I used to write for Alberta Sweetgrass on a regular basis, until the publication went completely online in 2015, merging with Windspeaker.com. So, I was quite enthusiastic to be contacted by the editor and assigned my first piece for the website, which went online yesterday.
I was invited to give a talk about reconciliation today at Robertson-Wesley United Church. My talk, and the subsequent discussion, was after the service for the church’s Mission and Outreach Pod. I have posted my notes from the talk at my blog Sacred Social Justice, as well as Radical Citizen Media.
I recently became involved with a local, grassroots initiative called Completing the Story. We are people who are concerned about the lack of visual representation of women in public spaces. We’ve been photographing places around Edmonton where statues and art featuring mostly men are on display, creating memes, and posting to the Internet (like our Facebook page) with the hashtag #completingthestory.
I connected Completing The Story with with fellow organizers from the various January 21 Women’s March sister marches across Canada (the March On Canada network), to present CTS as a national campaign. We launched the campaign this past week, encouraging people from all coasts to document how women are visually represented in their communities, and post to social media with the #completingthestory hashtag. We also sent out a media release, and Metro Edmonton ran a cover story on Friday, June 16.
We will be following the use of the hashtag and collecting responses on our website, city by city. Our goal is to influence municipal policies to include gender balance when it comes to things like public art and names of streets or parks.
How are women represented visually in your community?
As followers of my blog probably already know, I won First Place in the 2016 Inner City Poetry Contest. I read my poem at an event last April as part of the 2016 Edmonton Poetry Festival.
The winning poem “A.M. in the ‘Hood” along with another one, “Memorial March,” were just published in the chapbook Inner City Beat (June 2017). I also provided the photographs for the chapbook. There is a small colour print run which will be followed by future black and white ones. However, you can download a full colour PDF of the book here.
Thank you to partners E4C, Wellness Network, Edmonton Poetry Festival, and Black Cat Press for making this happen.
Indigenous McCauley: A History and Contemporary Overview of First Nations and Métis Life in the McCauley Neighbourhood is a booklet supported by McCauley Revitalization/City of Edmonton that was printed and distributed this week. I worked on it for over a year as the Project Lead, Editor, and photographer, with the noted Métis writer Marilyn Dumont. Copies are free and will be available (at least on a semi-regular basis) at Zocalo, The Italian Centre, Sprucewood Library, and the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action. You can also download a copy in PDF format here (it’s 16MB so it may take a while to download if you’re on a slow connection).
On March 10, E4C celebrated 20 years of its McCauley Apartments program. McCauley Apartments is affordable housing with a large number of tenants who have severe mental illness, but who contribute to the community in so many ways as volunteers.
Boyle McCauley News, the inner city community newspaper I edit, received an award of recognition as a community partner. I, Volunteer Coordinator Colleen Chapman, and Board Chair Gary Garrison also received individual recognitions. Here’s a photo of us all smiling and happy at the event!
It was another busy weekend, as the event Women March Forward happened on March 25. This was the official follow-up to the solidarity sister march on January 21, where over 4000 people came out to the Legislature to declare that women’s rights are human rights. We wanted to do a “human library” instead of an event of speeches, and bring out organizations that deal with various aspects of women’s concerns as identified in a survey we did following the march. We had two keynote speakers who co-presented on the topic of intersectionality. I did an interview with Global Television about the event. I also did an interview with Metro.
The next day I presented my film McCauley: A Caring Community – Conversations on Social Housing as part of an after-service program at McDougall United Church. I appreciated their kind words in their program.