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 December 11, I was honoured to receive a Human Rights Champion Award from the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights. I was described in the awards brochure as “a pioneering media artist in Edmonton and a community organizer.” Many of my colleagues from the Edmonton Coalition Against War and Racism, the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action, and the Moving Forward with Reconciliation working group, as well as many of my general activist friends, were there to support me.
Here’s my acceptance speech, in writing and video:
When I showed up at my first peace march in September of 2005, camera in hand, I had no idea that 11 years later I would be standing here receiving an award like this.
I firmly believe that we all have a role to play when it comes to peace and human rights, and that every contribution has significance. Our voices count, whether it is helping organize events, connecting communities, or simply showing up to support an equitable society, to say no to racism, and to say yes to peace and an anti-war government.
I also hope that my example will help influence others to get involved with the peace movement and human rights. We need your voices and talents.
Thank you to the John Humphrey Centre for holding these awards and for bestowing this honour upon me. And to all of my friends and supporters over the years: peace, shalom, thank you.