Summit 2020: November 4-6
In many ways, 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges that make us reconsider how we relate to each other as communities and individuals – and we’re only halfway through the year. In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing overdose crisis, and police violence towards Black and Indigenous people within and beyond our colonial borders, long-existing inequities are being pushed front and centre. Now, we are forced to ask: How can we resist such harmful, persistent disparities to create systems that look after everyone? Who – within our community, research, and health care organizations – is responsible for driving that change, and who is being left out?
As gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit and queer men (GBT2Q), we have faced these questions before. As novel as 2020 feels, injustice – and resisting injustice – has been part of our experiences from the very arrival of settlers on this unceded land: Two-Spirit people who preserved and passed on teachings, language and culture; HIV activists who fought for access to lifesaving drugs; queer and trans leaders who created movements towards rights and protections for our communities.
The building blocks of conquering today’s inequities are found in this history. GBT2Q people drive change when we organize, defy the status quo, chart new paths forward, and hold each other accountable. When we push systems to respond to our needs or create our own supports when we’ve been shut out. When we ask ourselves, each other, and those with power and privilege, to keep doing better.
It is on this legacy of resistance and responsibility that we host this year’s Summit. How can we learn from our past and commit to building resistance in our diverse communities, finding solidarity with other movements seeking justice across race, class and other social axes? How do we demand our health care systems, institutions and our own coalitions to be responsive and accountable to unique, intersectional queer and trans needs?
To answer these questions, we invite community workers, health care providers, practitioners, counsellors, researchers, Elders, teachers, advocates and all those looking to contribute – in large or small ways – to participate in Summit 2020. Mobilizing communities and allies has always been a cornerstone of progress and, whether in person or virtual, the value of exchanging ideas and building capacity remains critical for strengthening the health and wellbeing of our communities.
Summit 2020: Going Virtual!
Given the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, Summit 2020 will be held online on November 4-6. In an effort to keep the Summit engaging with our new virtual format, we are planning for shorter presentation times and sessions, while increasing the proportion of time for facilitated Q&As. Each conference day will include approximately 3 hours of virtual programming in order to facilitate live participation across Canada.
Unlike previous Summits, presenters will be asked to participate in pre-conference planning activities with co-panelists and Summit organizers to coordinate logistics and prepare for interactive discussions. We encourage applicants to think critically and creatively about presenting their work virtually!
Information on Submitting Presentation Proposals for Summit 2020
Everyone and anyone is welcome to submit a presentation proposal for Summit 2020. Submissions may include, but are not limited to, short oral presentations, panels, workshops, roundtable discussions or community consultations. We especially encourage submissions that answer the questions:
- How can we resist persistent disparities experienced by GBT2Q communities, and inequities within GBT2Q communities?
- What responsibilities do we have as community organizations, researchers, health care providers to strengthen equity for and among GBT2Q communities?
We welcome research and practice contributions that identify interventions or best practices in healthcare and social services to ensure the wellbeing of diverse GBT2Q communities. Submissions can be based upon research, programming, policy initiatives, advocacy, activism, grassroots responses, and/or community-based actions engaging GBT2Q people in Canada or abroad. The following is a list of topics and issues you may consider in the context of this year’s Summit:
Health care and community services:
- Anti-racism and decolonizing policies, practices, and initiatives
- HIV and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) prevention, care, treatment, and support services
COVID-19 related programs, services, and supports:
- Mental health services (e.g. counselling, suicide prevention)
- Gender affirming treatment, care, and support services
- Harm reduction, substance use, and addictions services
- Access and accessibility of services to support other social determinants of health (e.g. housing, income support)
Barriers and enablers to GBT2Q health equity:
- Cultural competency among healthcare and other service providers
- Racism towards Black, Indigenous, and other racialized GBT2Q within the healthcare system and queer or trans communities
- Adaptation of programs and services due to COVID-19 (e.g. virtual counselling, home- or self-testing for HIV)
- Internalized stigma (e.g. sexuality, gender, HIV, race, disability)
- Community awareness, empowerment, and mobilization
Submissions on other topics related to GBT2Q health are also welcome.