Summit 2021: Disrupt and Reconstruct
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge disruptions and innovations, alongside significant loss, preventable death and increased criminalization. Measures previously thought impossible – large-scale income supports, stay-at-home orders, restrictions on travel – were swiftly implemented. Now, as vaccination rates rise and cases fall across Canada, a growing sense of optimism is emerging about a “return to normal.” Yet reactions range as restrictions ease, depending on what our lives looked like before and during the pandemic.
For many gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit and queer (GBT2Q) people, that reclamation of the status quo does not inspire hope. We’ve spent decades pushing back against a so-called “universal” health care system that has often failed our communities – even more so for those of us impacted by systemic and intersecting oppression based on race, income, ability and more. The pandemic, in many ways, amplified the injustices and inequities embedded within our systems and society. Rather than a “return to normal,” we must leverage the disruption caused by COVID-19 to re-imagine a system that addresses the gaps in care that existed before the pandemic and were heightened during it.
This includes addressing persisting gaps like:
- The uneven coverage of, and access to, critically important care, including medications to treat and prevent HIV/STBBIs, gender-affirming care, mental health and harm reduction services, and more.
- The lack of cultural competency in our healthcare system, including providers who often know little to nothing about our bodies, sexual relationships and drug use, and who are unable to understand the importance of our pronouns and partners.
As advocates, community-based organizations and researchers, we’ve attempted to push for change on structural barriers and social determinants before, and we are long overdue for widespread, systemic change. As we head into a “post-pandemic” era, coupled with reinvigorated calls for racial justice, truth and reconciliation, many Two-Spirit, queer, trans and non-binary people are mobilizing to disrupt the systems that have failed our communities. As long as Canada’s health care system continues to prioritize some bodies over others, health equity will remain a foundational challenge to address.
At Summit 2021, we prioritize how we achieve equity in health care for our communities. If there are no limits in this reimagined system, what programming or services can be envisioned to address HIV/STBBIs, mental health, substance use, and other health and social issues that do not reinforce existing disparities? Summit 2021 challenges participants to lean into the disruption of the pandemic as an opportunity to rewrite routines of care and deconstruct systems that continue to leave out or deprioritize communities.
The oft-used pandemic rallying cry of “building back better” can only happen when we confront structural discrimination and stigma in order to achieve an inclusive and equitable vision of health and wellbeing for everyone in our communities.
Summit 2021: Virtual Format
Building on last year’s successful virtual edition, Summit 2021 will be hosted again online on October 27-29. Each conference day will include approximately 4 hours of virtual programming to facilitate live participation across Canada.
CBRC is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible Summit in order to support participation for everyone. This commitment includes offering free registration for the virtual Summit and providing simultaneous interpretation (e.g., English to French, French to English) and captioning services.
In addition to the virtual conference activities, CBRC is exploring the possibility of a hybrid participation option, which may include a combination of virtual and in-person programming, subject to public health guidelines related to COVID-19. Additional information regarding the possibility of a hybrid participation option in Vancouver will be made available and posted on the CBRC website by mid-August.
Registration for the virtual Summit, as well as the pre-Summit webinar series on October 18-26, will be released in early September. Sign up to the CBRC mailing list to stay on top of updates!
Information on Submitting Presentation Proposals for Summit 2021
Everyone and anyone is welcome to submit a presentation proposal for Summit 2021. Submissions may include, but are not limited to, short oral presentations, panels, workshops, roundtable discussions or an alternate format that you propose. We especially encourage submissions that answer the questions:
- What disruptions and reconstructions are needed to address persisting disparities experienced by GBT2Q communities, and inequities within GBT2Q communities?
- How are GBT2Q communities resisting inequities and taking care of each other? What is needed to strengthen community-led initiatives for health and social equity?
- How can community-based organizations, healthcare providers, researchers, and decision-makers be informed by people with lived experience, and work together to achieve a more equitable future?
We welcome proposals that identify community needs, promising interventions or practices in healthcare and social services that support the wellbeing of diverse GBT2Q communities. Submissions can be based upon research, programming, policy initiatives, advocacy, activism, art-based approaches, grassroots responses, and/or community-based actions engaging GBT2Q people in Canada or abroad. We encourage GBT2Q people with diverse lived experience to submit a proposal, and in particular, Indigenous, Black, and racialized individuals, and other underserved and underrepresented people in our communities, including but not limited to people living with HIV, drug users, sex workers, disabled folks, and people who are not “out”.
The following is a list of topics and issues you may consider in the context of Summit 2021:
- 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.
- 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 social determinants of health (e.g. housing, income support).
- Inter/multi-sectoral collaborations that address community health and social needs.
- Impacts of COVID-19 and related programs, services, and supports:
- Mental, physical, sexual, and social health impacts of COVID-19.
- Innovation and adaptation of programs and services due to COVID-19 (e.g. virtual counselling and support groups, online interventions, home/self-testing for HIV).
- Mutual aid and other forms of grassroots, community-based organizing to respond to gaps in care and/or system failures.
- Barriers and enablers to GBT2Q health equity:
- Cultural competency among healthcare and other service providers.
- Racism towards Black, Indigenous, and other racialized GBT2Q people within the healthcare system or queer or trans communities.
- Internalized stigma (e.g. sexuality, gender, HIV, race, disability).
- Community awareness, empowerment, leadership, 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].
Successful submissions will be featured in the Summit 2021 program and may include authors’ names (pseudonyms are accepted), affiliations, and a maximum 250-word description of their presentation or session. Presenters are not required to use their legal names, and may request to have their presentation removed from any published media from Summit 2021 proceedings.
Proposals must be submitted through the Summit 2021 Submission Form, and received by August 11, 2021 at 11:59pm local time. If you have any questions regarding the submission form, or regarding presentation formats, please contact [email protected].
1. Short Oral Presentation: 8-minute individual presentation & participation in facilitated panel discussion (total 60 minutes)
Ideal for research and evaluation findings, program or campaign reviews, and project results. The Programming Committee will group accepted proposals thematically into panels with 4 different presentations. Due to the virtual format, all presenters/panelists will be asked to prepare a brief, pre-recorded oral presentation (maximum 8 minutes) and will participate in a live facilitated Q&A session on the panel topic with panelists and audience members.
2. Workshop: 60 minutes
Ideal for live presentations involving skills development, knowledge exchange, capacity building, or interdisciplinary or interprofessional dialogue. Each workshop will last 60 minutes, and should include 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 Discussion: 60 minutes
Ideal for live, 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 2021 theme, Disrupt and Reconstruct. Each session will last 60 minutes and should be led by the presenter(s)/panelist(s).
4. Curated Panel: 60 minutes
Ideal for discussing an issue in greater detail with multiple experts. Integrated panels should include 3-4 brief, pre-recorded presentations and at least 20 minutes for a live facilitated Q&A session with the presenters/panelists. Proposals should identify all relevant presenters/panelists as well as a moderator for the 60-minute session.
5. Poster Presentation: Virtual Poster Exhibit
Ideal for sharing health promotion and education campaigns, artwork, research summaries, or program descriptions/updates. Summit 2021 will include live scheduled poster viewing sessions with authors/presenters, as well as a virtual poster exhibit that will be accessible on the conference platform throughout the duration of the Summit. Each presenter has the option to submit a poster (i.e., PDF or PPT file) or a pre-recorded video or audio presentation (maximum 10 minutes). If you are interested in using a different format or have questions about the poster presentation format, exhibit, or viewing sessions, please contact [email protected].
About the Summit
The Summit is CBRC’s annual knowledge exchange and capacity building conference on gay, bi, trans and non-binary, Two-Spirit, and queer men’s (GBT2Q) health. Since 2005, the Summit has brought together researchers, service providers, community members and organizations from across Canada and internationally to present the latest in GBT2Q health.
While the Summit continues to focus on GBT2Q people given CBRC’s history and ongoing work to address HIV and STBBIs within our communities, the conference is also intended to be an inclusive space for community-based research, health promotion, and advocacy for all Two-Spirit, queer, trans, and non-binary people.
Summit 2021 is made possible through government funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, as well as corporate sponsorship. CBRC welcomes back ViiV Healthcare as the returning Presenting Sponsor for Summit 2021, and Gilead Sciences Canada as the Pre-Summit Series Sponsor. The views expressed herein or at Summit 2021 do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of our funders or sponsors.
For all other information regarding our Summit 2021, click here.