Positive Space workshop aims to arm participants with tools to change themselves and society
Dainty Smith is a Toronto-based storyteller and performer who has dedicated her life to tackling social issues through performance.
A former student, Smith is returning to the George Brown College to lead a workshop that will cover themes of sexuality, diversity, security and positive spaces on March 6.
The positive space workshop aims to get students thinking about the challenges they face in society, arm them with the tools to change themselves and help force changes in society.
Positive spaces are inclusive environments that aim to guarantee security for all people, and seek to challenge societal norms that undermine the safety of underprivileged groups.
The workshop will be hosted by positive space program, which is housed in diversity, equity and human rights services. The goal is to create a college community that is free of discrimination and harassment based on gender and sexual identity.
“We wanted someone who could speak to our ongoing themes of black history, challenging sexual violence, positive space, and International Women’s Day,” said Vivek Shraya, the positive space advisor at GBC. “Dainty was the perfect choice.”
Born a pastor’s daughter, Smith has always found ways to perform and tell stories, which for her is both a means to connect and a way to be vulnerable.
“I have always been a storyteller and a performer, it has always been a thing I wanted to do.”
Smith came to Toronto to be a performer, her long standing dream. That led her to GBC where she completed the introduction to performing arts program.
“Toronto was my New York,” said Smith. “I had a vision that I was going to be like Mary Tyler Moore, I could come and be a storyteller and a performer and make my dreams come true,”
Smith credits the ability to love yourself as a key ingredient in our evolution as individuals, and that self-love is a constant journey not a destination.
“It’s okay to look in the mirror and say I’m not 100 per cent today, I’m playing hurt today guys, but I’m still awesome.” Smith stresses that like anything worth striving for, self-love doesn’t happen overnight.
For Smith, the goal is to reach a place where people can confidently practice self-love and are actively helping create positive spaces for those born into disadvantaged communities.
“The workshop will be a step by step-by-step process, and a collaborative effort between myself and the participants to get to that route,” Smith said.
The workshop will take place on March 6 at St. James campus at 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in room B155.