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Indigiqueer & Two Spirit Futurities in Education

Jan 27, 2022

06:00 PM Eastern Time (3:00 PM Pacific Time)


Marie Laing is a queer writer, educator, and youth leader at the Native Youth Sexual Health Network. She is Kanyen’kehá:ka (turtle clan), and her family comes from Six Nations of the Grand River, as well as Ireland, Scotland, and South Africa. She earned her M.A. from the Department of Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Her first book, Urban Indigenous Youth Reframing Two-Spirit (Routledge, 2021), shares the findings of her master’s thesis research -- a series of conversations with fellow two-spirit, queer and trans Indigenous young people in Toronto about the term two-spirit.


Robert Durocher (Métis/French) is a gay/queer/indigequeer educator and artist.  Currently, he is Centrally Assigned Vice-Principal, Indigenous Education at the Urban Indigenous Education Centre at Toronto District School Board.  Previous to this he worked as Instructional Leader, Indigenous Education where he initiated the first Two-Spirit/Indigequeer Pride.  Robert worked at York University's Faculty of Education with arts education and teacher candidates. He enjoys drawing, collage and photography when he has time.

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Black Queer & Trans Freedom Dreams in Education

February 22, 2022

06:00 PM Eastern Time (3:00 PM Pacific Time)


Qui Alexander (they/them) is a queer, trans, Black Puerto Rican scholar, educator and organizer based in Minneapolis, MN. They are currently a PhD Candidate in Education, Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Culture and Teaching at the University of Minnesota. Their work and scholarship centers queer Black feminist praxis, Black trans studies, transformative justice, abolition and healing justice. Their current research is focused on abolitionist pedagogies, and more specifically how Black trans community organizers teach and learn abolitionist praxis. Grounded in their experiences as a community organizer, Qui views their scholarship as a place to articulate the cultural work they do in relation to their communities. Believing education is a practice of freedom, Qui strives to center personal transformation and healing in every educational space they have the honor to hold and co-create.


Dr. Christopher Smith (they/them) is currently a Research Associate at the Center for Ethics at University of Toronto with the Race, Ethics, and Power Project (REP). They received their Ph.D. from the Department of Social Justice Education - Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) / University of Toronto in 2020. Their research interests reside in the productive interstices of Black Diaspora Cultural Studies, Black expressive cultures and practices, Social & Cultural geography, Queer of Color Critique, and Black Feminist theories of decolonization.
Their first manuscript tentatively titled “Itinerant Hospitalities: Black. Queer. World-making”, explores the aesthetic and performative strategies cultivated by contemporary Black LGBT+ artists and activists that enable collective responses to the persistence of HIV in Black communities globally.    
Their most recent publication is “Where U From, Who U Wit!?”: Black Pride Festivals as Itinerant Hospitality” in the special issue “Queer Canada” in the Journal of Canadian Studies (2020). Their book chapter, co-authored with Dr. Heather Sykes, “Trans*, Intersex and Cisgender issues in Physical Education and Sport” (2016) offers a decolonial analysis of Trans* inclusive policy initiatives addressing Trans* experience in K-12 educational settings. It will be reprinted in the 2nd edition of Queerly Canadian: An Introductory Reader in Sexuality Studies in Spring 2022 by Canadian Scholar’s Press.

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Desi & Indo-Caribbean Queer Worldmaking:

Disrupting & Negotiating Multiple Systems of Domination through Mishritata and Qoolie Subjectivities

March 22, 2022

06:00 PM Eastern Time (3:00 PM Pacific Time)


Ryan Persadie (he/him) is an artist, educator, and writer based in Toronto, Canada. Currently, he is a PhD candidate in Women and Gender Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto. He also carries a MA in Ethnomusicology and Sexual Diversity Studies from the University of Toronto. His aesthetic and scholarly work interrogates the relationships and entanglements between queer Indo-Caribbean diasporas, Caribbean feminisms, Afro-Asian intimacies, and legacies of indenture. His current dissertation project particularly takes up questions of how aesthetics, performance, embodiment, and popular culture operate as critical feminist archives for erotic self-making and place-making practices for queer and trans Caribbean communities between and across Toronto and New York City.   

His writing can be found in the Stabroek News, A Colour Deep, Gay City News, MUSICultures, the Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies, the Canadian Theatre Review, and in forthcoming publications with the Caribbean Review of Gender Studies and the Journal of Indenture and Its Legacies. He also works with and organizes with multiple community groups including the Caribbean Equality Project, and Queeribbean Toronto. Outside of academia, he also works as a drag artist where he goes by the stage name of Tifa Wine.

Dirk J. Rodricks, Ph.D. (he/him) is a Queer/Khush, racialized (Desi/South Asian) settler with ancestors from the southern part of India. He earned is PhD in Curriculum and Pedagogy at OISE/University of Toronto and currently serves as the Postdoctoral Fellow in Arts, Health, and Wellness and Associate Director for the University of Toronto Scarborough's  Flourish Collective - an interdisciplinary research cluster of scholars, artists, and community partners from K-16 education, arts and media, public policy, social services, healthcare, and medicine.
Committed to learning across difference through critical, creative, anti-racist, and de/colonial pedagogies, Dirk’s research interests include multiply-marginalized young adult identity formations in formal and nonformal sites of learning, intergenerational ethnoracial and queer inheritances across transnational contexts, and de/colonizing qualitative methodologies. His award-winning drama-anchored mixed methods doctoral research was recognized by two Special Interest Groups of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) with their respective 2021 Dissertation of the Year Award.