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Living Library

2020 (Cancelled)

Title Description
How to be the Uncommon Denominator 

Organizational culture and norms shape behaviours and experiences and each time we step into a new organization, we are exposed to new norms. As a young female executive working in a male-dominated industry, I learned firsthand how tricky it can be to navigate multiple cultural norms, both explicit and implicit.

Join me as I share my journey of grappling with these norms and the important lessons I learned.

My Inner Fool and Hagrid, Too

Have you met your inner fool? This book has, thanks to an intense 3 week clown course known as the Pochinko Method of mask work. Meeting and performing as LaLaLa has been truly transformative as an art form, an avenue of personal therapy and the discovery of LaLaLa as genderqueer led to the revelation that they were too. Readers can hear about this book’s involvement with Edmonton’s drama community and cosplaying as Hagrid. 

Survivalist to Thrivalist

At the age of 39, after a life fraught with abuse, trauma and addiction, this book enrolled at NorQuest with a grade 9 education and no self-confidence. They gained more than an education while here; they became sober, learned their inherent worth, and that their purpose in life was to help others thrive in life instead of surviving. Three years later they graduated from NorQuest with honors in the Mental Health Rehabilitation program. Now a NorQuest staff member, this book looks forward to sharing with you the hope for a better future no matter your past.

Empathy Route, Living with An Open Mind

The tables can turn at any point in our lives. Just ask this book who became pregnant at 16, graduated high school as a teen mom, experienced instability at home, and has overcome adversity time and again. Mostly alone, too. Currently estranged from most of their biological family and having lived through the isolation that comes with being a full-time mom and having little support, they know how to cope when there are not many friends or family to turn to. Admittedly, they used to judge others for their choices but now live with an open mind and chose to take the route of empathy for others. 

What it's Like

Often bullied and always misunderstood, this book has survived homelessness, addiction and mental health issues. Born in the 80s with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to a mother who often abandoned them and their sibling, by the time they were 13 they had been fostered, adopted, and then fostered again. They suffered through much mistreatment, including sexual and physical abuse, before learning to survive on their own at the age of 18 and then being falsely accused of crime at the age of 24. Come hear about what this book plans to achieve with their future with strength and resilience.

Transgender is Diversity

Take it from this book, no one tells you who you are. They grew up as a tomboy and realized as an adult that they have male energy inside their body. You can imagine how happy they are that they no longer have to wear dresses! That was one part of the journey of self-acceptance that has brought them true happiness. Come hear about how staying true to who you are, mental health, and confidence are key to happiness. This book looks forward to sharing their point of view with you to provide a better understanding how transgender people contribute to diversity.

Who am I?

Even though their father did not speak of his history, family or background, this book grew up knowing they were Metis in a very white world. Come listen to what it is like growing up not knowing your history or where you come from and the process of discovering these missing parts in Provincial and National Archives. Learn about the racism and prejudice experienced along this journey, both growing up and while researching archives. While it is difficult work, they continue to uncover their history so that the knowledge can be passed to future generations who will know who they are and where they come from.

There is Humility in Transcendence

Often times we think that overcoming difficulty - bias, self-doubt, poverty, discrimination, mental illness, abuse, etc. is because we're strong.  

That is one part of the truth. The other part is: to transcend requires you to see with clarity and humility how frail we are as humans, and that is our power to transcend. As a young ethnic female leader, I have had to not only evolve but become a version of myself willing and able to achieve the vision I had for my life with no borders, no limitations, and no ego. I'm still working on it.

Authentically Me: No Thigh Gaps Here

This book knows that living an authentic life is more important than "faking it until you make it". Growing up as a marginalized second generation Canadian, they faced constant pressure to change who they were. From elementary to university, they were encouraged to hide their accent, scolded for looking different, and choosing a different career path, this book has experienced what it’s like living in-between the cultural gap. However, they taught themselves how to use these experiences to empower themselves to do and be better. Be shown how your imperfections are actually what make you perfect—and that you can make a difference. 

10 Years and Counting: Inclusion from the Inside Out

For this book, life really began 15 years ago at the age of 30 when they transitioned from a life lived in fear and hopelessness to one rooted in healing, self-awareness and service to the community. Since then, this book has been using their experience as a hearing impaired individual to work with others with a mission to foster inclusion and independence for people with disabilities. This includes current projects such as The Inclusion Playland and volunteering to assist the homeless population with a supported smooth transition to housing. Come hear more about how this NorQuest Social Work student plans to help others achieve goals and improve their quality of life. 

The Life and Times of a Transgender Woman

This is a before and after story. This book will share about their life before gender reassignment surgery as well as the challenges they’ve faced, and stereotypes they’ve had to overcome since, while working in the construction industry.  This book has a rich history that includes time spent running a fishing boat in the Australian Torres strait, and working on offshore oil rigs.