Last week at Vanier a variety of different activities were held for International Women’s Week. For this assignment, I decided to attend the Collective Care workshop. The workshop itself was held not only for women, trans, and nonbinary people, but also students, staff, etc. This workshop was one that was more interactive as you were to share your thoughts and ideas on different subjects which were centered around gender, how it influences our daily lives and how we can make not only our school but our community a more accepting place for everyone. The event was held by one of our own English teachers, Sarah Yiu who has aided in Politics and Care Collective for Cegep teachers and has been co-sponsored Vanier’s RespectWorks office.
The event itself was held in one of the classrooms where we then proceeded to sit in a circle all together. Before any discussions took place, it was important for all of us (a small group of 10 people) to establish what would make it a safe space for us and the others in the room. Due to confidentiality reasons, I can’t say anything in regards to the other people in the room involved within the workshop besides myself and my own experience. The workshop itself was calming and liberating as everyone was free to say what they felt in a safe environment without having to worry about being judged or mocked. Another aspect I enjoyed about this experience is the fact that I got to meet different people in the school who I would not necessarily encounter on different terms. This includes both faculty and students. It was nice to see that in this setting both teachers and students were equals, not one superior to the other whilst still voicing out their opinions and respecting one another.
One of the reason why I decided to choose this event instead of all the others was because it was not like any other on the list. Unlike those that were held in the auditorium with a bigger crowd, this one was one with a more intimate and close setting. As previously mentioned, there were only 10 people, including myself. For someone like myself, I enjoyed the fact that it was a smaller group of people I could share my thoughts with rather than in a big crowd. In addition, it was also nice to hear from different people and of their experiences. In regards to what they experience personally in their daily lives and as well as their points of view on different subjects. I believe that anyone would enjoy this workshop as it gives you the chance to speak up on your own behalf. Sometimes, its easy to question whether or not we could make any sort of impact or difference in our lives or even others. The workshop allows you to express yourself freely with others who not only go to the same school as you but are apart of the same community as well. Furthermore, this event has something appealing to anyone. If you’re someone who likes to take charge of the conversation then you can do so through the different discussions and it you’re someone who likes to be within a smaller crowd, then this is also goof for you. In the end, I truly enjoyed the experience and was glad I had the opportunity to be apart of it.