ANTI-ASIAN RACISM UNDONE
jaqs gallos aquines
jaqs gallos aquines is a community organizer, photographer, storyteller and musician. As a member of the Cultural Instigators, funded by the Calgary Arts Development, based in Mohkinstsis, they collaborate with nine artist/activists from Treaty 7 to disrupt white supremacist culture in the arts sector.
Much of their work and arts practice—including a podcast they co-host and produce, The Unlearning Channel and an edited anthology Home is in the Body: 2SLGBTQIA+ FilipinX Femme, North of the 49th Parallel, published by Anak Winnipeg—iis centred on race, culture, identity, and diaspora—in pursuit of justice, liberation and joy.
Beverly Bain is an Assistant Professor in Women and Gender Studies in The Department of Historical Studies at the UnIversity of Toronto. She currently teaches and researches in Black and diasporic sexualities, Gender, Racism and Police Violence, Blackness and Other Pedagogies of refusal, resistance, and freedom. She has been an activist for over 40 years in the Feminist, Anti-violence and Black and queer of colour movements.
Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns
Lucy Burns is an Associate Professor at UCLA’s Asian American Studies Department. She is the author of Puro Arte: On the Filipino Performing Body, published by NYU Press. Burns is also a dramaturg, whose recent collaborations include David Rousseve’s Stardust, and R. Zamora Linmark’s But, Beautiful, and TeAda Productions’ Global Taxi Drivers’ Project.
Mei Chiu is a member of the Progressive Chinese of Québec, founded 5 years ago to fight against anti-Chinese racism, in solidarity with all oppressed groups in Québec. For the past year, she has also been a core member of the Chinatown Working Group fighting for historical protection of Chinatown. She began her activism in the South African anti-apartheid movement, and has worked as a community organiser for housing rights and against poverty. Most recently, she has been active in the campaign against Bill 21 in Quebec and for the past two years, has been a climate justice activist, as a member of Extinction Rebellion.
Jayal Chung is an artist and youth worker in Thunder Bay. She’s been involved in arts projects and activism that talks back to colonialism and sexual violence. Her self-portrait ‘the forbidden fruits’ was part of the 2017 group show Queer Landscapes, Queer Intersections, John B Aird Gallery.
Robert Diaz is Associate Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute (WGSI) at University of Toronto. His research focuses on the experiences of sexual minorities, with particular attention to Filipino diasporic communities in the transpacific, Philippines, United States, and Canada. His book, A Confetti of Ordinary Dreams: Queer Filipinos and Reparative Acts, is forthcoming with Duke University Press and he is the co-editor (with Marissa Largo and Fritz Pino) of Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos and Canadian Imaginaries (Northwestern University Press, 2017).
Mina Do, a well travelled sex worker, speaks from experiences of anti-Asian racism, misogyny, ableism and class. She also works as a pleasure-based sex educator with a passion for practical consent skills that honour the wisdom of the traumatized body. Forever loyal to her rabbit, mama and the enduring Femme Whore Revolution.
Mercedes Eng is the author of Mercenary English, Prison Industrial Complex Explode, winner of the BC Poetry Prize, and my yt mama. Her writing has appeared in Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry, Jacket 2, Asian American Literary Review, The Abolitionist, and r/ally (No One Is Illegal).
Takashi Fujitani is the Dr. David Chu Professor and Director in Asia Pacific Studies. Much of his past and current research has centred on the intersections of nationalism, colonialism, war, memory, racism, ethnicity, and gender, as well as the disciplinary and area studies boundaries that have figured our ways of studying these issues. He is the author of Splendid Monarchy (UC Press, 1996; Japanese version, NHK Books, 1994; Korean translation, Yeesan Press, 2003) and Race for Empire: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Koreans in WWII (UC Press, 2011; Japanese version forthcoming from Iwanami Shoten).
Richard Fung (Moderator)
Richard Fung is a video artist, writer and Professor Emeritus at OCAD University. His work documents the experiences of queer Asians, and has explored gay Asian spectatorship of pornography, Chinese and Indo-Canadian historiography, police racism, refugee rights, justice in Israel/Palestine, Indo-Caribbean history and complexities in his Chinese Trinidadian family.
Monika Kin Gagnon (Moderator)
Monika Kin Gagnon writes on art, culture and politics and is Professor of Communication Studies, Concordia University. She is author of Other Conundrums: Race, Culture and Canadian Art (2000); co-author with Richard Fung and 13 artists/writers of 13 Conversations about Art and Cultural Race Politics (2002)/Territoires et Trajectoires (2006).
Allan Punzalan Isaac
Allan Punzalan Isaac is Associate Professor of American Studies and English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He is the author of American Tropics: Articulating Filipino America and Filipino Time: Affective Worlds and Contracted Labor.
El Jones is a poet, educator, journalist and advocate. She was the fifth Poet Laureate of Halifax, and the 15th Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University. El is a 2016 recipient of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission Burnley “Rocky” Jones award. El is a co-founder of the Black Power Hour, a radio show developed collectively with prisoners. Her advocacy and work fights anti-Black racism in Canada, walking in the path of our great-grandmothers who resisted relentlessly. Her book of poetry and essays on state violence, Canada is So Polite will be released in the winter from Gaspereau Press.
Christine Kim is Associate Professor and editor of the journal Canadian Literature. Her teaching and research focus on Asian North American literature and theory, Canadian literature, diaspora studies, and cultural studies. She is the author of The Minor Intimacies of Race (University of Illinois Press, 2016) and co-editor of Cultural Grammars of Nation, Diaspora and Indigeneity (Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2012).
For 20 years, Deena Ladd has been working to improve wages and working conditions primarily for racialized communities, women, low-wage workers and immigrant workers. She has worked as a union organizer with garment workers, home-based workers, social service, retail and manufacturing workers. Deena has developed and taught courses and training sessions for rank and file unionized women, young workers and workers of colour for various federations of labour, unions and community organizations. For the past twelve years, Deena has been working to build a membership based worker’s centre in Toronto that can improve wages and working conditions for many working people. The Workers’ Action Centre (WAC works with predominantly low-waged immigrant workers and workers of colour in precarious jobs that face discrimination, violations of rights and no benefits in the workplace.
Larissa Lai (Moderator)
Involved in cultural organizing, experimental poetry and speculative fiction communities since the late 1980s, Larissa Lai has written eight books including Iron Goddess of Mercy and The Tiger Flu. She received the Jim Duggins Novelist's Prize in 2020, and currently directs The Insurgent Architects' House for Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.
Amy Lam is an artist and writer. She has exhibited conceptual, film, and performance works internationally, both solo and as part of the collective Life of a Craphead (with Jon McCurley). Her first poetry chapbook, The four onions, is available from yolkless press (May 2021). She was born in Hong Kong and lives in Toronto.
Elene Lam is the Executive Director of Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Networks). She has involved in sex workers, labour, migrant , gender and racial justice movement for over 20 years. She is the PhD candidate at McMaster University.
Erica Violet Lee
Erica Violet Lee is a nêhiyaw scholar, writer, and urban Indigenous community organizer from Saskatoon. She holds a graduate degree in Social Justice Education from OISE at the University of Toronto.
Min Sook Lee (Moderator)
Min Sook Lee is a community activist, writer and documentary filmmaker Lee is an Associate Professor at OCAD University, her area of research and cultural practice focuses on the critical intersections of art and social change in labour, border politics, migration and social justice movements. Lee is currently the President of the OCADU Faculty Association.
Robyn Maynard is an activist-scholar who lives in Toronto. She is the author of Policing Black Lives (Fernwood 2017j and the forthcoming Rehearsals for Living (w/ Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Knopf 2021)
Kirsten Emiko McAllister
Kirsten Emiko McAllister is an Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University. In addition to her research and writing projects on racism and the politics of remembering Japanese Canadian internment camps, she has researched the work of contemporary Asian Canadian artists. Among other projects, she is completing a co-edited volume with Mona Oikawa and Roy Miki on Redress and a manuscript on community-based art and asylum seekers.
Casey Mecija is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at York University and holds a PhD from the University of Toronto. Her current research theorizes sounds made in and beyond Filipinx diaspora to make an argument about a “queer sound” that permeates diasporic sensibilities. Her work suggests that media production enables diasporic people to create forms of belonging that defy racialized ascriptions born from racism, colonialism, and their gendered dimensions. She is also a musician and filmmaker, whose work has received a number of accolades and has been presented internationally. Casey has a history of employment in radio and television production, and co-founded “From Song to Studio”, a mentorship program with Regent Park School of Music.
Immony Mèn is an artist, educator, and community-based researcher. He is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Design at OCAD University. His research focuses on developing a theoretical framework for understanding (specifically Khmer/Cambodian) diasporic experience through media praxis, critical race theory, and various forms of community engagement.
Winnie Ng is a Labour rights activist and scholar with a deep commitment to anti-racism, equity and worker empowerment. She is the immediate past Unifor National Chair in Social Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University.
Winnie started in the labour movement as a union organizer with the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union immigrant workers (ILGWU) and then later on with Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union HERE Local 75 working with hotel workers. She was the Ontario regional director of the Canadian Labour Congress for 8 years. After years of activism, Winnie returned to the academy to complete her PhD program at OISE/University of Toronto. Her doctoral thesis was on reimagining the essence of solidarity from an anti-racism perspective. Her research focuses on the impacts of global labour market re-structuring on racialized, immigrant and migrant workers. She is currently doing some more digging in the early Chinese Canadian labour history in B.C. and Ontario.
Over the decades, Winnie has been involved in a number of feminist organizing and labour and community coalition building efforts. She is a founding member of the Coalition of Visible Minority Women in Ontario and the Alliance for Employment Equity in the 80s, served as on the Executive of NAC in the 90s and was the former co-chair of Good Jobs for All Coalition founded in 2008 during the global financial crisis. She is also a founding member of the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance.
Winnie volunteers with the International Domestic Workers Federation, which represents over half a million domestic workers worldwide. She also serves as the Chairperson of the Toronto Association for Democracy in China.
Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn
Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn is a visual artist using archives and a broad range of media including, but not exclusively, photography, film, video, sound and printmaking to investigate issues of historicity, collectivity, utopian politics and multiculturalism via feminist theories. Currently based in Stockholm, she is a PhD candidate in the ‘Art, Technology and Design’ program at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
Patrick Salvani/Ms. Nookie Galore
Having been raised to fear everything, Ms. Nookie Galore has an un/comfortable relationship with stories that haunt us. Creator of shows like Scary Stories People of Colour Tell in the Dark, Ms. Galore’s DRAG reminds us that dreaming is part of our survival and that nightmares are dreams, too.
Maribeth “Kilusan” Tabanera
Maribeth “Kilusan” Tabanera (she//they/siya) is a queer Filipinx educator, artist multi-disciplinary, dancer, DJ, activist, and settler on Treaty No. 1. They are currently the Learning Through Internship Coordinator at Seven Oaks Met and Maples Met Schools. Maribeth also works with a variety of local non-profit organizations and on freelance projects via Kilusan Productions.
Ian Tian is a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto, researching race, gendered labor, and the question of the human in China's socialist communes and global factories. He has experience in organizing labor and queer activism in China, and abolitionist and migrant justice issues in settler Canada, particularly queer refugees, and migrations.
Harsha Walia is the award-winning author of Border and Rule, Global Migration, Capitalism and the Rise of Racist Nationalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism and Undoing Border Imperialism. She is also the co-author of Never Home: Legislating Discrimination in Canadian Immigration as well as Red Women Rising: Indigenous Women Survivors in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Harsha has organized in grassroots migrant justice, anti capitalist, feminist, abolitionist, Indigenous solidarity and anti-imperialist movements for two decades and remains committed to imagining and building worlds anew.
Angie Wong is a second-generation Chinese born in western Canada and currently teaches Settler Colonial Studies, Postcolonial Studies, East Asian Canadian history, and Asian Canadian social justice in the Dept. of Indigenous Learning at Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, ON.
Lu Xu was born and raised in Jinan, a small city in China but spent the majority of her twenties in Halifax. Lu is now a journalist who writes about diversity and immigration issues. Her work has appeared in multiple publications including The Walrus, The Chronicle Herald, Polestar Student Immigration News, and The Coast.
Jin-me Yoon is a Korean-born, Vancouver-based artist living and working on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples. Since the early 1990s, her lens-based practice has unpacked cultural assumptions while investigating site-related entangled local and global histories. She is a faculty member at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts.
Shellie Zhang is a multidisciplinary artist. She explores how integration, diversity and assimilation is implemented and negotiated, and how manifestations of these ideas relate to lived experiences. Zhang is interested in how culture is learned and sustained, and how the objects and iconographies of culture are remembered and preserved.