Art as a Tool for Social Change: LGBTQ-Themed Evening
In our continued efforts to build an even more inclusive and welcoming environment, Trinity College held our LGBTQ High Table dinner on February 7, which was followed by a presentation by Dr. Spencer Harrison, the Director for Camp fYrefly Ontario.
Camp fYrefly is Canada's only national leadership retreat for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-identified, two-spirited, intersexed, queer, questioning, and allied youth. The arts-based camp is designed to help youth develop the leadership skills and personal resiliency to become agents of positive change in their communities, and embrace diversity instead of fearing it.
Dr. Harrison is a human rights activist and a story-teller who lecturers nationally concentrating specifically on the LGBTQ youth community. He shared his own pivotal life-story moments as well as the impactful stories of the students in the Gay-Straight-Alliance, which he facilitates in a Toronto high school where he is also an Artist-in-Residence. “Art is a powerful agent for social change,” Dr. Harrison said, noting that Camp fYrefly has saved the lives of many of its campers.
“At Trinity, we are committed to supporting social justice and communities in need, and we are grateful to the St. Hilda’s Board of Trustees for supporting this evening’s LGBTQ High Table event,” said Prof. Mayo Moran, Provost of Trinity College.
Trinity alum Jennifer Hood, Chair of St. Hilda’s Board, thanked Dr. Harrison for his profound words. “Trinity is a place that prides itself on providing an education in character as much as in academics…Let’s use tonight as a call to action to do what we do best at Trinity – to lead, and to do so in a manner fuelled by values of inclusiveness, of welcome, of support,” she said.
Thank you to the students of Rainbow Trinity and Trinity College Student Services for organizing the event. On behalf of the organizing committee and the College, we extend a special thank you to members of the community for their generous support – $1,600 in donations were collected to support Camp fYrefly Ontario. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Rainbow Trinity at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update: February 23, 2017: Camp fYrefly Ontario will welcome their very first 60 campers on July 13 to 16 on Trent University's Symons campus.
Photo: Students of Rainbow Trinity with alum Jennifer Hood (second from left), Spencer Harrison and alum David Bronskill (third from right)