Social activism is in very good hands

2013-10-26 11.20.07Here are some of the BAD Grannies, singing away at an event organized by the Laurentian University Social Work Association (LUSWA) for Social Work Awareness Week (March 2 – 6).

The event, Activism:  Some Assembly Required, was held at Georgian College  on Wednesday March 4th, 6 – 9 p.m.  It was described by LUSWA President Kris Eckenswiller as “a night of Community Speakers for students and community members of all ages to come and enjoy,” .

As a crowd of about 70 munched on sandwiches and other goodies, we BAD Grans and three other speakers explored the theme of Mobilizing Strengths As Individuals And Communities from our different perspectives.  It was quite wonderful to hear about the interesting projects the speakers are involved in, and it’s most reassuring to see that the spirit of activism is alive and flourishing in our city.

There are lots of caring people out there committed to making good changes happen, one Tweet, one photo, and one carrot at a time.  To understand that, of course, you would have had to have been there.  It would take too long to explain, but if you’re interested, track these speakers down and let them tell you what they are doing.

The speakers

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Barrie photographer Laura Fess spoke about We don’t do that here, a project founded by teen youth to encourage their peers to challenge the overwhelming negativity of messages on youth social media.  See to learn more and / or take the pledge.


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Shane L. S. Dennis is a musician, hip-hop artist, spoken word poet, and the owner of Unity Market on 25 Toronto Street.  If you don’t know what Unity Market is all about, get yourself down there for some marvellous food, enjoy the art and music, and maybe get involved.

Shane treated us to one of his poems, then talked about the vision for social change behind Unity Market.  Topics of special mention:  community gardens (including carrots), and taking responsibility for keeping our city spaces clean by picking up the trash ourselves.


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Professor Tanya Shute (our apologies for the blurry photo) spoke about Photovoice.  In this project, homeless people were given disposable cameras and sent out to document what it means to be homeless.  The photos they took, and comments in their own words, were used to create an exhibit called Hidden In Plain Sight.  There have been 10 gallery shows, and at least one Film Festival award.  The exhibit continues. 

Professor Shute explored the positive outcomes of the project, as well as some of the sensitivities in showing pictures of people in extremely difficult circumstances.


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And here is Granny Molly speaking about the Raging Grannies movement, as well as the Barrie And District Raging Grannies.  Granny Anita spoke on the strengths the Raging Grannies bring to community activism, and we all offered our helping voices in song.

Nothing shows what the Raging Grannies are about better than a gaggle of us standing up in our daffy outfits, belting out a couple of witty but serious numbers.

Thank you for inviting us LUSWA, we thoroughly enjoyed the evening.