HRE Events and Actions

Up & Coming Events

Art Speaks - Art is activism

Brock’s Human Rights and Equity Office is thrilled to present Art Speaks 2021. In its second year, Art Speaks is a showcase of talent and artistry from our local community engaging in social justice themes. This year, participants were asked to consider “Art and Activism” as a focus. Included in the series were two writing workshops, a panel discussion with local artists, an online exhibit of creations from Brock community members, and a curated library collection of literature addressing art and activism in various forms.

The arts have always been a platform for expression. Reflections of cultural shifts and political movements have appeared in songs, paintings, poetry, and every other kind of artistic creation.

We are so happy to celebrate the beautiful and thought-provoking explorations of social justice through art.

ُروحانیت (Soulfulness, Voice of the Soul)

by Rabia Choudhary

This work is a part of my series titled “Growing Through Fire” in which I explore the relationship between different identities, how they intersect and sometimes clash (i.e., ethnicity, religious faith, sexuality etc.). This painting acts as a self-portrait in a way to represent my experiences as a Queer Pakistani Muslim Woman. Growing up, I struggled with my sexuality and hid that part of me away from everyone, including myself. I felt shame and struggled with internalized homophobia due to years of experiences with homophobia from family, relatives, peers and the world. So much of my life felt as if I was soulless, from years of self-hatred and suppressing who I was, it was like my soul was no longer mine. This painting was a way to release this pain and shame, as I let it flow like the water in our oceans. I let the Voice of my Soul speak and this is what it created.
In the upper right corner of this painting, I included a quote in Urdu that translates to “If the soul can leave the body, then why can the heart not eradicate the existence of people?”. This is how it felt all of those years – as if my heart and soul had eradicated my being. Yet, with time and love, I became the woman I am today. I found my voice and I found my soul.

Gas Masks

by Eric Kohler

A digital collage piece which reflects on the situation we find ourselves in during the Covid-19 pandemic, humans must rely on those around them to be honest about their health as we share the same air. We must also rely on technology to connect us while the virus seems to surround us. We all woke up in what seems like an endless loop that feels science fiction and apocalyptic in nature. But through a synchronized reliance in each other, we can achieve a harmonic balance.

Hope-Filled Tears

by Fiona McKay

crying gives me hope
hope for the after
hope for a new way to be
a new perception
in a world with no money
maybe it’s a pipe dream
maybe it’s too extreme
to dream and hope for a future that is clean
clean of capitalist exploitation, extraction, and greed

the tears give me hope for that future
you can see it glimmering, shining within that prism that rolls softly, slowly down that cheek
that pain births new futures, that tear waters the seed in the ground
the tear was always meant to water that seed, gravity demands that prism of light to the ground
to grow a way of being that honours the tears
a way of being that gives space to the tears, light for the seed and the tear to grow together
each tear, each fleeting feeling of each being is given the space, the time that has been lost
lost since the first act of colonization, the first trade of capitalism
each emotion is honoured with time and space, held up and asked what it needs
no longer asked if it has the time to take care of itself, has the money, has the space
no longer does money tower over the value of every being’s life
no longer does it control us
we have space to welcome the tears
the happy tears of families welcoming home their formerly imprisoned loved ones as the last prisons are shut down
the happy tears of Black, Indigenous, and community members of colour as the last drop of funding for the police state is moved to housing and mental health
the happy tears of immigrants and migrant workers as open borders finally end the restriction on their movement
the traumatized tears of refugees when the bombing finally stops, and the reparations and rebuilding of their homes begin
the tears shed in family therapy by families finally able to work through generations and generations of intergenerational trauma

the tears that are the hardest to find within us hold the prisms that shine the brightest
these are the tears that will shine light upon the path to a better world
these are the tears that hold the pain we must answer to
that hold the roots of the collective trauma that we must rip out and repair the ground that held them
these are the hope-filled tears that hold the immense possibilities of a better world.

Artist Statement:

As much as I hate the act of crying, I love the meaning behind it and I think it is powerful and even revolutionary. Tears are like the blood of emotional wounds (except you can’t cry to death). Crying releases so much pain and so much emotion, I think it is a crucial part of healing emotional wounds. This poem focuses on the power of tears and imagines a future without money, where we are not controlled by capitalism. The idea of allowing space for tears is a commentary on the societal values of pushing down emotions, toxic masculinity, and putting your job above your emotional, and sometimes physical, well-being. This commentary is not to say that we don’t want to put ourselves and our well-being above our jobs, but that capitalism does not allow us to take care of our emotions and our mental health. This compounds throughout our lives and the unravelling of these suppressed emotions and traumas is crucial. This can’t happen under a capitalist system. Only once we dismantle this system can we fully unravel and heal from our collective trauma. Tears begin this process.

As part of Art Speaks 全球电竞直播 Library prepared a  selection of books  which highlight the role of art in activism and social justice.

Find additional  #VirtualBookDisplay  topics in Omni.

Tethered the Ghost  is a theatre collective based in Southwestern Ontario founded by Kaylyn Valdez-Scott and Meryl Ochoa. Our mission is to address the complexities of the Filipino-Canadian diaspora by bringing to life the narratives that we and our families live through

Coming this November, more information coming soon!

Past Events & Actions

Join our exclusive Zoom audience as Canadian Football League veteran, Grey Cup 2011 Champion and National Indigenous Speaker JR Larose, gives a dynamic address on building a strong Brock community through active student leadership, consent, sexual violence prevention, and advocacy.

Featuring Live Q&A’s and appearances from Brock International Ambassadors, Student Executives, Club Presidents and more.

Kick off the school year right and find out how YOU can be a Badger for Change!

 

Attendance is free! Hosed on Zoom.

 

Content Warning: This event will cover issues relating to racism and sexual violence, there will be supports if you need them, provided at the event.

 

Hosted in Partnership with:

BROCK UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT UNION

ABORIGINAL STUDENT SERVICES

BLACK + INDIGENOUS PRIDE CONCERT

Remembering the Past; Resisting for the Future

Pride side

View LIVE ON: BROCK HUMAN RIGHTS AND EQUITY’S FACEBOOK PAGE

 

Join us to celebrate the end of Pride Month, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and Indigenous Rights all in one online concert!

All event proceeds will go to  Black Lives Matter Toronto  and  Abbey House .

Performances included singing, rap, poetry, and spoken-word by local community artists, with appearances from Brock and local community leaders.

Concert Artist

      Kara Jade AKA The Ra11n (The Rain)

Kara Jade AKA The Ra11n (The Rain) is an emerging Plains Cree/Metis Femcee who was born in Winnipeg, MB and originates from Moosomin First Nation in Treaty Six. From a very young age Kara always dreamed of being on stage and used to record herself singing over tapes on her boombox. She got pushed into modelling and decided to put away her fashion heels and pic up a mic, The Ra11n is meant to not only be seen but heard and felt. Kara has been doing music for about four years now and one of the most important things is implementing her culture and activism into her work. KJ released her debut EP “Levels” in 2016 and has been working hard on her career since. She performed at Yonge & Dundas square opening for ATCR at the Indigenous History Month celebrations. She also performed and hosted the Inkdigenous One Year anniversary alongside Joey Stylez. There is also a mural of Kara on the side of the Inkdigenous building which says “Alive to Thrive” sending a positive message to her people. Ra11n also led a conversation with the Canadian Roots Exchange about cultural appropriation which was followed by an interview with CBC Indigenous. Most recently TheRa11n released her latest international single with Jamaican artist Sikka Rymes (VP of Vybz Kartel’s label) “Whine Fi Mi Baby” which received the number one spot on the IMC and was also on Johnny Wonders countdown at #3. Ra11n was also the only Indigenous Femcee to headline Toronto Pride in 2019. She is also known for her work with ANDPVA as a Red Revue Artist two years in a row. She has coped with the many trials and tribulations in life through her music and writing and hopes to inspire the youth. She is currently working on her next step in her journey in music and can’t wait to be able to share it with generations to come.

JASMINE WHYTE

Pop/R&B recording artist and St. Catharines native Jasmine Whyte is Canada’s latest break-out artist to watch. Winner of Season 7 of  The Shot , Jasmine is following up the release of her debut single ‘One Man Band’ with her highly anticipated full music video and track release of ‘Secret’, due out in fall 2020.

J – MARSH

J – Marsh is a Jamaican born queer Canadian singer, utilizing a range of pop, disco, operatic and rock sounds to create a rhythmic landscape.

 

Lydia Collins

Lydia Collins

New to Ottawa,  Lydia   Collins  is a Writer, Activist, and Sexual Health Educator from the Niagara Region. She is a graduate from 全球电竞直播 ’s English Language and Literature program with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies, and is a co-founder of an on-campus activist group, Decolonize and Deconstruct (D&D), that focuses on providing consent education through a decolonial lens. She is the former Workshops Coordinator for Brock’s Student Justice Centre and has given various workshops on and off campus focusing on social justice issues prioritizing consent and sexual health, anti-black racism, and radical self-care.  Lydia  published her first chapbook of poetry titled  Angry. Black. Woman . in January 2019, and has facilitated workshops and spoken in conferences at 全球电竞直播 , Ryerson University, University of Regina, and more. Most recently,  Lydia  has entered her role as the African and Caribbean HIV Prevention Strategy Worker at Somerset West Community Health Centre.  Lydia ‘s passion and dedication to writing, sexual health education, and activism are what keeps her determined to continue amplifying marginalized voices.

D’SCRIBE

D’Scribe the Poet is a 21 year old Indigenous slam poet from Welland, Ontario. He uses his work to discuss topics such as mental illness, pushing beyond boundaries and Indigenous rights. D’Scribe volunteers as a poetry teacher at the DSBN Academy in St. Catharine’s as well as a Radio host at CFBU 103.7fm. D’Scribe placed 16th at the Canadian Individual Poetry slam, is the Grand Slam Champ of the 2017 St Catharine’s poetry slam team and Won the 2017 Hot Damn it’s a Queer Slam finals.

Pepper

 

The effervescent Pepper has been shaking up the spice rack for over 2 decades. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta her career has graced stages in Vancouver, Toronto and the wonderful city of St. Catharines. Being a regular performer for Pride Niagara this time of year is always special. Pepper’s never ending creativity is fueled by this ever evolving art form. Yet she always holds tight to the root of Drag, to educate the children, take it to another level, and to lift our community higher and higher. With great excitement and love Pepper would like to wish the fabulous Brock community a safe and spicy pride.

Oluwabukunolami Soliu

My name is oluwabukunolami Soliu and I heal through the art of music and words. I am a vessel of love in its greatest expression. My goal is to bring balance to everyone I meet through the medicine of chaos.

Raven S Klawe

Legend says the raven is the symbol of metamorphosis, transformation, and mischief. Raven S Klawe’s name itself is a take on that metamorphosis. This Ojibway & Mi’kmaq indigenous queen takes metamorphosis literally as she transforms herself from her 2 spirit self, Alix, and into Raven. This dark queen takes inspiration from villains in film and television, musical theatre, and tells a story with every number.

Originally born in St. Catharines, Raven has been in the drag circuit for seven years now and has recently made her mark as the award recipient for the Unity awards, Performance of the Year for her popular Pennywise Halloween number. What does the future hold for her? Only our ancestors know, but she is confident they will guide her every step of the way.

Shannon Kitchings

Shannon Kitchings is an interdisciplinary artist based in the GTA and Niagara regions of Southern Ontario. She is an award-winning performer and a published writer, focused on community engaged practice. Her arts-based work in community stems from her outreach experience and her graduate studies research. This research in voice and trauma has inspired her to experiment with new approaches to performance, particularly the bodily implications of voice and sound. Shannon is exploring the ways everyone, regardless of artistic training or experience, can communicate complex subject matter through the arts. Her work in arts advocacy has been central to her community development work. Shannon has worked with companies such as little red theatre, RENAISSANCE Ensemble, Driftwood Theatre Company, Burlington Slam Project, In The Soil Festival, Aeris Körper, and Dreamwalker Dance Company.

Strong Water Women

Strong Water Women (Zhoonge Niibii Kwe) is a group of Indigenous Women from many different nations who reside in the Niagara Region, who promote identity while nurturing each other’s Spirit. The main purpose of the group is unity as intended in our original teachings. They have grown to a group of well over 40 women who love promoting our culture, language and traditions of our communities. Sharing their songs and drumming.

Join us on July 23 @ 7 PM for our feature in #NiagaraPerforms hosted by FirstOntario Preforming Arts Centre.

Pop/R&B recording artist and St. Catharines native Jasmine Whyte is Canada’s latest break-out artist to watch. Winner of Season 7 of  The Shot , Jasmine is following up the release of her debut single ‘One Man Band’ with her highly anticipated full music video and track release of ‘Secret’, due out in fall 2020.

J – MARSH

J – Marsh is a Jamaican born queer Canadian singer, utilizing a range of pop, disco, operatic and rock sounds to create a rhythmic landscape.

 

D’Scribe the Poet is a 21 year old Indigenous slam poet from Welland, Ontario. He uses his work to discuss topics such as mental illness, pushing beyond boundaries and Indigenous rights. D’Scribe volunteers as a poetry teacher at the DSBN Academy in St. Catharine’s as well as a Radio host at CFBU 103.7fm. D’Scribe placed 16th at the Canadian Individual Poetry slam, is the Grand Slam Champ of the 2017 St Catharine’s poetry slam team and Won the 2017 Hot Damn it’s a Queer Slam finals.

International Education Week: Culture, Agency and Women's Rights with Farzana Doctor

Join award winning novelist, activist and psychotherapist Farzana Doctor on November 18 th  3-5pm (EST) as she explores culture, customs, resistance and women’s agency across the globe specifically in the Dawoodi Bohra community. Drawing on passages from her 2020 novel “Seven” Farzana will facilitate a conversation on the meaning of “human rights” as she highlights and examines the issue of Female Genital Mutilation.

Participate in interactive audience Q&As, and enjoy live readings as well as a panel of Brock student leaders, ambassadors and executives

Register now on EventBrite (click this link to register)   and receive select passages from “Seven” to read along with at the event.

If you’d like to read the full book, you can purchase it through this link.    

Brought to you by Brock Creative Writing, Human Rights & Equity, Brock International, The Writers Union of Canada and The Canada Council for the Arts .

 

Content Warning: This webinar event will be covering topics including but not limited to, racism, xenophobia, sexual violence and female genital mutilation. It will also cover topics including but not limited to, racism, xenophobia, sexual violence and female genital mutilation. Supports will be provided at the event for those who may need them.

Q&A Guidelines: While we invite the audience to engage in this event through asking questions and interacting with the speaker, we would like to remind participants not to ask any inappropriate and intrusive questions that probe into the specifics of the speaker’s personal life, family, body and experience with sexual violence and/or genital mutilation.