Samantha Viarruel (she/her)
b. 1986. Scarborough, ON
Afro-Caribbean diaspora/settler northern European
Quintuple fire sign
- To create entry points into challenging conversations using games, art, humour and story-telling based media.
- To facilitate comprehensive and constructive conversations that reflect and centre the lived experiences of communities often excluded in formal education - ie. folks who are: racialized; LGBTQ2s+; living with disabilities.
- To encourage better relationships to one's self and others, rooted in love, compassion and abundance.
- To help others critically and empathetically explore, and unpack internalized systems of oppression, and offer support in finding their own values.
Guiding principles of her work are anti-oppression, pleasure, humour, empathy, intersectionality, joy of learning and liberation.
With a long, diverse, and unconventional education/career path, Samantha Viarruel has held many titles. From customer service agent in a sex toy shop, to catering chef, to abortion counselor, to dive bartender, to nationally recognized relationship expert - using each opportunity to hone her intelligences.
Samantha was drawn to the field of sexual health, through her own negative experiences of insufficient, and at times harmful, access to education and healthcare. Vowing to be the person she never had on the other end of young women and people’s engagement with sexual health care, she obtained a volunteership as a Peer Educator at Planned Parenthood Toronto.
Discovering a passion and talent for connecting with individuals in client-centered, intersectional care, as well as mentoring others to so, she began exploring program development for community health promotion locally and internationally.
Patterns identified through this work, led her to founding Inner Development Project, a Toronto-based outreach program, facilitating workshops with young women/femme spectrum non-binary youth. Namely the connection between low self-esteem, challenges with communication in relationships, anxiety, and negative sexual health outcomes; including self-doubt and consent related sexual violence.
Chronically “not a good fit” in formal institutions, Samantha was pulled away from the clinic/health care sector and into entrepreneurship in a variety of community focused practices aiming to create educational spaces that address injustices, the erasure of communities marginalized by racism, homophobia/transphobia, ableism and classism. Critical to this work is changing the ways these communities access arts, education and resources, through an emotional intelligences and anti-oppression framework.
Through many iterations, failures, and self-limiting beliefs, Samantha began experimenting with a highly aestheticized, dramatized, comedic (DRAG) version of herself to present her work. Deploying and learning new creative and technical skill sets, this ‘femme armour’ made way for samantha bitty, and she has since been presenting her out-of-the-box (and out-of-pocket), pleasure centered and comprehensive sex education to youth, post secondary and adult audiences across Canada and via virtual means, internationally.
bitty is represented by the National Speakers Bureau, and is a contributor to Global News, Slice, CBC, Best Health, Refinery29, and has been featured in Flare, numerous podcasts, articles and platforms nationally and globally.
Current projects include: SEXY SEXUAL HEALTH EDUCATION - which is comprised of her unique trivia game show, numerous workshops, and a 10 part comprehensive video series directed at a Post-Secondary audience on topics related to sex, dating, body image and mental health in the context of consent culture; SEX SESSIONS - a 10 lesson series on sex and relationships airing across platforms on SLICE TV; Casual Fridays - a once monthly radio show airing on FSR Radio, where bitty explores the nuances of casual sex through interviews with guests; Inner Development Project - youth focused workshops on a range of topics to strengthen inter and intrapersonal skills.
Aside from her work as a public speaker/media personality, samantha works as an equity consultant for a range of services industry clients, project manages public artworks, and provides individual and partnered sex/relationship emotional intelligence coaching.
Samantha is a sober person in long-term recovery, a survivor of sexual and gender-based violence, a lifelong learner, and career volunteer.
Inner Development Project
To facilitate workshops that inspire young women* to examine the values of society, define self, and lead healthy, balanced lives.
our identities, our terms
Workshops are highly interactive, using arts, games and technology to facilitate conversations which participants can populate with their own lived experiences. Topics include: body image, healthy relationships, self-esteem, social media, sexuality/gender, and consent.
community and partners
Workshops are provided free, on-site of existing groups of young women and non-binary youth ages 11-18 in Toronto. Past/current community partners include: Boys and Girls Club East Scarborough, Boys and Girls Club Rexdale, Boys and Girls Club St. Albans, L.I.F.T, City of Toronto, GEM L'Amoreaux, LOFT.
IDP also partners with other organizations to raise funds and awareness for causes which effect the broader community.