Self-Love and Community Care: Ethics of Community Building

In capitalist society where individualism is revered, competition is encouraged, and success is quantifiably measured, how do we build ethical practices that nourish our own artistic growth while still upholding our community? How do we show up for ourselves and one another without burning out? In this panel discussion, Francine Cunningham, Amanda Leduc, Annahid Dashtgard, and Kai Cheng Thom will share short readings of their works and discuss mentorship, community accountability, boundaries, and care practices that root themselves firmly in empathy, love, and future building. Moderated by Amal Rana.

Event Type: Panel
Event Code: NEC/SAT-3
Venue: Native Education College
Date: Saturday, March 14, 12:30pm – 2:30pm
Cost: Pay What You Can (recommended: $12.50)
ASL Interpretation Available by Request Before February 15, 2020

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Amal Rana is a poet and educator. Her poetry has been published in numerous journals and anthologies and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. 

Amanda Leduc is the author of the nonfiction book Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability and Making Space. She is the Communications and Development Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories.

Annahid Dashtgard is a speaker, activist and co-founder of Anima Leadership, an international consulting company specializing in issues of diversity and inclusion.

Francine Cunningham is an award-winning Indigenous writer, artist and educator. Her debut book of poetry is titled ON/Me. You can find more about her at

Kai Cheng Thom is a writer, performer, community facilitator and healer based in Toronto.  She is the author of four award-winning books, including the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir and the children’s book From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea. Kai Cheng’s latest book is her essay collection, I Hope We Choose Love, an exploration of transformative justice and the ethics of love in social justice activism.