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Elevate & Amplify, a virtual conference centred on BIPOC voices within design and social change, is happening on June 3rd, 2021!

Elevate & Amplify is bringing together those in design and social change who think differently and are hungry to be critical.

Elevate & Amplify is the first conference of its kind in Canada. At this moment in history, we are challenging norms and asking ourselves what we need to heal and move forward. We want vital conversations about designing alternatives, learning from failures, and grappling with tensions in the work. We crave a level of critical reflection that we feel is missing from conversations, so we are attempting to make that community for ourselves.

Why Elevate & Amplify now?

  • To counter the narrative that it is difficult to find BIPOC professionals in design and social change work
  • Every single speaker is BIPOC, so we will hear valuable perspectives and experiences that aren’t always given the spotlight in our society
  • Challenge our understanding of who does design and social change work
  • Appreciate and learn from diverse ways of doing to push against the dominant culture

Panels

Navigating Systems that are not Designed for Us

A panel of “recipients” engaged in design processes who are charting their own paths and designing alternatives

Beyond Broken Promises of Co-design

A panel of designers who have adapted their practices and approaches to engagement as they learn from failure

Now what — how do we do Systems Change?

A panel of those leading systems change work who grapple with the tension of solving immediate/urgent problems and long-time change

Panelists

Teshyla Bailey (she/her)

Founder of Sis To Sis Toronto 

We have just concluded our latest program called The Personal Come-Up and have entered into our reporting season. Currently, we are collecting data around our project impact over the year and sharing that with stakeholders. 

Find Teshyla on Instagram

Chantel Parris (she/her)

Outreach Coordinator of Sis To Sis Toronto 

I currently work at Sis To Sis Toronto as the Outreach Coordinator. I am working towards building relationships that will uplift and empower Black women and women of colour within the GTA community. 

Find Chantel on Instagram

Find Chantel on LinkedIn

Daisy Nolasco (she/her)

Program Coordinator & Co-Founder of Bayanihan Empowerment

I am the Program Coordinator and one of the co-founders of Bayanihan Empowerment, a grassroots group based in Tkaronto that builds capacity in Filipinx youth through community, conversations, peer support, and mentorship. 

Find Daisy on Instagram

Find Bayanihan Empowerment on Instagram

Marc Kerwin Fernando (he/him)

Co-Founder of Bayanihan Empowerment

I am one of the co-founders of Bayanihan Empowerment which is a Filipinx organization for and by the youth. Our grassroots organization aims to connect 1st and 2nd generation Filipinx and to empower the community through conversations, co-healing, and recognition of shared humanity.

Find Kerwin on Instagram

Find Bayanihan Empowerment on Instagram

Shenikqwa Phillip (she/her)

Program Manager at Black Women in Motion

Currently, I am working on finishing my degree in History from York University and overseeing the Black Peer Education Network; a 6-month employment and training program for Black womxn, femmes, and non-binary youth between the ages of 16-29 living in Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and/or Toronto Community Housing communities.

Find Shenikqwa on Instagram

Megan Lewis (she/her) Queer, Mixed Kanyen’keha:ka woman and member of Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory

Director of the Centre for Indigenous Policy & Research at CRE

I am currently the Director of the Centre for Indigenous Policy & Research at CRE. The focus of The Centre is to create space for new leadership and provide resources and tools for Indigenous youth voices to create impactful change. In my spare time, you can find me beading and exploring outside. 

Find Megan on Instagram 

Find Canadian Roots on Instagram

Ranee Lee (she/her)

Associate Professor in the Industrial Design Program at OCADU

Ranee is the first WOC/POC tenured faculty in the ID program at OCAD University with a teaching pedagogy reflecting her professional practice. Since 2015, she integrated design for social change into the program by engaging with a group of immigrant women in Regent Park (former social housing area) to design and sew for income generation as part of the City of Toronto’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Find Ranee on Instagram 

Find Ranee on LinkedIn

Anu Radha Verma (she/her)

Research Manager, Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC), independent curator & consultant, organizer with QTBIPOC sauga, radio host

Working towards the development of a national survey on 2SLGBTQQIA+ communities and chronic health, informed by anti-racism, intersectionality, disability justice and more. Also curating a few virtual shows for Pride events: any chance to celebrate QTBIPOC brilliance!

Find AVR on Instagram

Find AVR on Twitter 

Karen Carter (she/her)

Co-founder of Black Artists’ Network and Dialogue (BAND) and BIPOC fellowship in museum, arts and culture 

Karen Carter is a cultural sector executive who enjoys working in creative and educational environments. She has over 25 years of experience working and volunteering in a range of arts, culture and heritage settings.

Lena Phillips (she/her)

City-Building I Systems Design I Equitable Philanthropy I DEI Consultant

Up until recently, I spent 4+ years working at the intersection of equity and philanthropy supporting grassroots and systems change work led by-and-for Black and/or Indigenous communities. Additionally, past work includes engaging as a: youth-led, grassroots organizing for climate justice; International Development Fellow with the Aga Khan Foundation in Uganda; participatory action researcher focused on housing/displacement in London post-2012 Olympics and anti-eviction work in slums/informal settlements in Dar es Salaam; research consultant with OCAD U’s Faculty of Design exploring creative placemaking; and a researcher with Digital Justice Lab/Trinity Square Video examining digital, just and Black urban futures. I’m currently based in Cape Town at the African Center for Cities engaging non-Western urbanisms and concepts of space/placemaking.

Find Lena on Instagram

Find Lena on LinkedIn

Yumi Kotani 小谷友美 (she/elle)

Senior Policy and Programs Strategist on the Anti-Racism Task Force at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

I came to the federal public service after many years in the non-profit sector, working on equity and inclusion, civic engagement, community development, and − although I didn’t know the terminology at the time − social innovation. I try to bring my critical thinking, creative problem-solving, and a human-centred approach to make public policy more relevant for the diverse people and communities it serves.

Find Yumi on Twitter

Find Yumi on LinkedIn 

Ticket Information

Elevate & Amplify 2021 Sliding Scale

Elevate & Amplify offers a sliding scale registration rate so that the conference can be accessible to as many people as possible. Our sliding scale tickets are designed to make this conference accessible as well as for each individual to reflect on their level of personal privilege when choosing the right ticket option.

If you are unsure of how much you should pay, this is a helpful resource from the Canadian Unitarian Council.

Elevate & Amplify has reserved 75 free tickets for individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Colour (BIPOC). If this ticket category is the best ticket type for you, please choose that ticket, no questions asked. If you are a person who identifies as BIPOC but is able to afford basic needs and has expendable income, please do not select this ticket option in order to keep this conference fully accessible.

What should I pay?

$25.00
Innovator

These tickets are offered at a subsidized rate for individuals who have no or very limited expendable* income, are unemployed or underemployed, and frequently stress about meeting basic** needs.

*Expendable income might mean you are able to buy coffee or tea at a shop; buy new clothes, books, and similar items each month, etc.

**Basic needs include food, housing, clothing, and transportation.

$50.00
Envisioner

These tickets are offered at a subsidized rate and intended for individuals and employees from smaller organizations who cannot afford to cover the full registration cost and/or do not have access to professional development funds.

$75.00
Imaginer

These tickets are intended for individuals who have the means and the capacity to pay the full standard rate, including those who work for organizations that are covering their registration cost.

$100.00
Amplifier

These tickets are intended for individuals who have the means to contribute more towards the price of a ticket, either through their own means or through their work’s professional development budget. This fee covers one Standard Rate ticket plus will contribute to the cost of a subsidized registration for another attendee, as well as support the work for the Department of Imaginary Affairs.

$125.00
Elevater

These tickets are intended for individuals and/or organizations that are interested in and able to support the attendance of others who are unable to cover their registration fee. This fee covers one Standard Rate ticket plus several subsidized registrations.

FREE
BIPOC identifying

These tickets are reserved for individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Colour who require a free ticket in order to access Elevate & Amplify. If this ticket category is the best ticket type for you, please choose that ticket, no questions asked. If you are a person who identifies as BIPOC but is able to afford basic needs and has expendable income, please do not select this ticket option in order to keep this conference fully accessible.

Elevate & Amplify is a fantastic professional development activity for your organization. If you are interested in supporting and attending E&A as a team, please consider buying as many tickets as you need for your staff. Please contact elevateandamplify@dia.space if you have specific questions about tickets.

Agenda

June 3, 2021

  • 12:50pm – Doors Open
  • 1:00pm – Start, Welcome, Intro, Land Acknowledgement
  • 1:15pm – Panel #1: Navigating Systems that are not Designed for Us
  • 2:25pm – Break
  • 2:30pm – Panel #2: Beyond Broken Promises of Co-design
  • 3:40pm – Break
  • 3:45pm – Panel #3: Now what — how do we do Systems Change?
  • 4:45pm – Close
  • 5:00pm – After-Party

FAQs

Elevate & Amplify hopes you will find the answers to your immediate questions on the page. We’ll continue updating these FAQs to ensure you’ve got everything you need before the conference!

If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact elevateandamplify@dia.space.

What is Elevate & Amplify?

Elevate & Amplify, a virtual conference centred on BIPOC voices within design and social change, is taking place on June 3rd, 2021.

Elevate & Amplify is bringing together those in design and social change who think differently and are hungry to be critical.

Elevate & Amplify is the first conference of its kind in Canada. At this moment in history, we are challenging norms and asking ourselves what we need to heal and move forward. We want vital conversations about designing alternatives, learning from failures, and grappling with tensions in the work. We crave a level of critical reflection that we feel is missing from conversations, so we are attempting to make that community for ourselves.

We hope you’ll join us!

Who is running Elevate & Amplify? And why now?

The Department of Imaginary Affairs (DIA) is hosting the first Elevate & Amplify conference. DIA is a national nonprofit organization focused on understanding the evolving definition of what it means to be Canadian from new and developing Canadians in order to imagine equitable futures. We believe that in order to do that, we need to learn from leaders who represent the futures we want to see. This conference is an example of how we see that happening.

And why now?

  • To counter the narrative that it is difficult to find BIPOC professionals in design and social change work
  • Every single speaker is BIPOC, so we will hear valuable perspectives and experiences that aren’t always given the spotlight in our society
  • Challenge our understanding of who does design and social change work
  • Appreciate and learn from diverse ways of doing to push against the dominant culture

Who can attend? Can someone who doesn’t identify as BIPOC attend?

While each and every one of E&A’s panel speakers is BIPOC, absolutely everyone is welcome to attend the event.

E&A is an incredible opportunity to hear valuable perspectives and experiences that aren’t always given the spotlight in our sector and society, so we encourage everyone to attend. We only ask that you choose the sliding scale ticket option that best reflects your level of personal privilege.

To learn more and register, buy tickets here. 

How do I register for E&A?

Thank you for your interest in Elevate & Amplify! You can buy tickets here!

When do I need to register by to attend?

Tickets will be available until sold out. To help us have a sense of numbers and if we need to increase capacity, please register as soon as you can so that we can get a sense of numbers and you can secure your spot! We currently have capacity for 500 people and it is a big jump up in cost to increase to the next level, so we are relying on registrations to make that decision.

Will this be an accessible event?

To ensure that this event is as accessible as possible, please let us know any accessibility needs you might have as soon as you can so that we can make arrangements.

We previously said we would have ASL interpreters, due to resourcing, we have made a decision to do Live Transcription and Visual Descriptions of speakers before they speak, and we will normalize and invite speakers to offer content warnings before sharing heavy and/or potentially triggering topics.

Where do I request accommodations ahead of the event?

The entire Elevate & Amplify team takes accessibility seriously. If you need additional accommodations for the event, please contact us at elevateandamplify@dia.space.

How much does it cost to attend?

Elevate & Amplify offers a sliding scale registration rate so that the conference can be accessible to as many people as possible. Our sliding scale tickets are designed to make this conference accessible as well as for each individual to reflect on their level of personal privilege when choosing the right ticket option.

We have reserved 75 free tickets for individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Colour (BIPOC). If this ticket category is the best ticket type for you, please choose that ticket, no questions asked.

To learn more — and to see our tiered ticketing options — for more information. 

Do you offer any discounts for groups? How do I register as a group?

While Elevate & Amplify does not offer a group discount rate, we do offer sliding scale ticketing options with subsidized rates intended for smaller organizations or groups.

If you are interested in supporting and attending E&A as a fantastic professional development activity for your team, please consider buying tickets for as many staff as possible.

What is the agenda for E&A?

  • 12:50pm – Doors Open
  • 1:00pm – Start, Welcome, Intro, Land Acknowledgement
  • 1:15pm – Panel #1: Navigating Systems that are not Designed for Us – a panel of “recipients” engaged in design processes who are charting their own paths and designing alternatives
  • 2:25pm – Break
  • 2:30pm – Panel #2: Beyond Broken Promises of Co-design – a panel of designers who have adapted their practices and approaches to engagement as they learn from failure
  • 3:40pm – Break
  • 3:45pm – Panel #3: Now what — how do we do Systems Change? – a panel of those leading systems change work who grapple with the tension of solving immediate/urgent
  • 4:45pm – Close
  • 5:00pm – After-Party

Will the sessions be recorded?

Yes, all sessions will be recorded and attendees will receive the recording within one month after the event.

What tech requirements do I need to participate in E&A?

E&A will be hosted using Zoom Webinar. To attend the virtual conference, you will need a good internet connection, your device or computer, and a valid registration. You will receive login details the day of the conference.

Can I share my virtual conference login information with members of my team?

The link you will receive is unique to each person who is registered for the conference. For every paid registration to attend virtually, only one device (computer, laptop, tablet, phone) will be allowed to enter the virtual conference.

Will I be able to network and meet other virtual attendees?

Absolutely! Every session will include live chat discussions between participants and panelists, and immediately after the conference, there will be an energizing two-hour after-party to mix and mingle with other attendees and panelists. This will be a fantastic opportunity to unwind, connect, and discuss the ideas and thoughts coming out of the conference. The after-party will also be held via Gather, a virtual networking platform. More information and the link will be provided during the conference.

Where can I get updates on E&A before, during, and after the event?

We can’t wait to engage with you! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. We’ll also be posting updates to the Department of Imaginary Affairs’ blog.

Can I make a donation to support the Department of Imaginary Affairs’ work to imagine equitable futures?

You absolutely can! To make a donation towards our work to imagine equitable futures, please click here. Thank you so much for your support!

Where are the proceeds from E&A going?

All proceeds from Elevate & Amplify will be used to support the Department of Imaginary Affairs’ (DIA) programming in 2021, including oral storytelling in two Toronto parks this summer and program development for the Public Imagination Fund. The Public Imagination Fund is a project to imagine what funding would look like if centred on community, trust and relationships designed by BIPOC Youth.

Organizing Committee

Communications: Alexandra Da Dalt (she/her)
Communications: Rachel Phan (she/her)
Co-Organizer: Jennifer Chan (she/her)
Co-Organizer: Vanessa Toye (she/her)

Supporters

Pro-bono design: Trajectory Brands Inc.
Technology: Karim Rizkallah (he/him)
Participant Caretakers: Alia Bye (she/her), Elvin Velasco (they/them), Irene Lam (she/her), Joanne Tsung (she/her), JoAnne Wang (she/her)

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