Keynotes

Gina Metallic 

My Queerness is Traditional
Prior to European contact, Two-Spirit people were pillars of strength in many Indigenous communities. In this keynote address, Gina Metallic will explore the traditional roles of Two-Spirit people, and walk through the experience & effects of colonization on sexuality and gender, from hundreds of years ago to today. The keynote will also highlight today’s acts of resurgence of Two-Spirit identity & reconciliation within and outside Indigenous communities

Bio
Gina Metallic is a Mi’gmaq Two-Spirit Feminist women from the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation in Quebec. She is a granddaughter, daughter, sister, auntie and wife. Gina obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Educational & Counselling Psychology at McGill University, and later obtained a Master of Social Work in Community Development from McGill. Her graduate work focused on Indigenous LGBTQ-Two Spirit identity development while utilizing her own ‘coming in’ journey, and exploring the intersectionality between being Queer, Indigenous and a hyper-feminine women. Gina has been a guest speaker on the topic of Two Spirit Issues and Indigenous Child Welfare practices for the Pierre Elliott Trudeau conference, the RCMP National Headquarters, 2017 Canada Pride, as well as Canadian colleges and universities and multiple Indigenous organizations and schools. Gina currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario and works in the non-profit Indigenous health sector. She is a Registered Social Worker through the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers.

GERALD P. MALLON

Examining the Practice and Policy Implications of LGBTQ Youth in Child Welfare or Juvenile Justice Systems
Social work has always prided itself on openness toward oppressed populations, including LGBTQ people, but this characterization of our profession has not always been true. Social work policy and practice as it relates to LGBTQ youth, has provided an inconsistent and wobbly response at best. Sexuality in social work has until recently been viewed as a taboo topic for policy makers and practitioners. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender narratives, especially of those youth who have be cared for by child welfare or juvenile justice systems have been even less acknowledged. Looking retrospectively at social work policies and practices as they pertain to LGBTQ youth for the past six decades the presenter will examine where social work has been and where sits in the 21st Century. This presentation, via a lens of intersectionality, uses case examples and some humor, to critically examine social work policies and practices with LGBTQ youth, with a particular emphasis on LGBTQ youth in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Finally, we will look at where should be, if we aren’t there already and uncover some answers to the query of why the narratives, experiences, and lives of LGBTQ youth are critical for us to deliberate.

Bio
Gerald P. Mallon, DSW, is the Julia Lathrop Professor of Child Welfareand the Associate Dean of Scholarship and Research at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. For more than 42 years, Dr.Mallon has been a child welfare practitioner, advocate, educator, and researcher. Dr. Mallon was the first child welfare professional in
the U.S. to research, write about, and develop programs for LGBTQ youth in child welfare settings. In his role as the Executive Director of the National Center for Child Welfare Excellence, Dr. Mallon has traveled to all 50 states, many territories and numerous tribes to deliver technical assistance and training on a range of child welfare related issues particularly as they relate to youth and to foster care. Dr. Mallon also lives the talk the talk, in addition to being a child welfare professional for his entire career, he has been a foster parent and is the adoptive parent of now grown children.

HERNANDO MUNOZ SANCHEZ

LGBT rights in Colombia 
In this keynote, Dr. Hernando Munoz Sanchez will present the social and historical context that shapes LGBT human rights advocacy in Colombia. Colombia presently favors traditional, religious and moral conceptions of family, marriage and social roles based on patriarchal gender norms. For over 50 years, this country has plunged into many types of violence and is one of the most inequitable countries in the world, with a considerable gap between a small group of people who are wealthy and a larger society that lives in poverty. After several decades of war, today, there is a halo of hope for reaching peace after the agreements signed between the Colombian State and the FARC guerrillas. In Latin America, Colombia was one of the first countries to advance in the conquest for LGBT rights. However, same sex marriage was rejected by congress due to the influence of the Christian churches. LGBT organizations in Colombia continue to fight for their civil rights. This plenary will also explore the role of LGBT-specific research from diverse disciplines as well as the social work profession in contributing to the promotion of the rights for LGBT people in Colombia.

Bio
Dr. Hernando Munoz Sanchez is currently a full professor within the school of social work and Dean for the faculty of social and human sciences at the University of Antioquia Medellin, in Colombia. Hernando is a researcher, lecturer and activist on issues of family, gender and minority, as well as social and political leader. He has also been recognized for outstanding work in the defense of human rights and social leadership as well as other public and private institutions, receiving the Order of Merit Don Juan del Corral from the City Council of Medellin in 2012. Dr. Sanchez has also recently published a book focused on masculinities and sexualities, in 2017.

MARIA NENGEH MENSAH

Sexualities and Social Work: Between the Will to Know, Invisibility and Resistance 
Starting with the idea that “sexuality” concerns the uses of the body and, more generally, the social construction of these uses, this keynote aims to retrace the ways in which the domain of social work has addressed human sexualities. The format and organization of these practices determines a set of rules and norms, which vary based on the time period and society. My aim here is the describe how social work has played a role in the formation of social problems related to systems of sex / gender / desire (runaways, sexual violence, parenting, women’s labour, nuclear family, homophobia, trans realities, etc.); the establishment of the identities of those targeted by social work practice (understood as both dangerous and in danger); and the development of (feminist) advocacy for social justice for various sexual and gender diversity communities. This presentation will draw from archival documents as well as from various action-research projects I have undertaken with Quebec-based groups. As a result, the history of tensions between the social workers’ will to know, the invisibility of sexuality issues and the resistance of directly affected communities will be highlighted. In conclusion, I interrogate the production of histories focused on queer and non-binary people, people living with HIV and people with sex work experience. Are we witness to an evolution, a change?

Bio
Maria Nengeh Mensah, PhD Communication, is full professor at the School of Social Work and the Institute of Feminist Research and Studies at UQAM. She has lead the “Cultures du témoignages” research team since 2010. As an engaged researcher, she has conducted research-action projects that brings together communities with academia to address issues related to the stigmatization and social inclusion of sexual and gender diverse communities. She has notably collaborated for many years with the organisations Stella l’amie de Maimie, COCQ-SIDA and GRIS-Montréal. Professor Mensah is author of three monographs and recipient of the excellence in teaching award within the faculty of human sciences at UQAM in 2012.