York University ends Xpression Against Oppression campaign with anti-Islamophobia event

Oct 23, 2015 | News

Aresell Joseph

A celebrated queer Toronto author was at York University on Monday for a book reading and to raise awareness on disabilities, abuse and equal rights.

Dirty River is the memoir I’ve been working on for a decade,” said Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha to Daily Extra. “It’s the story of me running away from the US to Toronto in 1997 — away from an abusive family and toward burgeoning queer punk-of-colour, anti-colonial feminist-of-colour and Sri Lankan/radical South Asian communities.”

York Federation of Students invited her to the workshop as part of its campaign Xpression Against Oppression (XAO) to discuss her work on disability; her experience as a racialized femme, and how she survived abuse from family members.

The campaign also invited students to another workshop called “Complexities of Consent.” They Collaborated with the Sexual Assault Survivor’s Support Line, which helps rape victims and survivors.

A keynote speech Thursday with Feminist Theorist bell hooks was the most prominent event.

York United Black Student Alliance partnered with the York Federation of Students and invited hooks to discuss racism and police brutality in North America. The sold-out event was well-received by students.

 Here are some responses from the audience on Thursday’s events featuring bell hooks:

— YUBSA (@YUBlackStudents) October 15, 2015

YUBSA are a Toronto-based non-profit, student, Pan-African organization based at York University that campaigns for cultural, political and socio-economic change in the black community

York Federation of Students will close XAO week with a panel discuss on the prevalence of Islamophobia in Canada at Curtis Lecture Hall Friday.