facilitation, teaching, directing

from an anti-oppressive worldview

Janice Jo Lee is a professional facilitator and teacher in the fields of arts, anti-oppression and leadership. Over the years she has taught many community groups across the country on topics such as:

- poetry, spoken word and storytelling
- songwriting, singing, looping
- improvisation, clown/bouffon
- play and theatre creation
- anti-oppression, antiracism
- team building, community building

Contact Janice to discuss designing a specialized workshop for your group's needs.


Identifying and Uprooting Internalized Racism 

This workshop is for racialized people who are grieving the racism in the world while investigating our own internalized racism. We will detail our personal relationship to global colonialism, anti-Blackness and Indigenous colonization. We will question how mainstream Western culture assimilates us, socializes us into anti-immigrant sentiment, self-hate and losing connection to our heritages. We will close by sharing ways we can work through our anger, pain and grief, and how we can be accountable to taking care of ourselves while fighting for our dignity and rights in the world. 

Listening, Acting, and Taking Responsibility in the Anti-Racist Movement 

What is your role in the anti-racist movement? What practical actions can you take in your workplace, your circle of friends, family and in society? What is happening with ongoing systemic racism locally? In this workshop, we will acknowledge our personal position in relation to colonialism and racism. We will evaluate where anti-racist work is most urgent in our lives. You will leave with a draft plan to advocate for anti-racism. We will practice active listening, relationship-building and create a judgement free zone. 

East Asian Solidarity Healing Space 

Racism against East Asian and South East Asian people is often unheard, unseen and unaddressed. You are invited to share your experiences, grief, anger and pain in a listening and supportive environment. We will talk about how white supremacy oppresses us through the model minority myth. We will discuss setting personal boundaries to care for ourselves and those around us. We will do writing activities and create a space of listening and support. 

What is Allyship?
Allyship is a relationship building process. Through constant listening, learning, and support we can build trust, solidarity and reciprocity. We will take inventory of our power position, what we can offer, and what we can learn. We will apply how allyship is an exercise in humility, passing over the mic, and passing over decision-making power. Participants will bring their personal lived experience into the discussion and apply concepts to their own projects.

Artist/Mission Statement  

What is the purpose of your art/activism? What are you doing and is it working? How are you serving your community/audience with your work?  

In this workshop we will examine and define our practice within the context of our personal relationship to colonialism, our times and community. You will leave with a first draft of your own personal arts/mission statement and a renewed clarity and inspiration about your purpose.  

Returning to Writing  
Exercises to free ourselves from self-judgement when creating. I will lead the group through creation activities that reconnect us to the joy, catharsis, and discipline of writing and creating. For writers of all levels. You will leave with some pieces-in-progress.  

Crumpled Heart Unfolding: Recovering from Burnout and Spiritual Heartbreak.   

What gives you life? What nourishes you? In this interactive workshop, we will move our bodies, discuss boundaries, write on joy, and sketch out recovery plans.

On the Mic, Off the Cuff: A Banter and Hosting Workshop

Every moment on stage is a comedy opportunity. Learn how to glue the show together, be more relaxed, and facilitate a great show for your audience! We'll go over tips like how to put the fun in thanking the funders, how to fill time without being awkward, audience interaction, smooth transitions, and how to improvise banter in your own style. We will play simple games and learn some theater and clowning techniques, so dress comfortably! People of all physical abilities are welcome and will be accommodated.

teaching values / pedagogy

Janice Jo Lee comes from a background in music, sports, theatre, English literature, student activism, community organizing, clown/bouffon, Buddhist mindfulness, and 13 years of running workshops. These are her teaching values and methods. 

  • Body as Instrument, to create 
  • Body as clay, needs to be warmed up before dug into, molded, stretched or changed 
  • Body as archive, as text, stories reside in the body 
  • Body as legacy, what has been given to you by your ancestors 
  • To shed (immobilizing) self-judgement, guilt and shame which inhibits speech, action, experimentation, trying, risk taking 
  • Try to be free by following your joy 
  • Accept and affirm yourself 
  • Offer your true nature, spirit as a gift  
  • In Community, workshop ensemble as micro-community  
  • Active listening, as a practice of seeing the other person 
  • Everything is a pondering, we don’t need answers, we want to inquire and consider

theatre, poetry, facilitation background

Janice’s one-woman musical satire Will You Be My Friend was developed and produced by Green Lights in Kitchener in 2017. The show made its Toronto debut at Theatre Passe Muraille in October 2018 to critical praise from The Toronto Star (¾), Mooney on Theatre and a 4/5 rating from Now Magazine. In Ontario her theatrical work has been produced with Green Light Arts, MT (Multicultural Theatre) Space, Theatre Passe Muraille, and fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre.  
Janice has spoken word training with d’bi young anitafrika, Lillian Allen, bouffon/clown training with Adam Lazarus, Nathaniel Justiniano, and Deanna Fleysher, and physical theatre training with MT Space, and Fadhel Jaibi. Janice has worked as an educator for 13 years facilitating arts, anti-oppression and leadership workshops across Canada. She has facilitated anti-oppression workshops for Greenpeace UK, University of Waterloo, Laurier Student Public Interest Research, Laurier Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work, Folk Alliance International and Vancouver Poetry House. Janice has directed theatre creation programs for racialized youth with MT Space, Le Project N’we Jinan, and Randolph Kids.  
In Waterloo Region, Janice Jo Lee was voted Best Performance Artist five years running from 2016 to 2020 (The Community Edition Newspaper.) She was the City of Kitchener’s Artist in Residence in 2015, the founding artistic director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Poetry Slam (2011-2018), and Festival Director for Rainbow Reels Queer and Trans Film Festival (2015, 2017). Currently she is working on a new musical satire titled Apocalypse Earth and her album Ancestor Song.