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The Creative Arts Therapies Students of Colour and Allies Alliance (CATSOCAAA) is a student association within the Department of Creative Arts Therapies (CATS) at Concordia University. CATSOCAAA aims to support racialized students within the CATS Department while facilitating the discourse around systemic racism and diversity with an aim to influence concrete changes within the field of creative arts therapies and related fields in mental health.
In partnership with the Art Therapy program of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), the Creative Arts Therapies Students of Colour and Allies Alliance (CATSOCAAA) intends to organize a year-long event series for students, faculty, and professionals affiliated with the Department of Creative Arts Therapies (CATS) at Concordia University. This series will involve two types of events that will work in tandem:
1. Monthly speaker events with paid Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) and racialized speakers, offered for students, alumni, faculty and professionals affiliated with the Creative Arts Therapies Department at Concordia University.
2. Follow-up sessions using the fine arts of the MMFA to anchor discussion and reflection. Attendees will be invited to process and discuss the impacts of the speaker events. These events would be facilitated by paid creative arts therapists.
In order to maximize accessibility, these events would be offered on a pay-what-you-can basis. Proceeds from all events will be used to sustain and elaborate on the ongoing activities of CATSOCAAA or as financial aid for BIPOC students. Further, these events will be offered through online platforms in order to maximize accessibility while prioritizing the safety of all those involved in considering the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The Social Justice in Creative Arts Therapies Project is a student-led initiative that focuses on providing social justice informed educational and community building opportunities for students. In response to a need for representation, understanding, and belonging, two student-led groups have formed as branches of our graduate association: CATSOCA (Creative Arts Therapies Students of Colour Alliance) and QueerCATs (Queer Creative Arts Therapies Students).
As the experiences of racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities are not adequately addressed within the curriculum of the Creative Arts Therapies program, this project aims to fill in the gaps by bringing in leading scholars, community workers, and educators who are not only representatives of these communities but also have specific expertise and training on working with these populations. This project is an opportunity to provide students, both from marginalised and dominant identities in the field of creative arts therapies and beyond, the tools needed to deepen their understanding and become better future therapists. 






Ajin Jeon


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