OUTtawa: A Safety Labs Project
SafetyLabs, originating in San Francisco by Community United Against Violence (CUAV), are a space for 2SLGBTQ+ and racialized communities to practice core skills needed for grounded, accountable, and liberating community-based responses to harm. SafetyLabs focuses on preventing and intervening in ways that do not rely on isolation, shame, retaliation, or incarceration.
Many of us, including Kind Space, talk about not wanting to recreate systems of violence by criminalizing already marginalized people but also, rightfully, want harmful and violent behaviour to stop. The best we have figured out is to isolate people and remove them from our spaces. The outcome is that harm gets displaced in other communities or with different people and the people involved and those connected to them are not receiving the support they need.
The goal of SafetyLabs is to build more caring, intentional, connected, and accountable communities. Violence is allowed to exist and thrive when we are disconnected from our neighbours, friends, loved ones and remain bystanders when harm happens.
Community Letter and Project Plan
Dear Ottawa Queer Community,
With community call-outs on the rise, Kind Space has taken an initiative to create a program dedicated to addressing the harmful realities of Queer organizations and Queer Service providers entitled OUTtawa. Much like the coming out process itself showing accountability to the communities we serve and sometimes are even a part of can be complicated. OUTtawa hopes to help guide out four partners (Kind Space, Planned Parenthood Ottawa, MAX Ottawa, and The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity) to better address existing conflict and harm and how to prevent future harm in 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
This project is intended to be a “Coming-out rather than a Calling-out”. Through this project, we hope to not create quick fixes but begin the process of organizational capacity building. Focusing on where, why and how organizations have intentionally or unintentionally harmed members of the Queer Ottawa Community.
It will be expressly communicated to community members and all who participate that this process is not intended to mediate harm and/or conflict with individuals but to specifically address how harm, conflict and/or violence has systematically affected survivors. This project will address how oppressive systems, lack of knowledge, resources or support, has harmed the community as a collective. OUTtawa intends to advocate for the Queer community as a collective, support individuals to find the resources they need. If survivors wish to pursue mediation they may do so through Ottawa’s community mediation organizations rather than through the project itself. Survivors will have access to social work support and safety planning to ensure community members are safe when sharing their experiences with us and whomever they choose to include in their non-punitive processes.
OUTtawa as a program strives to outline the importance of intent vs. impact, accountability and survivor informed/centred holistic community wellness. This project hopes to cultivate a space that addresses harm and conflict, explores areas for organizational improvement and addresses shame, truth and reconciliation within a constructive non-abusive environment.
As a Project Director, I understand that by undertaking this project, everything will not be perfect. We will all at some point have to tackle our history with harm, conflict, and violence to repair how we relate and support our 2SLGBTQ+ communities.
Daniella Noël (She/Her/Elle)
The Community Project Plan outlines the timelines for each objective and any changes that occur throughout the project.
SafetyLabs Project Director (past)
Daniella Noël (She/Her/Elle) has devoted her life’s work towards the advocacy and empowerment of marginalized communities, focusing primarily on youth-focused programming. Daniella’s previous work has allowed her to provide support through community development and education, performing workshops across Canada. She has facilitated in schools for students and teachers, along with businesses, government sectors and other non-profit organizations. As a youth, Daniella was inspired by educators like Sue Johanson, for her open and lighthearted approach to topics surrounding sex, gender and orientation.
Over the years she has worked to incorporate laughter and learning in each facet of her community work, especially when talking about difficult subjects like systemic oppression. As a Queer Black Woman, she empowers others by having them find strength and resilience through their unique intersectional identities.
With SafetyLabs Daniella hopes to utilize her strengths as an educator and experiences with harm, violence and conflict to co-create a healthier, accountable and more unified Queer community.
Note: This role ended March 4, 2022.
Advisory Committee Members
Ally Crockford (she/her) has been honing her skills as an educator, communicator, and storyteller for over ten years in a career spanning industries and continents. A long-time activist and advocate, she has been part of feminist, anti-racist, and 2SLGTBQ+ rights movements in the UK and Canada for more than fifteen years. Since 2013, Ally has dedicated her time and expertise to facilitating community engagement and knowledge mobilization both on and offline, working with Wikimedia UK, the National Library of Scotland, and YWCA Scotland – The Young Women’s Movement. After nearly a decade in Scotland, Ally returned to Canada in 2016, where she spent three years working with the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, first in the role of Public Educator, and later as Executive Director. Starting in March 2021, Ally will be taking on the role of National Coordinator for Righting Relations: Adult Education for Social Change.
Corey (he/him) has been practising freelance communications and brand management for several years, following a formal education in Advertising and Market Media Management. He has built healthy community relationships by providing Ottawa businesses and a diverse group of community members with professional digital design and advertising.
In recent years, Corey has found joy through using his talents to work/volunteer with local charities and community organizations. He is excited to join OUTtawa: A SafetyLabs Project as an Advisor and Project Assistant to continue on this path of grassroots community development. Corey is excited to work within the Queer Community to help contribute to building healthier, happier and more accountable communities.
Outside of work, Corey loves gardening, being in nature and writing music.
Hey Guys, Gals and Non-Binary pals! I’m Mahera (she/her) but everyone calls me Hera. I’m a Criminology Grad Student and Frontline Staff Member at Shepherds of Good Hope. I pride myself on being a BIG “Nerd” with an even BIGGER heart. So I am so excited to utilize the skills I’ve learned to better support Staff and Survivors through the research and interview process for OUTtawa: A Safety Labs Project. I’ll use my position to empower, listen and advocate for others who need support and community action.
I am a strong advocate of making spaces kinder and safer for everyone within and outside those spaces and I am especially passionate about making that happen with Saftey Labs!
Rikki Adamson (she/her) is a Queer Woman and an administrative professional with over 10 years of experience working directly with the general public, facilitating high-pressure situations and grounding her work in compassionate care. She is driven by the desire to help others within whatever scope is available to her with an emphasis on intersectionality, mental health advocacy and the importance of trauma-informed and survivor-centred service.
Rikki is currently also studying Canadian Indigenous History and Queer Sexuality & Identities to better contribute to meaningful community involvement and development surrounding issues impacting marginalized communities within and outside her own.
With a penchant for reading, writing, continuous learning and critical theory, Rikki is excited to join OUTtawa’s Advisory Committee at Kind Space to support in providing clear accessible language and communication through creative multi-media projects. Projects focused on artistic expression, inclusivity, safety and accountability for and by the 2SLGTBQ+ community. She is also a visual artist, a Virgo rising and a Cat Mom of two.
Crisis Support Staff
Kale Black (He/Him) is joining the SafetyLabs Advisory Committee as a passionate Environmental Advocate and Meditation Facilitator. Kale has been honing his skills as an advocate for positive change and as a facilitator for the past 13 years, with a wide breadth of experience in the environmental non-profit sector as well as in the field of holistic health.
His experience includes years of program management, extensive experience in event-planning, holding space in meditative/spiritual settings as a facilitator and as a motivational speaker. He has a knack for connecting with audiences of all ages and has personally led workshops for over 10, 000 students and adults.
Kale considers himself a Holistic Environmentalist, which simply put, means that he sees the health of our planet as intrinsically linked to human health (emotional, spiritual, mental, physical). He is very much looking forward to contributing his time & talents to the important work of this organization!
Kale’s Awards include:
- The Conservation Halton Award of Excellence (Citizen Category) in 2011
- Two nominations for the Starfish Blog’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 (2011 placing 23rd, 2013 placing 14th)
- The 2016 Burlington’s Best Award in the Environment Category
Tony Black (he/him) is a Registered Social Worker with the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers—https://www.ocswssw.org/—registration number 803013.
He has worked in the field of Addictions and Mental Health, as a counsellor/case manager and manager, for over 20 years. Tony has developed expertise in working with individuals around issues of housing, life re-development and overcoming barriers to the justice system. He has worked with youth and adults who live with substance use issues, mental health diagnoses, PTSD and other emotional issues.
Tony is a gay, black, cis-gendered man who provides counselling services to individuals seeking to explore how issues related to their identities impact their mental and emotional health and also to all those seeking to address their histories of trauma.
Zev Miller (They/He) Zev is a Trans-masculine Sephardic Jew, and proud parent to their son Jack. They are currently studying social work at McGill university, with a specific focus on working with the Trans community. His social work practice aims to be from an anti-oppression lense and is always learning and un-learning.
Zev is also a community educator, working with different health and community organizations to create more inclusive services for the Trans community. In their spare time, Zev loves to cook, ice skate, and kayak.
Kris (she/they) is excited to join the SafetyLabs Advisory Committee at Kind Space to help create more caring and accountable communities. She joins AC as a Social Work student, returning to formal education after learning through her work providing mental health support and program coordination for several years. Inquisitive, thoughtful, and innovative by nature, Kris is interested in exploring the ways harm is recreated and addressed at all levels of service provision, particularly when it affects marginalized communities and youth.
At Kind Space, she is responsible for co-facilitating Thrive, a trauma education program, as well as the creation and facilitation of the DBT Skills Study program. Kris is a White Queer person who brings her passion for intersectional and trauma-informed care to her work, and values self-determination, empowerment, and accountability. Outside of her work, Kris finds joy through nature, movement, music, and her close connections.
Since 1979 Peter has been involved in the 2SLGBT community as a volunteer and activist. From 1987 to 1992 he was the lead reporter for GO Info. From 1987 to 2006 he served EGALE Canada in various positions including as a member of the board of directors. He has served as a member of the Ottawa-Police GLBT Liaison Committee for over 10 years including 2 years as Community Co-Chair..From 1992 to 2002 Peter was a member of Ottawa Toastmasters serving in leadership roles and delivering 40 speeches.
On December 1, 2008 Peter made a presentation defending the preservation of Arts funding by the City of Ottawa.
From 2010 to 2013 Peter volunteered at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health for Culture nights held every week.
In 2014 Peter produced a Colours Care chamber music concert celebrating LGBT composers. Since 2011 he is the concert manager for the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra. When he was on the OCO board of directors Peter developed policies for serving Trans persons.
Peter has served as Treasurer for Gender Mosaic since 2017. That same year he made a presentation to the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning conference on LGBT safety and inclusivity in the Arts. That same year he withdrew from volunteering fro the Broadbent Institute and Chamberfest because they didn’t include gender identity and gender expression in their anti-harassment policies.
In 2018 Peter drafted a policy resolution, directing the Federal NDP and all riding associations to have an equality statement and relevant anti-harassment policy on their respective websites. It was passed at the policy convention on February 18, 2018.
In 2006 he received Capital Xtra’s Lifetime Community Achievement Award. 2008 brought him Golden Cherry Awards – Volunteer of the Year. In 2011 he was inducted into Ottawa Folk Festival – Folk Builders Hall of Fame and was awarded Ottawa Police GLBT Liaison Committee – Advocate Award.