Photo by Ilya, Stocksy
WHAT WE’RE THINKING ABOUT
Power. Award winning sci-fi writer and feminist Octavia Butler wrote, “God is change” and that our power as “Earthseed” is not to worship or prevent change, but to shape it.
This month on LiisBeth magazine, we offer five new features that we hope will encourage you to reflect on how you attend, yield, resist and work to influence the force of change–which lately, is coming at us like a freight train.
We know nothing is permanent. People, groups, governments all around you–some whose vision you may deeply disagree with–are working to shape change that affects your life, community and our planet. Don’t sit back. Work to help create the kind of world you hope for.
FEBURARY STORY POLL & QUICKIE READER SURVEY: Do you read or follow LiisBeth? Our hard-working team would love to hear from you! Please consider helping us improve by completing the five-minute LiisBeth reader survey. Results will be shared in March. Here is the link!
NEW FEATURES ON LIISBETH
The status quo can be no more: The clear and compelling links between Environmental Rights, Indigenous Rights and Women’s Rights. A perspective from the mining industry by Sabrina Dias.
Decolonize Your Mind Exhibit. Photo: Krui.fm Radio 2016
When you hear the word “decolonization” what comes to mind? Land acknowledgements, the KAIROS “Blanket Exercise” or the Medicine Wheel? Learning Indigenous traditions and the history of colonization? The act of offering the lands that were taken from Indigenous people back to their rightful owners. Now there’s a workshop on the topic that will provoke months of contemplation on how to see the world anew.
Lack of diversity in media is bad for democracy, business, and justice. And readers. But what’s the solution?
Looking for help? Funding? Business Advice? Check out the Canadian women’s entrepreneurship support ecosystem (mostly national and provincial level players) by downloading this info graphic here.
Love Locks…at The Distillery District..Photo by: @ptx4ever
We think about our enterprises a lot. We compare our progress to other enterprises and their founders. Nancy Wilson, Founder and Executive Director of the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce, recently wrote a wonderful piece about “business envy“.
But what if we stopped comparing our businesses to other businesses? Change the locus of our perception?
This week, I asked myself if I was in right relationship (authentic, real) with the crucible of entrepreneurship. While evaluating my work as an entrepreneur, I had to first dismantle–and re-build my perceptions. Here are the narratives that work for me. They help me see beauty and growth versus disappointment.
Photo provided by Seema Pubari
Pubari is an SEO copywriter, storyteller and digital marketing strategist who speaks five languages. She left the corporate world in 2008 to raise her child. She is a South Asian feminist entrepreneur with her own consulting enterprise and the founder of Tiffinday.com, an independent Canadian food business and certified B-Corp that specializes in delicious and healthy vegan South Asian stews.
Liisbeth recently had a chat with Pubari to get her thoughts on the importance of shaping the next generation of feminists, why we need to outlaw the word ‘mompreneur’, and how her unique business perspectives will inspire participants in the FEC. Check out the full Q&A here.
The feminist movement is immutably unified on purpose–but not always on the the best way to get there.
The movement drives social change but is also shaped by it, which makes it challenging for curbside bystanders to comprehend.
Blaise Wilson of EgaFem investigated and sought to help us understand types and shifts within the feminist movement over the last 100 years. Her work was the outcome of a stakeholder analysis project. Wilson created this chart to help navigate the facets of the feminist movement.
We find it super useful.
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LIISBETH FIELD NOTES
PIAD EP10 Why Do Reps Vote Against The ERA?
FAB TWO-MINUTE VIDEOS TO SHARE FOR IMPACT!
We love these! Patriarchy Is A Drag is a new weekly video series that centers around women and women’s issues. It was started in 2020 by Merle Becker, former MTV Producer / Director (Beavis & Butt-Head, Daria, Total Request Live). We asked Merle via email why she was making these videos.
She wrote: “After the election of Donald Trump, and the steady erosion of women’s rights since then, I found myself increasingly involved in political activism and the push for the advancement of women’s rights. So, I created the PIAD weekly video series to help educate people about women’s issues by using humor, and to hopefully inspire others to take action.”
The PIAD Facebook page (and other socials) feature daily quotes from inspirational women, as well as links to other articles that relate to (smashing the) Patriarchy. Worth checking out! As Gloria Steinem stated, “Women of colour were always more likely to recognize discrimination, so they were always leading the women’s movement.” In this vein, PIAD remains committed to intersectionality by including / amplifying the voices of the marginalized, transgender women, and women of colour.
Merle added “As bell hooks reminds us, “As long as women are using class or race power to dominate other women, feminist sisterhood cannot be fully realized.”
You can access the series so far here.
© Photograph: Rochelle Brockington / EyeEm
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY IS MARCH 8, 2020–WHAT’S YOUR PLAN?
In a gender-just world, we wouldn’t need to label a single day as International Women’s Day, but until that world exists we join forces and work together.
This year, the International Women’s Day 2020 campaign theme is #EachforEqual. The campaign theme provides a unified direction to guide and galvanize continuous collective action, with #EachforEqual activity reinforced and amplified all year.
Here is a FULL list of 500+ IWD2020 global events that include talks, panels, conferences, comedy shows and musical performances.
(Source: International Women’s Day)
Details about Toronto’s march is noted below.
Photo Credit: Greenpeace Canada
INDIGENOUS RESISTANCE ART
Museum of Vancouver’s newest feature exhibition Acts of Resistance, showcases the artwork of seven Indigenous artist activists from the Pacific Northwest, whose designs flew from the Iron Workers Memorial bridge on July 3, 2018 to protest the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline project. Swaysən, Will George, a Tsleil-Waututh grassroots leader, not only designed one of the featured banners, but also rappelled from the Second Narrows bridge as part of the seven-person aerial blockade to prevent an oil tanker from leaving terminal.
In this exhibition, Will George will share his firsthand experience as a member of the aerial blockade in a video created in collaboration with multi-media artist Ronnie Dean Harris, whose artwork also flew in the path of tanker traffic.
Acts of Resistance features all seven of the 40-foot-long streamers created for the aerial blockade. Featured artists include: Brandon Gabriel, Will George, Ronnie Dean Harris, Ocean Hyland, Jackie Fawn Mendez, Marissa Nahanee, and Ed Archie Noisecat. Six of the banners have been donated to MOV, while the seventh is on loan from Swaysən, Will George, who continues to use his banner for public outreach. All of the banners underwent several conservation treatments to make them ready for exhibition, as the wrinkles from their time in police custody have proven difficult to remove.
On March 5, there will be a Guest Artist Talk where Coast Salish artists will speak to their individual approaches to protest design, their art practices and the cultural and aesthetic influences that inform their work. This is a rare opportunity to hear from diverse artists within Indigenous communities as they address the challenges and successes of representing their Nations and the politics of sovereignty through individual artistic practices.
(Source: Museum of Vancouver)
WHAAT? THEY NEVER TOLD ME THERE’S A FEMINIST BUSINESS MODEL CANVAS?
If you are a feminist (any gender can be a feminist), and have been wondering how to apply your feminist values in the design and operations of your new venture, this session will provide you with an overview of some of the core themes, tools and conversations happening in the community.
How and why does the FBMC differ from the conventional business modelling approach? Can using this lens help you find new ways to stand out? Grow? Deepen your approach to equity, diversity and inclusion work? Have greater impact? We think it will.
Facilitators: CV Harquail, PK Mutch, Tracey Robertson. To sign up, register here. $35.00
The International Feminist Art Fest (FAC) is but two weeks away! Here are a few updates on the event!
FAC has partnered with Black Women Film! for their film night on March 6. They have also partnered with Native Women in the Arts (NWIA) to present Jeneen Frei Njootli, an incredible award-winning interdisciplinary artist, as this year’s keynote performance.
LiisBeth is super proud to be a sponsor this year!
Two FREE TIX to the ENTIRE FAC event will go to the first two people to comment on the Art of Change story we published last November. See you there!
Photo of Farzana Doctor by Tanja Tiziana
NO MORE NICE GIRLS BOOK REVIEW
Farazana Doctor is a writer, activist, psychotherapist and a celebrated and award-winning Canadian author. Liisbeth reached out to Doctor to write a review of Lauren McKeon’s lasted book, No More Nice Girls (House of Anansi, March, 2020), that will be published just in time for IWD2020.
Watch your inbox for the review plus a new playlist in the coming weeks!
Common themes in Doctor’s writing include loss, relationships, community, healing, racism, LGBT rights, diasporic identity and feminism. Her latest book, Seven (Dundurn Press, August 2020), is a story about inheritance and resistance, among other things, and includes a plotline that features a group of feminists who speak out against khatna, an age-old ritual they insist is female genital cutting.
On her blog, Doctor writes a letter to Seven’s readers with a list of things she would like people to know. The list includes this note: While this is a work of fiction, its characters are based on a real community. Few people have heard of Dawoodi Bohras; we are a fairly insular sub-sect of Shia Muslims. We are known for being polite, entrepreneurial, and cooking the tastiest daal.
Advance praise for Seven: “In her grand tradition, Farzana Doctor once again pushes us forward with nuanced, layered, inter-generational prose, to bring visibility to an important social issue. An urgent and passionate read.”-Vivek Shraya, author of I’m Afraid of Men.
WHAT WE’RE READING
In the age of girl bosses, Beyoncé, and Black Widow, we like to tell our little girls they can be anything they want when they grow up, except they’ll have to work twice as hard, be told to “play nice,” and face countless double standards that curb their personal, political, and economic power. Today, long after the rise of girl power in the 90s, the failed promise of a female president, and the ubiquity of feminist-branded everything, women are still a surprisingly, depressingly long way from gender and racial equality. It’s worth asking: Why do we keep trying to win a game we were never meant to play in the first place?
Award-winning journalist and author Lauren McKeon examines the varied ways in which our institutions are designed to keep women and other marginalized genders at a disadvantage and shows us why we need more than parity, visible diversity, and lone female CEOs to change this power game. She uncovers new models of power — ones the patriarchy doesn’t get to define — by talking to lawyers insisting on gender-neutral change rooms in courthouses, programmers creating apps to track the breakdown of men and women being quoted in the news media, educators illustrating tampon packaging with pictures of black bodies, mixed martial artists teaching young girls self-empowerment, entrepreneurs prioritizing trauma-informed office cultures, and many other women doing power differently. As the toxic, divisive, and hyper-masculine style of leadership gains ground, threatening democracy here and abroad, McKeon underscores why it’s time to stop playing by the rules of a rigged game.
No More Nice Girls charts a hopeful and potent path forward for how to disrupt the standard (very male) vision of power, ditch convention, and build a more equitable world for everyone.
I don’t think you can expect society to change if you’re not ready to take the first step.
In the 1970s Beverly walks into an office of Black activists, wanting to join the Movement, and has to prove she’s committed enough to fight. Some forty years later, in the Hip Hop Generation, Nicole reunites with her ex-boyfriend on a basketball court, wondering where he’s been, when a police officer stops them.
In this striking debut, Amanda Parris turns the spotlight on the Black women who organize communities, support their incarcerated loved ones, and battle institutions, living each day by a ride-or-die philosophy, strengthening their voices and demanding to be heard.
The Other Side of the Game won the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Awards for drama. Maja Ardal, Megan Gail Coles and Curtis Peeteetuce made up the jury.
“Other Side of the Game courageously examines the struggles of young black women and their loved ones as they navigate an unjust system,” the jury said.
“Parris crafts a portrait of the early years of black activism and parallels it with the present day. Enraging and engaging, this gripping and passionate play challenges dominant narratives to reveal the painful truths of life for marginalized Canadians in our society.”
“Parris’s play does the worthy work of combatting the idea that Black women are superhuman, able to bear the weight of their communities, fight societal racism on micro and macro levels, and care for their families while managing a tight budget.”
(Carly Maga, Toronto Star)
AND FINALLY . . . IN CASE YOU MISSED IT!
- For decades, Native business owners in the US have been excluded from national and global economies due to the persistent lack of infrastructure on many reservations to establish an online presence or a storefront. Rez Rising is a first-of-its-kind tool that brings much needed visibility to these businesses. The growing platform is an initiative of Change Labs, a Native-led organization supporting Native entrepreneurs by providing creative workspace, tools, resources, and community. Join the movement to #BuyNative from over 500 Native-owned businesses in the Southwest and strengthen Native economies by buying directly from Native American entrepreneurs. One of its creators is Heather Fleming, executive director of Change Labs, spoke with KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny about the vision behind Rez Rising. (Source: Rezrising.org)
- “While you don’t have individually the power to dethrone a Mark Zuckerberg, what you do have the power to do — today, tomorrow and the next day — is to start joining things.” – Anand Giridharadas. In his book, Winner Takes All, former New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas investigates how the global elite’s efforts to ‘change the world’ also obscure their role in causing the problem. Listen to the episode on IDEAS with host Nahlah Ayed at a public event hosted by the Samara Centre for Democracy. (Source: CBC.ca/radio/ideas)
- Inspired by sports league drafts, the annual Fintech and Financing Conference (FFCON) applications for the inaugural Fintech Draft are open until February 29, 2020. Designed to identify and feature emerging and high growth startups and scaleups, you can apply to get drafted in three categories: pitching, export readiness, or product demo at FFCON20 RISE. Qualifying participants will be profiled online and reviewed by expert fintech scouts, and will compete in one of three Fintech Draft competitions: pitching, export readiness, or product demo at the 6th annual Conference and Expo taking place from March 23 and 24 in downtown Toronto. (Source: FFCON20)
- Google is launching an accelerator for early-stage tech startups in Kitchener-Waterloo. The accelerator will be the tech giant’s first in Canada and the 12th globally. The new three-month accelerator program will host two cohorts this year, with eight to 10 startups in each. Ashley Francisco, Canada startup ecosystem lead at Google, will be heading up the new accelerator, according to The Logic. The theme for the first cohort is yet to be confirmed, and the company will explore various potential themes, such as health and gaming, in the next few weeks. Applications for Google’s new accelerator open in March and the first cohort is set to start in April. (Source: Betakit.com)
- Five years ago, filmmaker Paula Eiselt uncovered a shocking act of defiance in an unexpected setting that she now sees as a Hasidic variation of the Me Too movement. 93Queen is a documentary that follows Rachel “Ruchie” Freier, a no-nonsense Hasidic lawyer and mother of six who is determined to shake up the “boys club” in her Hasidic community by creating Ezras Nashim, the first all-female ambulance corps in NYC. In the Hasidic enclave of Borough Park, Brooklyn, Freir challenges the community’s status quo in the face of fierce opposition. With unprecedented access, 93Queen offers a unique portrayal of a group of empowered women set on shattering the glass ceiling in the unlikeliest of communities. In the midst of this already ground-breaking endeavor, Ruchie announces that she will run for civil court judge in Brooklyn, and after a hard-fought and contentious election, she becomes the first Hasidic woman elected to office in the United States. (Sources: 93Queen, CBC.ca/passionateeye
That’s a wrap for Dispatch #60!
So we have BIG news! LiisBeth is in the process of converting to a women-member/led nonprofit multi-stakeholder cooperative! We know, that’s a mouthful. What it means is that its incubation period under Eve-Volution Inc (B Corp) is over. Time for change. Liisbeth Media is now ready to stand on its own.
Over the next several weeks, you will be hearing from us about our progress. We would love your input on many things, including member benefits you would like to see offered. Why? Because we hope all of you will seriously consider becoming a co-operative member and play a part in helping build a strong, sustainable, feminist media cooperative–the first of its kind on many levels.
We also wanted to share that last week, the LiiisBeth advisory board and staff unanimously voted to stand with the Wet’suwet’en and Indigenous peoples of Canada. We have submitted our official statement of support. If you are interested in the wording, you can find it here.
We hope you enjoyed this month’s newsletter and features. If you have not done so already, please consider checking out the Feminist Enterprise Commons! (Two months free!)
With gratitude and heartfelt thanks for your continued readership, engagement and support.
Peace out. Spring is coming. xoxo