti-oppression practice and building 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Carmel will then weave all of these three pieces into community standards that will guide how we share virtual space together over the course of the weekend.
WITH RACHELE MANETT (SHE/THEY)
As queer, trans and non-binary folks, we’re used to seeing information on safer sex that isn’t necessarily meant for us, and picking through it until we find something that relates. At Venus Envy, we know that’s not going to cut it, and we want to offer something better. In this workshop, we’ll talk about communicating desires and limits, finding language that feels good for you and your partners, barrier methods and toy considerations, and of course answer your questions about safer sex practices!
CREATING ENGAGING GSA SUPPORT
WITH HANLEY SMITH (THEY/THEM)
AND SKYE CROSS (SHE/HER)
Are you having trouble keeping folks engaged in your GSA (Gender & Sexuality Alliance)? Join Hanley & Skye for facilitated learning/discussion space on creating engaging GSA meetings & activities! We will discuss our experiences starting a new GSA, maintaining engagement at GSA, and how to use the skills within your GSA to affect more extensive changes in your school environment. We will also collectively share our successes and struggles in navigating GSA in a COVID world. This workshop is open to advisors & youth.
WITH FRANCESCA EKWUYASI (SHE/HER)
This is a writing and discussion based workshop that invites particiapnts to question and explore any intersections between their faith practices (current or previous) and their queer identities. With the understanding that some queer folks may have experienced harm or currently have complicated relationships with religious upbringings or current faith practice, the aim of this workshop is to create a space where conversations of healing from those experience can occur. Participants are encouraged to re-imagine and re-write stories about their relationship to their faith practices that are encompassing of not only their queer identities, but all of who they are.
Hover over images below for name, pronouns, and bio.
YOUTH IN ACTION
WITH AALIYAH PARIS (SHE/THEY)
WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION COMING SOON!
BUILDING EMOTIONAL RESILIENCY
WITH MAXIE JANES (THEY/SHE)
Between COVID, parents, school, and friends, it's no wonder you're experiencing anxiety! In Maxie's workshop on building emotional resiliency, you can find some answers on how to figure out which parts of anxiety are internal, which are external, and how to handle each. We will take a look at body-based theory on anxiety, and some big brain stuff on how to work through it.
WITH EL JONES (SHE/HER)
WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION COMING SOON!
This year, we are providing a closed social space for all trans, non-binary, Two-Spirit, and gender non-conforming youth to hang out, meet their peers, and play some JackBox games with Youth Project staff, Skye Cross!
This will happen on the evening of Saturday, November 28th, from 7-8 and we ask that folks register ahead of time.
9:30-11:00: KEYNOTE SPEAKER
THE ART OF SELF-CRITIQUE AND SELF LOVE: DECIPHERING EGOS, DOG WHISTLES, AND SYSTEMS
How do we learn to love ourselves when we exist in a polarizing time in which our identities are constantly questioned, manipulated and exploited? How are we able to maintain our agency and autonomy, but also recognize our own participation in causing harm? In this keynote, Jade Byard Peek will explore and grind down history, politics, and anti-oppression, to untangle the ideological dogmas of social media and beyond that continue to push us deeper into the sunken place! Jade will discuss tools to ease pressure and mix signalling from all directions of societies, while still trying to figure out who you are. Content Warning: While not explicit, the keynote will get into heavy themes such as poverty, addictions, systems of oppression, sexual violence, and politics. While Jade is non-partisan, the keynote will discuss politics, symbolism and memes.
ACE AND IN YOUR FACE: AN ARTISTIC EXPLORATION OF ASEXUALITY
WITH AMANDA CORMIER (SHE/HER)
Asexuality is rarely talked about in mainstream media, and because of that it is often misunderstood. Mika Babineau, a Toronto-based visual artist and loud-and-proud asexual woman, wants to change that. And so, Ace and In Your Face was born. This series of self-portraits explores various aspects of the asexual experience, including coming out, visibility, representation, love, belonging, self-doubt, and acceptance. By examining Mika's paintings one-by-one and discussing what they have to say, the goal of this panel is for you to walk away with a better understanding of asexuality, the ace experience, and how to embrace it - whether you're asexual yourself or not.
CARING FOR KIN
WITH KRIS REPPAS (HE/HIM)
Join Kris Reppas (@kris_reppas) artist of Kanien’kehá:ka and European descent, for a workshop on decolonizing art practices and imagining NDN futures. Participants in this workshop will be invited into a discussion around Care practices, Indigenous land sovereignty, and beadwork. How/when do we show care to Indigenous peoples? How do we show care to the land we are on? Do we know whose land we are on/from? This workshop will encourage participants to locate their own position in this conversation and use it to activate their solidarity with Indigenous peoples. Prior to the workshop, participants are encouraged to spend some time on Native Land.ca to find whose territory they are on and/or from originally. There may be overlap of Nations or specific treaties that will be key in your understanding. Take some time to soak this in and begin brainstorming why this is important knowledge to have today.
WITH HAYDEN O'MALLEY (THEY/THEM) AND SKYE CROSS (SHE/HER)
Hayden & Skye will host a discussion space around the logistics associated with transition. How do I change my name at school? Can I change it legally? What about my gender marker? Who do I talk to if I have questions about hormones? This discussion space is designed for trans* youth navigating social, medical, and legal transition.
LUNCH AND TRIVIA
1:00 - 1:30
Join the Youth Project's Youth Board for lunch time trivia!
SESSION 4 2:00-3:00
MAPPING COLLECTIVE ACCESS THROUGH COMMUNITY CARE
WITH MEG SIVANI (SHE/HER)
Through a casual discussion based workshop, Sivani will draw from her lived experiences and lead with an overview of the 10 Principles of Disability Justice by Patty Berne, edited by Aurora Levins Morales and David Langstaff, on behalf of Sins Invalid. This will be followed by a Q & A and open conversation on topics such as resiliency, reclaiming bodily autonomy through radical self-love, trauma recovery, dismantling internalized ableism, decolonizing disability, and intersections of race.
DRAG FOR BEGINNERS
WITH OLIVER OLDFIELD (HE/THEY)
Do you have an interest in drag but are unsure where to start? Join local youth drag artist Kardiá Diamánti for a welcoming virtual environment in which you can experience the basics of drag. Kardiá will do some demonstrations and talk about navigating the world of drag as a beginner, with an emphasis on exploring your personal style and building confidence in your drag practice. Come in your favourite drag look, bring your makeup and follow along, or just come and hang out!
EXPLORING TWO-SPIRIT IDENTITIES
WITH CALEN SACK (THEY/THEM)
Exploring Two-Spirit Identities helps to broaden your understanding of what “Two-Spirit” means as well as it’s cultural/historical significance to the Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. This workshop will not only introduce you to the term “Two-Spirit” and its creation, but will also look closely at Canada’s violent colonial history.