The Collective for Feminist Action and Research is a group of staff and faculty (formerly known as The F-Word Committee) at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Brantford campus. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I became involved in feminist activism in the 1980s helping to defend access to abortion at Toronto’s Morgentaler Clinic. Carrying what I learned there into other activist forums and into my studies, I began to think through how and why racism, sexism and other oppressions are entrenched in capitalist societies which supposedly promote freedom and equality. I’m particularly interested in one explanatory approach called social reproduction feminism according to which capitalism’s need for a degraded, differentiated workforce sets broad limits to what is possible in gender relations and beyond. I’ve been part of the struggle against those limits through my anti-racist, feminist, socialist activism. Currently, beyond CFAR, I’m a member of Faculty 4 Palestine and an as-yet-unnamed campus activist coalition that has formed in the wake of the recent strikes at York and UToronto. I am also Communications Committee Director for WLUFA, Laurier’s faculty union.
Rebecca’s academic and activist work is grounded in a passion for anti-oppressive practice including an on-going commitment to examining her own power and privilege as a white settler and cis able-bodied woman. She is continuously learning how to be a better ally, and believes in the possibility of eliminating gender-based violence. Her cats, Julia and Ron Swanson, are amazing. Maybe even better than your cats?
My first ‘a-ha’ moment with feminism happened in my third year of university in a course on gender and sexuality. The world that I knew was turned upside down as I was challenged to question my assumptions, beliefs, actions, relationships, and (white, heterosexual, middle-class) privilege in ways that I had not considered before. Since then my feminism has been shaped – and continues to be shaped – by others who think a lot about and struggle with social justice research, practice, and advocacy that are rooted in principles of inclusivity, reflexivity, non-violence, and feminist, anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-heteronormative worldviews. When I’m not working, I’m hanging out and learning to play trucks with my very entertaining two-year old son.
I’m trained as a social worker but consider my approach to be rooted in models of advocacy and community organizing. I work to eliminate gender-based violence in the lives of women and children, and their families. I’m an assistant professor in the Faculty of Social Work at Laurier Brantford. For me, the personal is always political and I use intersectional and feminist lenses to understand and problematize social phenomenon with emerging social work practitioners. I’m a women’s and children’s advocate. I have worked exclusively in the violence against women sectors in Canada and the US, in women’s advocacy organizations, child welfare, shelter-based advocacy, and group work with perpetrators of intimate partner violence. I’m a cisgender, white, poly, feminist. I see my privilege and constantly try to upset the systems that uphold my privilege. I see the world and social problems in gendered ways and my approach to feminism mirrors that perspective. I believe structural violence, institutional oppressions, and individual experiences of harm are directly connected to elements of gender, gender identity, and gender expression. I’m happiest in the company of my partners, my family, my besties, and my dear, fierce feminist colleagues who will have none of the patriarchy. I’m drawn to social justice work and have so much energy for community-based work and research – especially when university-community collaboration is possible.
I’ve been a feminist for as long as I can remember, fighting alongside different inspirations and iterations as I grew up: Sailor Moon as a child, Heather Corinna & Scarleteen as a young adult, and now the F-Word/CFAR. As a genre writer, game player, and social media participant, I’m interested in forging new frontiers alongside other amazing women into fantasy, science fiction, video games and more. I currently work as an administrative assistant, have dragged one husband kicking and screaming into feminist activism, and am owned by two salty cats.
Christine Wildman has an undergraduate degree in Human Rights and Human Diversity and is currently a graduate student in the Social Justice and Community Engagement Program. Christine has been working locally in the rape crisis movement over the past 8 years. She has filled various roles within the Sexual Assault Centre of Brant, working to end gender based violence. Christine is passionate about social justice and recently has been doing work in LGBTQ+ movement, chairing the Bridge Committee and playing a pivotal role in Brantford Pride.