Aalayna will be sharing her story as an activist for the LGBTQ+ community, more particularly the Trans* community through discussion of pressing issues that are present in the Trans* community from a first-person perspective, as someone who lives with these issues day to day. She would also like to share her story as a victim of anti-transgender violence, and discuss the effects that being a victim of a hate crime can have on someone.
Description: The Way Home: My Journey in Surviving Rwandan Genocide
Melchior, an MRU student in Policy Studies, will be sharing his experiences during the Rwandan Genocide, his resettlement in Canada, what being a Canadian means to him, and his thoughts on current issues here and abroad.
Description: Finding Home
David was born in Colombia. Hear his story of how his dad was offered work with Colombian rebel forces and drug trafficking cartels and how their family had to flee seeking political asylum in the United States. This is his story of living as an illegal immigrant, deportation, extortion attempts, and how one never really knows where home might be. After moving to Canada in 2012, the concept of home has been transformed, disfigured, and refigured for David throughout the journey. But wherever his family is, that will always be home.
Description: Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family
Natalie and her wife decided 7 years ago that they wanted to have a family. As Lesbians, this meant either adopting or looking for a donor to help them. Since Natalie's wife is a woman of colour who was adopted into a white family, it was very important to her that her children have knowledge of their parental donor. Hear Natalie's story, now published as a book, "Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family" (Fernwood Publishing), as well as a stage play, "Speed Dating for Sperm Donors" that is currently touring Canada
Description: Women in STEM
Pamini will be sharing her many experiences as a woman working within the STEM fields. She is also involved in the "Explore IT: STEM Outreach for Grade 9 Girls" program and will be sharing stories of her involvement in that initiative as well.
Name: Spirit River Striped Wolf
Description: Self Overcoming
An Indigenous student's journey thus far, facing ignorance from others, depression, and anxiety. Spirit's story speaks to understanding common humanity and the unique situation that many Indigenous youth and young adults face. All of this through the power of understanding truths and the acceptance of vulnerability.
Description: Hurricane Katrina: A New Orleanian's Lived Experience
Nick will start off his story with a disclaimer that Hurricane Katrina is never a topic one should bring up with a person who lived through it, as it is very difficult to talk about it and someone who has lived through it may respectfully refuse to answer certain questions. The main reason Nick would like to share his experiences with Hurricane Katrina is to provide some insight on what it was like from a source other than national media. Nick was one of the lucky folks whose family had the financial means to evacuate before the storm hit. Experiencing fraud, abject living conditions, and illness in the wake of evacuation, the days after the hurricane were memorably difficult. Nick will speak about relocation as well as the rebirth of the city to its present state
Description: Kid Goku: A Boy's Voice in a Girl's Body
Zoe will detail her experiences voice acting at a young age, yet only ever playing one female role. Once anime directors discovered she had a large range for male voices, that became her specialty. Her big breaks came with G Gundam and her role as Kid Goku in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball GT. Zoe will speak of her love for playing strong male characters and comfort with the rambunctious behavior and strong opinions of the roles she played in the anime world. Facing considerable judgement for playing male alter-egos in her studio life from her peers, Zoe experienced many realizations about gender identity and societally-prescribed gender roles through her experience doing voice acting for male voices.
Description: Earthquake on Everest
Description: None of Us Are As Alone As We Think We Are: A Story of Mental Health
Shellie's story of navigating the world through the lens of someone experiencing mental health issues explores a comprehensive account of what living with mental health really means. As an intelligent, strong-willed person dedicated to leadership, many would not anticipate that she also experiences high-functioning depression and has battled a slew of related issues over her lifetime. Shellie will explore her experience with mental illness as well as abuse, and speak about her creation of a supportive "safety net" of family, friends, and various professionals to help her navigate the twists and turns of her mental health.