Saskatoon

Human Library tells stories of social change in Saskatchewan

Dozens of people filed into Station 20 West tonight in Saskatoon, eager to hear the stories of women and transgender people working for change in Saskatchewan. This was a Human Library, the first such organized by Next Up Saskatchewan, a program to train young leaders working for social justice.

Evening organized by Next Up youth leadership training program

Carolyn Doi (right), one of the organizers of Next Up Sasaktchewan's Human Library, sounds the gong signifying time for "readers" to move on to their next human "book". (Kathy Fitzpatrick/CBC)

Dozens of people filed into Station 20 West tonight in Saskatoon, eager to hear the stories of women and transgender people working for change in Saskatchewan.

Laura Brice Budd, a transgender woman who said she will not be satisfied with mere tolerance — but instead advocates full acceptance, was one of the human "books" at the event. Another storyteller was Karen Brander, who campaigned in the 1970s for free, universal 24-hour daycare.

This was a Human Library, the first such organized by Next Up Saskatchewan, a program to train young leaders working for social justice.

"We wanted to particularly tell stories that are less often told," said Tracey Mitchell, co-ordinator of Next Up Saskatchewan. 

We have a rich history — medicare, and co-ops and lots of different things that really started here- Tracey Mitchell, Next Up Saskatchewan Co-ordinator

In all 18 human "books" held court at 17 different tables, telling their stories to as many "readers" as could fit around the table.

After about 15 minutes, a gong was sounded, and readers moved over to other tables to listen to other "books".

"This program is about inspiring young people to act," Mitchell explained. "And we think that we can really build on the history of social change work in this province. We have a rich history — medicare, and co-ops and lots of different things that really started here."

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