In Articles, Mixed-Media

by Trish Starling

When Sarena first suggested that we could do a graphic representation of our conversations instead of written I felt somewhere between okay and terrified. I thought about how drawing would be a bit difficult with my own desires of perfection. I am much more comfortable writing than drawing. But maybe that was good—aren’t we always encouraging students to go outside of their comfort zones?

As soon as I got down to the exercise I realized that I would be much more comfortable using a computer graphic program instead of hand-drawing. I was left with more questions: what does this mean in regards to my own reluctance to experience “failure”? What does my own access to a computer, an online graphic program (Canva—check it out), mean in terms of my own privilege?

In terms of the graphic itself, I wanted to make sure Sarena and Sapphire’s were more prominent than mine, as I hold so much privilege and platform as a white settler Canadian. I wanted to represent how important it is to listen and reflect in this work.


Sapphire: We are people first. Making relationships and cross-pollinating ideas. How can we work together to share knowledges? There was a way to use the resources at Hart Hour to support another program in the community I was doing— Readers for Leaders. It connected U of T and York U. Trish and I met at a rally. We got talking about graphic novels. Hart House has a bunch. Sarena: Being Lanape, Cree Pottawatomi gives me knowledges outside of institutions. Relationship building and resource sharing is important. My work with FirstStoryTO provided land based education for U of T students. There are ways to remove the disconnect between student affairs and community. Trish: How do I pass the mic whenever possible? How do I create opportunities for students to learn from those not represented in the academy?



Trish Starling is a white settler-Canadian educator and communicator – and more recently has come to see her role as a listener being a key aspect of both. She has worked with youth and young adults in community, non-profit, and educational settings, and currently finds herself at Hart House at the University of Toronto where she organizes storytelling and wellness activities and programs.

Read Part 1



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