Throughout the year, along with events hosted by our working groups, Levana hosts, is involved in, and/ or supports a number of events and projects. Some of these projects and events have included (this list is not exhaustive):
- ***COMING UP*** (November 13th 2015) ‘Take Back the Mic featuring Kym Nacita!‘ This event will feature Kym Nacita, a Calgary-based spoken word artist and workshop facilitator. Her time in Calgary is spent organizing art shows such as POCSUPREMACY and Taking Back What’s Ours which gives a platform for queer/trans black, indigenous, people of colour (QTBIPOC) to share their work. She also facilitated a workshop series for QTBIPOCs on reclaiming our voices through poetry and writing. She has performed in various events including the Calgary Bridge Foundation’s Youth Conference and Topside Press’ Where Were Going We Don’t Need Roads. Hosted by OPIRG Kingston, this event is also made possible by Germinations, The Queen’s Pride Project, and the Levana Gender Advocacy Centre
- (April 3rd 2015) ‘Affective Alchemy: Powerful Emotions and Creative Expressions’ What do we make of, with, or out of our most powerful emotions? Where do we hold our overwhelming feelings and how do they come out in the ways that we express ourselves? Rage, despair, grief, shame, fear. These are a few of the emotions that, despite or even because of how difficult they are to feel, can be rich sources of embodied wisdom. These feelings which tend to overwhelm or even render us unable to express ourselves in ways we usually would can often make us feel as if we need to express something. We are therefore interested in what we can do with such powerful emotions. Do they carry with them the potential to transform? To create? To combine? To teach? Levana Gender Advocacy Centre is pleased to present three workshops that engage with this theme of affective alchemy: ‘move/breath/feel: exploring trauma-sensitive yoga’, ‘spoken word and community transformation’, ‘construction/catharsis: healing and learning through hands-on creative expression’.
- (March 2015) ‘TURBINES PRESENTS: UTOPIAS PERFORMANCE ART FESTIVAL /// FEAT. VAGINAL DAVIS /// HAZEL MEYER /// ANDREW RABYNIUK /// AVERY EVERHART‘
Guided by queer, feminist, trans, and anti-racist perspectives, UTOPIAS draws together emerging/local performance artists with nationally- and internationally-recognized artists in order to produce creative re-imaginings through performance art. Featuring VAGINAL DAVIS, HAZEL MEYER, ANDREW RABYNIUK, and AVERY EVERHART, UTOPIAS temporarily transforms public places and art spaces throughout Kingston in order to stage artistic interventions into dominant cultural narratives. Turbines Collective is a young non-profit curatorial collective that facilitates the production and presentation of socially- and/or politically-minded performance art in Kingston, Ontario. By working with existing arts-based and community organizations within Kingston, Turbines aims to bring together local, professional, international and emerging artists to create an opportunity for collaboration, mentorship, and the sharing of artistic knowledges. Turbines main objective is to foster dialogue and artistic exchanges through free events in order to make performance art accessible to a wider community. This event was supported by Kingston Arts Council, the George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund, the Student Initiative Fund, PSAC 901 Social Justice Committee, PSAC 901 Executive Committee, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, the Queen’s SPGS, the Department of Art, the Department of Gender Studies, and the Cultural Studies Program at Queen’s, Levana Gender Advocacy Centre, the Belvedere Hotel, Corridor Culture, and our individual sponsors and Indie-gogo donors.
- (February 2015) ‘Better Futures Collective Symposium – Colonial Intimacies: Remapping the Relationship between Black and Indigenous Communities‘
This event featured keynote addresses by Andrea Smith (University of California, Riverside) and Rinaldo Walcott (University of Toronto) as well as interactive 5 workshops which included: “Reimagining Mixture: Blood, Race, Culture and Solidarity”; a workshop with Four Directions ; “Colonial Encounters: Black and Indigenous Incarcerations”; “Gender(s), Sexualities, Feminism(s)”; “Survival Strategies on the ground (ethics of the now)”. This symposium addressed the academic, activist, and creative conversations surrounding anti-blackness, indigeneity, settler colonialism and decolonization. Entitled “Colonial Intimacies: Remapping the Relationship between Black and Indigenous Communities”, we engaged with these topics in ways that were no longer limited to identity politics that often foreclose possibilities for community building. Coordinated and created by the Better Futures Collective. Better Futures is a diverse group of people who engage in anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-transphobic and anti-ableist work that seeks to produce new strategies for decolonization. They are committed to supporting marginalized communities in their efforts to secure better futures. Co-Sponsored by Levana Gender Advocacy Centre and the Queen’s Department of Gender Studies.
- (September 2014) ‘Grey House Welcome Back Open House’
An opportunity to hang out at the Grey House and get to know the Queen’s and Kingston social activist community. A chance to find more about the groups that call this space home, and their allies, have a tea or coffee, grab a snack, and discover our zine library. Who was there? Levana Gender Advocacy Centre, OPIRG Kingston, Reelout Arts Project Inc., Queen’s Coalition Against Racial and Ethnic Discrimination, Queen’s Feminist Review, Men Who Like Feminism, Queen’s Pride Project, and many more!
- (March 2014) ‘What’s Feminism Got To Do With It? A Panel and Discussion’
This event featured a conversation and panel with Jaclyn Friedman ( co-editor of “Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape” & Executive Director of (Women, Action and the Media) and students at Queen’s University. This event was made possible by Queen’s Department of Gender Studies, OPIRG Kingston & the Levana Gender Advocacy Centre.
- (March 2014) ‘Gender Difference,Gender Oppression & Mental Health Panel and Discussion‘
This event featured a panel and discussion about the complex ways in which gender and gender oppression intersect with mental health and emotional well-being. Co-sponsored by Queen’s Pride Project, OPIRG Kingston, the ASUS Equity Commission and the AMS Social Issues Commission.
Some of the issues raised by the panel: How experiences of stigma intersect with experiences of social marginalization based on systemic forms of oppression such as sexism, homophobia, transphobia, racism and ableism, the role of gendered socialization and social expectations on mental health. Why, for example, are there substantial differences between men/women/gender queer/LGBTQ+ persons in the rate of occurrence of certain mental health issues? The placement of race in discussions of gender-role performance and mental health.The need for a theoretical shift away from gender binaries in the distribution of mental health and medical services.
Featured Panelists: David Lewis-Peart (Program Coordinator with Community MicroSkills Development Centre), Tess Vo (Supervisor of reachOUT Program Griffin Centre), Dr. Joey Bonifacio (Lead Physician at the Trans Youth Clinic Hospital for Sick Children), Lorraine Chick (Nurse Practitioner at the Department of Family Medicine Queen’s University), Dr. Mike Condra (Director at Health, Counselling and Disability Services Queen’s University)
- (March 2014) ‘Interrogating and Celebrating International Women’s Week: A Roundtable on the Relevance of IWW in our Increasingly Diverse Culture’
In the 20th and 21st centuries, gender and gender identity have taken on a variety of increasingly complex meanings. Questions about how different groups experience and identify in regards to gender, race, class and culture have caused some to question the ongoing utility of International Women’s Week and what it signifies to diverse populations. By posing the question “Is International Women’s Week still relevant? Why or why not? And if not, how can we make it more inclusive and meaningful?“, we hope to engage in an interrogation of, and reflection on, the role of IWW and how it is celebrated.
Co-sponsored by Queen’s Pride and OPIRG Kingston. Panelists: Morgan M Page, Dana Wesley, Krystle Maki, Mary Rita Holland.
- (March 2014) ‘From Awareness to Action: How Understanding race, class, and gender privilege can help us build a more just and equitable society- a talk with Chris Crass’
American society is far more diverse because of the gains of the Civil Rights, feminist, Lesbian and Gay, immigrant and disability rights movements which have changed laws, broken barriers, and transformed how people relate to one another. How can we move from personal awareness to collective action for equality? Author and organizer Chris Crass draws lessons from American social movements as well as his own experiences in social movements over the past 25 years to help us see how divisions of race, class and gender can become bridges to help expand democracy and create healthier communities. From civil rights and women’s liberation to Occupy Wall Street and immigrant justice, Crass brings together effective strategies for social change that have put awareness of privilege into action that can further democracy for us all. Sponsored by: CUPE Local 2202, Kingston and District Labour Council, Levana Gender Advocacy Centre, OPIRG Kingston, PSAC Women’s Committee, Queen’s University Department of Sociology, The Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS), Studies in National and International Development (SNID), and We Don’t Stop Kingston.
- (February 2014) ‘Culture Jamming Workshop‘
Popular culture can seem shallow and meaningless when its glossy advertisements are examined critically. We can learn a great deal about the norms and biases our culture holds and can reveal the ways that power and privilege permeate our daily lives. This workshop looked at these images and thought of creative ways to alter or re-appropriate them into something more positive. Culture jamming and cultural re-appropriation were used to make art that can be considered along feminist, anti-capitalist, anti-racist lines. Coordinated and hosted by the Germinations collective, sponsored by Levana Gender Advocacy
- (January 2014) ‘POCTALK Kingston Writing Workshop with Brandon Wint‘
Following a POCTALK Kingston Open Mic event the previous day, featured poet Brandon Wint led a writing workshop at the Grey House. All were welcome to sit-in with Brandon, talk about their own work, and get tips from the best. Brandon Wint is an Ottawa-based writer and poet who has graced stages and captured the attention of audiences across Canada with his unique spoken word performances since 2008. Through his insightful performance pieces, Wint encapsulates the subtle and remarkable beauty of the human condition. As a poet who has been part of two Canadian Festival of Spoken Word championship teams, and as one who has traveled the country performing poetry for diverse audiences, Wint has been exposed to many styles of poetry, many ways of relating, and many different artistic aesthetics. While everyone was invited to the workshop, participants were asked to respect this space as PoC and/or Indigenous-centric. Levana Gender Advocacy Centre supported this event.
- (November 2013) ‘Rethinking Race & Space: Which Communities are Worth Fighting for? A Panel Discussion’
This event brought together Queen’s University professors, students and community members to discuss the differences in (affective) responses to acts of violence in the greater Kingston area. Through our conversations, we aimed question: What are the everyday racism(s) experienced by communities within and outside of Queen’s University? How are the boundaries of “community” discussed, policed, and discursively created in Kingston? And finally, how is community geographically situated in the city (South of Princess/North of Princess), and how are areas outside of these privileged regions (and the individuals who live there) imagined? Cosponsored by the Queen’s Black Academics Society
- (November 2013) ‘Trans Day of Remembrance’
A foodshare and informal discussion about everyday cis-sexism and transphobias, the disturbing rise of trans exclusive feminisms, transphobia at Queen’s, and trans solidarity, followed by a candle lit solidarity walk to the Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil at City Hall.
- (September 2013, March 2014, March 2015) ‘Gender and Sexual Diversity Fair’
The gathering will provided a platform to for groups to showcase their organization/service to a wide audience. Community attendance was free. In addition, the fair was be a great opportunity for groups to foster collaborations and network with other organizations/services related to LGBTTIQQ2SA* and feminist communities. Guest speakers have included: Jessica Yee (founder of the Native Youth Sexual Health Resource Network), Den Temin (certified sexologist, founder of Sexplore) In the past, this event has been hosted by Queen’s Pride, OPIRG Kingston, EQUIP, and Levana Gender Advocacy Centre. A number of groups and clubs have been apart of the fair.
- (September 2013)’ The Cliks Concert at The Grad Club’
Coordinated by Queen’s Pride, Q Series – OPIRG Kingston, Education on Queer Issues Project (EQuIP) and Levana Gender Advocacy Centre. Special guest included local DJ Paul Saulneir (from the well-known PS I Love You).
- (May 2012) ‘Transphobia/Cis-privelege Poster & Sticker Campaign’
These are some materials were created so that you can download, print, share, and post wherever! These materials continue to be available through our website.
- (March 2012) ”BOTTOMS UP: Queer & Feminist Hip Hop Night!‘
PUSH IT! OPIRG Kingston’s 2nd Annual Hip Hop Festival, in collaboration with the Levana Gender Advocacy Centre hosted BOTTOMS UP: QUEER & FEMINIST HIP HOP NIGHT which featured LOST BOIS, ABSTRACT RANDOM, & MC MAN CHYNA. Lost Bois are a queer hip-pop duo for studs, bubbles, girlies, and weirdos of all kinds. A.O. and B.Steady are self-described as “a couple of silly sexy word sculptresses from DC with a mission to make fun music for the most serious of strugglers.” Through college, the bois independently fostered their passions for music and founded The Q Crew; an all-female queer rap trio. Upon their return to DC in the summer of ’09, A.O. and B.Steady reunited with a fierce determination to challenge the sexist, racist, and homophobic hot-mess that is mainstream music. The Lost Bois are revolutionizing the queer music scene with a mission to make wacky and silly music for the most serious of strugglers. Abstract Random is a three human animal in facepaint and costume under a video projection. They call the wordsoundbeat electro dub hop bringing back feminist political cool. Composed of Jamilah Malika (vocals), Loversun aka F. Nocera (producer, vocals, visuals) and Ayo Leilani (vocals). Man Chyna burst from a Smoky Mountain-womb, just like his personal (s)hero, Dolly Parton. Part burlesque and part faggotronic rap, Man Chyna strip hops around Canada like a sissy M.I.A (Sissy Elliot?). Won’t you be the Boy-oncé to his Gay-Z? Mo Homo.
- (March 2012) ‘Levana Gender Advocacy Centre Present: Make Your Own Demon (as part of International Women’s Week)’
A feminist craft session for people of all genders, inspired by Lynda Barry’s graphic novel *One Hundred Demons* We all struggle with demons throughout our lives. Levana sees demons everywhere – Patriarchy, Heteronormativity, Capitalism, Racism, Partner Abuse, to name a few. In *One Hundred Demons*, Lynda Barry devoted a chapter each to 20 of her own demons, exploring her experiences of racism, violence, loneliness, adolescence, etc. At the end of the book, she invites readers to create visual representations of their own demons. At Levana, we see all kinds of demons haunting our lives in Kingston: bad jobs or no jobs, violent partners, racist bus drivers, street harassment, reduced/threatened spaces for marginalized students at Queen’s, inadequate mental health support, fat-shaming doctors and nurses, judgmental and suspicious social workers. We also know the demons of inadequacy and insecurity, body shame and fat shame, internalized oppression and self-hatred. In order to unearth our demons, we must identify them; call them out. To build loving, caring, strong communities, we’ve got to confront the demons that prevent us from treating each other well, caring for and supporting one another. There’s rarely intentional space for us to discuss and challenge our demons, and even less space to do so together. We often feel alone and like these problems are our own to face, rather than finding comfort, support, and solidarity from so many others around us. And we’re made to feel responsible for these burdens, rather than understanding that the whole world is upside-down. This event was meant as an opportunity to create representations of some of the demons that haunt our lives and share them together. It was a a time to get together and talk, enjoy some music, and eat snacks.
- (May 2011) ‘Kingston Book Launch of Feminism for Real edited by Jessica Yee‘
This launch celebrated the Kingston book launch of Feminism FOR REAL: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism, edited by Jessica Yee — our feminist reading group book selection for June. There was a traditional Indigenous opening acknowledging the territory, and the evening featured presentations and round table discussions from the editor and several of the book’s contributors. Proceeds from the evening went to supporting the Sex Worker Action Group of Kingston (SWAG). Co-supported by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Levana Gender Advocacy Centre, The Artel.
- (June 2011) ‘Queeriot in Kingston‘
Queeriot 2011 was a radical convergence in Kingston from July 8-10 that brought queers together across lines of difference. As a centre of the prison industrial complex and the birthplace of the colonial nation called Canada, Kingston embodies the white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy. We’re calling on queers to cum together to disrupt this shit. Our skills, knowledge and bodies are weapons in this fight. Following a successful Queeriot in Guelph in 2010, this event aimed to reconvene, and continue to think about and resist not only the way that mainstream gay organizations have fucked up queer organizing, but also the way that mainstream (often settler, often white) radical queer organizing can reproduce oppressive hierarchies. Queeriot aimed to create communities of resistance and solidarity that are anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, anti-racist, anti-ableist, trans-positive, feminist, empowering, strong, critical, loving, supportive, inclusive, sex-positive, accountable and accessible. This event was created and supported by several groups in Kingston.
- (February 2011)
Organized consensus training for various student groups such as QCRED, Levana Gender Advocacy Centre, OPIRG Kingston.
- (December 6th 2011, 2012) ‘December 6th Memorial’
December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women and the 25th anniversary of the women murdered at l’Ecole Polytechnique. Events were created and coordinated by the Kingston Feminist Coalition ‘We Don’t Stop Kingston’
- (October 2010) ‘Planting the Seeds: A Social Justice Fair’A fair to check out various groups and organizations on campus and in town doing social justice work, meet progressive folks in the community, and eat some free catered snacks.