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WORKSHOP: #BrandingYourselfBeautiful & Thoughts on Facilitation

May 7, 2015


Today I’ll be facilitating a workshop at York Woods Library near Jane and Finch through Urban Arts all around the theme of Branding Yourself. It’s a workshop for young women to re-envision and re-imagine themselves with the most beautiful lens and decide how they want to be portrayed by create their own media.

Each workshop I find myself pushing the bounds of my comfort zone to offer unique and fresh programming for clients. It’s an exciting process to truly live up to my slogan: creative, quality, custom workshops. The creative part is easiest but it still requires a good hunk of effort to be intentional and unique in the delivery of a solid workshop. And then there is quality, what things can I offer that is different from other workshops? I constantly have to remind myself to be present, mindful, attentive and again PRESENT. Quality boils down to the clothes I wear the day of programming, to the reference sheets I hand out for additional info, to the evaluation questions I craft for the session. Work ethic and professionalism is something I strive for but I also am trying to elevate my game. Being early and taking the extra prep time is one thing, but to actualy carve out a work plan like it’s a polished sculpture is quiet another.

And of course, the most challenging thing as a facilitator is to not fall into the trap of recycling the same workshops, to a point. Yes many exercises, themes and activities are tried-tested and true but the custom is the tricky part. How different does a female empowerment workshop look like for a group of teenagers vs. adult activists? What are the ways in which I incorporate access into my workshops (different abled participants, ASL interpretation, multiple learning styles etc.)? Would a workshop in Toronto’s east end look different than the exact same work plan on a reserve in Kitsumkalum, BC? Customizing programming and considering the diversity within the group you are working with is one area that I am being more aware of and training myself to be more flexible in my approach.

Fingers-crossed that I provide an enriching program for the young women in today’s session but I will also be learning and taking cues from the group. What do they need to get the most out of the program? How can I facilitate in a way that is inclusive but also specialized? My heart is open and my mind is hungry to learn. Wish me luck on my workshop today and all the days to come.

Over and out

POEM: An epitaph for my self(loathing)

May 5, 2015

I’m 5 days late but better late, for the late (get it epitaph, death, late, you know what I mean), than never. Here you go Anita! Here’s my epitaph for our National Poetry Month Challenge, 2015.

S.L. 1993 – 2013

here lies my self-loathing

your presence was strong

your reign unnerving

but in the end you were sideswiped by love.

please, stay dead.


to clarify the timeline, I guestimate that I began hating myself at aged 6 and I officially killed this self-loathing in the year 2013 when I learned to forgive myself. Still learning.

Over and out

NEWSLETTER: Awesome April Aspirations

April 6, 2015


It’s my B’earth Month so I’m extra excited about this newsletter. For all things Whitney French Writes, check out all the happenings-on for April. There’s radio, nature adventures, Octavia inspired storytelling, creative writing programs, screw faces and much more





Over and out!

Poetry Challenge! 5 Years Running

April 1, 2015

Going five years strong (!!!) my bestie Anita Abbasi and I challenge either other to a poetry dual for National Poetry Month. The first year was a sestina (which was later published in The Great Black North), the second year was a sonnet, the third year was a cinquain and last year was an etheree (check out the video here). This year: the elusive epitaph. We’ll be posting the final poems on our respective blogs, for Anita that’s Anthems on Anthems and for me, naturally its

So here it goes! I’m sharpening my pencils and putting my wits to the test, to the victor go the spoils!

VIDEO: Artist Profile by SKETCH

March 17, 2015

The good folks at SKETCH truly support the work that I do as an artist, so to show their love, they made this really funky video of me and my craft. I was floored to see the final cut, I think it captures the Frenchie flair! Much love and respect to Natasha Millien who directed, produced and edited this video.

Over and out!

Nerd Moment: NERF LIFE

March 9, 2015

Forget that T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E. I’m about that Nerf Life. Straight shootin’

Copyright Martin Baena

Copyright Martin Baena

Photo credit: Martin Baena
All Rights Reserved.

Over and out!

Big Apple Here I Come

February 28, 2015


Poster by: @slimeslop. I know, this is beyond dope


From the Root Zine is heading to New York next week for the Feminist Zinefest. It’ll be our first time tabling there and our first time tabling in the U.S. of A! We’re pretty stoked to get that all green money. It’s been a loooooong road, this zine thing. And with the widely successful HAIR issue, I am happy to announce that our second issue BODY is OUT!

If you want a copy, you can do three things:

1. Bus/Fly out to New York March 6th and be one of the first to nab one (and prove your unwielding devotion to the cause)

2. Come out to the OCAD Zine Fair March 12th at OCAD (I know, that’s redundant) from 11am to 6pm

3. (Do this one anyway!) Join us for our From the Root Zine One Year Anniversary March 22nd! (Deets to come!)

Are 1, 2 and 3. You will receive a life-time supply of zines from us if you come to all three. We mean it! Like actually though.

More ziney goodness to come!