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Danielle Sinclair, High Park Danielle Sinclair, High Park
Stephan Tang, Ryerson University Stephan Tang, Ryerson University
Heather Bain, Allan Gardens Conservatory Heather Bain, Allan Gardens Conservatory
Lori Chambers, Cawthra Square Park Lori Chambers, Cawthra Square Park
Emilya Emilya
Wanda MacNevin, Southwest intersection of Jane & Finch Wanda MacNevin, Southwest intersection of Jane & Finch
Nigel Barriffe, Greenholme Junior Middle School Nigel Barriffe, Greenholme Junior Middle School
  • Danielle Sinclair, High Park
    As a woman with Anishinaabe roots I grew up with some knowledge of residential schools and the assimilative policies of this land. While so many of us flinch at the news of racism and injustice all over the world, we simultaneously neglect to focus on how these issues are alive and perpetuating themselves in our own backyard. My passion for social justice and for increasing awareness of issues faced by the Indigenous people of this country has stemmed from this lesson among others. I chose the lantern because I believe that people are still in the dark about many Indigenous issues and we all have the power to shed some light on them, whether in a big or small way. I thought it was important to be near water as so many of our lakes and rivers are in danger today and we all need to be more aware of this.
    Stephan Tang, Ryerson University
    I chose the sculpture of the hands shaking because of what they symbolize to me. The tag that accompanies the sculpture describes the gesture as, “a welcoming sign of friendliness, hospitality and trust”. I believe these words describe the way that I choose to live my life and how I frame the advocacy work that I do. Whilst working as a staff member at a university in Ontario, I was asked to assist the student government to rebuild the student led LGBTQ group. I received the statue from one of the leaders within the student government as a symbol of thanks for what I had done to support an LGBTQ inclusive environment for students.
    Heather Bain, Allan Gardens Conservatory
    I am a DIY crafter who was fortunate to learn how to sew, quilt, embroider and print while in my teens. Through craft I was introduced to radical communities and concepts, and it strongly shaped my experience as a queer. It connected me to activism and political actions. To me, craft is rooted in community, history, and politics, and it has shaped my role as a social worker. Through craft I learned how to create and make change. It was my basis for understanding how to think creatively about a challenge, imagine possibilities and open myself to new learning.
    Lori Chambers, Cawthra Square Park
    My voluntary and front-line work in HIV support service has led me to my current vocation as a community-based researcher. I see this work as a “quiet activism” where I work collaboratively with community members, HIV advocates, and other like-minded researchers to champion changes in social policies and practices. Research is a means of telling stories of our social worlds. As a qualitative researcher, it is an honour to be privy to the stories of others. This piece of cloth reminds me that in telling the stories of people, I perform the service of a quilter: taking the fabric of people’s lives and interconnecting them with others. Thus, the fabric of each storied piece become part of a collective whole while maintaining their individual textures.
    Wanda MacNevin, Southwest intersection of Jane & Finch
    I chose to be photographed under the street signs because my heart belongs to this neighbourhood. I started working in Jane and Finch in 1975 and have lived and worked here for most of my life. I believe that as long as residents have opportunity and support, they have the capacity and ability to build a strong community. Together residents have organized protests, they have built community organizations and advocacy groups and they vociferously responded to issues affecting their lives.
    Nigel Barriffe, Greenholme Junior Middle School
    My work as a community supporter, activist and organizer has centred on many issues at the heart of our neighbourhoods: housing, environmental issues, education and better jobs. As a teacher in Etobicoke North, I have seen firsthand the impacts of these issues on families and have worked along with residents towards creating strong and caring community. On my journey I have employed many organizing tools to fight for a just and sustainable world. This phone has emerged as an important communication strategy in shining light on solutions. It can do all this amazing work. But it's also a bit alarming how dependent I've become on this one technology. In the end only human spirit can bring people out to a meeting and keep people organizing.