By Adebayo Katiiti Kalibbala (he/him/they/them)

On March 24, 2024, an empowering and liberating event took place organized by Katiiti Inclusive Wellness, where Trans and Queer individuals gathered for a healing swimming experience. Our first ever swimming session focused on introducing trans and gender diverse peoples, as well as 2SLGBTIQ refugees and participants to the joy and freedom of swimming, creating a safe and welcoming environment for everyone involved  to tap in their wellness with the support of Africa Center in Edmonton for the Black Youth Leadership Program (BYLP)

Adebayo Katiiti (Organizer) expressed gratitude for the trust placed in them by the community and support from Africa Center as well as Compete Sports Diversity Having come from Uganda, where being gay is illegal, swimming had been a sanctuary for self-care. Teaching other Trans individuals how to swim is a revolutionary act of empowerment and solidarity, reclaiming a sense of agency and freedom.

In the backdrop of anti-trans policies in Alberta that threaten the very existence of Trans individuals, Katiiti Inclusive Wellness stands as a beacon of resistance and resilience. By providing a safe space for individuals to embrace their authentic selves and nurture their mental and physical well-being, it serves as an antidote to the systemic oppression faced by the community.

Katiiti Inclusive Wellness welcomed participants from various backgrounds seeking refuge from persecution, including individuals from the Trans and gender diverse communities, as well as 2SLGBTIQ refugees and newcomers and community at large. Our focus is on providing inclusive wellness opportunities that nurture healing spiritually, mentally, and physically.

 

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Showcasing the urgent need for inclusive and affirming spaces like Katiiti Inclusive Wellness. 

Courage and determination, it is a sanctuary that was once lacking for the community. Katiiti Inclusive Wellness embodies a vision of inclusivity, empowerment, healing, joy and resilience, offering a space where individuals can thrive, build self-esteem, heal, and celebrate their identities without fear or judgment. 

Last I give gratitude for the team of Volunteers lead by Gloria Anniva – She/Her (Executive Director Raricanow), Dantae Tulloch- He/Him (artists/ Mental health Advocate) and Ryder -They/He (Trans Athelete Advocate ) for their dedication and support.