|Only Children Ride Bikes!||As a cyclist on an Edmonton roadway, I feel there is lots of room for debate, but not much room for bicycles, or even other modes of active transportation. Moreover, the perception in North America seems to be that only children, the poor, the crazy and the drunk ride bikes as an adult. I am not a child, poor, crazy or drunk, but I am a cyclist and I have been vehicular cycling in Edmonton since 1992. I help this transition by volunteering as a bicycle traffic reporter for CJSR the campus radio station. I ride around, count other bicycle riders, talk about issues that effect cyclists, ultimately I heighten the awareness of the opportunity for bicycle riding as a way of life.|
|The Skinny on Being Fat||I received national media attention last year when I was fired from my job at a plus-sized clothing store for using the F-word. I am an outspoken advocate for body positivity, the freedom to identify as fat, and erasing stigma around the expression and experience of being fat. This is a story of finding your voice, loving yourself, and finding that perfect pair of skinny jeans.|
|#MakeItAwkward||On Wednesday, August 31, 2016, Jesse Lipscombe was the victim of a verbal racial attack in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, while he was shooting a PSA for the city downtown. The attack was caught on camera and the video quickly went viral. He was hurt by the incident, and disappointed that this kind of racism continues to exist in our city. But he was even more struck by the amount of love and support he received from his community, the entire country, and even the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Ultimately, he decided to turn a negative incident into a positive.|
|From a hopeless child to a leader in Deaf community||Being a Deaf little boy of an old Persian royal family was not easy, especially in the time of the Iranian revolution (1978-1979) and Iran–Iraq war (1980-1988). And yet, this is how my life begins. Even under the support of highly educated parents, the challenges I faced as a deaf child were complicated by the Iranian social contexts.
In this presentation, you will be invited to a compelling life story of deafness, silence, and oppression, a story, in the meantime, striking a resonating note of survival, resilience, and determination.
Through Deaf Eyes
This book was raised as Deaf transgender in Vancouver BC. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information System at Gallaudet University in Washington DC. She has been discriminated and oppressed by hearing society even though she stands up for what she believes and learned how to protect herself. She filed human rights against Starbucks for not providing interpreters in meetings and evaluation meetings and won the settlement. Most hearing people who don’t know about Deaf people tend to assume the myths rather than facts. For example, people thought I could read lips and don’t need interpreters, but that’s kind of a stereotype.
(Reprinted in 2018)
|Happily Homeless||Life is never what we expect. Yet would you ever expect happiness being discovered through homelessness? Well I never would have thought so either. Until I experienced it for myself...|
|Unstable: Living with Borderline Personality Disorder||Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental illness that can feel like a surprise bag. Any given day you might wake up and have no clue what symptoms you will experience. Will you get anger, irritation, impulse control, dissociation, paranoia, self-criticism, mood swings or maybe even elation? How do you cope when you only feel and think in black and white. You don’t even live in the grey. Learn about the struggles of a mental illness that tells you that you NEED people, but the same illness causes you to feel unworthy and push those exact people away.|
|Drag is four letter word||I began the hobby of drag (female impersonation) three years ago. Following the completion of a masters' thesis, it turned quickly into a research project, where I found myself peering into creative disciplines where I had zero to little experience (makeup, sewing, hairstyling) and some where I had a great passion (performance art, satire, fashion). Since then, I have joined the House of HOMO-CIDAL, with nine of my punk drag sisters and collaborators, and hosted and performed in a wide variety of shows throughout Edmonton and beyond. Check me out so I can babble on about my experience.|
|Vegan, Polyamorous||I've likely met you already. I've likely shaken hands with you and shared a smile with you. So it may come as a shock to learn that I'm both vegan and polyamorous. Or, alternatively, you may know nothing about either lifestyle. Either way, neither veganism nor polyamory (ethical non-monogamy) are common lifestyle choices and both are burdened by negative stereotypes. I can't speak on the behalf of either community, but let's share a reasoned conversation. I'm offering to share my story -- my reasons and experiences -- with you. I'll help demystify what it means to be vegan or polyamorous.|
|Mental illness, my job, and other prisons I love||
When I was 17 I remember acting crazy. I would sneak out, drink until I got stupid and stay up for days at a time; life was fun, exciting, and an adventure to be had. Yet; in the back of my head I knew something was wrong with me. That little voice that talks to you and tells you to do your taxes, stay in school, get a job and pull your shit together kept repeating the same thing over and over – you are sick, this behavior is not normal, you need help. But how could feeling like this be wrong? Besides, I was fun, brilliant, exciting and magnetic. Who didn’t want to be me?
Then at 21 the crash came; pregnant, alone, depressed, scared and confused. This was the first time I asked for help. Twelve years later I was finally heard, and everything changed.
|Islam: The Stolen Muslim Narrative||Imagine someone who steals your identity and commits atrocious crimes and you are left to pay the price and suffer the consequences. Imagine if someone slanders your name and then you are left to pay the price of a tainted reputation. Imagine if hundreds of news articles and news channels start broadcasting incorrect information about you to an audience of millions. Now, imagine if that same person responsible for tarnishing your name walks into your home, your sanctuary, to murder you because of who you are. This is a story of the stolen Muslim narrative-- to have someone rob you of your identity to make you a vulnerable target of hate.|