Communities of Care Speaker Series

Doing Stories Justice: Community-led Storytelling

Stories are often used to enlighten an audience on a topic, to engender empathy, and to connect across difference. Stories, narratives and myths constitute our personal, cultural, and collective identities. They’re used to catalyze social change and strengthen democracy. This event series focuses on four themes: Stories of Community Safety, Stories of a Just Transition, Hidden Histories, and Imagination. Each event will bring together community members, community advocates, and theorists to discuss how they use stories in their work. We’ll learn about the relational nature of storytelling and listening, about how the speakers bring reciprocity, responsiveness, and intimacy into their work, and about how we, as listeners, do stories justice.

Radical Imagination: Storytelling and Ways of Connection

March 25th 2021 5:00- 6:30pm PST

“No change for the good ever happens without it being imagined first, even if that change seems hopeless or impossible in the present.”- Martin Espada. 

The series has examined the power of storytelling in social movements and the interaction between storytelling and relationships of power. Join us in conversation with Gaye Theresa Johnson and Max Haiven as we discuss the power of imagination to articulate, envision, and create transformative futures.

Speaker Bios:

Gaye Theresa Johnson: Associate Professor of African Studies at UCLA, Editor of Futures of Black Radicalism, Author of Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity
Max Haiven: Canada Research Chair of Culture, Media and Social Justice at Lakehead University. Author of Revenge Capitalism, Radical Imagination

Rethinking Community Safety

February 11th 2021 5:00-6:30pm PST

How do narratives of community safety intersect with power and privilege? Who currently shapes the dominant narrative of safety in our communities? What does community safety mean for organizations, an advocates in the DTES, and how are they re-shaping the narratives of what their community is?


Udokam Iroegbu - Black Lives Matter Vancouver and Stratagem

Garth Mullins - Host of Crackdown

Mebrat Beyene - Executive Director of WISH Drop-In Centre Society

Stories for a Just Transition

February 25th 2021 5:00-6:30pm PST

Join CCEL’s second Doing Stories Justice Speaker Series, Stories for a Just Transition! We define a just transition as a framework of strategies to transition our economy to one that is ecologically sustainable, equitable, and where all communities thrive. How do the principles underlying a just transition help to re-envision our world, and what role does storytelling play?


  • Avi Lewis
  • Maya Menezes

Hidden Histories- Elevating the past for new futures

March 11th 2021 5:00-6:30pm PST

Our understandings of our personal and collective identities are shaped by the stories we’re told and the stories we tell- about the past, present, and future. Our sense of place is shaped by these stories. What histories don’t we know and which ones aren’t we taught in schools? How does surfacing hidden histories support us in reshaping the future?