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Activism & Action

LiisBeth's #IWD2020 March Playlist: Marching On, Each for Equal

Brampton rapper Haviah Mighty won the 2019 Polaris Music Prize for the album 13th Floor. (Photo by Mark Matusoff)
 
Here are 10 new songs for us to march to on Sunday, March 8, for International Women’s Day. I believe that working towards equality is a balance between doing our own inner work and taking action in the world. We must be able to honour our pain and the learning we still need to do, and also look outwards to see where there is injustice in our communities and step forward proactively.
The artists below are each striving for equality in their own way, using their platforms and voices to help us all learn and grow. We are each here to contribute to that greater purpose. Let this #IWD2020 be an inspiration for us on how we can march forward, and what direction we are heading in.

Bikini Kill, “Girl Soldier”

Bikini Kill, known for pioneering the Riot Grrrl movement, was one of the first all-female bands in punk to speak out against abuse and misogyny. “Girl Soldier,” truly an anthem to march to, points to the irony of men fighting overseas when there is a war happening on our own homes against women, women’s lives, women’s bodies, women’s rights. Seen here in a live video from the early ’90s with “Turn Off Your TV” draped behind them, Bikini Kill inspired a revolution and called us all to action. 2020 sees them reuniting in a world that just might be ready for their message.

Haviah Mighty, “In Women Colour”

Brampton rapper Haviah Mighty made history in 2019 when she became the first female rapper to ever win a Polaris Prize. The opening track to her album, 13th Floor, cuts hard to the truth of how racist and misogynistic our world (let alone the music industry) still is. She tells her powerful story, how none of it could break her, and now as she breaks boundaries with her art, she is changing the landscape for Black women in this country.

Backxwash, “F.R.E.A.K.S”

Rising Montreal rapper Backxwash identifies as queer and a witch—two communities that have historically been broken through hateful, patriarchal culture. F.R.E.A.K.S is an anthem to all the incredible people existing in the margins of society who are changing our culture by showing up unapologetically. Historical change has always come from queer and marginalized communities, pushing the restricted boundaries of normalcy and redefining identity. Today we celebrate all the amazing freaks.

Riit, “qaumajuapik”

Riit, a Juno-nominated and rising artist from Nunavut, is an embodiment of the slow but real change beginning to happen in the music industry. Her Inuktitut lyrics and throat singing speak of her experience growing up in the Northern Territories, and the strength she has found as a woman through much of it. “qaumajuapik,” the first video from her 2019 album, landed her on many incredible shows and festival lineups, a massive hurdle for an artist living in such an isolated population. Making space for voices like Riit’s is the reason our individual actions matter.

Tei Shi, “Alone in the Universe”

Colombian-born singer Tei Shi often sings on themes of love and loss but her 2019 anthem “Alone in the Universe” is a song for us to march to. If there is a God, and if she is a woman, she’s dropping the ball, Tei Shi proclaims. She follows it by promising to speak up for the sake of others, where she hasn’t been able to speak up for herself. It’s a powerful reflection on the isolation of being a woman, and the importance of taking action on behalf of ourselves and others.

Lido Pimienta, “Eso Que Tu Haces”

Lido Pimienta returns this April with her first album following her 2017 Polaris Prize win, titled Miss Colombia. “Eso Que Tu Haces” depicts the magnificent colour, warmth, and dance tradition of San Basilio de Palenque, the first place of refuge for those fleeing slavery in the Colonial Americas. Her magnetic voice and storytelling has begged Canada for years now to be accountable to continued racism in the country, and this song is no different as she sets a boundary around what can be considered a “loving action,” and what is false.

Sudan Archives, “Glorious”

This video is Black Girl Magic personified as Brittney Parks imagines her own prayer to God in the style of old oral tradition hymns. Inspired by Aisha al-Fallatiyah, the first woman to ever perform in Sudan, “Glorious” prays for money, a foundation of life in our world. It is a stunning and raw nod to intersectional equality—if we want an equal world, we have to understand that it takes marginalized genders, races, and identities that much more effort to get what they need to survive in it.

Austra, “Risk It”

Austra returns this year with new music after four years when we last heard “Future Politics,” a plea for a more equal, utopian world. “Risk It” is a call to action that can be interpreted in our love lives, our political lives, or both (since there’s really no separation in the end, is there?). As we march to the beat of this song, we can contemplate risk as an essential part of growth and change. There are places where we all need to risk it in our lives in order to see equality grow in the world.

Black Belt Eagle Scout, “Indians Never Die”

This song is a beautifully haunting comment on our Earth and the Indigenous communities that have cared for it over many generations. Colonial violence is still painfully active and destructive in the 21st century, and we are each responsible for our part in ensuring that the land we live on and the individuals who continue to care for it do not waste away. Perhaps the physical earth can be part of our vision for equality, too.

Vagabon, “Every Woman”

Do not be deceived by the gentle strum of this song. In the lyrics lives a war cry, a proclamation that Laetitia Tamko is not afraid of the battle that women face every day to exist and be free. There is a solidarity in her lyrics as we understand the importance of every woman coming together in the name of equality. We may be tired, but there’s a ways to go still before we sit down.

Related Playlists

You can also find all our playlists on Spotify under LiisBeth.
https://www.liisbeth.com/2017/07/11/summer-reset-playlist-feminist-entrepreneurs/
https://www.liisbeth.com/2018/03/15/a-change-makers-playlist/

Categories
Allied Arts & Media

LiisBeth's August 2019 Playlist: When Resistance Meets Possibilities

Vaselines live-LA TIMES

The Canadian music landscape has never sounded so exciting. Issues of gender, race, sexuality, identity and ability still require a tremendous amount of learning, and have yet to be truly considered in many important music spaces. But it’s also a time when those issues are starting to crack through the foundation of old structures that have protected some, and kept others bound from self-expression and support in their journey. Real change, if we are to get there, involves every level of the industry including media, audience, grant jurors, labels, booking agents, promoters, and festivals to be on board. In my heart I feel that this change is starting, but it is just the beginning. We have never had so much access to such a rich tapestry of lyrics, melodies, instruments, and languages, shared with us through the many identities that are drawn to expression through music. It is a truly exciting time to witness (and hear), and I look forward to seeing the deeper, more long-term possibilities these changes will open up. The following artists represent the complexity and powerful range of voices in a (mostly) Canadian landscape. Hear them live at Venus Fest this year, September 20-22 at The Opera House, in Toronto.
Tei Shi – Keep Running
Colombian-born Valerie Teicher is the force behind Tei Shi, emerging into the music industry only a few years ago with the distinct sound of her emotive voice over carefully hung grooves. Music fans with a stunningly far reach have been following her ever since, and awaiting her second LP which is due this fall. She is an inspiration to women and women of colour, and approaches her career with the commitment and integrity of a true artist.

Charlotte Cardin – Main Girl
No one could have anticipated the immediate and overwhelming response to Charlotte’s handful of singles and EPs in the last few years, although it’s not surprising when you hear her music. Filled with honesty, the depth of a woman’s experience, and the subdued cool of an August night, Charlotte Cardin has found her way into the heart of every Canadian music fan, and earned a place on some of the biggest festival stages in the country.

Han Han – World Gong Crazy (ft. Datu & Hataw)
Celebrated as one of Toronto’s most talented rappers in the game right now, Han Han raps predominantly in Filipino and is known for her live performances incorporating stunning movement pieces by Flipino-Canadian dance troupe Hataw. Haniely also works as a nurse, and is an involved activist and member of the local community. It’s been a few years since she released her last album, so fans are on the edge of their seats awaiting her new album due this fall.

TRP.P – Love, Calm Down
Originally known as 1/4 of Toronto rap collective, The Sorority, and independent producer and beatmaker Truss, Phoenix and Truss are now TRP.P – one of the hottest up and coming R&B groups in Toronto who are about to release their debut album. Their lyrics speak of caring and reciprocal love that uplifts around them, over deep grooves that pay homage to nostalgia-tinged legends like Ashanti.

Riit – Qaumajuapik
Riit, hailing from the beautiful and icy Panniqtuuq, Nunavut, brings a warmth and elegance to her songs that has her poised to shake up pop music in North America. Incorporating throat singing and Inuttitut lyrics alongside skillfully crafted synth pop, Riit’s highly anticipated debut album brings the listener on a deeply honest journey through her experience in Nunavut of intergenerational trauma, residential schools, sexual abuse, and isolation. But there is hope in her words as well, a hope possibly carried through her own career as an emerging young musician and the possibility of what lies ahead.

Too Attached – GratefulToo Attached is a project between Canadian writer, professor, model, and musician Vivek Shraya, and her wildly talented beatboxer/producer brother, Shamik Bilgi. The pair’s debut album, “Angry,” was critically acclaimed as one of Canada’s most radical, boundary-pushing and important albums, and was later nominated for the Polaris Prize. Like Shraya’s writing, the album is a boldly stark exposure of the hypocrisy behind many ‘inclusive’ spaces, and an honest perspective on what it would actually entail to create such places.

The Vaselines – Son Of A Gun
The Vaselines hail from a period in the music industry where women on stage were painfully sparse, even more so than today, and especially in the punk and grunge scenes. Known as Kurt Kobain’s favourite band (and singer Frances McKee as the namesake of his and Courtney Love’s daughter), The Vaselines were widely under-appreciated at the time of their initial emergence. Fast forward to 2019 and hear how the group has sustained an incredible and impactful career that has lasted more than three decades. They continue to be an inspiration for women in alternative, edgy music communities, and hold a special place in the heart of every grown up punk.

The Weather Station – Thirty
The video for “Thirty” depicts The Weather Station’s Tamara Lindeman baring her deeply emotional lyrics before a nondescript and indifferent crowd of men. It proves to be a highly universal and relatable symbol for the experience of women everywhere, as well as a nod to the reality that women in music work ten times as hard to get half as far as men. But the lyrics also reveal a cyclical nature to our experience, and offer the possibility of hope for something new as the years pass.

Dorothea Paas – Container
Every time I hear Dorothea Paas sing I immediately think “voice of an angel,” and it’s not hard to see why. She represents the strength and incredible talent of the DIY music community in Toronto, and as such, the power of underrepresented voices who are slowly carving out space where they can. Dorothea’s songs speak of a vulnerability that is hard for most to admit, leaving the listener haunted by soft, arching melodies.

Fiver – Hair Of The Dead
Simone Schmidt (the storyteller behind Fiver) spent two years pouring over case files of people incarcerated at The Rockwood Asylum for the Criminally Insane between 1856-1881. “Audible Songs From Rockwood” is the result of their research; 11 songs that imagine fictional field recordings from that time. Schmidt is no stranger to this approach in their work, as they have been at the forefront of several of Canada’s best folk projects over the last two decades, and with each one they give voice to the silent and forgotten ones who live in the margins of society and are cast aside. This, to me, is the true spirit of folk music and a tradition that Schmidt carries well.

Playlist curator: Aerin Fogel, founder of Venus Fest. 
Did you enjoy this playlist? Consider making a small contribution so we can bring you more in the coming months! [direct-stripe value=”ds1554685140411″]


More LiisBeth Playlists!
https://www.liisbeth.com/2018/03/15/a-change-makers-playlist
https://www.liisbeth.com/2017/07/11/summer-reset-playlist-feminist-entrepreneurs
https://www.liisbeth.com/2019/02/13/a-musical-ode-to-sex-body-positivism
LiisBeth playlists are also available on Spotify. Link to Aug 2019 playlist here:  at https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4uBcUcWLEhEdf5rh3yU1XG?si=0uGsJKeOQYyyd0Oo1Zrj9Q

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Sample Newsletter

LIISBETH DISPATCH #45

VIEWPOINT

Mountains of private sector led studies and a handful of task forces over the past ten years on how to unleash the power of women entrepreneurs…and we are no further ahead. In fact, the 2017 McKinsey study on gender parity in Canada identified that Canada had “extremely high inequality in five out of fiftteen indicators.”  One of those was women’s entrepreneurship. According to the study, it will take us 180 years to reach parity in terms of creating an environment where women entrepreneurs can thrive as well—or as easily—as their male counterparts.

One of the reasons for this disappointing rate of progress, in my opinion, is the fact that we have allowed a handful of powerful, privileged people, girl-boss celebrities and Bro’ tech voices to have an outsized impact on how we view women’s entrepreneurship. The learning here is: women entrepreneurs are not mini-men entrepreneurs. A woman’s lived experience in a kyriarchal world is entirely different than a man’s and thus, not surprisingly, so is their approach to venture design and growth. Instead of developing programs and policies designed to homogenize and encourage women entrepreneurs to learn how to proceed like unencumbered, entitled tech-dudes, it’s time to recognize, celebrate, and amplify our uniqueness.

And here’s the good news. This might finally happen.

This summer, the Canadian government launched a competitive bid process to establish an independent Womens Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub fuelled by a hefty $8.62 million dollar budget over three years. The application must be be consortium based and led by an academic institution. The goal? Take off the Tom Ford aviators and see things as they really are. 

Grant opportunities like this don’t happen often so it’s no surprise that the competition is fierce. The assessment criteria includes points for things like research credentials, large project management skills, plans for long term financial sustainability, and the ability to leverage technology. Applicants must also demonstrate some level of prior engagement and knowledge of women’s entrepreneurship in Canada, the ecosystem that supports women entrepreneurs, plus experience working with diverse, intersectional groups of women.

All useful criteria on which to base a decision.

But…let’s face it. If we truly want to see different results from the past, it’s the leadership style of the lead applicant team that matters most.

When it comes to awarding big government contracts, we tend to go for thigh thundering T-Rex’s bearing gifts. The bigger and louder the better. We think someone famous, aggressive, with corporate connections who is chummy with the 1% will help get things done.

But if we want a different result, we need a different approach. Like Dandelion leadership.

In feminist and activist literature, the natural characteristics of the lowly dandelion is often referred to as a metaphor for the type leadership needed to advance social equity in any space, including entrepreneurship. Dandelion leaders recognize that innovation and leadership can come from anywhere, not just the tip of the economic iceberg. Dandelions are democratic, humble, agile, and responsive to their environment. They don’t care where they grow. They are everywhere. Farmer’s fields, a gated community lawn, or between cracks in sidewalks. They deeply understand the concept of inter-independence because without it, they die. They help nourish and ripen challenging ideas. They detoxify. They encourage others around them to flourish as opposed to expanding their own empires. And at the same time, they are not afraid of revolution. Imagine a field overrun with dandelions!

Imagine an economy fuelled by feminism. 

Canada has lagged in its ability to productively support women entrepreneurs because this diverse and heterogenous community is still greatly misunderstood and misrepresented. Moving forward, one way to avoid this is to ensure research and collaborations engage grass roots organizations, feminist leaders, and the kaleidoscope of main street female entrepreneurs in purposeful ways. No more tokenism.

This will take a leadership team that knows about creating safe environments. People who can harvest and include learnings from the fringe. An open minded team who is understands collective impact theory. Someone willing to challenge the current dysfunctional sacred cows of entrepreneurship and innovation—perhaps throwing them out all together.

The decision regarding who gets to lead the hub will be announced in October. I can’t wait. 

And I, for one, will be rooting for the dandelion team who is able to take root in depleted spaces and encourage generative growth.


LiisBeth Founder & Publisher

THIS WEEK ON LIISBETH 

What We Are Talking About When We Talk About White Privilege: Themes From the White Privilege Conference in Toronto

What happens when you think of white privilege? Maybe it makes you angry. Perhaps it’s a subject you avoid. Possibly you become itchy and uncomfortable because if you are white (and privileged) you feel like you are to blame. If you are a member of a minority facing struggles because of race, how do you get someone to understand your barriers, challenges, and point of view?

White Privilege Conference has become synonymous with tackling widespread issues of inequality and 2018 marked the first time WPC has crossed the border for a Canadian version of the conference.

Dr. Golnaz Golnaraghi’s story is a moving and inspiring account of her time at the White Privilege Conference, and includes practical ways we can move towards solutions and change. Read it here.

The four Atlanta social ventures awarded a total of $200,000 by the Sara Blakely Foundation and Atlanta Emerging Markets, Inc. (AEMI) through the Civic Impact Loan Fund.

Change Makers: A unique residency supports women entrepreneurs on the front line of social innovation

Welcome to Atlanta, the city with the highest rate of income inequality in the US. Now, thanks to the vision of Rohit Malhotra who worked on civic innovation initiatives in the Obama administration and Sara BlakelyAtlanta’s most influential female entrepreneur and Spanx CEO and founder, The Centre for Civic Innovation is fostering startups who are addressing the root cause of why this inequality exists. From yoga practice for police officers to Civic Dinners bringing community members together, the centre provides financial and development support to entrepreneurs.

Adina Solomon explains how the one-year residency is measured by how much the entrepreneurs achieve – not by financial indicators. Check out the article here.

Above: Lido Pimienta, Venus Fest 2017

New LiisBeth Playlist! Time to Soar

September is here. Time to get back to initiatives, routines, and commitments sometimes left to languish as we frenetically try to enjoy our short summers.

To get back into the swing of things, Aerin Fogel, founder of Venus Fest, created a new playlist for LiisBeth to help get us back into gear! Have a listen here.

The playlist features ten artists performing at this year’s Venus Fest, a Toronto music festival and concert series celebrating feminism in the arts. It happens Thursday to Saturday, September 22-24th at various locations!

FEMINIST FREEBIE! VENUS FEST PASS GIVEAWAY!  LiisBeth has two festival passes to give away to the first two LiisBethians to complete our reader survey today on September 11th! Recipients will be announced on Twitter (and notified by email).

All LiisBeth subscribers are also invited to the Venusfest Pre-Party Show and Panel which happens at the Drake Underground on Saturday, September 15th. Tickets are $12 in advance.

Feminist campers

WTF is Feminist Camp?

You can find a camp for anything: music, archery, cooking…and now, there is Feminist Camp, a front-row seat to feminist work, activism, and action beyond classroom theories. Feminist Camp is the brainchild of two women on a mission to show (mostly) college-aged women what their futures might look like. Campers meet professionals like judges, police officers, and artists who practice feminism in their jobs.

No bonfires or marshmallows, but an impromptu sing-a-long could very well erupt on the streets of New York City, Seattle, or Zambia, along with a renewed sense of direction, confidence, and possibilities. Catherine Drillis shares her thoughts from Feminist Camp’s HQ, located at Ms. Foundation in NYC. Read the piece here.

LIISBETH FIELD NOTES

The RAISE Collective

The weRAISE 2018 program featured seven women-led ventures seeking capital for growth from industries including technology and consumer goods.  The #womenRAISE campaign took place over 100 days with the cohort collectively raised $1M.

Entrepreneurs benefitted from the connections they made and to having access to the right types of capital for their specific needs.” – Jill Earthy, RAISE Founder

weRAISE is now collaborating with Female Funders, a program for women interested in investing and who are unlocking capital to support female entrepreneurs. To learn about the need to increase gender diversity within Canada’s investment ecosystem, check out the Women in Venture report.

The next weRAISE cohort launches in early 2019. Companies who want to learn more can visit www.theraisecollective.com

Thrive Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs

Brew yourself a cup and have a listen to this 30 minute podcast from Start Up Canada. Janice MacDonald chats with Petra Kassun-Mutch about everything from B-corp info, responsibilities of an entrepreneur, and the five values of the feminist business model canvas. Do you know what they are?

Pramilla Ramdahani, Founder of the Community Innovation Lab

NO WAY! A FINANCE CONFERENCE JUST FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS!

Pramilla Ramhahani (pictured above), founder and CEO of Durham region’s Community Innovation Lab saw the economic and personal transformation potential of women entrepreneurs. So she created the Refinery, a  women’s entrepreneurship program that will provide technical advisory support, workshops, bootcamps, year-long intensive coaching, and co-working hub space to an estimated 1,435+ female entrepreneurs over the next three years.

The Community Innovation Lab (CiLab), is a not for profit organization currently led by an all-female staff.

On September 12th, CiLab is holding the first women-centric finance conference of its kind in the region where they will announce a significant partnership with the Business Development Corporation to advance startups and women entrepreneurs across Ontario.

If you are looking for women-led financing opportunities, don’t miss this conference! It will be worth the drive to Durham.

The Conference will be held at the Co-ilab hub on 600 Rossland Rd., Oshawa. To get tickets visit: www.communityilab.ca

But how do you really feel? What do you really think?

LiisBeth has grown to over 1850 newsletter subscribers.  And we thought it might be time for us all to get to know ourselves better as a community. So we created the “un-reader” survey in that nu-uh, we aren’t going to ask you about what kinds of articles you like or advertiser-centric demographic questions. We don’t even advertise!

WE WANT TO KNOW: what you’re thinking about, what you care about, your views on feminism, and your take on how LiisBeth can improve.

This survey takes about 12 minutes.We also understand your time is super valuable. So in return for your generosity, we will be publishing a copy of our survey results on LiisBeth so that you too, can get to know this community better!

To take the survey now, click here.

WHAT WE’RE READING 

Vivek Shraya’s poetry collection, even this page is white, is a bold and personal interrogation of skin–its origins, functions, and limitations. Shraya paints the face of everyday racism with words, rendering it visible, tangible, and undeniable. (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2016) “A provocative meditation on what it means to grow up anything other than white in Canada, tackling institutional racism and sexual identity from a unique viewpoint, all delivered with astute observation and trenchant insight.” — Rollie Pemberton, former Edmonton Poet Laureate

Joyful Militancy: Building Thriving Resistance in Toxic Times by Nick Montgomery and Carla Bergman is not what you might expect given the title. While this hard core left of centre book clearly advocates for change through activism, it has a unique perspective on this type of work and issues experienced by those working in the thick of it. If you have been growing tired of resisting Trump, Ford, and other various forms of oppression, injustice or new policies that create more barriers rather than remove them, this book serves as a bit of a pick me up.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

  • Healing Solidarity Online Conference
    Eunice Baguna Ball, Founder of ATBN (African Technology Business Netowork) will be speaking at Healing Solidartiy’s week-long conference about reimagining international development. Get your free ticket here.
  • New Women’s Cannabis Entrepreneur Accelerator in Oregon! The state’s first cannabis accelerator program and co-working & events space is dedicated to boosting women entrepreneurs and their weed businesses #womeninweed
  • YMCA Launch Women’s Empowerment Exchange Traded Fund — Impact Shares and YWCA US now offer an exchange traded fund (ETF) on the New York Stock Exchange enabling investors to invest in companies whose practices are aligned with gender-equality standards. Now that’s pretty cool. Will Canada’s YWCA be next?
  • Size doesn’t matter! Supporting membership to the Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC) is free and open to any organization that supports its objectives. To join, find out more here.
  • As the hype winds down from the federal government’s August 31st release of the Social Innovation and Social Finance Strategy (sisfs.ca) Co-creation steering group’s recommendations, you can still make some noise! Email your MP or tweet about it using #sisfs #innovate4impact
    Read the full report here

That brings us to the end of our September newsletter. The next website refresh and newsletter is scheduled for October 15th, 2018.  
Did you read something of value in this newsletter?

LiisBeth is the only media voice in the world which supports the work of feminist entrepreneurs and innovators. We are 100% reader supported. If you love what we do, become a subscriber to LiisBeth! We humbly remind you that subscriptions are $3/month, $7/month or $10/month.

We are now also on Patreon!  You can choose to donate to us there!

Funds go directly towards paying writers, editors, proofreaders, photo permission fees, and illustrators. Building a more just future requires time, love—and financial support.

Enjoy September. Peace out.

                

Petra Kassun-Mutch                                                  Lana Pesch
Founding Publisher, LiisBeth                                  Newsletter & Associate Editor