Prisoners’ Justice: 2 Spirit, Queer and Trans Perspectives

Posted: January 10, 2013 in Uncategorized

Join us for the opening night program, Fri Feb 8 from 7-9 at the Central Library (251 Dundas). Afterparty at General Population’s 1-year anniversary (347 Clarence).

The short films and videos in this program address experiences of two spirit, queer, and trans people and issues of gender & sexuality and the Prison Industrial Complex– including criminalization, police brutality, and incarceration.

The films were all made by people from communities most impacted by the prison industrial complex (PIC). After the screening a panel of prison justice activists/advocates will discuss the issues raised in the films.

The films are:

Where We Were Not, Part 1: Feeling Reserved, Alexus’ Story
(Jessica MacCormack & Alexus Young)

Red Lips [Cages for Black Girls]
(Kyisha Williams)

PIC Trans Views
(Trans Gender Variant Intersex Justice Project)

HIV is Not a Crime
(Sean Strub)

No More Prisons!
(Syrus Marcus Ware & Joan Ruzsa)

Remember the Living: Monica Forrester on Sisters in Spirit And Indigenous Sex Workers
(Maggies: Toronto Sex Workers Action Project)

Opening by Gloria Alvernaz Mulcahy.

Speakers: Toronto-based prison justice activists Kyisha Williams (Director, Red Lips: Cages for Black Girls), Syrus Marcus Ware, and Nik Redman & Holly Weaver of Safe Space London.

Thank you to our generous sponsors for making this event possible:
Faculty and Affiliates of the Department of Women’s Studies and Feminist Research, Western University
Prof. Treena Orchard, Faculty of Health Sciences
PSAC Local 610: TAs and Postdocs at Western

Speakers include:

Gloria Alvernaz Mulcahy is of Tsalagi Aniyunwiya (Cherokee) ancestry and was born in the Monterrey Bay area on the Pacific coast. Gloria is the President of the Deshkan Ziibi Native Women’s Association and was active in Vision Quest in the Downtown East Side (Vancouver). She became a member of the League of Canadian Poets after her first book of poetry – Songs that Untune the Sky. Alvernaz Mulcahy has a PhD from the University of Maryland and is presently at the University of Western Ontario. She is co-author of several poetry books and various CDs with sound poet P. Kemp and is also a mixed media artist, musician, and curator for the Centre for Creativity, King’s University College. Her new book, Borderlands & Bloodlines, focuses on her indigenous roots.

kyisha williams is a radical, Black, queer, high femme, ma’star, sex positive, vibrant, survivor, fighter, writer and film/video maker. kyisha is a community organizer and support worker who does work within Black/queer/trans/racialized/criminalized/HIV+/HCV+ communities. kyisha has used art as a means of survival and celebration since her was sixteen. kyisha has an honours degree in policy and human rights. RED LIPS [CAGES FOR BLACK GIRLS] is she first video work.

Syrus Marcus Ware is a visual artist, community activist, researcher, youth-advocate and educator. He is the Program Coordinator of the Teens Behind the Scenes program, Art Gallery of Ontario. As a visual artist, Syrus works within the mediums of painting, installation and performance to challenge systemic oppression by suggesting a different view of the world in which he lives. Syrus’ work explores the spaces between and around identities; acting as provocations to our understandings of gender, sexuality and race. In 2005, Syrus was voted “Best Queer Activist” by Now Magazine, and in 2012 he was awarded the Steinert and Ferreiro Award for LGBT community leadership and activism. For the past 6 years, Syrus has worked with Blackness Yes to produce Blockorama (the black queer and trans stage at Pride), and other related events throughout the year. Syrus is also a founding member of the Prison Justice Action Committee of Toronto. Syrus is a program committee member for Mayworks Festival, and is a past board member of the FUSE magazine. For the past 14 years, Syrus has hosted the weekly radio segment, “Resistance on the Sound Dial” heard each Saturday on CIUT 89.5FM. He is a founding member of the Transparent-cy Working Group at The 519 Community Centre. He helped to initiate the Trans-Fathers 2B course- the first course for trans men considering parenting in North America.

Nik Redman is an artist, activist and community worker who was born in Montreal, Canada. Nik grew up in both Barbados and Canada. Nik is a Co-investigator with The Trans PULSE Project, a community-based research (CBR) project that is investigating the impact of social exclusion and discrimination on the health of trans people in Ontario, Canada. He has been a member of the MaBwana Community Advisory Committee, the Prisoners Justice Action Committee (PJAC) and the Trans Fathers 2B Parenting Course Project Team. Nik was one of the online facilitators for the province-wide HIV/AIDS-themed Stigma campaign. Nik currently works as a Grievance Officer with the United Steelworkers Union Local 1998, representing University of Toronto’s staff . In addition, he works doing Anti-Harassment and Human Rights Training for the Union. An active participant in several communities, Nik volunteers as part of the programming committee and the Board of the Inside Out LGBT Film and Video Festival. He also serves on the Board of Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention (Black CAP). Nik is also an award-winning DJ, writer and radio programmer. He can be heard every Thursday 530-730p.m. on

Holly Weaver is a founding coordinator of SafeSpace, a volunteer run support centre for sex workers, allies and women in crisis currently operating out of EVAC at 757 Dundas. SafeSpace has been operating since 2009. Our model is one of empowerment with the goal of meeting women where they’re at and helping sex workers operate with safety and with dignity. We hope to make real a community that strives to raise the basic living conditions of its most vulnerable and exploited members. SafeSpace operates under a compassionate harm-reduction mandate, offering donations of safe sex and drug use materials as well as HIV & STI/STD educational resources, cosmetics, clothes, hygienic goods, first aid, food, coffee, tea, and information about current services in London. We recognise a person’s right to choose or refuse sex work and we work to educate the public about sex work in London as well as promoting the decriminalization of sex work. While our space is generally for (past/present/future) women only, we are also open to male sex-workers. Our hours are 6-11pm, Monday and Tuesday nights.

SafeSpace Bad Date and Check-in Line: 519-701-SAFE

@SafeSpaceLondon on Twitter


  1. […] Prisoners’ Justice: 2 Spirit, Queer & Trans Perspectives […]

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