Posted on September 27, 2016 by Tia Lalani

Tuesday September 27th, 2016 6:00 pm  Kick Off Event   7:15 pm A paddler, a pedaller, a poet (Exploration of Aboriginal heritage): Like many Canadians, I have a deep wish to know who my ancestors are so that I may have a better sense of who I am. I am a rich embodiment of many …

Tuesday September 27th, 2016

6:00 pm 

Kick Off Event

 

7:15 pm

A paddler, a pedaller, a poet (Exploration of Aboriginal heritage):

Like many Canadians, I have a deep wish to know who my ancestors are so that I may have a better sense of who I am. I am a rich embodiment of many cultures, including Canadian, Cree, Ojibwe, Scottish, English, and Norwegian. While taking a Contemporary Literature class at Augustana a number of years ago, I began to think deeply about how language can serve as the keystone of a people. But what do those of us with such a rich mix of identities do? This question led me to write kiyâm, a published collection of poems that I composed in English and Cree. I have explored my Aboriginal heritage by canoe, bicycle, and words.

Two straight sons, three gay parents (Gay co-parenting):

In this remarkable story of love, a marriage ends because the man comes out as gay. He and his former wife then proceed to successfully co-parent their two sons, who spend equal time between two homes. As the woman comes to accept that she is a lesbian, the family settles into an unusual and healthy routine whereby the man and woman both move forward with their lives while simultaneously nurturing their children and celebrating all special occasions together as a family.

 

7:30 pm

The ups and downs of being bipolar (Bipolar disorder):

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have an illness that some people think isn’t real? How about an illness that some people think is dangerous? Being bipolar isn’t as simple as feeling good one day and bad the next.

Living in the shadows (Finding success with a learning disability):

Learning disabilities are not well understood or recognized. Did you know it is possible to have a learning disability AND work for the federal government, provincial government, and start your own consulting firm? I am also one of the youngest GMs at a private investment firm. Finding success takes motivation, capability, and passion. I had to be my own cheerleader… but I didn’t get here alone!

 

7:45 pm

Scary on the outside (Autistic teen):  

I have grown up being a high functioning autistic and will discuss some of my challenges. I also get noticed because of the way I look…but not in the way you would think.

I see (Visually impaired):

This book describes the joys and challenges of living life with a visual impairment.

Working with the hidden population (Inner city social worker):

I work with inner city families, addressing issues such as homelessness, prostitution, and addictions. I assist many marginalized individuals: 80% of my clients are Aboriginal. Bringing any child into care breaks my heart. One of my clients lost seven children to Children’s Services and then gained sobriety, maintained a home, and got to keep and parent an eighth child. I believe in the harm reduction model, which can include giving clean needles to reduce disease and facilitate safer use of drugs for parents.

 

8:00 pm

Same, same but different (Supporting our transgender daughter):

Being a parent to adult children is a joy and a balancing act, especially when your child comes out as a transgender person. This story is about our family’s loving journey with our daughter.

Guy hard (Transgender person):

It ain’t easy being a guy in today’s world, especially when almost every single piece of identification you carry loudly proclaims the opposite. Will transidentified people cause the downfall of computerized society by creating unresolvable database errors when ‘M’ stands not only for ‘Male’, but also for ‘Mother’? These and other fascinating questions for enquiring minds will be weighed, measured, and mocked accordingly.

 

8:15 pm

Alpha female in a man’s world (Sexism in the workforce):

“There’s no way she can run a golf course, she’s a girl.” “Well you are a women, and you’re not a professional golfer, so we won’t pay you the same as a man.” “Why are you giving her the job? She’s not one of us.” “She’s such a bitch.” These are actual words spoken by my peers, bosses, and co workers. I decided to confront sexism in the workplace head-on, and I’ve found success despite the challenges.

Straight up sexism (Gender discrimination):

In the 1960s, a woman in the workplace was expected to make sure the seam on her nylons was straight. She was also expected to accept the straight up sexism of being paid less than her male trainee. A senior shares her stories and observations of gender and discrimination.

 

8:30 pm

Firefighter/Ballerina (Social constructs of masculinity):

I have been a firefighter since I was 19. Recently I came to the realization that I was not myself. I found that I was unsociable and typically disengaged in conversation. In order to understand/engage with others, I realized that I had to start reengaging with myself. Counselors told me I was displaying signs of both depression and PTSD. In an effort to reengage with others and be better to myself, I rediscovered a passion I had left behind seven years ago: dancing.

A paddler, a pedallar, a poet (Exploration of Aboriginal heritage):

Like many Canadians, I have a deep wish to know who my ancestors are so that I may have a better sense of who I am. I am a rich embodiment of many cultures, including Canadian, Cree, Ojibwe, Scottish, English, and Norwegian. While taking a Contemporary Literature class at Augustana a number of years ago, I began to think deeply about how language can serve as the keystone of a people. But what do those of us with such a rich mix of identities do? This question led me to write kiyâm, a published collection of poems that I composed in English and Cree. I have explored my Aboriginal heritage by canoe, bicycle, and words.

Layers of lesbian love (Celebrating being a lesbian):

This human book is a story in the making because, although I have extensive experience as a public speaker, I have never before told my story about coming to terms with and, finally, celebrating being a lesbian. I will discuss internalized and societal homophobia, maternal rejection and subsequent acceptance, living a double life in small town Alberta, raising two amazing sons in concert with their gay father and his partner, being happily married to my same sex life partner, and still striving to live a liberated and integrated life.

 

 


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