Old Sock Drawer

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#041: Student Leadership Conference 2009

January 11th, 2009 by Mary Leong

Currently listening to: “Baby” – Rufus Wainwright

Eastwood, Genevieve, and Lilienne have already put in their two cents about this year’s SLC, so here’s mine.

Overall, due to the entertaining and eye-opening workshops and feature presentations, I really enjoyed the sessions, which went as follows:

  • Dr. Jim Frankish, on homelessness and health

I would really have enjoyed it if there were more statistics and information given on his research results and work done about aboriginal health and about actions which could be taken regarding homelessness. Yes, I know it’s a leadership conference, but I do enjoy a good stat or two, and a good social justice rant. But that’s just me. But I digress. His big point that I latched onto? “Use humour.”

  • Oxfam UBC, on social justice, sweatshops, and fair trade

I could go on about this for days, but I won’t.

Suffice to say, there are so many amazing/better options out there to pick from until the majority of mainstream companies clean up their act – Ten Thousand Villages, American Apparel, or go vintage – public opinion and consumer support really is the only way to convince money-grubbing industries, so widespread consumer demand and outspread public outcry and pressure for fair wages and fair trade is the only way to really target and solve this problem.

  • The Hon. Hedy Fry, on government and empowerment

I frankly thought she was absolutely brilliant and inspiring. Being an avid follower of politics, I found her story of her journey through the medical and political arena gripping. She truly struck a chord with me with a key quote on leadership which I simply can’t agree with enough- “As a leader, if you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, you can try to pretend – but everyone sees through it. Everyone can tell you’re faking it.”

  • Antigone, on dreams for women

The Dreams for Women project was started like a PostSecret-type project, whereby people write their dreams for women on postcards and mailed them in- it was all quite lovely indeed.


  • Keynote Speaker: Roberta Bonda

It was interesting, but a tad on the long-ish side. I fear that my lack of an attention span whatsoever tends to kick in when made to focus for long-ish periods of time. But I assure you, the parts which I was focusing on were greatly informative. Especially the part about perspective in space. Because I think we all need a bit more of that in our lives here on earth. Sure, you can see life literally so many different ways when you’re in space due to lack of gravity, but all it takes is a little creativity to shake up life here on earth.

Now, that’s my piece-
on to finishing John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty for tomorrow!

Goodbye, Spamalot and Gypsy.

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2 responses so far ↓

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  • 2 Genevieve Jan 12, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    So I’m not sure if you were referring to American Apparel as a ‘better’ source for clothing or not. If not, then ignore this, if you were I have actually read some pretty negative things about them…

    I just looked and I cannot find the actual report, but I read on some social justice website that American Apparel is actually only as “American” as it absolutely has to be. That is to say that they do as little work as possible on the clothes in the USA–just enough so that it can have the “Made in US” tag on it–and much of the rest of the sewing is done overseas. Also none of their fabric is made in the US and it pretty much all comes from the exact same sweatshops that every other stretchy material does.

    I read all of this last year, so maybe they have cleaned up their act a bit. Regardless I was rather disappointed to see that they were not nearly as socially aware as they claim to be.