sign outside the Kamloops Indian Residential School
Social Justice

Indian Residential Schools: Canada’s National Disgrace

BC Ministry of Transportation On May 27, Canada was shaken out of its coronavirus haze by a press release from the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (Kamloops Indian Band) stating that the remains of 215 children had been found buried on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. The school, operated by the Catholic Church in… Continue reading Indian Residential Schools: Canada’s National Disgrace

"The opposite of poverty isn't wealth, the opposite of poverty is justice" – Bryan Stevenson
Social Justice

Poverty Can Be Very Expensive

There are some significant barriers that people living in poverty face when it comes to managing their finances. However, these may not always be obvious, so let's talk about them. Let's consider what it might look like to be living in poverty here in British Columbia, Canada, where I live. Provincial income assistance payments, including… Continue reading Poverty Can Be Very Expensive

Social privileges (e.g. white privilege, male privilege, class privilege) vs. social burdens (racism, sexism class discrimination
Social Justice

Social Privileges as a Counterpoint to Social Burdens

Lately, white privilege has been a hot topic. The people I've come across who take a stance against the idea of white privilege seem to have in common the line of thinking that they haven't been handed anything, so how can they have social privilege? I thought it might be worth reframing social privilege in… Continue reading Social Privileges as a Counterpoint to Social Burdens

Black Lives Matter
Social Justice

Why I Use My Voice to Say Black Lives Matter

Through our shared humanity, all lives matter. So why is it important to say Black lives matter? When lives don't matter All lives should matter equally. That is the ideal, and probably most of us would agree that it's the "right" thing. Unfortunately, though, in practice, not all lives are given equal value. An obvious… Continue reading Why I Use My Voice to Say Black Lives Matter

Female genital mutilation complications: pain, bleeding, infections, fistulas
Social Justice

The Tragedy of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is sometimes referred to euphemistically as female circumcision, but it's drastically different from male circumcision in form, function, and consequences. FGM involves cutting or removing parts of the external female genitalia, including some or all of the clitoral glans and clitoral hood, inner labia, and outer labia. The diagram below shows… Continue reading The Tragedy of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Intersectionality and what it means for mental health - diagram of circles intersecting
Mental Health & Illness, Social Justice

Intersectionality and What it Means for Mental Health

Black feminist researcher Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw first proposed the concept of intersectionality in 1989 to represent the many different layers of social stratification that can combine to disadvantage people. This includes factors like race, sexual orientation, social class, age, disability, and gender. Expanding on this concept, sociologist Patricia Hill Collins described the intersectional points as the matrix… Continue reading Intersectionality and What it Means for Mental Health

Tree diagram showing effects of social inquities
Social Justice

Why Social Determinants of Health Matter

Health.gov Social determinants of health represent those factors that, whether we have control over them or not, can significantly influence both physical and mental health outcomes. Differences produced by social injustice can (and does) produce systemic health inequities between rich and poor, with a "social gradient" in between. The social determinants of health The Government… Continue reading Why Social Determinants of Health Matter

We all deserve a roof over our heads; however, people with mental illnesses are at increased risk of homelessness
Social Justice

Homelessness & Mental Illness: We All Deserve a Roof Over Our Heads

Far too many people with mental illness will experience homelessness at some point. Why is that, and why on earth is it acceptable? Risk factors for homelessness According to the Homeless Hub, 30-35% experiencing homelessness have a mental illness.  Among women, that figure jumps to 70%. How does society allow this to happen to some… Continue reading Homelessness & Mental Illness: We All Deserve a Roof Over Our Heads

Nevertheless, she persisted - watercolour drawing of a woman
Social Justice

Why Feminism Helps All of Us (Not Just Women)

It's easy to think of feminism as something that's solely about boosting up the status of women. I would argue, though, that feminism is something that can lift us all up. Gender stereotypes People may enact feminist beliefs in different ways, but at its core, feminism recognizes how traditional gender roles, stereotypes, and expectations have… Continue reading Why Feminism Helps All of Us (Not Just Women)