Note on Language
Throughout the following statement, h2art will use identity-first language (IFL). “Othered” bodies are often framed as abnormal, or are trivialized and pathologized in popular discourse(s). Whilst there is no one “correct” way to address all folk, our choice to use IFL in our work seeks to resist narratives of normalcy by (re)centring “otherness” as a source of pride and desire. h2art recognizes and supports that folk can use and choose terminology reflective of their own experience(s).
All visual works will include an image description, and any videos will be closed-captioned. All programming, events and statements will use gender-neutral terminology.
Traditionally, equity and access statements are legalistic and unwelcoming in their approach. h2art is committed to creating a safe, accessible, and non-discriminatory community at the University of Toronto. For us, this begins by checking in with ourselves and placing our organization within prevailing system(s) of violence. We vow to continually ask: how are we complicit, and how do we resist oppressive structures. Holding our (in)actions accountable is the first step in soliciting change both within and beyond the organization.
Our team is diverse: many of us are racialized, many of us are queer, and some of us are impoverished, mad and/or disabled. Whilst we aim to centre lived experience(s) in the work that we do, we recognize that often, the social, economic and moral responsibility of achieving equity is reduced to the marginalized individual. We know how tiresome this burden can be. Our organization seeks to distribute this responsibility by amplifying marginalized voices, engaging in “artivism”, critiquing our (in)actions, and fostering Indigenous epistemologies, and anti-capitalist, feminist, queer and anti-racist pedagogies.
We believe, however, that true justice extends beyond this. As new folk join us, and as new social issues surface, the diverse need(s) of our members will change. Equity and access are not static, but rather ever-evolving. We expect and welcome diverse bodies and minds, and vow to communally negotiate our space(s), need(s), and difference(s) to better accommodate and support everyone. We cannot promise that things will be perfect, but this process represents a desire to be with one another, to listen to our team’s experience(s), and to continuously (re)educate ourselves on issues of access and discrimination.