Attention Artists!

Are you a self-identified woman, transgender or genderqueer person interested in using your art to combat violence?

The  Womyn’s Centre is currently seeking contributions for a gallery exhibit in celebration of International Womyn’s Week (March 5th-9th).

The subject is Empowerment in the Face of Violence and all submissions should relate to: fighting back, remembrance, hope, forgiveness, self-love and/or healing.

If you have any questions please stop by the Womyn’s Centre at 190 Helen Glass Centre, or contact us at womynscoordinator@umsu.ca

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UMSCL Pro-Lifers event tonight reminder

I wanted to remind folks that tonight is the University of Manitoba Students for a Culture of Life: “Defending Life” event presentation on Abortion and Consequences – this will be taking place tonight at 7:00 in the Student Group Resource Centre (180 Helen Glass). Check out their poster which plainly refers to abortion as murder (ugh!):
http://umscl.wordpress.com/2011/09/28/coming-soon-abortion-procedures-consequences/

–Womyn’s Centre collective members are planning to attend this event with informative materials on counselling, birth control, etc, to ensure that the presentation does not remain one sided. For those interested in attending, we will be meeting in the Womyn’s Centre prior so that we can go together as a team and not feel alone.

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Weekly Update

Hello Collective:

First of all I would like to welcome a whole new set of wonderful womyn who have joined our emailing list. Thanks for taking interest in the Womyn’s Centre and we hope to see you out at our meetings and events this year, and look forward to working with new folks on wonderful things.

There are a few things underway here at the Centre, including our first collective meeting which is set for this Friday September 23, from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. We’ve allowed ample time so that members can join in when they can, and of course head off to class or whatnot (so don’t feel obligated to stay for the entire meeting, but please don’t be shy to join us late!). This will be the first collective meeting of the Womyn’s Centre 2011 fall term, and we are excited to welcome new members to our space and get the chance to chat about what we’d like to see happen this year. There will be snacks and tea/coffee and of course, awesome folks!

The Womyn’s Centre and the Rainbow Pride Mosaic (RPM) will also be hosting a Sex Toy Party on Wednesday September 28, from 7:00 – 9:00 in the Student Group Resource Centre (180 Helen Glass Bldg, corner before the womyn’s centre). This event was created to help boost the memberships of the RPM and Womyn’s Centre and is open to everyone. It will be presented by Niky Blair who is a lovely passion party consultant. The party of course will be inclusive and a safe space for everyone. Bring yourselves, bring a friend, bring anyone interested in our service groups and join us for some sex toy fun – Degree’s will be catering this event with delicious appetizers and beverages.

This week was Student Recruitment Week and I would first off like to thank all the volunteers who helped out womyn the tables out in University Centre fireside lounge. It was quite successful and we now have a full list of new members, hurray! This was also an opportunity to check out the other student groups around campus, and many of us noticed a new “pro-life” group making it’s presence out in UC. The Defending Life group is planning an event in October (details yet to be confirmed) which will include womyn speaking out about their horror experiences with choosing to have abortions. The Womyn’s Centre takes a stand on groups which seek to oppress womyn’s choice, and thus this will be discussed at our collective meeting to see what action can be taken so that our presence as feminists, as pro-choice, and as womyn can be seen/heard. If anyone has any ideas, bring them to the meeting and hopefully we can think of a peaceful but powerful way to ensure all sides of this issues are accounted for.

Many of you have probably heard about the world-wide Slut Walk protests which have been happening since a Toronto policeman informed womyn that in order to avoid rape, we must not dress like sluts.
From SlutWalk Toronto’s website:
“When we first heard about the Toronto Police officer labeling women and people most at risk of sexual assault as “sluts”, we thought about making noise and demanding for more than an apology. We have a constitutional right to a freedom of expression and a freedom of assembly so we’re using it. Putting that into action, we wanted to go right to Toronto Police Service’s front door at 40 College St. with impassioned numbers uniting against these damaging stereotypes. Thus SlutWalk was born and began with SlutWalk Toronto. We are taking our frustration to the streets – literally. Toronto’s Walk was the first and was incredibly successful with an estimated 3,000-4,000 people joining us on the street and many others supporting us from afar.
” (http://www.slutwalktoronto.com/about/what)

Winnipeg has created it’s own Slut Walk – Join us on October 15, 2011, at the Burton Cummings Theatre at 2 p.m., at which point we will march TOGETHER to the Legislative Building where we will have speakers on the subject (from their Facebook events page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slutwalk-Winnipeg/264096960267534?sk=info)

The Radical Cheerleaders have also been working to organize in solidarity with Slut Walk Winnipeg and have an event this Saturday Sept. 24th to discuss and organize “This is a night to hang out, eat delicious food and talk about the meaning(s) of slutwalk. Important questions to ask might be who does slutwalk privilege? What relationship with the Po-Po is slutwalk advocating? How does one navigate issues of beauty in relationship to slutwalk” (Facebook events page – https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=279811012029323)

As some of you may have heard, Gio’s, our local lgbttq* bar, is in threat of closing down. They has been working to campaign to folks in order to save it from closure and have asks folks to join them in support this Friday and Saturday for their Save Gio’s Fundraisers. They have also started the “Buy a Brick Campaign” in which groups can literally purchase a piece of Gio’s building as part of their fundraising. If anyone is interested in learning more about these fundraisers check out their Facebook events page, and I have pamphlets in the Centre as well. Get out there, dance and help save a wonderful Winnipeg lgbttq* establishment. https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=284726611554542

And finally the search for a new Coordinator is underway, but in the meantime I will still be here holding down the fort. This Friday @ 7:00 Lauryn has graciously decided to lend us her home to host a Pot-Luck/Going-Away party thing. This is a chance to get together, eat some delicious food and send me off (*tear*). You are all welcome to attend, just email Lauryn for her address and details at lauryn.pizey.allen@gmail.com

Sorry for such a run-on email, but I hope I covered the important stuff. Again our meeting is tomorrow and I look forward to seeing lots of you there!

lotsa feministy love,

-jen

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WHC Volunteer Training

Birth Control & Unplanned Pregnancy Program

Trained volunteer counsellors provide pro-choice, feminist-based, non-judgmental, compassionate support, information and referrals to clients on birth control and unplanned pregnancy options. Volunteer counsellors are trained to discuss issues related to sexuality and relationships, sexually transmitted infection/HIV prevention and safer sex practices.

Volunteer training to become a BC & UPP volunteer counsellor is held twice a year in September/October and March. Training is approximately 60 hours held over 12 weeks.This training program prepares volunteers to work from a woman-centered, feminist counselling model. This counselling model strives to empower clients to make informed decisions.

For more information on the BC & UPP Volunteer Counselling program, please call Gio at (204) 947-2422 ext. 108 to receive an information package. The package outlines what is involved in being a volunteer counsellor, including the time commitment required.

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Risk and Resilience among Bisexual People: A Community-Based Study of Bisexual Mental Health

BISEXUAL MENTAL HEALTH PROJECT

I’m seeking 30 people who identify as bisexual, OR who are attracted to more than one sex/gender, to pilot test a survey, and provide feedback about the process and content. Testers should be 16 years of age or older, and not currently living in Ontario (we’re saving them for later).

If you think you’d like to test our study, please email me at margaret_robinson@camh.net If you’d like to know more about the project, please visit our website, http://lgbtqhealth.ca/projects/#RiskResilienceBisexual, or email me with your questions.

Margaret Robinson, PhD Project Coordinator

 

Projects:

Risk and Resilience among Bisexual People in Ontario: A Community-Based Study of Bisexual Mental Health

Bisexual people are often left out of research. When they are included, they are often lumped in with heterosexuals, gays, or lesbians rather than being studied as a distinct group. This makes it next to impossible to get statistics about bisexual health, to compare bisexual health with the heath of non-bisexuals, or to identify health issues that are unique to bisexual people. As a result, bisexuals often receive little benefit from the research in which they have participated in.

Those studies that do focus on bisexual people have found that bisexuals report poorer mental health and use mental health services more often than heterosexuals do. These studies also found that bisexuals report higher rates of anxiety, depression, poor self-rated mental health, suicidality and self-harm behaviour, than gay and lesbian people do. However, we have little understanding of why bisexuals experience these mental health disparities. Understanding the context of bisexual mental health, a pilot study conducted by our research team identified homophobia, biphobia, and monosexism as factors affecting the mental health of bisexuals in Ontario. Many reported a lack of in-group community support, and many felt marginalized in both the heterosexual community and the lesbian and gay community (4).

Our current project will survey 800 bisexual people from across Ontario to learn about their mental health and their experiences with mental health services. We aim to identify practices or strategies that improve mental health for bisexuals, and also identify barriers to mental health or mental health services. These findings will be used to improve the mental health services available to bisexual people.

For this study our definition of bisexual includes people attracted to more than one sex and/or gender. This may include those who self-identify as bisexual, queer, pansexual, omnisexual, two-spirited, fluid, or who choose another non-heterosexual identity label (5).

Our study will use respondent-driven sampling (RDS), a method by which people who complete the survey recruit new participants from their own social networks (6). RDS has been demonstrated to reduce sample bias. Without it, for example, one eager participant, say Project Coordinator Margaret Robinson, could recruit a large number of participants who are like herself and we might conclude that most bi people in Ontario are bisexual researchers in their 30s. Respondent-driven sampling allows us to calculate statistics to represent all bi people in Ontario by looking at how difficult each person who completed the survey was to recruit.

This project is guided by a community Advisory Committee made up of a diverse group of bisexuals from across the province. These committee members will help shape the language and content of the survey questions. Working with advisory committees helps keep our research relevant to the community that is being studied, and is one of the ways we put our values of partnership and accountability into practice.

Project Team

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Lori Ross
  • Co-Investigators: Dr. Greta Bauer, Loralee Gillis and Ishwar Persad
  • Project Coordinator: Dr. Margaret Robinson
  • Consultant: Cheryl Dobinson

For more information, contact Margaret Robinson:

Email:
margaret_robinson@camh.net
Phone:
1-416-535-8501 ext. 7385

Canadian Institutes of Health Research Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Operating Grant

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Indigenous Young Women: Speaking Our Truths, Building Our Strengths

Indigenous Young Women: Speaking our Truths, Building our Strengths

November 18th to 21st, 2011 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Deadline to register is September 9th, 2011. Click here to REGISTER

To read the information and register in Inuktitut, please click here

Want to speak your truth and build on your strengths? Are you a young Indigenous woman between the ages of 16 and 25? Whether you are already involved in your community or are just starting to learn about your Indigenous culture, the Native Youth Sexual Health Network and Girls Action Foundation invite you to join other young Indigenous women from across Canada to learn, share and have fun together!

This project offers opportunities to come together as sisters, with the inclusion of Elders and other traditional leaders in the spirit of unity to discuss what is happening, and act upon our vision of what needs to change in our communities. This is the time to be yourself, all of yourself and celebrate it!

This project is for and by:

Self- identified young Indigenous Women between the ages of 16-25, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit, status or non-status, beneficiary or non-beneficiary. Those who identify as women, Trans, Two Spirit, or gender non-conforming are welcome.

What is the project about?

The Indigenous Young Women: Speaking our Truths, Building our Strengths project focuses on Indigenous young women’s leadership, empowerment, building solidarity amongst each other and stopping violence. The project will focus on skill sharing and facilitation, emphasizing the fact that youth ideas matter and that youth are experts in their own right! We will also have opportunities to learn important teachings from our elders and other traditional teachers, with an understanding that women’s strength has always existed in our communities and continues to grow.

Mentorship

Opportunities will be created for different types of mentorship, both informal and formal. Mentorships will be created between Elders, traditional teachers and young women, and there will also be peer-to-peer mentorship as youth have important knowledge to learn from each other as well.

Community Actions

A key area that has been identified as part of this project is making sure there are opportunities to continue the work started at this gathering. Ten communities will be chosen to  use the skills, knowledge and mentorship gained from the project to implement local community actions! This is your chance to let your voices be heard, and act upon the changes you would like to see in your communities. More information on the community action opportunities will be provided at the gathering.

The 4-day gathering will explore key areas such as:

  • Stopping racism and violence
  • Reclaiming knowledge and teachings from Elders and moving into new traditions
  • Healthy sexuality
  • Pride in cultural diversity and difference
  • Leadership in all its forms
  • Arts for social change
  • Learning practical skills (How to start a youth council, grant writing, political leadership, becoming your own advocate)
  • Get to know your rights!
  • Skill-sharing
  • Self-care and burnout prevention
  • Plan community actions
  • Create resources
  • Keeping in touch after the gathering

Possible activities: workshops, concerts, talk show, fashion show, film night, giveaways, feasts, hip hop and more. Come ready to share and exchange your skills, talent or knowledge.

When & Where:

The gathering will take place in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan between November 18th and 21st, 2011.

Accessibility: We will make every effort possible to meet the needs of all participants, including but not limited to language, mobility, disability and dietary needs. Please make note of this on the registration form. If you are selected to participate, we will work together to ensure accessibility needs are met.

Language: Please note that this gathering will be held mainly in English, French and Inuktitut. The Native Youth Sexual Health Network and Girls Action are committed to making the event accessible in these three languages, so let us know if you have a different language preference we will do our best to arrange for whispered translation.

Childcare: Where we can, we support the participation of those who would not be able to take part if their young child was unable to accompany them. Please make a note of this on the registration form where indicated and read our Policy for Children for more information.
There are NO fees to participate in Indigenous Young Women: Speaking our Truths, Building our Strengths. If you are selected, we will cover your travel and accommodation costs.

 

The project is also lead by a peer Advisory Committee consisting of ten Indigenous young women from across Canada.They are:

Amanda Darroch-Mudry
Erin Konsmo
Janice Grey
Jasmine Redfern
Jocelyn Formsma
Kari-Dawn Wuttunee
Krysta Williams
Lacey Whiteduck
Marie Holeiter
Theresa J Lightfoot

In collaboration with Native Youth Sexual Health Network

 

REGISTER NOW!  Deadline to register is September 9th, 2011. Participants will be notified of acceptance by September 26th, 2011.

Registration forms can also be faxed to (514) 948-5926 or mailed to:

24 Mont Royal West Suite 601 Montreal, Quebec H2T 2S2 CANADA

For more information please contact Natasha@girlsactionfoundation.ca or call 1-888-948-1112

To register, please fill out registration form below and email to Natasha@girlsactionfoundation.ca)

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No Dumb Questions – free viewing

Uncle Bill is becoming a woman.

This lighthearted and poignant documentary profiles three sisters, ages 6, 9 and 11, struggling to understand why and how their Uncle Bill is becoming a woman. These girls love their Uncle Bill, but will they feel the same way when he becomes their new Aunt Barbara?

With just weeks until Bill’s first visit as Barbara, the sisters navigate the complex territories of anatomy, sexuality, personality, gender and fashion. Their reactions are funny, touching, and distinctly different.
This film offers a fresh perspective on a complex situation from a family that insists there are no dumb questions.

http://nodumbquestions.com/freestreaming.html

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