Speaker Series at Concordia on Race, Gender and Political Resistance in Quebec & Canada


**A speaker series presented by Concordia University’s Centre for Gender Advocacy**

Artists, scholars, activists and teachers pose challenges and responses to racism in Quebec and Canada. Open to the public.


Thurs, Jan 30, 6:30pm, H-459: Leila Bedeir on Islamic Feminism & the Quebec Charter

A discussion of responses to Islamophobia, media representations of Muslim women and current manifestations of Islamic feminism in Quebec in relation to the Quebec Charter.

Leila Bedeir is an activist and active member of the Federation des Femmes du Quebec. She is a founding member of the Collective des féministes musulmanes du Québec and teaches Humanities and Women’s Studies at Vanier College.


Thurs, Feb 6, 6:30pm, EV 1.615: Poet Laureate El Jones on Black Consciousness, Art and Resistance (KEYNOTE EVENT)

Unafraid to speak out against racial and gender based violence and oppression, for El Jones there is no difference between her art and politics. She believes in poetry’s power to mobilize black consciousness and her work invites audiences to recognize aspects of themselves and their cultures often rendered invisible. El Jones will be discussing current manifestations of racism in Canada, its impact on black women in particular, black feminist responses and the challenge of decolonization. Jones will also be performing some of her spoken word pieces.

El Jones is a teacher, spoken word artist, activist and was recently named Halifax’s Poet Laureate. In 2012, she was sponsored by Citizenship and Heritage Canada on a reading tour of Nova Scotia with George Elliott Clarke. Her poetry is particularly committed to political causes and social justice and El has worked extensively with organizations around Halifax performing and presenting on issues of social change. Jones is currently the artistic director of Word Iz Bond Spoken Word Artist Collective. She currently teaches in the African Canadian Transition Program at NSCC and in the Women’s Studies program at Acadia. El believes that poetry can empower the powerless and give voice to the voiceless, bridging the gap between art and activism.

Fri, Feb 14, 6pm, Place Emilie-Gamelin: Annual Memorial March for Missing & Murdered Women

Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (Missing Justice) invites you to participate in this year’s Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Women on February 14th, 6pm A Place Emilie-Gamelin (Berri Metro, corner Ste Catherine & Berri).

The first women’s memorial march was held in 1991 in response to the murder of a Coast Salish woman on Powell Street in Vancouver. Her name is not spoken today out of respect for the wishes of her family. Out of this sense of hopelessness and anger came an annual march on Valentine’s Day to express compassion, community, and caring for all women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Unceded Coast Salish Territories.

Twenty-three years later, the women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of all missing and murdered women.

This year, Montreal holds it’s 5th Annual Memorial March.

Guest speakers TBA!

Thurs, Feb 27, 6:30pm, H-459: Will Prosper on Racial profiling and criminalization of Montreal youth

Will Proper is a community activist and former RCMP officer. He ran for Quebec Solidaire in Montreal’s Bourassa-Sauvé riding in the 2012 election. He is the founder and spokesperson for Montréal-Nord Républik, which raised the profile of the Freddy Villanueva murder by Montreal police. Born and raised in Montreal North, Prosper says he sees “a population I love and adore, that I will fight for every day — as I have done in the past.”


Thurs, Mar 13, 6:30pm, H-459: Lena Palacios on Women of Colour Movements against Carceral State Violence and Social Death

Lena’s presentation “Women of Colour Movements against Carceral State Violence and Social Death” analyzes how race-radical women of color and Indigenous feminist activists conceptualize state violence and the carceral violence of legal elimination in Canada and the United States. She examines how their activism challenges a liberal politics of recognition and produces alternative models of justice, redress and response based in frameworks of mutual responsibility and accountability.

Lena Carla Palacios is a PhD Candidate (Education and Communication Studies) at McGill University. A formerly incarcerated queer Chicana, she is an active member and a lead project coordinator of Life after Life, a Montreal-based collective dedicated to prison abolition and the de-criminalization of formerly incarcerated girls, women, and queer and transgender people. Her research focuses on transnational feminist prison studies, prison education, critical race feminism, community accountability and transformative justice, media justice, as well as transnational youth- and student-led social movements. Lena is also an experimental and documentary filmmaker and is currently working on a short documentary about Indigenous women who are “doing time on the outside” with a life sentence and who are advancing transformative justice and prison abolition activism.

Thurs, Mar 27, 6:30pm, H-459: Parker Mah, Being Chinese in Quebec

Film Screening with filmmaker, Parker Mah: “Being Chinese in Quebec: A Road Trip Story” with Q & A.

Parker Mah is a Montreal-based musician, and co-host of the documentary film «Être Chinois au Québec » (Being Chinese in Quebec). In the film, Mah and Bethany Or take a road trip across Quebec to meet various Chinese Quebeckers to answer the question: What does it mean to be Chinese in Quebec? What are the impacts of the Canadian government’s actions, such as the implementation of the Chinese Head Tax and the Chinese Exclusion Act on young Chinese Quebeckers?

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