Archive for May, 2012

Top Three: Our New(ish) Website

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Last Friday, we posted a video to thank the fine folks at Plank Design. We won their pro-bono project competition in late 2010, and they worked with us for just over a year to build the beautiful site you are now enjoying as you read this post! In further thanks, we’d like to highlight some of our favourite improvements:

  1. New Branding: Plank rescued our stalled logo redesign process, after we’d considered and tried everything from resurrecting an old logo to working with a volunteer graphic designer to opening a public competition with prize money. Maria’s work was absolutely gorgeous, and we really appreciated Warren and Emerson coming into one of our staff meetings to present concepts to the team!
  2. Clear Navigation: Just look at those menus! It may have taken approximately one thousand re-numberings of our site map (thanks for keeping track, Sarah!) but now you can find the information you need in a logical place. We also love the way our programs are featured on our homepage–because in our hearts, services for our clients are what we’re about.
  3. WordPress: Going with WordPress instead of a custom CMS was something Warren, Jenn, and Hannah agreed upon pretty early in the process. Why? We now have a blog! Our staff, from luddite to tech lover, can now update pages without worrying about breaking something! Our website can easily grow with us, as our programs expand and change over time!

We’re looking forward to new favourites in the coming years!

Know Your Rights: Interacting with the Police

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This week, Head & Hands would like to remind you of your basic rights when interacting with the police:

  • You can stay silent and refuse to talk to police or answer their questions, unless you are in a bar or a movie theatre, driving a car, or they say you broke the law. In those cases, you must give your name, birth date, and address, or show your ID, but you do not have to say more.
  • You can say no if police ask to search you or your belongings. Saying no does not mean you have something to hide.
  • You can leave unless you are being detained or arrested.
  • If you are being detained or arrested, you have the right to know why, and the right to speak to a lawyer in private without delay, even if you can’t pay.
  • You can only be strip-searched in private and by officers of the “same” sex.
  • You have the right to know an officer’s name and badge number.
  • You can report an officer who abuses you, swears at you, or violates your rights.

At Head & Hands, our legal services include information, support, and accompaniment in the case of arrest or violation of rights. We also have twice weekly, by-appointment legal clinics where you can get legal advice from a lawyer, and we offer community workshops on a variety of legal issues.

The above legal information is based on Pivot Legal‘s  “Statement for Police” cards, available at our offices. These cards can be read aloud and then given to police in case of detention or arrest.

The above information should not be taken as legal advice or relied upon in legal proceedings–if you require legal advice, you should contact a lawyer.

STIgma zine: Sexualité et relations avec des ITSS

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Sexually Transmitted Infections. They’re incredibly common, yet they’re shrouded in silence and shame. What gives? At Head & Hands, we know that talking about sexual health and STIs can feel awkward or scary – especially if you have an STI. Because of the stigma, people hesitate to ask for support, more information, or treatment for their STI. Fear of judgment and rejection prevents people from talking to their partners about it. Silence even prevents people from getting tested for STIs in the first place! It’s clear to us that stigma spreads STIs. So that’s why we made this zine, to get our heads out of the sand!!!

While the focus of mainstream sex education tends to be about not getting an STI, we think that it’s equally important to talk about what happens if you do get one. Where do you go to get support? Who can you tell? Can you still have sex? How do you deal? To demystify the experience of living with STIs, we asked people to tell their stories – and we were overwhelmed by the responses we got. We can learn a lot from the stories in this zine. We can learn how other people cope; how they take care of their bodies; how those conversations went when they disclosed to a sexual partner (and then another, and then another). We also learn about the power of sharing these stories – breaking the silence can really be cathartic!

You can use this zine however you want. It might be a resource, an inspiration, or even a companion, so you know you’re not the only one out there. We hope to equip people to make decisions that feel good and healthy for their own bodies and lives. In the stories that follow, you’ll find lots of examples of people doing just that.

Download the zine here, or drop by our office for a copy!

New season, new bylaws!

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With summer comes Annual General Meeting season at Head & Hands! We are governed by a set of bylaws that set the rules for how we operate as an organization.  Every year, H&H members are able suggest changes to these bylaws–and those suggestions are voted on by the full membership at our AGM.

If you’d like to take a look at the current bylaws, come visit us anytime and just ask for a copy!  If you want to suggest any changes to our bylaws, you need to submit these to us before May 31.  Proposed bylaw changes can be sent to admin@headandhands.ca.

Event: Sexercise Your Brain!

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There is little we love more than independent initiatives that show that our community loves us!

Next week, come hang and give your brain a sexy workout down the street from us at Shaika! Sexercise Your Brain is an open mic night put on by the Dawson New School and supports our Sense Project. You can “listen to sexy stories, recite steamy poetry, sing amorous songs, or share any other racy art form,” so if you’ve got something to say, sing, or shout (or you just want to listen) join us and support us!