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Posts Tagged ‘B.C.

People who do Good Stuff: Jen Sungshine

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The youth LGBTQ advocate who preaches love and celebrates diversity

SPREADING LOVE AS AN ACTIVIST can be a tricky balance to achieve, especially for those who do in-depth social justice work in a world rife with pain. Addressing injustice through education is emotionally demanding work and can be disheartening. But co-founder of Love Intersections, Jen Sungshine, practices love with intention. Her work focuses on raising public awareness to address racism in the queer community—something she does through conversation, empathy, and patience.

Sungshine and co-conspirator David Ng started Love Intersections as a blog after witnessing racist misconceptions in Vancouver’s queer community. In 2014, the Vancouver School Board was at work crafting its transgender inclusion policy. When a group of Chinese-Canadian parents opposed the policy, many in the white LGBTQ community responded by expressing ideas such as “people of colour are more homophobic.” Sungshine, who’s queer and Taiwanese, realized something needed to shift.

“We really needed to change that stereotype,” she says, “and we really needed to change that narrative.” She decided to put her artistic skills to work and create a visibility campaign. The result was a series of 15 posters displaying queers of various races, backgrounds, genders, and orientations, printed in the languages of those involved, plus English. The large posters were put up mainly in bus shelters across Vancouver in 2015.
And now, this year, Sungshine and Love Intersections will be doing even more. A recently completed online crowdfunder raised over $5,900—enough money to expand the project. Sungshine will help create two more themed campaigns with posters and videos, along with colleagues and volunteers from Love Intersections and partner organization Our City of Colours, another Vancouver group that addresses issues facing LGBTQ people from a variety of linguistic and cultural communities.

She plans on adding between 15–30 new posters to the mix. The plan is to take the project to schools and community centres, and also outside of Vancouver, raising visibility for queer and trans Indigenous people and people of colour (QTIPOC) throughout B.C. and beyond. “We would love to just invite the community to give us ideas on what the next two things can be,” says Sungshine.

Besides serving on Our City of Colour’s board, Sungshine makes art, works as a contract facilitator for Vancouver’s Out in Schools running anti-homophobia and -transphobia workshops in schools, and does communications and outreach with the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice. In all of this, her focus remains committed to learning and teaching, and being an example of someone who “calls in” instead of “calling out.” This means that Sungshine prioritizes connection over criticism, and relationship-building over critical politics. But it doesn’t mean she isn’t fiercely passionate about what she does. And she stresses many approaches are valid and needed.

As a facilitator who works mainly with people from very different backgrounds, she regularly faces the challenge of how to talk about social justice issues like gender, race, and sexuality in a language that will make sense to a variety of people. Most often, she says, it’s simply about meeting people where they are, which may seem like a no-brainer, but can be challenging in the sticky and emotionally fraught territories of discussing oppression, particularly one’s own.

“One of my worst nightmares when I facilitate a workshop is to do so with a group of activists who are all on the same page,” she says. “Once you get folks who are different, there’s tension. And for me as a facilitator, tension is gold.” Out of that tension emerges possibility—and out of conflict, comes possible change in people’s perspectives, she adds.

“Seeing the world through a lens of love has really allowed me to connect with people I never would have connected with without it. I think it’s very easy to be very negative, or to be critical.” Sungshine believes by putting care and empathy into the world, she gets to see others shine—and to be inspired and inspire in turn. Her work is healing her as a person of colour, as a woman, as a queer woman, and as a femme. “It’s people who are the driving force of the work. Social agents of change—they’re like superheroes or something.”

Check out loveintersections.com to see posters and videos from the project and learn more.

 

First published in the Jan/Feb issue of This Magazine

https://this.org/2016/01/08/the-people-do-good-stuff-issue-jen-sungshine/

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Written by larkinschmiedl

March 13, 2016 at 10:10 pm

Farmer’s Market video series: 4 Elements Farm

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Sarah Martel farms organically near Kamloops, B.C. along with her partner Michael Weinman.  Here she shares what they grow on the farm, some tricks they have learned, and her priorities when it comes to thinking about food security.

Written by larkinschmiedl

July 22, 2012 at 8:18 pm

Meat on campus: a microcosm

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Local meat without added hormones or antibiotics is what the people want to buy, but it’s not always what’s cost-effective.

Jason Cochran is a faculty member in the Retail Meat Processing program at Thompson Rivers University (TRU).  He handles most of the meat ordering for the program, as well as for the neighbouring Culinary Arts program.

The program runs the Meat Store, which is open every Thursday on campus to sell the cuts of meat the students have made.

The customers want local meat, Cochran said, and so that’s what’s in the store, but, “the local beef actually costs me more than the feedlot beef.”  It comes from a ranch just north of Barriere.

The beef the culinary arts program uses on the other hand almost all comes as boxed beef, and it’s from a slaughterhouse in Alberta.

It’s feedlot beef, Cochran told me, and there’s a 99 per cent certainty the animal has been fed hormones and antibiotics throughout its life.

When you buy boxed beef, he said, it could be from three or four animals from anywhere in Alberta or even B.C. mixed up together.  The majority of B.C. beef, he told me, is shipped to Alberta to be slaughtered.

There are two local provincially-inspected slaughterhouses according to Cochran however.  One is called Kam Lake View Meats, and is located in Kamloops.  The other is Rainer Meats and is situated north of Barriere.

Cochran said local beef can be difficult to source because he needs a consistent source of meat.  He also listed the need to trust the supplier and to have a relationship with them as concerns.

The majority of the beef comes into the meat cutting program in the fall he said.

In a typical program year, Cochran will order 15 to 16 cows, which will cost approximately $40,000 altogether.  This would make each cow approximately $2,500.

The two other main types of meat in the Meat Store are chicken and pork.  Each come from a different slaughterhouse in the Lower Mainland.

The chicken is entirely hormone and antibiotic-free, whereas the pork gets one treatment of antibiotics in its lifetime.

Besides operating the Meat Store, the retail meat processing program also sells sides of beef, bulk chicken, does customer orders, and processes meat for both hunters and some local farmers.

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