Summit 2020: Resistance & Responsibility

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Summit 2020: Resistance & Responsibility

In many ways, 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges that make us reconsider how we relate to each other as communities and individuals. In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing overdose crisis, and police violence towards Black and Indigenous people within and beyond our colonial borders, long-existing inequities are being pushed front and centre. Now, we are forced to ask: How can we resist such harmful, persistent disparities to create systems that look after everyone? Who – within our community, research, and health care organizations – is responsible for driving that change, and who is being left out?

As gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit and queer men (GBT2Q), we have faced these questions before. As novel as 2020 feels, injustice – and resisting injustice – has been part of our experiences from the very arrival of settlers on this unceded land: Two-Spirit people who preserved and passed on teachings, language and culture; HIV activists who fought for access to lifesaving drugs; queer and trans leaders who created movements towards rights and protections for our communities.

The building blocks of conquering today’s inequities are found in this history. GBT2Q people drive change when we organize, defy the status quo, chart new paths forward, and hold each other accountable. When we push systems to respond to our needs or create our own supports when we’ve been shut out. When we ask ourselves, each other, and those with power and privilege, to keep doing better.

It is on this legacy of resistance and responsibility that we host this year’s Summit. How can we learn from our past and commit to building resistance in our diverse communities, finding solidarity with other movements seeking justice across race, class and other social axes? How do we demand our health care systems, institutions and our own coalitions to be responsive and accountable to unique, intersectional queer and trans needs?

To answer these questions, we invite community workers, health care providers, practitioners, counsellors, researchers, Elders, teachers, advocates and all those looking to contribute – in large or small ways – to participate in Summit 2020. Mobilizing communities and allies has always been a cornerstone of progress and, whether in person or virtual, the value of exchanging ideas and building capacity remains critical for strengthening the health and wellbeing of our communities.


Summit 2020: Going Virtual!

Given the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, Summit 2020 will be held online on November 4-6. In an effort to keep the Summit engaging with our new virtual format, we are planning for shorter presentation times and sessions, while increasing the proportion of time for facilitated Q&As. Each conference day will include approximately 3 hours of virtual programming in order to facilitate live participation across Canada.

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Information on Submitting Presentation Proposals for Summit 2020

Everyone and anyone is welcome to submit a presentation proposal for Summit 2020. Submissions may include, but are not limited to, short oral presentations, panels, workshops, roundtable discussions or community consultations. We especially encourage submissions that answer the questions:

  • How can we resist persistent disparities experienced by GBT2Q communities, and inequities within GBT2Q communities?
  • What responsibilities do we have as community organizations, researchers, health care providers to strengthen equity for and among GBT2Q communities?

We welcome research and practice contributions that identify interventions or best practices in healthcare and social services to ensure the wellbeing of diverse GBT2Q communities. Submissions can be based upon research, programming, policy initiatives, advocacy, activism, grassroots responses, and/or community-based actions engaging GBT2Q people in Canada or abroad. The following is a list of topics and issues you may consider in the context of this year’s Summit:

  • Health care and community services:
    • Anti-racism and decolonizing policies, practices, and initiatives
    • HIV and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection (STBBI) prevention, care, treatment, and support services
  • COVID-19 related programs, services, and supports:
    • Mental health services (e.g. counselling, suicide prevention)
    • Gender affirming treatment, care, and support services
    • Harm reduction, substance use, and addictions services
    • Access and accessibility of services to support other social determinants of health (e.g. housing, income support)
  • Barriers and enablers to GBT2Q health equity:
    • Cultural competency among healthcare and other service providers
    • Racism towards Black, Indigenous, and other racialized GBT2Q within the healthcare system and queer or trans communities
    • Adaptation of programs and services due to COVID-19 (e.g. virtual counselling, home- or self-testing for HIV)
    • Internalized stigma (e.g. sexuality, gender, HIV, race, disability)
    • Community awareness, empowerment, and mobilization

Submissions on other topics related to GBT2Q health are also welcome. If you have any questions regarding the Summit, including whether your proposal idea aligns with the conference’s theme, please contact us at [email protected].

Proposal Submissions is now closed

Successful submissions will be featured in the Summit 2020 program, including authors’ names, affiliations, and a maximum 250-word description of their event.

Presentation Formats

1. Short Oral Presentations: 8-minute individual presentation & participation in facilitated panel discussion (total 60 minutes)

Ideal for research and evaluation findings, program reviews, and project results. The Programming Committee will group presentations thematically into panels with 3-4 different presenters/panelists. Due to the virtual format, all presenters will be asked to prepare a brief, pre-recorded oral presentation (8 minutes) and will participate in a facilitated Q&A period on the panel topic with panelists and audience members.

2. Workshop: 60 minutes

Ideal for presentations involving knowledge exchange, capacity building, or interdisciplinary or interprofessional dialogue. Each session will last 60 minutes, and should include at least 20 minutes of engagement or discussion with the audience. These presentations should be interactive and focus on dynamic exchanges or discussions among participants.

3. Roundtable Discussions: 60 minutes

Ideal for interactive conversations amongst attendees on issues critical to the community. This can include broader discussions about systemic issues, access to care and services, and community responses to the Summit 2020 theme of resistance and responsibility. Each session will last 60 minutes and should be led by the presenter.

4. Integrated Panels: 60 minutes

Ideal for discussing an issue in greater detail with multiple experts. These presentations will be steered by a pre-selected moderator and will feature a Q&A session at the end, in which participants may ask questions related to the topic.

5. Poster Presentations: Virtual Poster Exhibit

Ideal for sharing health promotion and education campaigns, artwork, and research or program descriptions/updates. Ideal for one-on-one conversation. This year’s poster exhibit will take place on a digital platform that will be accessible throughout the duration of the Summit. Each presenter has the option to submit a conventional poster format (PDF or PPT), or to share a 10-minute pre-recorded video or audio presentation, in which they explain their poster to participants.

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Creators Project

Are you a gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit, or queer (GBT2Q) creator passionate about queer, trans, and Two-Spirit health? Want a paid opportunity to learn, create content, and share it with the masses? If so, it sounds like the Summit 2020 Creators program is the right fit for you!

What is the Summit 2020 Creators program?

Each year, Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) hosts a national Summit on GBT2Q health, where healthcare providers, community-based organizations, and community advocates come together to engage with the most innovative and exciting GBT2Q health research, programs, and initiatives happening across Canada.

For Summit 2020, we are seeking GBT2Q content creators to attend at least two online Summit sessions and create a piece of content inspired by what they’ve learned, which will be shared widely online by CBRC and its partners. And we’d love for one of those content creators to be you! So, if you’re a creator who’s passionate about supporting GBT2Q health and interested in a paid opportunity to expand your knowledge and develop creative content for our communities – read on for details on how to apply!

What do we mean by “creators” and “content”?

We encourage all GBT2Q content creators who are interested to apply for this opportunity. However, in addressing racial inequities that are often present within GBT2Q health and art spaces, we are prioritizing creators who are Black, Indigenous, or a person of colour (BIPOC) for this opportunity.

Examples of eligible creators include artists (i.e. photographers, poets, illustrators, drag performers) and social media content creators (i.e. YouTubers, TikTok-ers, Instagram Influencers). But, really, if you consider yourself a creator, as far as we’re concerned, you are one. We welcome new and seasoned creators alike.

Eligible content can include anything inspired by the Summit session(s) you attend, as long as it can be shared online. This could include a physical piece of art (which we’d photograph for online sharing), digital art (i.e. graphics or illustrations), a song, a drag performance, or a video recap sharing your reflections from the Summit.

What are we asking you to do?
  • Attend one online orientation session [late October]
  • Attend at least two online Summit sessions taking place on November 4th, 5th or 6th. If you can’t attend your designated Summit session live, a recording will be made available after the session by November 30th.
  • Create a piece of content inspired by the session you attended (to be shared alongside an interview with you via the social media channels of CBRC and its partners) [to be completed by December and shared online in January]
  • Participate in one debrief/evaluation session [mid to late January]
What will you receive for your contributions?
  • Compensation: All Summit 2020 Creators will receive a $250 honorarium in recognition of their time, talent, and efforts.
  • Expense Reimbursement: Summit 2020 Creators will be reimbursed up to $250 to cover content creation costs (i.e. canvas for painters, honoraria for models/performers). Expenses must be pre-approved and receipts will be required for reimbursement.
  • Exposure: CBRC and its partners will promote Summit 2020 Creator content via social media across the country.
  • Support: You’ll have direct support from a staff member of CBRC or one of its partners to help see you through each step of the process.
How do I apply?

Complete the application form at the following link by Wednesday, October 21st Applications will be reviewed by a committee and applicants informed of selections by Friday, October 23rd. Applications are now closed.

What if I have a question?

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to contact Jaydee Cossar, Advance National coordinator at [email protected].

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Accessibility Statement

CBRC is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible Summit in order to support participation for everyone. Our first-ever virtual edition provides us both with new opportunities and challenges with regard to accessibility. To make our programming more accessible, CBRC is committed to:

  • Providing simultaneous interpretation (English to French or French to English) during live plenary sessions;
  • Offering closed captioning for pre-recorded short oral presentations in their original language;
  • Publishing English- and French-captioned recordings of all Summit 2020 sessions on CBRC’s website by November 30.

Though we are doing our best to enable everyone’s participation during Summit, we recognize that some needs may not be met through these measures. If you have other accessibility needs which have not been addressed through this statement, please let us know when completing your registration form. If you have questions or comments regarding the accessibility of Summit 2020, please contact [email protected].

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Community Guidelines

Our shared commitment to queer and trans health is part of what brings us together at Summit each year! In response to feedback from Summit participants, we have introduced Community Guidelines to help us build a safer, supportive, and inclusive space. 

These guidelines include our expectations for how we treat each other within this space:

  1. Respect personal experiences. In many cases, presenters, moderators, facilitators, and participants share from their personal experiences as part of the Summit. We know these personal experiences are powerful in shaping our understanding of the world around us. The experiences of another person, and the words that person uses to describe them, are not up for debate or disagreement. 
  2. Follow guidelines from presenters, moderators, and facilitators. Summit 2020 is welcoming many presenters and guests this year, and there are a variety of session types, each with different possibilities for participation. Throughout Summit, follow the specific guidelines for each presentation about confidentiality and participation (e.g. posting comments or questions). Most sessions will be recorded and published online in our content library after the Summit – if you have any concerns about being included in a recorded session, please let us know at [email protected]
  3. Share the space! Many of us have lots to say about the topics we will be considering. During questions and conversations, our team will prioritize new participants, participants who have not yet spoken, and participants who identify as a peer to the topic being discussed. We will do our best to ensure as many people as possible can participate. When participating in the live chat during a presentation, please ask your question or make your comment once, and our team will make sure to pass on questions and comments to the presenters. 
  4. Participate from a place of learning, with an open mind. We all have something to learn from this year’s Summit program, as well as things we can teach! As a participant, you will play a key role in pushing discussions forward, asking questions, and building your capacity to enact change in your own local community.   

The live chat will be monitored for all sessions at Summit 2020. We will follow up directly with participants who are not following these guidelines, and work with participants to ensure these guidelines are upheld. If participants are unable to participate in the Summit in ways that creates a supportive environment for all participants, participants will be removed. Should you have a concern about someone’s participation, please let us know at [email protected].

Racism, transphobia, biphobia, sexism, homophobia, ableism, anti-Semitism, classism, fatphobia, Islamophobia, and other forms of discrimination or hate speech, as well as intimidation and personal attacks, are not permitted. Our team will address any of these instances immediately, including removing any participants who behave in this way from the virtual space. 

Content Note & Accessing Support: The Summit will cover a range of topics, including many that may bring up harmful, traumatic, violent, or isolating experiences. These topics include racism, anti-Black violence, sexual orientation and gender identity change efforts, criminalization of people living with HIV, suicide, addiction, sexualized violence, cissexism, and colonization. Given our focus on anti-racism content this year, we recognize that these kinds of presentations may be emotionally taxing for Black folks, Indigenous peoples, and people of colour (BIPOC).

We encourage participants to reach out to the counselling and mental health professionals that have partnered with Summit 2020 to process any of the content, feelings, or experiences it brings up for us. We also encourage participants to choose whether or not to participate in sessions based on their content. Please refer to the “Counselling” section of the Summit 2020 program below for more details.

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Pre-Summit Events

  • Blood Policy Futures for Queer, Trans, and Black Communities: A Facilitated Discussion - October 26, 2020 - 11:00 to 12:30 PM PDT


  • PrEP: Who's Not Getting It? - October 29, 2020 - 3:00 to 4:00 PM PDT


  • Anti-Racism and Lessons from Liberation - November 3, 2020 - 1:00 to 3:00 PM PST

More Coming soon!

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Keynote Speakers

  • Syrus Marcus Ware

  • Alexander McClelland

  • Vincent Mousseau

  • Nathan Lachowsky


  • Panel: Promoting Two-Spirit Health and Wellbeing: A Conversation with Two-Spirit Youth Leaders


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Summit 2020 Sponsors

Summit 2020 is made possible through the support of this year’s presenting partner ViiV Healthcare, as well as contributions from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Province of BC. The views expressed at the Summit do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of our sponsors.

Presenting Partners


Pre-Summit Event Series Sponsor


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