Comments from our Volunteers Needed!

Allison and Liz are giving a presentation for the Education Institute on Thursday, March 19th. Since this presentation is about leadership, we would like to convey what this experience has meant to our volunteers and specifically, what leadership skills they may have gained through their involvement. Please share your comments! If you wish to do so privately, email Liz or Allison.


Tanya on CBC’s Edmonton AM tomorrow!!


Tanya will be interviewed tomorrow morning (Thursday) between 7 and 7:15 a.m. to talk about her work in Ghana (and subsequent video) and how she’s carried forward these Freedom to Read activities back here in Edmonton.

Tune in! (I think everything is available on podcast on the CBC website as well in case you miss it.)

Peter Kingstone screening: 100 Stories About My Grandmother

GELA’s Women’s Prison Committee is offering a screening of Peter Kingstone’s film “100 Stories About My Grandmother” Please plan to join us at SLIS Room 3-22 at 4:30 PM on Tuesday March 3, 2009.

Artist’s Statement (

100 Stories About My Grandmother will use the narratives of male prostitutes to construct a picture of my grandmother, and will thereby deconstruct notions of family and the lives of sex workers.

Society tends to see sex workers as destitute, drug addicted, amoral, disease infected, and lower class.  Their real voices are seldom heard. They are most likely to come to our attention when they enter the court system, or if well meaning community or church groups attempt to save
them from the perceived perils of sex work.  100 Stories About My Grandmother allows the talked-about to talk; gives a voice to those who have been voiceless.  In turn, their narratives are used to build my grandmother’s story.

Having sex workers speak for themselves but not about their work is a step towards understanding prostitutes as individuals.  Sharing family stories may seem banal, but inviting sex workers to do so becomes a way of including them in a society all too frequently eager to reject them. Sharing stories like these would usually happen only among family and friends.  Sharing them with an audience encourages the listener to feel a kinship with a marginalized community – we all have grandmothers.

I know very little about my grandmother; in fact I have no lived experience with her.  These 100 stories will be threads in the narrative cloth I weave about my grandmother’s life. Audience memories of their own grandmothers will contribute to this weaving – the “My” of the title
will refer not only to each individual narrative, nor to my grandmother, but will refer to the former and the latter plus the audience’s experiences with their own grandmothers.

The presentation will be followed by a group discussion of the work and the artist’s future projects.

Everyone is Welcome!

The Bang You Feel

bangyoufeelI just received some tickets for the documentary premiere of “The Bang You Feel” – presented by the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation and Bearpaw Media Productions (a division of Native Counselling Services of Alberta.)

The movie follows three women who leave the Edmonton Institution for Women and reintegrate (or not) back into society.  From the movie:

“You just get this pressure in your chest.  You’re out and it’s like, BANG!! Who out here is for me? Who out here is against me? Can I make it? Will I make it? That’s the bang you feel.”

Thursday, March 12, 2009 at the Royal Alberta Museum (12845-102 Ave)
6:00 pm Community Agency Displays, Food and refreshments
7:15 pm Program – hosted by NDHR
7:30 pm Docuemtnary Premiere
8:15 pm Question and Answer Session

Let me know if you’d like tickets – I have a limited supply!

February 17/09 Meeting Minutes

Here are the minutes from our last Prison Committee meeting. Many thanks to Masha for the note-taking! Please read through and make note of any of the ACTION items.

And remember, if you are interested in getting involved in:

  • improving the library space / setting up legal materials section, or
  • bookclub, or
  • storybook project, or
  • any other idea you might have

Please let us know!

February 17/09 Meeting Minutes

Next committee meeting – Tuesday, February 17

Based on the responses on the blog and via email – the best meeting date is Tuesday, February 17.  We’ll hold the meeting at the Legal Resource Centre (#201, 10350- 124 Street) at 5 pm. There will probably be wine.  There is street and residential parking around the building.

There is a LOT going on within the committee these days so it will be really important to catch everyone up with the latest and greatest.

Agenda items will include updates about:

  • Training
  • Practicum student
  • Upcoming Education Institute / Alberta Library Conference sessions
  • Storybook project (9 women signed up)
  • Bookclub (16 women signed up!)
  • Screening of “100 Stories about my Grandmother”
  • Partnership with U of A libraries – new bookdrive?
  • Legal materials section / library spruce up (new signage / posters / brochure rack)
  • FLIF

Hope to see many of you there – minutes will be taken and posted here on the blog after the meeting for all those who are unable to make the meeting.

Thanks! Kirsten