My name is Elo Igor and I currently work in the Office of Student Life as the Mentorship Resource Centre Intern. My role as the intern is to facilitate conversations for current mentors at the University of Toronto about their experiences, trials and triumphs as mentors. I also create resources for mentors and mentees to access in order to assist with the growth and development of their relationships. Some of my previous experiences include the Director of Education for the Black Students Association at UTSG as well as a Program Assistant for the Anti-Racism and Cultural diversity office at the University of Toronto St George Campus. Throughout my experiences at the University of Toronto, I had the privilege of being a part of spaces that encourage students that have been historically marginalized and underrepresented in post-secondary to be active participants in their university community.
I recently had the opportunity to facilitate a conversation at the Women in Leadership conference hosted by Leadership and Development on March 13th, 2015 at the University of Toronto, St George Campus. This conference was structured as a World Café where the attendees were able to engage in many different conversations with multiple facilitators from diverse backgrounds and experiences. As a facilitator, I had the opportunity to converse with many of the attendees about their understanding of how women have been marginalized in the public sphere. This event was fundamental in providing a space for students, staff and faculty to start to unpack their own experiences in order to understand how they can move forward as women with many different intersectionality’s.
Overall this conference demonstrated the need for spaces on campus where woman, and I propose Tran’s people, can congregate in order to unpack, and heal from their experiences. We, as women, need to assert ourselves and our intersections as a means of empowerment in spaces that have historically marginalized and alienated us. The conference sparked a light in many of the attendees where they left feeling free and empowered to move past the barriers that are present in order to assert their relevance in today’s society.