We are getting excited for Next UP BC Presents: Sustainable Leadership in Urgent Times. We thought you might like to know more about the facilitators who will be leading this three-day weekend leadership program for young people.
Laura Collison is a white Settler living in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton) under Treaty 6. Laura was a participant in the 2010/11 Next Up Edmonton cohort and has served on Next Up Edmonton’s Advisory Committee.
Growing up surrounded by Albertans in border towns in BC and Saskatchewan led to a fascination with Alberta’s political culture. This drew her to study Sociology and Political Science at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Faculty. She learned that politics in Alberta is often frustrating, but never boring and the progressive community she found here helped her decide to make the province her home.
Laura is passionate about creating change through popular education and has developed workshops on feminism in community organizing, ending gender-based violence and sexual assault, and prison abolition. She also has experience in feminist community radio, youth leadership, volunteer engagement, public legal education, social marketing, and political campaigning. Laura has been a volunteer at the the federal prison for women in the Prairie region since 2008.
You can often find Laura knocking doors during elections; riding her bike to a meeting; hiking in the woods; or curling in Edmonton's LGBTQ curling league with her team, the Button Bangers.
Jackson Wai Chung Tse (he/she/they) is a queer, immigrant, multidisciplinary artist on unceded Coast Salish land, also known as Vancouver, Canada. He is a MEC Outdoor Nation Ambassador, the happy owner of www.BenevolentBodywork.com, and enjoys facilitating and consulting for causes close to his heart.
In mainstream, dominated spaces, he want to bring more queer folks of colour to build community, give voice to those historically and systematically silenced and oppressed, and reclaim our joy, magic, and self-worth back from colonized ideas. He was honoured to be in the 2014/15 Calgary NextUp cohort.
Since graduating from civil engineering at Queen's University, teaching English overseas, and self-funding travel to 35 different countries around the world, Jackson has decided to move to the West Coast to be closer to his two biggest heartbeats: his best friend and the ocean.
Jackson likes to make love, hold solo dance parties when no one is around, and sink his hands into giant sacks of dried rice. He’s a big connection junkie. Sometimes he forgets to shave and his facial hair grows out in uneven patches. He still can’t get his moustache to join. Really, he's just a Chinese gay hippie unicorn radical faerie full of chocolate, smiles, and light.
He identifies as a person of colour to refugee parents, grew up in a low-income, suburban, and conservative home, and had a past as an evangelical Christian. As a sexual assault survivor, he knows the importance of giving people the power of choice. He tries not to make any assumptions, and he takes care to be completely present with the folks he's engaged with. His facilitation experience comes from his roles at organizations across Canada and the globe, including Camp fYrefly, Shad Valley International, Tim Horton’s Children’s Ranch, the Quantum Learning Network, the Centre for International Pedagogical Studies in France, the Ministry of Science and Education in Georgia, The Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, and numerous post-secondary institutions.
Jackson’s soul gets replenished from sharing food in conscious communities, spending time in nature, and expressing his creativity. In 2018, he made his debut with MachineNoisy Dance Society at the Vancouver Queer Arts Festival, and premiered his first film, Breaking the Silence featuring Paul Wong, at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.
Sustainable Leadership in Urgent Times is on September 28th - September 30th. The application deadline is Tuesday, September 18th. You can learn more information or apply now by clicking here.
If you have any questions, you can email [email protected].