On Friday, November 16, 2012, Jer’s Vision had the pleasure of visiting Lo Ellen Park Secondary School to host the Dare to Stand Out: Ontario North East Conference, and it was great!
Students got to participate in diverse workshops of their choosing including Queer Activism and History, Growing Up Gay in Northern Ontario, Voices for Change: Creating Youth Storytellers, Gender Diversity & Trans 101, and GSA 101! We had two very inspiring key note speakers. One of them was Vivek Shraya, a queer Toronto-based multi-media artist, singer-songwriter, and short story writer, who talked about his childhood and previewed his new short film “What I Love About Being Queer”. The second speaker was Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo, a social-justice-oriented minister and Toronto NDP Provincial Member of Parliament, who discussed the history and current state of LGBTQ rights in Canada and what we can all do to make a difference.
Workshops throughout the day included:
- Queer Activism and History
- Growing up Gay in Northern Ontario
- Voices for Change: Creating Youth Storytellers
- Gender Diversity & Trans 101
- GSA 101
The focus of the day was to be informed and get involved with addressing discrimination and promoting diversity, and all in all, the day was a huge success. We had a ton of fun visiting your school and we hope to be back there again soon!
Here are some comments from the students:
“The day was great! All the speakers were really inspiring. Thanks for the opportunity!”
“I have had little exposure to info about GSAs and I always want to know what I can do to make my school a better place when I become a teacher.“
“I learned a lot about how to react if someone (a friend) told you they were gay or transexual.“
“Today gave me hope to continue onward and upward through my struggle, thanks.“
“It made me see how much change people can make just by standing up for what you believe.“
(Photo: Vivek Shraya. Photo Credit: Laura Stricker, The Sudbury Star)