This information and discussion session will begin with the geographic significance of MacEwan University in relation to a historical continuum of police violence and colonial domination in what is known as the Oliver Community. There will be a retrospective look at local queer organizing in 2020, paying specific attention to The Fight for Equity Protest and pekiwewin camp. We will discuss the not-for-profit industrial complex as proponent of policing, and thereby instrumental to enabling police violence in local communities. Queer resistance organizing at the grassroots level continues to be the backbone of public outcry against police violence, because it is queer communities that are most endangered and harmed by the normative violence of carceral culture.
Shima Aisha Robinson works for APIRG on the University of Alberta campus as the Programming/Working Group and Research Coordinator. She is a University of Alberta graduate student in pursuit of a degree in the Master of Arts in Community Engagement program through the School of Public Health. She advances her enthusiasm for anti-oppression and social justice work volunteering, interning and working with local groups that address systemic issues of oppression and marginalization in amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (aka Edmonton). She is an amiskwaciy-wâskahikan (Edmonton)-born student, community organizer, poet and spoken word artist who embodies, with every literary and scholarly effort, the ancient meaning of her chosen pen name, Dwennimmen, which is the name of an ancient African Adinkra symbol, which means strength, humility, learning and wisdom.
V. Guzmán is a non-binary, disabled, first-generation Salvadoran Nahua. Canadian-born, their matrilineage ties to Nawat and Lenca peoples in Ahuachapan Apaneca, Alegria and Berlin Usulutan. They were raised in Treaty Six, traditional Papaschace territory, home to the Nakoda Sioux, Dene, Blackfoot, Cree and Métis peoples. They are the eldest of eight and a self-taught visual artist who sometimes performs spoken word poetry, though most of their creative energy is invested into their work as a strategic urban frontline community organizer, and inner city QTBIPOC youth advocate for almost a decade. You can usually find them online or through Shades of Colour YEG.
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.