Rose Mariana Robb
Rose Mariana is a mature student with a disability at the University of Victoria. She is the Director of Access UVic!, a disabled students’ advocacy group, and is also a parent advocate for her daughter, who has a severe learning disability. Since successfully pursuing a discrimination case through the BC Human Rights Tribunal on behalf of her daughter, Rose Mariana has made advocacy and disability rights the focus of her academic and professional work. She lives in Victoria and is on the scenic route to a university degree in history.
The Access Game: Creating a Dynamic Advocacy Group on Your Campus
Rose Mariana Robb, student, University of Victoria
Rose Mariana Robb told the audience that an effective advocacy group will likely encounter various political challenges during its start-up and building phases. Fundraising and alliance building are two key challenges. Another is the prevention of resistance and backlash once the group succeeds in obtaining funding.
To demonstrate some typical scenarios and to facilitate finding possible solutions, Robb led the delegates in a series of interactive “forum theatre” exercises. She explained that this type of theatre was originally called “theatre of the oppressed.” Now called “applied theatre” or “theatre for social change,” it is an exercise often used in social justice movements to help participants work out social problems in their community. Actors first demonstrate the problem in a short scene, with no resolution. The scene is then repeated, and this time audience members are encouraged to jump in at any time to take on a role if they have an idea about how to resolve the crisis or change the outcome of the scene.
As Robb rehearsed with the first group of actors outside the room, Julia Munk gave the next presentation.