Adjust Your Lens IV: Examining our Systems Speaker & Session Information and Community Guidelines

Please scroll to the bottom for Community Guidelines

Day 1: Art and Research: Intersections of Activism

  • Session 1: Indigenizing Art
    • What does it mean to Indiginize art spaces? Storyteller and poet Jennifer Alicia speaks about her experiences as a queer, mixed (Mi’kmaw/Settler) storyteller in art spaces.

Jennifer Alicia (they/she) is a queer, mixed (Mi’kmaw/Settler) storyteller originally from Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk (Bay Of Islands, Newfoundland), now residing in Toronto. She is a two-time national poetry slam champion and member of Seeds & Stardust Poetry Collective. Jennifer Alicia’s debut chapbook is being released by Moon Jelly House Fall 2020. Find out more about their work here: www.jenniferalicia.com.

  • Session 2: Challenging Tokenism: QTBIPOC folks in creative spaces

Anu Radha Verma (she/her) has lived, worked, played, studied and struggled in places as disparate as Mississauga, Peterborough and New Delhi. She is committed to social justice work, in particular around the areas of sexuality, gender, race, the environment, abolition, gender based violence, and health. Anu Radha is a curator, community-based consultant, writer; she organizes with QTBIPOC sauga (a grassroots gathering for queer and trans, Black, Indigenous and people of colour communiteis from across Peel). She is a queer, diasporic, sometimes-femme, a survivor, and someone who lives with mental health struggles.

 Drawing by Jasmine Noseworthy Persaud / @jasminedrawing on Instagram
  • Session 3: Queering Research
    • Local researchers join us to speak about their studies focused on queer and trans communities and how they queer the field of academia.

Dionne Gesink is a Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the social epidemiology of sexual health, including the geography of sex and how people build their sexual networks. Dionne use mixed methods to investigate sexual health as a complex system, with connections to physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social health. Dionne’s projects are often community based and consider culture so effective interventions that transform sexual health at individual, community, and provincial levels can be developed.

Janice Du Mont is a senior scientist at Women’s College Research Institute of Women’s College Hospital and professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, where she is also Director of the Collaborative Specialization in Women’s Health. Her work has focused on addressing the health and legal responses to sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and the abuse of older adults through the development and evaluation of innovative programs of care and trainings. She is a sought after expert in these areas having served on many occasions as an advisor to the provincial and federal governments of Canada and international organizations such as the World Health Organization. In recognition of her international impact in the field of gender-based violence, she was recently awarded the International Association of Forensic Nurses’ Distinguished Fellow Award in 2019 and the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International’s Excellence in Policy and Practice Award in 2020.

Joseph Friedman Burley is the trans-LINK Project Coordinator at the Ontario Network of Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Treatment Centres. He has worked with a number of organizations and research labs focused on improving 2SLGBTQ+ health, including the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, Re:Searching for LGBTQ Health, the HIV Prevention Lab, the HIV Legal Network, the AIDS Committee of Toronto, and Women’s College Research Institute. A recent MPH graduate, Joseph is excited to continue building a career working in community-based research that promotes health equity for 2SLGBTQ+ communities. He is grateful for this opportunity to share his work, connect, and collaborate.

  • End of day special performance by Jennifer Alicia

Day 2: COVID-19, Community Health and What the Pandemic Has Revealed

  • Session 1: How COVID-19 Pulled Back the Curtain: Systematic Issues Brought Forward During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • This introductory talk will, following the acknowledgments, start off the day with a look at the systems issues that disproportionately impact marginalized communities, much of which was revealed to the larger community during the continued global COVID-19 pandemic. This will introduce the ideas of how these systems are not built for all and the need for change to better serve the broader community.

Hope Ramsay comes to the Moyo team with over 25 year’s experience in the HIV sector in Canada and the Caribbean. Prior to joining Moyo, she managed the Communication and Member Development portfolio of the Ontario AIDS Network (OAN) and before OAN, Hope held senior management positions at 360 Kids, Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (BLACK CAP) and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN). After beginning her career as a Registered Nurse, she went on to earn a Masters degree in Public Health and to become the Director of the first HIV program established in Jamaica – The Centre for HIV AIDS Research and Services at the University Hospital of the West Indies. She was also Founding Director of Nursing for the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life. 

Hope is passionate about enriching the lives of others and her work with vulnerable populations has been evidence of this. 

Ames is Anishinaabe and 3rd generation Irish 2S harm reduction advocate and worker. They have been living in Tkaronto, Dish With One Spoon Territory, for over 10 years and have been at the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy (Oahas) for over 2 years.

  • Session 2: Race-Based Considerations and Community Health
    • This panel discussion will focus on racism and community health, looking at data collection as well as other considerations that impact community health. It will also look at the reciprocal relationship we have with technology, in that we rely on it to be an unbiased source to collect information on despite its inherent bias in that it is developed by humans.

Kathy Moscou’s background is eclectic and unique, merging visual arts and health. Her lived experience informs her art, focus on Black cultural aesthetics, contemporary design for social justice, and research focus – equity and empowerment of Black and Indigenous youth in Canada, United States, and across the African diaspora. Kathy is an assistant professor at OCADU in the Faculty of Design. She has a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Global Health; Master’s in Public Health; and BSc Pharmacy. Her Ph.D. research of pharmacogovernance and comparative health policy addresses equity in drug safety and governance to foster healthy communities. Participatory research with Indigenous youth used Indigenous frameworks to explore characteristics of healthy neighbourhoods and holistic health derived from urban gardening. Her art has been exhibited in Art Gallery of Southwest Manitoba, Royal Ontario Museum, M. Rosetta Hunter Gallery, Seattle and Bellevue Art Museum.

Ames is Anishinaabe and 3rd generation Irish 2S harm reduction advocate and worker. They have been living in Tkaronto, Dish With One Spoon Territory, for over 10 years and have been at the Ontario Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy (Oahas) for over 2 years.

Adwoa Afful is a public health researcher and writer, born and raised in Toronto. Trained as an urban planner, Adwoa’s work often explores the increasingly central role that technology is playing in community building and its implications for Black women and gender non-binary people across Toronto. Adwoa is also the founder of Black Futures Now Toronto (BFNTO), a grassroots initiative, that works to engage Black women and non-binary people in anti-oppressive placemaking.

End of day special performance by Sam Yoon


Day 3: Space for Us All: Housing, Employment and the Barriers Folks Face

  • Session 1: The Roof Doesn’t Cover Us All: Inaccessibility in Housing for Marginalized Communities
    • For Day 3’s introductory discussion, following the acknowledgments, we will take a look at the barriers to housing for marginalized folks and how the basic need of shelter is inaccessible for so many people who face marginalization and oppression. This session will have a specific focus on BIPOC folks.

Jakki Buckeridge is the Manager of Family Services at Indus Community services.  Family services  programs at Indus provide crisis intervention, counselling, mediation, case conferencing and day-to-day support to youth and adults to decrease the risk of violence and abuse, homelessness, mental health crisis and hospitalization.  Jakki’s experience includes justice program and policy development, intimate partner violence and non-consensual union risk assessments and safety planning.  Jakki is an advocate for social change and has been working with marginalized communities for the past 23 years. 

Kim is a Senior Policy Advisor at NWAC, working in the Gender Diversity and Social Inclusion department. She has a background in sociology with a focus on LGBTQ+ health and well-being, social determinants of health, and critical media studies. The projects she’s currently involved in focus on creating better supports for Indigenous 2SLGBTQQIA+ people with lived experience of gender-based violence, Indigenous women and gender-diverse people living with a disability, and Indigenous youth who involved in gender equality advocacy.

Amit is a Registered Social Service Worker, currently working as a Youth Specialist with Services and Housing in the Province (SHIP) within the Youth Transitional Program Peel Youth Village. He identifies as an openly gay male of colour using he/him pronouns and is committed to advocating for youth, 2SLGBQTI folk and BIPOC folk within the Peel Region. Over 5 years experience working with homeless youth within the Peel Region who are struggling with mental health, addictions and housing challenges.

  • Session 2: Woke Marketing
    • We’ll hear from Breakfast Culture’s Jefferson Darrell (https://www.breakfastculture.org/) on how to market inclusivity authentically and the tools you need to do it well.
    • Is a brand or company being truly authentic to its core values? All. The. Time. Not just for one month of the year and not just in their marketing. They demonstrate it with their supply chain. They demonstrate it with their hiring practices. They demonstrate it with their internal culture. They ALWAYS demonstrate it! This is what we call Woke Marketing.

Jefferson Darrell is an accomplished marketing communications and change management professional with more than 15 years of brand strategy expertise, generating earned and owned media using traditional and digital channels. In the DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) space, Jefferson was instrumental in the creation of the Diversity Inclusion Anti-Racism Action Team at the Ontario Science Centre and represented them on the DEI Committee with the Canadian Association of Science Centres. He was instrumental in organizing the Centre’s involvement in the world’s first Pride in STEM Day. Jefferson’s change management project with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention resulted in increased revenue opportunities for the non-profit by diversifying the organization’s development committee. Jefferson’s delivered numerous presentations and keynotes about the importance of DEI for organizations that include the International Association of Business Communicators, AdClub Toronto, Institute of Communications Agencies, Pride at Work Canada and he’s been a guest lecturer at Ryerson University.

  • Session 3: Housing Barriers for 2SLGBTQ+ Older Adults
    • Joining us from Halifax, Dr. Jacqueline Gahagan will discuss how policies impact marginalized folks when it comes to temporary housing and assisted living, with a special focus on 2SLGBTQ+ older adults.

Jacqueline (Jacquie) Gahagan, PhD is a medical sociologist and full professor in the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University. Dr. Gahagan’s program of health promotion research focuses on addressing the system-level drivers, such as policy and programmming, within health and social systems that contribute to poor health and social outcomes among marginalized popualtions, including older LGBT Canadians and housing precarity, access to health care among trans youth, and uptake of STBBI testing innovations within diverse populations, among others. Jacquie is a Founding Fellow of the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance and an Affiliate Scientist with the Nova Scotia Health Authority.

End of day special performance by The Virgo Queen


Day 4: Equity in Allied Health Systems: Where We’ve Gone Wrong (and How to Change)

  • Session 1: Protecting Vulnerable Youth: Examining the Historical Impact on the Mental Health of Queer Youth in our Healthcare System
    • Youth are often discussed as one of the most vulnerable populations we as service providers work with, especially those with intersecting marginalized identities. Despite this many youth have been subjected to harmful treatment from service providers with lasting impact. Looking at this from the perspective of queer and trans youth, what are the harms our youth have dealt with and how can we ensure we are not continuing this harm with those we work with now.

Daniel is a Registered Psychotherapist and a 2SLGBTQ+ Counselor at Associated Youth Services of Peel.

Tobias Evans-Hinostroza is a queer, Latinx, nonconforming trans guy who works as a 2SLGBTQ+ youth counsellor at Associated Youth Services of Peel. He has been transitioning as a trans person for over 6 years and as a human being since birth. He hopes queer and trans communities continue to lift one another up, and is dedicated to advocating for that cause in both his personal and professional life.

  • Session 2: Intentional Inclusion: Actively Centring Racism and Other Relevant SDOH in Your Practice
    • What does it mean to be intentionally inclusive? This session will explore this idea with a focus on BIPOC and 2SLGBTQ+ clients and how you can ensure your practice is meeting the needs of all folks who walk trough your door.

Oshawa Anung Kwe/Yellow Star Woman N’dishnakaaz. Maegun N’doodem. Baawaating N’doojibaa. My colonial name is Theodore Syrette. Friends and enemies know me as Teddy. They are from Rankin Reserve of Batchewana First Nation of the Anishnabek. Teddy has a background in social justice and theatre. They have been advocating for First Nation and LGBTQ+ rights for almost 19 years. Prior to Covid, Teddy was spreading intersectional awareness about 2Spirit, First Nation and LGBTQ+ identities and experiences in many parts of Turtle Island (Canada). Teddy has received different awards for their advocacy including the Mark S. Bonham Centre award for Sexuaility, the Toronto Planned Parenthood LGBTQ person of the year award and the History & Geography award for grade 8. Teddy currently lives in Sault Ste. Marie, ON (across the tracks from Rankin Reserve).

Ronnie Ali (they/them/their) is a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario. They have worked as a therapist and consultant within and in support of queer, trans, BIPOC and other intersectional communities for over 6 years. They approach their work through a critical lens with the aim of examining contexts of systemic dehumanization and directly challenging the pathologization of individuals and their relationships.

  • Session 3: Workshop: Case-based session on making services equitable
    • How do we take the knowledge of inclusivity and put it into practice? We’ll take a look at different cases and work together on applying our knowledge from earlier sessions.

Andres Gayoso Descalzi (he/him/his pronouns) is a queer trans man hailing from lands currently known as Peru, also known as Tahuantinsuyu. He is a settler on this northern part of Turtle Island and is currently the 2SLGBTQ+ identity-specific School Social Worker at the YRDSB. He works every day at practicing from an affirming, anti-racist, youth-centered, harm reduction framework in person-to-person interactions as well as those he has with “the system”. He believes in the transformative power of relationships and has been working as a counsellor and group facilitator with 2SLGBTQ+ youth for almost 10 years.

End of day special performance TBA


Day 5: Equity in Clinical Care: Who Has Been Left Behind (and How to Push Them Forward)

  • Session 1: Client Care Around U=U with CATIE
    • As an opening to the day, CATIE will support a discussion on HIV and U=U. How can we take the knowledge on U=U and ensure we are actively combatting stigma in our daily practices? Where are we now in the midst of two pandemics (HIV and COVID)?

Shriya Hari is the Regional Health Educator, ON at CATIE. Currently, she is also CATIE’s COVID-19 project lead, and has developed a workshop for national dissemination within the HIV and hepatitis C sectors. She is a Co-Investigator for the YSMENA study which aims to investigate youth sexual health in Middle Eastern and North African communities in Ontario. She holds a Canada Graduate Scholarship at the University of Toronto where she is pursuing her Master’s in Public Health specializing in epidemiology; her research is based out of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s hospital. Shriya has a strong interest in investigating population-level health disparities. In her spare time, she writes poetry and tutors health sciences for midwives, nurses, and pre-med students. She also has two plump cats named Cassie and Polly who are very cute.

  • Session 2: Safe Access and Harm Reduction
    • With a focus on social prescribing and other forms of safe supply and services, how can we use these practices to better serve our clients? Panelists will also review learnings from COVID-19 service provision around safe access for service users.

Marsha Brown has over 20 years’ experience in Health Promotion/Education within the Community Health Sector, which has sparked and driven her interest and dedication to health equity and social justice and also led to her involvement in community based research with the University of Toronto. As a Research Project Coordinator, Marsha coordinated published research works that include, “Racial Discrimination as a Health Risk for Female Youth” and “Sisters, Mothers, Daughters & Aunties: Protecting Black Women Against HIV/AIDS”. Marsha is currently the Interim Manager of Programs and Services at WellFort Community Health Services, where she continues her work and dedication to addressing health disparities amongst equity seeking groups.

Liam Michaud has worked in Montreal and Toronto in harm reduction for roughly 15 years, providing support to prisoners, conducting outreach and developing outreach programs in street, residential and shelter settings. He has organized alongside the Association Québécoise pour la promotion de la santé des personnes utilisatrices de drogues (AQPSUD) and the Toronto Overdose Prevention Society.

  • Session 3: Reflections on Harm Reduction: Peel Region and Beyond
    • What does harm reduction look like in Peel and other regions? What has been done and what needs to be done? Members of the Moyo HCS harm reduction team, the Peel Drug Advisory Panel and other panelists will discuss these important topics in this panel session.

Shradha is a newcomer to Canada and has a Master of Public Health and a Degree in Medicine. She is currently guiding the development of a drug strategy in Peel Region through the Peel Integrated Drug Strategy (PIDS). She also coordinates the work of the Peel Drug Users Advisory Panel (PDAP), an expert panel that supports the development of the drug strategy and provides feedback on service design and delivery from the perspective of lived/living experience. Over the years, Shradha has developed a deeper understanding of how systemic oppression impacts the health and well-being of marginalized communities and is driven to work towards creating equitable health solutions.

Ashley Smoke is an Ojibway woman who started this work because of her lived expertise when it comes to sex work and drug use. She has a diploma in Community and Justice Services and a wide range of experience in the field of Peer Work in Harm Reduction. She currently sits on the Peel Drug Users Network Group, Peel Peer Advisory Board, COM-CAP and their Selection Committee (Ontario Public Health Drug Strategy), The Canadian Association of People Who Use Drugs, Ontario Safe Supply Working Group, Canadian Safe Supply Advisory Group, The Peel Drug Users Network Group and other Working and Advisory Committees in the region of Peel, Ontario. She is also working with Health Canada as a judge for drug checking technology. Ashley is currently working for Moyo as a Harm Reduction Outreach Peer Worker and previously worked as Indigenous Communities Animator in order to complete a Needs Assessment to determine needs, barriers and gaps in the Indigenous Communities in Peel. Currently she is the Program Coordinator of Maggie’s Toronto’s Peel Indigenous Arts Program for Indigenous Sex Workers. She is passionate about her work and loves helping folks advocate for what is right and what is needed in the community. She is determined, loud and has lots to say about the state of affairs for Drug Users all over the country!

End of day special performance TBA

Additional sessions and speakers TBA. Please note that this agenda is subject to change. Further session information, including speakers, will be updated closer to the event.


Community Guidelines 

As service providers who are committed to the diverse communities we serve, we feel it’s important to share guidelines to help keep everyone feeling safe(r) and supported in the space we’re sharing.  

In the spirit of mutual respect and understanding, we note that as participants, whether attendees, moderators or presenters,: 

  1. We are responsible for respectful interactions with all those present. All folks come to spaces such as these with their own set of experiences and biases and it is important to reflect on our own internal experiences as well as those of others when interacting. Some things to consider when conversing with others: 
  • Am I making any assumptions? What are these based on? 
  • Can I give this person the benefit of the doubt? Are they learning and coming with the right intention? Can I help them get on the right course? 
  • How can I call in this person for something hurtful or damaging they have done to create a space of learning? Do I have the energy for this? 
  • How can I be aware of my own biases and assumptions when participating in a conversation about a topic that does not personally impact me? 
  • How can I be aware and considerate with the language I use to express my thoughts on this issue? 
  1. We can and should respect personal experiences. Many folks, whether they are moderators, attendees or presenters, will be sharing from their own personal experiences, many of which may be difficult to share. These personal experiences are important in discussions on inclusion as they enhance our understanding of important issues, such as racism, homophobia, transphobia and sexism. The experiences someone else shares are not up for debate and should not be criticized or disagreed with based on language used, unless they are explicitly targeting or hateful towards another marginalized group. When this is the case, we expect respectful calling in to ensure the safety of all participants in attendance.  
  1. We value respectful listening. This can look like: 
  • Asking questions before making an assumption or sharing your opinion 
  • No cross talk or interruptions (we understand this can be challenging virtually with technological delays, but expect folks to try their best at this) 
  • Suspending judgement 
  • Taking pause between people’s stories and offerings 
  1. We value speaking from your own experience. This can look like: 
  • Telling our own stories 
  • Using “I” statements 
  • Being honest 
  • Being vulnerable 
  1. We value taking risks and the expression of emotions. We understand that discuss sensitive issues can be challenging for folks and trigger difficult and overwhelming emotions. We encourage folks to be open when and if they feel comfortable and to do periodic check-ins with themselves and their support systems (if necessary & available) to ensure they are only taking risks they feel comfortable with. We value vulnerability but also want folks to reflect on their own safety, comfort and emotional capacity when sharing their experiences. With that being said, emotions of all sorts are welcome here.  
  1. We value sharing space with each other, especially those most marginalized. Many of us will have a lot to say about the topics that are being discussed, especially when they are related to personal experiences we’ve had. When reviewing the chat, our moderators will prioritize participants who have not yet had the chance and those who identify as a peer to the topic being discussed. We will do our best to ensure as many folks as possible are able to participate in the time given. Please ensure you are only submitting questions or comments in the chat once to give space to all folks who would like to participate.  
  1. We value being respectfully challenged and learning together. We recognize that this is a space of learning and we should come to discussions with an open mind. We all have things we can learn and teach in this space and your participation will help enhance discussions and enact change, so please share your comments and questions in the chat. 
  1. We value silence; all folks have the right to listen and “pass” on active participation. Folks should reflect on their comfort and safety prior to participating in discussions or sharing personal information. 
  1. We will follow and respect the guidelines set out in each session. Depending on the speaker or session set up, different presenters or moderators may have different guidelines. It is important to be respectful of these to ensure all participants are comfortable and able to learn together. Most sessions will be recorded and shared after; please email us at allegram@moyohcs.ca if you have any concerns with this.  
  1. We have shared responsibility for this week’s success. It is important for us to work together to ensure everyone is able to come to this space feeling comfortable and open to learning. Please reflect on this when deciding whether or not to share something in the chat. 

Racism, transphobia, biphobia, sexism, homophobia, ableism, anti-Semitism, classism, fatphobia, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination or hate speech, as well as intimidation and personal attacks, are not permitted. Our team will address any of these instances immediately, including removing any participants who behave in this way from the virtual space.  

Content warning: Adjust Your Lens IV: Examining our Systems will cover a range of topics, including those that may bring up difficult, harmful or traumatic experiences. These topics include racism, substance use, sexuality and gender identity, addiction, housing barriers and healthcare discrimination. We encourage folks to reflect on their experiences and to reach out to the moderators identified at the beginning of each session if they are feeling unsafe or triggered.  

Sources: Capacity Building Working Group, Regional Diversity Roundtable and CBRC 

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