Truth. The pursuit of this five-letter word is the responsibility of every post-secondary institution: to seek truths that are sometimes universal, often personal and occasionally just plain controversial.
It also happens to be the theme of a TEDxMacEwanU event on January 23, where MacEwan faculty members and alumni will explore truth in its many forms.
Jason Garcia, a MacEwan alum, is a queer non-binary, Latinx advocate for survivor-centred response to sexual violence. As the volunteer manager for the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton (SACE), they manage a group of volunteers who provide front-line support and empowerment to those impacted by sexual violence. Jason highlights the importance that trauma-informed, anti-oppressive practices have in a survivor’s healing journey.
Jason believes it is crucial that survivors are empowered to be experts in their own healing process, and strives to ensure this truth becomes more widely accepted.
Leading up to the event, we’re asking our TEDxMacEwanU presenters some questions about truth. Here's what Jason had to say.
What do you think we struggle with the most about the truth you’re presenting?
Survivors of sexual violence — or any act of violence — aren’t obligated to respond or behave a certain way that fits our expectations.
What’s the most meaningful truth someone has ever shared with you?
Something that's often shared by mentors in my field of work: it's so important to take care of ourselves.
What’s the truth you’ve had the most trouble accepting about yourself?
As a survivor and support worker, I need to take care of myself first before I can take care of others.
What was your moment of truth?
When my supporters believed me in my own time of need.
Name one universal truth.
Survivors of sexual violence are never at fault for experiencing violence.
To tell the truth . . . I will not tell you how survivors should heal. I hope to enable you to listen, believe and empower survivors to be the experts of their own healing journey.
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.