#ACTC: Lydia Collins

I am a recent graduate from Brock University’s English Language and Literature program with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Throughout my time as an undergraduate student, as well as after, I have been fortunate enough to take part in various initiatives on and off campus. Most recently, these involvements include being part of an on-campus activist group, Decolonize and Deconstruct (D&D), that focuses on providing consent education through a decolonial lens, held the position of Workshops Coordinator for Brock’s Student Justice Centre, and have given various workshops on and off campus focusing on social justice issues, prioritizing sexual violence and anti-black racism, as well as sitting on Brock University’s recently formed Black History Month Committee. 


Growing up in the Niagara Region, in a small, predominately white town, I have seen firsthand the need for diversity, inclusivity, and representation for marginalized folks. My own lived experiences as a Black, queer woman have played a big role in igniting my involvement in activism. I am a writer, blogger, and activist who strives to continue amplifying marginalized voices within my community and beyond. As an artist, I’ve always known that incorporating education and activism into my work was necessary. An example of this can be seen in my recently published chapbook “Angry. Black. Woman.” The book chooses to not focus solely on obvious racism, but instead challenge the everydayness of microaggressive racism. This poetry collection explores emotion and race and womanhood, and how those different aspects of identity intersect for me. 


If I had to give any advice to other writers, artists, creators, it is this: keep creating. Don’t ever stop. Continue knocking on doors and looking for new avenues for funding, and networking, and collaboration. Keep sharing your work. Keep making plans for the next step. And stop putting the word “just” in front of your accomplishments. Because one thing I know is that artists don’t lack drive, or capability, or talent; we lack resources. And much of this can be out of our control sometimes. So it is most important that, above all else, we remind ourselves to always see the value in our work. To always respect our creations. Because they matter. 


To purchase “Angry. Black. Woman” contact lydiacollins78@gmail.com!


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