#MakeItAwkward was borne out of an unfortunate situation that happens to far too many minorities here in Edmonton and abroad. On Wednesday, August 31, 2016, Jesse Lipscombe was the victim of a verbal racial attack in Edmonton, AB, while he was filming a PSA for the city in downtown Edmonton. The attack was caught on camera, and the video immediately went viral. Jesse was hurt by the incident, but he was also struck by the outpouring of love and support he received from the community and the country. With the help of Mayor Don Iveson, #MakeItAwkward was officially launched on September 2, 2016 and Jesse and Julia continue to work with individuals and community organizations to help empower people of all ages to safely stand up in the face of discrimination and create a more inclusive society for all.
Learn more about #MakeItAwkward here.
The inaugural #MakeItAwkward Inclusivity Summit will bring together global leaders championing inclusivity, diversity and love in order to disrupt the status quo and create lasting societal change. The three-day immersive event will feature multifaceted programming, dynamic shared experience and artistic expression in the heart of the city where #MakeItAwkward all began. Become an ambassador for everyday change.
When we started planning the MIA Summit, we realized immediately that the summit would be cost prohibitive for some. Armed with that knowledge we began to immediately work on solutions to mitigate this. One of these decisions was to scale our ticket prices. We have student passes, student discounts, day passes, slim (without full food and drink service) and full summit passes that range from $89-$449 to accommodate some of the potential restrictions attendees may have. In addition, through KNEKT, we are able to live-stream the conference free-of-charge (we will have closed-captioning replay available for those that require it) so people from all over the world can attend from the comfort of their home or public library.
Thanks to the generosity of the City of Edmonton, we are able to send 100 youth to the summit for free. In addition, other private sponsors have stepped up to offer free passes to those in need. If you are or know of a person/group that may benefit, please contact us.
The Summit features more than 30 speakers and performers: Scaachi Koul, Jane Elliott, Quinton Aaron and Mayor Don Iveson, among others. A full list can be found on the Summit home page.
The program for the Summit can be found on the event’s official website.
We’d love to have you! If you’re interested in volunteering—which also means a free pass for the Summit—please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know if you are available to help out on February 1, February 2, February 3, or all three days.
Our staff — including our co-founders — will each be paid an honorarium, but largely work on a volunteer basis. We are privileged and grateful to be in this position and one of our goals in the coming years is to be able to pay our hard-working team more money. Any additional profit will go toward our upcoming #MakeItAwkward events and next year’s Summit. Our charitable partner, KidzFirstCanada, also receives a portion of any profits, while any donations at the event go directly to them. More info on KidzFirstCanada can be found here: www.kidzfirstcanada.org