Safer Spaces is a physical space at Solstice committed to providing room for circles to discuss realities and real world issues that are often silenced and unacknowledged in festival settings- race, gender, ability, class, sobriety, sexual assault survival, etc. Safer spaces is also an ethic and gathering wide objective meant to highlight, acknowledge, recognize, listen to, learn from, empower and offer gratitudes and supports to those who gather with us who experience marginalization, oppression and discrimination in their everyday lives. Safer Spaces is dedicated to creating a gathering wide community understanding that the disheartening realities of colonialism, white supremacy, cis-hetero-patriarchy, rape culture, ableism and the like do actively express themselves as we gather- impeding the safety and enjoyment of those targeted by everyday, systemic and cultural oppression. Safer Spaces seeks to inspire, to educate, to illuminate and to facilitate gathering wide explorations of how we can work together as loving community to address and transgress dynamics of disempowerment and discrimination and build a true culture of accountability, compassion, justice and belonging for all.
Safer Spaces is a space where people can come to ground, to learn, to listen, to share and to heal through daily talking circles focused on the intersectional hardships and violences that marginalized groups face. Although each circle is held and facilitated with care, consideration, creativity and kindness- these circles differ from workshops held at the Workshop, Calm and Art spaces in that they are primarily an opportunity for each person who joins the circle to share how they feel or what they think for an equal amount of time as the others in the circle. Circles are primarily a space for individual self-expression and for group active listening- and are only secondarily places for specific exercises or education. Clear, tight and loving facilitation helps guide a circle towards an utmost experience- but it is the respect, vulnerability, trust and sharing offered by each participant that truly allows for circles to become places where enhanced growth, understanding, reconciliation, transformation and healing are possible.
Safer Spaces aims to help politicize and ground Solstice in real world politics so that we can stretch and push and grow together towards a more holistic, transformative, and restorative gathering where difference, diversity and inclusion are prioritized and celebrated. We want to acknowledge and recognize the social, economic and political inaccessibilities that exist in and outside of Solstice and are working towards bringing people together across social barriers, in order to create dialogue and awareness around these issues. We recognize that people who experience structural oppression and marginalization have a lot to offer our community. People of colour, those recently arrived from other countries, people with disabilities, womyn, two-spirited and queer people, trans people, low income folks and others who experience marginalization are strongly encouraged to get involved.
Safer Spaces is seeking facilitators to help frame and guide hour long discussions. The Safer Spaces Dome will be equipped with a small trunk of tools to help with/ enhance circle facilitation. All facilitators/hosts will receive an information package which includes community conduct commitments, Safer Spaces policies, circle guidelines and tips on circle facilitation, conflict resolution and deescalation. Important information about circle guidelines and community conduct will be clearly posted on the inside and outside of the Safer Spaces Dome. We are really hoping that unique individuals will bring their brilliance, best practices and bountiful strategies to this project so that each and every circle held this year is distinct, lovingly planned and infused with care, consideration and creativity. To ensure diversification of facilitation- we are asking that people facilitate no more than two formally planned circles. If there is an audience and appetite for further circles facilitated by any one facilitator- Safer Spaces will be happy to help that facilitator let folks know about a time and location outside of the Safer Spaces dome. *** And worry not- if circle facilitation isn't how you would like to approach looking at Safer Spaces issues and you'd like to share more of a talk/instructional/educational/advisory/or exercise based offering- get in touch with Workshops and they will be delighted to help you organize time and space.
This year- Safer Spaces is going to maintain a daily schedule from Tuesday, June 19th through to Saturday, June 23rd.
All circles are to be facilitated/hosted by persons who self-identify with and who bring lived personal experience to a circle’s focus topic. All circles are open to all persons who self-identify with and who bring lived personal experience to a circle’s focus topic.
Tuesday, June 19th, 201811-12- Sexual Assault/Abuse Survivor talking circle12-1- BIPOC talking circle1-2- Folks in Recovery/ Sobriety circle2-3- Womyn’s talking circle3-4 Gender non-binary/gender fluid/ a/gendered talking circle4-5 Men’s talking circle5-6 Mental Health talking circle
Wednesday, June 20th, 201811-12- Sexual Assault/Abuse Survivor talking circle12-1- BIPOC talking circle1-2- Fatphobia/ sizeism talking circle2-3- Womyn’s talking circle3-4 Gender non-binary/gender fluid/ a/gendered talking circle4-5 Men’s talking circle5-6- Indigenous talking circle
Thursday, June 21st, 201811-12- Sexual Assault/Abuse Survivor talking circle12-1- BIPOC TALKING circle1-2- BIPOC BRUNCH…. SPECIAL2-3- Womyn’s talking circle3-4 Gender non-binary/gender fluid/ a/gendered talking circle4-5 Men’s talking circle5-6- Low income, poor and class concerned talking circle
Friday, June 22nd, 201811-12- Sexual Assault/Abuse Survivor talking circle12-1- BIPOC talking circle1-2- Folks in Recovery/ Sobriety talking circle2-3- Womyn’s circle3-4 Gender non-binary/gender fluid/ a/gendered talking circle4-5 Men’s talking circle5-6- Queer talking circle
Saturday, June 23rd, 201811-12- Sexual Assault/Abuse Survivor talking circle12-1- BIPOC talking circle1-2- Allies and Accomplices talking circle2-3- Womyn’s talking circle3-4 Gender non-binary/gender fluid/ a/gendered talking circle4-5 Men’s talking circle5-6- Folks with disabilities talking circle
All circles formally begin at 5 minutes after the hour and promptly end at 5 minutes until the hour. Facilitators are responsible for opening the circle and closing the circle on time. Your approach and method of facilitation is uniquely yours- spark away….just be sure to leave most of the hour open for moments for sharing from each person.With facilitated opening and closing, and time allotted for entrance and exit… there is about 40 minutes of circle sharing time per hour block. Each hour circle that you facilitate will count towards 2 hours of member shift time. So if you host two circles for Safer Spaces, then that can count as your 4 hours of member shift time.
Scheduled circle times and days are firm. If you would like to host/facilitate circles at other times/days or organize safer spaces initiatives addressing other issues- please let us know and we will see what we can do to help to arrange alternative space and let people know about your circle/gathering. Once we receive your completed application, we will connect with you to confirm your slot(s). Preferred times/days will be allotted on a first come- first serve basis. If the time/day you have choosen doesn’t work out- we will try to work with you to find another time/day or way for you to be involved with Safer Spaces. Please be sure your email is active and check your email during the months of May/June! We are really looking forward to holding space with you!Thank you so much for your interest!