Zoom In: Women Making Impacts is a new, video interview series featuring women from all paths of life on Vancouver Island. The series is intended to amplify women’s voices, ideas, passions, projects, labours, and visions, especially as they serve the interest of building a more just and equitable society.
Founder: This series was created by Melissa Stephens in Fall 2020. She is the Chair for the Vancouver Island University Faculty Association’s Status of Women Committee (VIUFA SWC, 2020-2021), and a member of the VIUFA Executive. Community outreach is part of the mandate for this role. She plans to continue this project independently after leaving her role with VIUFA.
Zoom In: Women Making Impacts
Episode 2: Hope is the Risk that Must be Run: Silent No More with Dr. Imogene Lim (December 2020)
In Episode 2, Melissa interviews Dr. Imogene Lim who talks about relationships between research and activism, anti-Asian racism, refusal to be silent, anger, and the necessity of hope.
Dr. Lim’s Biography: A descendant of Cumberland and Vancouver’s Chinatowns, Dr. Imogene Lim teaches in Anthropology and in Global Studies. Her paternal grandfather paid the Head Tax when he landed in Victoria in 1890. Although she conducted her dissertation research in Tanzania with Swahili as her field language, she is known for her expertise on Chinese Canadian communities, especially on Vancouver Island. Her community engagement spans two decades, including collaboration with local museums. She co-developed the exhibit, 150 Years and Counting: Fighting for Justice on the Coast (2017).
For Heritage BC, she prepared a commentary: Erasure: A Statement on Racism, Inclusivity and Equity. The famous Scrivener article, referred to in the interview, can be read here: Reclaiming History: Vision for the Future in Cumberland (2002). The archival photo accompanying the article includes her father’s two older brothers. She was awarded the “Hero Spoon,” pictured below, for her important intervention.
“Hero Spoon 2002, received from Ruth Masters, for ‘fighting the good fight’ with the Concerned Citizens of Cumberland in its actions towards conserving what is today’s Coal Creek Historic Park.”
For more information about Dr. Lim, please see her website.
Here is the reference to the Cumberland article mentioned by Dr. Lim in the interview:
Hume, Stephen. 2002. “Cultural Imperialism: When Cumberland Officials Decided to Redevelop their Bulldozed Chinatown, they Consulted with Many Community Groups — but Ignored the Chinese Themselves: [Final Edition].” The Vancouver Sun, Jan 12, A19. https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.viu.ca/newspapers/cultural-imperialism-when-cumberland-officials/docview/242515458/se-2?accountid=12246
Zoom In: Women Making Impacts
Episode 1: Stretching Our Imagination with Joy Gugeler (November 2020)
In this augural video, Melissa Stephens and Joy Gugeler discuss their backgrounds, travels, feminisms, Covid-19 perspectives, and hopes for the future. Watch the clip cued first, and then sit back and enjoy the full hour-long discussion.
In Joy’s words: I had the privilege of being VIUFA’s Status of Women Chair for 6 years and am honoured to be on Melissa’s committee this year. I have taught 5 book and magazine publishing courses in Creative Writing & Journalism and others on news, identity, literacy, and emerging tech in Media Studies since 2010. I also teach in these fields at Ryerson and at SFU where I am completing a PhD in Communications. I am the publisher of VIU’s Portal literary magazine and the Gustafson limited-edition chapbooks and have acquired literary works in-house for ECW, Raincoast, and Beach Holme presses; edited issues of ARC, Quarry, and Room quarterlies; been EiC for Suite 101, NowPublic, and Orato online; on air for CBC, Bravo!, CHLY and CKCU; and written for the Globe and Mail, Vancouver Sun, and Ottawa Citizen.
In Melissa’s words: I am originally from Kitchener, Ontario, and I currently live on Traditional Snuneymuxw Territory while teaching in the Department of English at Vancouver Island University. I am the current Chair for VIU Faculty Association’s Status of Women Committee and I am so grateful to Joy for her mentorship and friendship. I acquired a PhD in the English and Film Studies Department at the University of Alberta, focusing on post-colonial and globalization studies, Black Feminisms, and Black Caribbean and American literature. I strive to teach material from an anti-racist perspective that supports diverse experiences and backgrounds, including diverse genders and sexualities. My research and volunteer work in places such as Guyana, Trinidad, and Vanuatu has shaped my consciousness of the nexus between research, teaching, and activism. My more recent, local work on co-organizing creative-activist interventions—such as radical poetry collectives or women’s marches–is vital to feeling a sense of purpose, home, and community.
Melissa Stephens works as a professor in VIU’s Department of English. You can see her profile here.