March has been an extremely busy month at ACAS, especially for the Youth!
Take a look to see what exciting events that have taken place this past month! Queer Yoga Lab
QAY is launching a pilot yoga program (supported by ACAS Volunteer Program)!
This program is designed to be an open level class from complete beginners to those with more experience. While the sessions will primarily be based around an active physical practice, it may also include meditation, breath-work and philosophy.
6-week program beginning every Wednesday, 6:00pm to 7:30pm, from March 9th to April 13th.
•Space for 10 participants: 7 registered spots for those who commit to full 6 week & 3 drop-in spots (must email before to confirm).
•Bring your own mat, some mats and props will be provided.
•Snacks and drinks provided.
Instructor: Minh Toan
Minh is a certified Yoga Instructor, completing his training with Karma Teachers, a Vancouver based non-profit yoga studio. He has a strong dedicated practice, with over 5 years experience with multiple yoga styles and knowledge in philosophy, meditation and breath-work. He is dedicated to supporting his students by creating the conditions where they can uniquely grow and develop through the physical conditioning and mental practice of yoga.
“Eat your Rice!” QAY Health Cooking Workshop – Simply Noms
On March 20, 2016, our Gabriel Bacani, QAY Health Promotion Lead, led our group of Queer Asian Youths to cook healthy meals. While many of us have heard our parents telling us to “eat your rice,” there is much more than eating rice that goes into healthy cooking and eating. As you can see in the photo above, the event was a resounding success! QAY Program Evaluation Survey
Are you part of QAY right now?
Were you part of QAY before?
Did you come to at least one of QAY events and/or workshops?
QAY is conducting a comprehensive evaluation with YouthREX to evaluate our entire 15 years of work! We want to know what makes QAY special, how QAY has changed you, and what QAY can do in the future to make it better for everyone. So YouthREX and QAY made an online survey for current/past QAY participants to take. The survey will take about 10-15 minutes.
To take the survey, please go to: http://youthrex.fluidsurveys.com/s/qay/
If you have any comments, questions, or concerns about the survey, please contact Euan (Youth Program Coordinator):
416 963 4300 ext 229
Did you get S.L.A.M.’d?
SLAM! (Sex. Love. Asian Men!) is an interactive learning forum on sex, health, lifestyle and everything in between for and by Gay/Bi/Trans/Queer/Questioning Asian men. The annual sexual health forum for queer Asian men was held on Saturday, March 19, 2016 at Society of Friends House.
As Asian men, we were raised with distinct cultural values and beliefs that inform and guide our lives when it comes to talking about sex and sexual health. In a world filled with complex issues and conflicting messages, many of us receive information based on rumour and inaccurate perspectives. As a result, we may act on or make decisions that may lead to negative consequences.
This interactive forum was attended by 30 Asian gay/bi/men who have sex with men designed to address some of the issues in a fun and safe environment. The forum provided a great opportunity to discuss and share our experiences, skills and knowledge with our peers of all orientations in the spirit of mutual friendship. By exploring holistic and empowering approaches to our health (physical, emotional, sexual), lifestyles and identities, we as Asian men will be able to reaffirm our place in society. Gay, Asian +Poz
“What does it mean to live as gay Asian men living with HIV?”
Listen to 4 unique & rich stories shared by Kenneth, Christian, Andrew, and James!
Migrant Farm Workers Health Forum
On Thursday March 31st, ACAS presented at the 2016 Ontario Migrant Farm Workers Health Forum. Thank you Fandy for sharing his experience as a migrant worker and how ACAS has been able to provide him culturally-safe services, as well as facilitations by Richard Utama and Inex B Incubury at this important forum.
Updates from our international youth interns in Thailand!
TNAF staff took Ryan and Sahar to Bangkok’s very own Chinatown to see the lunar new year festivities.
As part of TNAF’s Coffee for Life project, Ryan and Sahar have been traveling to several provinces to help monitor and evaluate the different groups that TNAF works with. They visited and learned from groups like Power of Women, Swing, Sisters, and Poz Home. ACAS Tweets and Asian Presence at the United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS #HLM2016AIDS Civil Society Hearing
If you missed the UN #HLM2016AIDS Civil Society Hearing on April 6, 2016, we were glad to have been present and tweeted out important interventions made by our international Asian civil society partners:
Ms. Jules Kim, Executive Director of Scarlet Alliance Australia at the United Nations Civil Societiy Hearing #HLM2016AIDS: “Sex Workers are criminalized worldwide & their human rights must be protected”
Ms. Malu Marin, Executive Director of Asia’s 7-Sisters Network of AIDS Service Organizations at the United Nations Civil Society Hearing #HLM2016AIDS speaks of impotance to work in collabratns in development justice approach
Our very own Community Engagement and Ontario Positive Asians (OPA+) Coordinator, Christian Hui, attended the event and spoke on behalf of the Canadian Positive People Network / Reseau canadien des personnes seropositives (CPPN / RCPS). The following is CPPN’s intervention at the United Nations Civil Society Hearing #HLM2016AIDS during the Panel: Partnership for Success and the Role of Community Responses for Resilient Health Systems: “The Canadian Positive People Network, an independent network for and by people living with HIV and HIV co-infections, was formed in June 2015 31 years after the discovery of HIV. Unlike many other countries where PLHIV networks are often a key component of the HIV response, we are just at the stage of building our foundations so that the voices of people of living with HIV in Canada can be once again at the forefront of the HIV movement as opposed to being just at the receiving end of the service delivery system. Earlier on, GIPA/MEPA was mentioned as an essential core of the HIV response. We know in Canada that while most organizations support GIPA/MEPA, the implementation of GIPA/MEPA is not always easy. Yet facing complexity and challenges to implement GIPA/MEPA must not deter us from ensuring that people living with HIV are meaningfully engaged within the entire HIV response: It is especially important that positive people are not engaged as tokens but as an an absolute element in areas of policy development and decisions around funding allocations, program and research design, advocacy and the evaluation of whether our needs as people living with HIV are met adequately. We talk about utilizing evidence-based frameworks and finding innovative approaches to collaborations. How about we focus on actively involving our communities of people living with HIV and recognized and unrecognized key affected populations and ask them what is it that we want as opposed to being told this is what should do? How about we all find innovative ways to empower our communities within a supportive environment provided by the government and implement the Positive Health Dignity and Prevention Framework so that we can truly eliminate social inequities, stigma and discrimination that continues to plague us as we have a right as citizens just like any other citizens? Lastly, we at the Canadian Positive People Network would like to acknowledge that we stand in solidarity with the Indigenous communities in Turtle Island and worldwide in their plight against HIV. In particular, we would like to acknowledge the great community mobilization and work that the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network Aboriginal People Living with HIV/AIDS Caucus has done to make it the most well-organized, cultural-specific PLHIV network which exist in Canada. This shows us we still have much to learn from the ways of knowing, being, and ways of relating from the Indigenous communities from Turtle Island and worldwide. Thank you. Merci. Chi Miigwetch.” OPA+ Call for Submissions Dear Community Partners Serving Asians Living with HIV in Ontario:
We are calling for materials/art which we can utilize for our OPA+ Blog Site! Please kindly pass this along to anyone who may be of interest.
In an effort to increase the visibility of Asians living with HIV in our community as identified at last year’s caucus, OPA+ is currently building a blog site. This particular media platform will serve as a gateway for our members to tell story of life of Asian living with HIV/AIDS. Your creative work should meet the following requirements:
1) Your submission shall inform or apply to the lives of Asians living with HIV’
2) Your work can be in various forms/formats including: painting, drawing, photo, poem/poetry, writing, diary, letters, quote, script, short video production, radio production, etc.
Please kindly submit your work to Christian, OPA+ Coordinator at email@example.com or the OPA+ email at firstname.lastname@example.org April 15, 2016. The advisory committee and/or the blog working group will review all work submitted and select content that meets the mission and vision of OPA+. Please note that OPA+ reserves the right to determine which work it will publish on the OPA+ Blog Site.
If you have any questions, please kindly send us a message.
—– About Ontario Positive Asians (OPA+): VISION:
The Ontario Positive Asians (OPA+) Network aims to connect Asians living with HIV/AIDS
across Ontario to collectively identify and act on issues most relevant to our well-being and to
promote solidarity among Asians living with HIV/AIDS with allies and supporters MISSION:
• To unite, empower, and meaningfully engage Asians living with HIV/AIDS in Ontario in a peer-based network to increase our visibility and act as a collective voice within the HIV sector and broader society
• To create a culturally safe space where Asians living with HIV/AIDS in Ontario can caucus, identify, and seek solutions to address issues that impact our well-being • To strengthen the collaboration with other AIDS service organizations and partners to promote policies and outcomes that will enhance the lives of Asians living with
HIV/AIDS Thank you Lululemon!
ACAS Volunteer Program received a generous donation of 10 stretching straps and bags from Lululemon Athletica at 342 Queen Street West! These straps will be used to make our health promotion workshops even better.
From Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD) and CATIE: Your Insight Needed – Sharing Canada’s work with the world at AIDS 2016
Are you involved in the HIV movement in Canada and/or internationally? Are you a person living with HIV, an HIV researcher or do you work or volunteer with a local, regional, or national HIV organization?
Why are we asking? The Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD), in partnership with CATIE, is leading the Canada Pavilion at the 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) on July 18‐22, 2016 in Durban, South Africa. The Pavilion will showcase Canada’s engagement and leadership in the global HIV response by promoting Canadian best practices and achievements from at home and abroad.
To help guide the planning of the Canada Pavilion,
ICAD and CATIE need your input!
We’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think should be profiled at the Canada Pavilion. To do this, we’ve put together a short, 5-minute survey to provide you with the opportunity to share those thoughts and to give us your perspective on how we can showcase Canada’s contributions to the HIV response. Check here for more information on the Pavilion and its development. Ready to complete the survey? *The information that you provide is confidential.
This survey will close on April 12, 2016. SHARE! Please share this call widely with your Canadian colleagues, partners, and networks! See our suggested tweets and Facebook post. Tweets:
We need your input. How should #Canada share its work at #AIDS2016? Share your thoughts svy.mk/21QY1LD #AIDS2016Canada #HIVcan
How can we best represent #Canada’s response to HIV epidemic at #AIDS2016? We’re asking you! svy.mk/21QY1LD #AIDS2016Canada #HIVcan
Cdn civil society: How can #Canada showcase achievements in the HIV response at #AIDS2016? svy.mk/21QY1LD #AIDS2016Canada #HIVcan Facebook:
Calling on the Canadian HIV community. ICAD and CATIE want to know your thoughts on what to include when showcasing Canada’s contribution to the HIV response during #AIDS2016. What should be profiled at the Canada Pavilion to demonstrate Canada’s leadership and achievements in the HIV response? Share your thoughts and perspectives in this short survey: svy.mk/21QY1LD. The survey closes end of day on April 12, 2016. PLEASE SHARE!
Thank you for your time and insights!!
Toutes nos excuses si vous croisez ce message plus d’une fois.
Vos idées s.v.p. : partager le travail canadien avec le monde à SIDA 2016
Chères amies et chers amis,
Faites-vous partie du mouvement du VIH au Canada et/ou à l’échelon international? Êtes-vous une personne qui vit avec le VIH, un chercheur dans le domaine du VIH ou un bénévole auprès d’un organisme local, régional ou national en VIH?
Pourquoi cette question? Parce que la Coalition interagence sida et développement (CISD), en partenariat avec CATIE, dirige l’initiative du Pavillon du Canada lors du 21e Congrès international sur le sida (SIDA 2016) qui se tiendra à Durban (Afrique du Sud) du 18 au 22 juillet 2016. Le Pavillon mettra en valeur l’engagement et le leadership du Canada en lien avec la réponse mondiale au VIH, en présentant des pratiques exemplaires et des réalisations d’intervenants canadiens, dans notre pays et à l’étranger.
La CISD et CATIE ont besoin de vos suggestions
pour la planification du Pavillon du Canada!
Nous serions ravis que vous nous fassiez connaître ce qui devrait selon vous être en vedette au Pavillon du Canada. C’est pourquoi nous vous proposons un bref sondage (de cinq minutes) où vous pouvez partager vos idées et perspectives sur les façons par lesquelles nous pouvons présenter les contributions du Canada à la réponse au VIH. Cliquez ici pour plus d’informations sur le Pavillon et sa préparation. Prêt à répondre au sondage? *Vos réponses seront confidentielles.
Ce sondage se termine le 12 avril 2016. DIFFUSEZ! Veuillez partager cette demande à grande échelle dans vos réseaux de collègues et partenaires canadiens! Servez-vous de nos suggestions de messages Twitter et d’annonce sur Facebook. Messages Twitter :
Besoin de vos idées. Comment partager travail en #VIH du #Canada à #AIDS2016? SVP: svy.mk/1q2G6WE #AIDS2016Canada #VIHcan #HIVCan
Présenter le mieux possible la réponse du #Canada au #VIH à #AIDS2016? Vos idées SVP svy.mk/1q2G6WE #AIDS2016Canada #VIHcan #HIVcan
Société civile #Canada: Comment valoriser réalisations #VIH du Canada à #AIDS2016? svy.mk/1q2G6WE #AIDS2016Canada #VIHcan #HIVcan Annonce Facebook :
Appel à la communauté canadienne du VIH. La CISD et CATIE souhaitent connaître vos idées. Quoi inclure dans la mise en valeur de la contribution du Canada à la réponse au VIH, lors de #SIDA2016? Que devrait-on présenter au Pavillon du Canada afin d’illustrer le leadership et les réalisations du Canada en réponse au VIH? Partagez vos idées et perspectives dans ce bref sondage:svy.mk/1q2G6WE Le sondage se termine le 12 avril 2016 en fin de journée. SVP DIFFUSEZ CETTE INVITATION!
Thank you for your time and insights!!
See you next month at the beginning of May for another round of exciting re-cap of what has taken place at ACAS in April!