Hollyhock Presenters

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Our presenters are curated for their quality, depth, integrity, and alignment with our educational purpose. Since 1982, a distinguished faculty of authors, educators, activists, artists, performers, and practitioners have shared their work at our Cortes Island campus and in Vancouver.

People smiling at Activate 2023 Hollyhock Leadership Institute

Gabrielle Peters

Presenter, Gabrielle Peters

Gabrielle Peters is a disabled writer and policy analyst and a commissioner on the Vancouver City Planning Commission.  She is co-founder of Dignity Denied and the Disability Filibuster and has been a leading voice in applying a disability lens to local, provincial and national policy issues. Gabrielle’s work often focuses on further developing the radical theory of accessibility by integrating the lessons of disability justice, harm reduction, trauma-informed practice and grassroots community development and transformative change activism. She was lead author of the Broadbent Institute’s policy submission to the BC Government on future accessibility legislation, co-author of the Vancouver City Planning Commission’s Memorandum – Climate Emergency Extreme Heat and Air Quality Mitigation and earlier this year testified before and wrote submissions to the Canadian Senate about the impacts the passage of Bill C-7 would have on disabled people. Her writing on disability has been published in Maclean’s magazine, CBC and other publications. 

Gabrielle’s lived expertise and acquired knowledge includes being a tenant of social housing that was transferred by the previous provincial government from public to non-profit housing and the significant transition she underwent from being understood to be fully human as a student and professional pre-onset of her condition to now falling outside society’s definition of a human as a fat, poor, wheelchair user with chronic illness.