On January 18th from 5-7pm, the Office for Student Community & Leadership Development in collaboration with Hillel York will present Intersectional Futures, a speaker series featuring PERIPHERY – Resilience and Power on the Margins with Sara Yacobi-Harris.
Commenting on the series, York alumna and current Student Leadership and Development Coordinator Urshian Khalid says, “The Intersectional Futures speaker series is an exploration of intersectional relationships — with ourselves, with one another, and with the land on which we reside. Through dialogue and conversations around lived experiences, we examine the kinds of stories we often hear about, and the ones we don’t in hopes that a sense of belonging becomes accessible to all”
Dirk Jonathan Rodricks, director of student engagement, explains that, “this second instalment is part of a series that is dedicated to examining the complexity of identities we hold. The series was inspired by the student stories I encountered in my short time at York as director of student engagement and the many conversations I have had with colleagues such as Marian McGregor, the executive director for the centre for human rights, equity and inclusion.”
“And really, the idea was born out of the words and magnificent writing of black feminist lesbian poet, writer, and activist Audre Lorde who said in a speech at Harvard University 40 years ago in February 1982, ‘there is no such thing as a single issue struggle, because we do not lead single issue lives’,” continues Rodricks.
This Wednesday, the speaker series will feature Yacobi-Harris, a multidisciplinary artist, educator and filmmaker, whose film, Periphery, will be featured at this event.
“Periphery is an evocative film that bears witness to ethnic diversity in the Jewish community of Toronto, Canada. Through dance, poetry, and personal narratives, ten Jews of Black/African, Korean, Iraqi, Indian, and South American ancestry challenge perceptions of who is a Jew. Periphery creates space to look, listen, and learn from participants as they share their experiences and explore ideas of representation, intersectionality, ethnicity, race, and sexuality, all while illustrating the feeling of grappling to belong,” says Khalid.
Yacobi-Harris is also co-founder of No Silence on Race, a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating spaces for multi-ethnic Jews across Canada, which she mentions “is crucial to the vitality of Jewish life and the nuanced way we define who is a Jew. Whether it be through art, food, tradition, or the cultural differences of how we commemorate life cycle events, featuring diverse Jewish cultures is paramount to our communities in Canada. Periphery was created to be part of how we educate and learn about the diversity that exists within Jewish life in Canada both for Jewish audiences and non-Jewish audiences.”