Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) will host its annual knowledge exchange and capacity building conference, Summit, online this year from October 27-29. The theme of this edition is Disrupt and Reconstruct, with more than 100 presenters and panelists looking at how we can achieve queer and trans equity in health care by rewriting routines of care and deconstructing systems that continue to leave out or deprioritize people in our communities.

“Considering the access barriers, gaps in care, and elevated needs that Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (2SLGBTQ+) people were already experiencing well before the COVID-19 pandemic, a return to ‘normal’ is simply not enough,” says CBRC’s Knowledge Exchange and Policy Development Director, Michael Kwag. “Measures previously thought impossible, including massive government interventions to stabilize the economy and mobilize health systems, were swiftly implemented. Given that COVID-19 has exacerbated health and social challenges for many 2SLGBTQ+ people, it’s more important than ever that we don’t return to the status quo.”

Summit 2021 will explore how learnings from the pandemic and beyond can be leveraged to re-imagine a system that addresses critical gaps in queer and trans health care. The three-day event will bring together researchers, authors, human rights advocates, community leaders and participants from coast to coast for a series of presentations, panel discussions, and workshops.

Events include:

  • Keynote addresses from Florence Ashley, Francisco Ibáñez-Carrasco, Jack Saddleback, jaye simpson, Kai Cheng Thom, and Rinaldo Walcott
  • Should We Return to “Normal”? Examining Barriers, Disruptions, and Innovations to STBBI Testing for Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men in Ontario
  • The Time Has Come: Giving Voice to LGBTQ2S+ Seniors in Long-Term Care
  • A Pandemic Within a Pandemic: How the HIV Community has Adapted During COVID-19
  • We Are Still Here: The Importance of Trauma-Informed Care for Queer Indigenous People
  • SOGIECE/Conversion Therapy Survivors: Nothing About Us Without Us!
  • Serious Legal Problems Among Sexual and Gender Diverse Communities in Canada

This year’s conference will also kick-off with its first ever Two-Spirit Day at the Summit and virtual Two-Spirit Gathering. “The opening plenary session on Truth and Reconciliation, and the first day of the conference being devoted to Two-Spirit health, is one of the ways that CBRC is demonstrating its commitment to being inclusive of and responsive to Indigenous communities,” says Jessy Dame, CBRC’s Two-Spirit Program Manager. The goal of the Two-Spirit Gathering is to provide an update on current Two-Spirit work throughout Turtle Island and collectively create recommendations that may help guide further Two-Spirit resurgence. Those interested in participating are invited to write to CBRC’s Two-Spirit Program Manager, at

There will also be three Pre-Summit events held during the week leading up to the conference (October 20-26):

  • PrEP: Where Are We Now? (Oct. 20 at 10 AM PT)
  • HIV In My Day: An Open Intergenerational Dialogue on HIV History (Oct. 21 at 11 AM PT)
  • Reflections from Summit 2020 Keynote Speakers (Oct. 26 at 8 AM PT)

Like the previous year, Summit 2021 will be virtual and open to the public. Participation is free, but participants must register to attend.

For Pre-Summit events, there is a separate registration process.

The schedule-at-a-glance, as well as more information about the conference, can be found on CBRC’s website.

About CBRC

Community-Based Research Centre promotes the health of people of diverse sexualities and genders through research and intervention development. CBRC’s core pillars¾community-led research, knowledge exchange, network building, and leadership development¾position the organization as a thought leader, transforming ideas into actions that make a difference in our communities. CBRC was incorporated in 1999 and is a non-profit charitable organization. Our main office is located in Vancouver, British Columbia; we also have satellite offices located in Edmonton, Toronto, and Halifax.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.