Stop light

When to Stop Talking

In the April edition of our blog we hear from Jeff Brown, a former Social Issues Commissioner (SIC) for the Alma Mater Society (AMS). In this blog piece, Jeff explores the meaning of allyship. Using examples from his personal life and time with the AMS, Jeff demonstrates that sometimes being a good ally means listening rather than talking.

Being asked to contribute to this discussion is a tremendous honour. I’ve honestly been churning over in my mind what to offer to the blog for a few months now. Then I remembered, I’m white, I’m 5’11 (6Ft on a good day), and I’m a man…. People listen to me most of the time whether I have something really inspiring to say or if I just raise my voice or ask for the floor.

So with the above in mind, I’ll share the biggest lesson I learned at Queen’s working as the Social Issues Commissioner (SIC) in the AMS: how to stop talking. Continue Reading »

March blog

Indigenous Studies is not a Ghetto

In the latest edition of our blog, we hear from Dr. Adam Gaudry. In this piece, Adam explores the historical and contemporary tensions that exist between units like Indigenous Studies and the academy. Perfectly timed, Adam’s piece draws our attention to the calls to Action in the recently released Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Indigenous programs are here to stay and it’s time to accept that

 At a 2013 university town hall at the University of Saskatchewan, then-president Ilene Busch-Visniac suggested that Indigenous-specific programming should be amalgamated into “mainstream” university programing over the long term. There was immediate push-back, from both those on-campus and off of it. A concerned Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations interjected, along with numerous faculty and student groups, forcing her to walk back the statement and reaffirm the permanence of Indigenous focused programming at the university. However, underneath this controversy is a pervasive logic shared among many university administrations, Continue Reading »

micropohone

Advocacy: Inspiration and Practical Advice

In our February blog post we hear from Maria Aurora Nunez. In this blog piece, Maria explores advocacy through the lens of strength, courage and determination. Reflecting on real life experiences, Maria provides practical tips and strategies for achieving your own advocacy goals.

Feeling discouraged one day, I asked my professor, “Can the law make a difference?”

Hello beautiful reader! ¡Hola! Bonjour! Привет! My name is Maria. I am an artist – I oil paint, write songs and poetry. I am a “dreamer” and an “idealist.” I am also an advocate. Coming from a family of political refugees from Chile, I have had an interest in supporting equity and a diversity of causes since I was a child. My law degree and personal experience have taught me that advocating can be difficult. The important thing is to not give up and to keep following your goals! Continue Reading »

Beginnings

Reflections on Finding Your Authentic Self

In our first blog post for 2017 we hear from Beckham Ronagham. In this blog piece, Beckham candidly discusses the process of transitioning while at Queen’s University. Through poetry, Beckham explores the many emotions involved in their own transition.

During 2010-2012, my third and fourth year at Queen’s University, I came out as transgender and transitioned to living in a male gender role. While in my heart, I identified as genderqueer and with gender-neutral pronouns.

I found the culture of masculinity at Queen’s toxic and challenging. I conformed to certain expressions of masculinity I did not identify with. I dressed in a particular way in order to be perceived as male. Meanwhile, I dressed in sequins, bright colours, and flashy fabrics, behind closed doors and in safer spaces. Only to those closest to me did I share my authentic gender queering self. I wrote this poem in 2012, Continue Reading »

fast moving subway

Moving On: The Inevitable Post-graduation Transition

Julie Harmgardt is our December 2016 blogger. In her piece, Julie explores the process of transitioning from being a university student to the “adult world.” In particular, Julie looks at this process of transition from the perspective of persons living with a disability.

There are many exciting “firsts” in our lives as young adults. The first time you drive a car. The first time you go on an official date. The first time you host a dinner party and don’t burn the food. The first time you travel solo. The first time you live on your own at university or college.

For people living with disabilities, the next “first” can be intimidating, time-intensive and outright exhausting, instead of exhilarating: graduating university and entering the down-right scary “adult” world. It’s a lot more complicated than securing a job, going apartment-hunting, packing up personal artifacts and moving into a new apartment in a bustling city and effortlessly beginning a new chapter. Continue Reading »

two trees

Reconciling Two Visions of One World

In the November edition of our blog we hear from Dr. Paul Chaput. In his blog piece, Paul beautifully captures through poetry the complexity of seeing and understanding the world through multiple lenses and ways of knowing.

It is an honour to contribute to Together We Are. My wish is to give you an inside view of the world that I experience daily while contemplating decisions regarding human interaction with the environment. To create a place from which to begin, I will introduce you to two disparate worldviews and explain why reconciliation of one with the other is challenging. Then, through poetic imaginings, I will paint a picture of the reconciliation of brothers.

It is my privilege and challenge to see the world through the lenses of both European and Indigenous worldviews. European explorers were apparently motivated by the prospect of riches and the gratitude of King and country. Continue Reading »