SBA Newsletter [Febryary 27th, 2017]

SBA Programming and Events

  • Call for Volunteers – Honouring our Students Pow Wow and Indigenous Festival
  • Vegan Cooking Class with UofT Veg Club and SBA
  • Surviving Together; A Self-Advocacy Workshop for Disabled Students – Today!!
  • QT2SBIPOC Discussion Night
  • The Muslims are Coming!
  • Crafternoon
  • Reimagining International Women’s Day: Celebrating Creative Resistance

Community Events and Resources

  • UTSGU Elections: Vote!
  • Toxic Toronto: Bus Tour
  • Colonization Road: Cinema Politica
  • Black Death Matters

SBA Programming and Events

Call for Volunteers – Honouring Our Students Pow Wow and Indigenous Festival

The Honouring Our Students Pow Wow and Indigenous Festival needs volunteers! Happening Saturday, March 11th, this volunteer opportunity helps students to meet new people, learn about Canada’s Indigenous cultures and traditions, and contribute to the University of Toronto’s efforts of reconciliation and decolonization. All volunteers must attend a two-hour orientation session on pow wow protocol and conflict resolution and will receive an HOSPW T-shirt as thanks for their support of this student-led event. Shifts are only three hours long! Sign-up here:


Surviving Together; A Self-Advocacy Workshop for Disabled Students

Join Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) and the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) for a student-run orientation for disabled students and student advocates. Whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, full-time or part-time, new or returning, an international or transfer student, this orientation is for you!

Come meet other disabled students and SBA members and learn more about self-advocacy and resources for disabled students on campus.

Topics covered at the workshop:

– Know Your Rights as a disabled student – Presentation by ARCH Disability Law Centre
– self-advocacy and navigating academic accommodations
– introduction to campus resources and services for disabled students
– introduction to Students for Barrier-Free Access’ resources and services

Date: Monday February 27, 2017

Time: 4pm-6pm

Location: Student Centre Board Room, Room 270, UTM Student Centre

Everyone welcome! Priority will be given to disabled BIPOC students.
Wheelchair accessible.
Accessible and gender-neutral washroom located on the same floor as the event room and on the first floor in the UTMSU office.

Please note that this will be a scent-free space.

Light refreshments, including vegan and gluten-free options, will be served.

If you require live captioning or ASL to participate in the event, or if you have any other access needs please contact Nadia at


Vegan Cooking Class with U of T Veg Club and Students for Barrier-free Access

Are you a beginner in the kitchen and wanting to learn some hands-on cooking skills? Considering switching to a plant-based diet but aren’t sure where to start? Love to cook but want to learn low-strain techniques for food preparation?

Join the University of Toronto Veg Club and Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) for a free cooking class and learn prep and cooking techniques for a variety of access needs!

At this class, registered dietitian Pamela Fergusson will teach us how to make easy, affordable, delicious and warming plant-based meals. Alternative steps on how to make the recipes allergen-free will also be shared during the class.

Please note that attendees will not be cooking their own meals. Instead we will work together to prepare each recipe and have enough food for everyone to get a taste of each dish.

Date: Friday March 3, 2016

Time: 2pm-4pm

Location: Centre for Women and Trans People, North Borden Building, 563 Spadina Avenue, Room 100, Accessible Entrance off of Bancroft Avenue.

Space for this cooking class is limited so please register by contacting Nadia at or Mahima at

Priority spaces will be held for disabled people.

Access Info: This is an anti-racist, queer and trans positive space. Accessible and all-gender washroom located on the same floor as the event space. Please arrive scent-free for the cooking class.


QT2SBIPOC Discussion Night, Monday March 6, 2017 6:00-8:00pm

Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) and the Centre for Women and Trans People (CWTP) at U of T invites you to join us for the first night of a new series of events that works to create space for community building, critical conversation, and support for Queer, Trans and Two-Spirit, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (QT2SBIPOC).

As organizers of this space, we recognize that this event will be taking place on the territories of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca and the Mississaugas of New Credit. We are here because this land is occupied. As organizations located within the University of Toronto, it is our responsibility to acknowledge that we are all treaty people that live, work and organize on occupied land.

We also recognize that this University is a space that many of our community members experience violence, including the violence of settler-colonialism, anti-black racism, white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, ableism, sanism, classism, Islamophobia and the violence of rape culture. Recent events on campus have highlighted the ongoing presence of these forms of violence. As a collective, we work to challenge these forms of violence in our communities and in our everyday practice.

We have a strong commitment to creating anti-colonial community space that rejects ableist and sanist ways of relating. We are committed to building meaningful and reciprocal relationships between Indigenous, Black, and POC communities and to acknowledge that this requires difficult conversations to be had. Through the QT2SBIPOC Discussion Night Series, we strive to hold a space for these conversations.

This discussion topic for this meeting will be ‘strategies for taking on critical conversations with community (and/or with family)’.

Date: Monday March 6, 2017

Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm

Location: SBA Centre, 215 Huron Street, Suite 924, on the 9th floor.
Please note that the front doors to 215 Huron Street lock at 5:30pm. Event organizers will wait at the entrance to let people in from 5:50-6:00pm. If you arrive later, please call 416-967-7322 and one of us will let you in.

Wheelchair accessible. Accessible and all-gender washroom located on the same floor as the event room.

Please note that the SBA Centre is a scent-free space.
Snacks, including vegan and gluten-free options will be served.
If you require ASL to participate in the event, or if you have any other access needs please contact Nadia at

***This is a QT2SBIPOC only space. As always, we appreciate the support we receive from our white allies by respecting this space and by sharing this event information with their networks.***


The Muslims Are Coming! 

This event is the second in a series which aims to create a critical conversation space for people who have some connection to Muslim identity including through family, history, and/or culture. People who identify as practicing, non-practicing, or something in between are all welcome.

Using short video clips of poetry, prose, comedy and documentaries, we will discuss the multifaceted experiences of growing up and living in migrant Muslim families/communities and the politics of being Muslim in our current times. Our conversation will centre the experiences of black and racialized Muslims and in particular the voices of queer, trans, disabled and mad people.

The Muslims Are Coming! is part of a monthly discussion series organized by SBA and CWTP.

Date: Monday March 20th, 2017

Time: 1:30-3:30PM

Location: 569 Spadina Ave (Accessible entrance via Bancroft Ave), Multifaith Centre / Koffler Building, Room 207, MultiPurpose Room

Access Info: Wheelchair accessible building. Accessible, gender-neutral washroom on same floor as event. TTC tokens available. Video clips will have captioning or will be accompanied by written text of the dialogue. Family-friendly space. Please arrive scent-free. Snacks including vegan and gluten-free options will be served.

If you have any other access needs please contact Nadia at

Allies, we appreciate your support in helping us maintain this closed conversations space for people who have connections to Muslim identity and by sharing this event info with your networks.


Crafternoon – Save the Date

Join us on March 9th, 2017 from 4:30 – 6:30pm for another afternoon of crafting! This theme will be water colours! More information next week!


Reimagining International Women’s Day: Celebrating Creative Resistance

Join us on March 9th for “Reimagining International Women’s Day: Celebrating Creative Resistance”. This is a collaborative multi-medium art-based event that aims to provide a safe(r) sharing space for self-identified women, trans, two spirit, and gender non-conforming/non-binary people and highlight the voices and creative resistance strategies of Black, Indigenous, and people of colour, particularly queer (LGBTTQ2SIA+), trans, two spirit, and/or disabled folks.

A sit-down dinner will be provided with vegan and gluten-free options available, with opportunities for attendees to explore art installations and purchase art from local artists, as well as spoken word, storytelling, and poetry performances. We will provide more information on performers and artists as information becomes available.

Date: March 9th
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Location: the Multifaith Centre for Spiritual Study & Practice – Room TBC
569 Spadina Avenue Toronto, ON, M5S 2J7

The location is fully accessible. The building entrance has a shallow ramp that leads to a powered glass door; there is an elevator to all floors; and there are accessible washrooms (auto-door opener, accessible stall with grab bar, accessible sink and hand drying facilities). There is also a gender-neutral single-user accessible washroom on the second floor.

Please note that this will be a scent-free space and we will be hosting an opening smudging ceremony (TBC).

We will also have child care, tokens, and a decompression space (2nd Floor Meditation Room) available for participants.

If you have any accessibility or child care needs, questions or concerns please email us at

Collaboration partners:
Multifaith Centre for Spiritual Study & Practice
Centre for Women & Trans People
Resisting Oppression and Reclaiming Spirituality
Women & Gender Studies Students’ Union
Students for Barrier-Free Access
Centre for Indigenous Studies


Community Events and Resources

Vote in the 2017 UTGSU Elections on February 27 and 28, 2017, and Win Prizes!

Cast your ballot today or tomorrow from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and elect your 2017/2018 Executive Committee with pride. Your Executive Committee represents you throughout the year, and advocates for issues on your behalf.

To cast your ballot at a poll station, all you will need to bring is your student id card. Please click here for a full list of poll stations across all three campuses: To learn more about the candidates who want to represent you, click here for a full list of the candidates’ statements:

When you cast your vote, you will also have the chance to enter a contest to win a pair of headphones, a grocery or a coffee gift card. All you have to do is let a poll clerk know you’re interested in entering the contest, and they will ask you to write down your name and email address on the contest form. Winners will be contacted in early March with instructions on how to claim their prize.

If you have any questions, or an accessibility requests, please email the Chief Returning Officer (CRO), Scott Surphlis, at:


Toxic Toronto: A Bus Tour through the Belly of the Beast

NOTE: If you are planning on coming you need to reserve your spot on the bus here:
Marking yourself as “going” on facebook does not reserve you a seat!

Jump on the bus on March 5th!

PDAC*, the largest gathering in the world for the global mineral industry, begins on March 5. Every year, over 25,000 people descend on the city of Toronto for this 85-year-old trade show and convention. Some have called PDAC the “Superbowl” or the “Oscars” of the extraction industry. But why does it happen here? What is it about Toronto that makes this city PDAC’s perfect home? It’s certainly no accident.

Join us on a bus tour through the “belly of the beast” to untangle the secret webs of power and money that connect our city to some of the most harmful and toxic mining and extractive projects around the world.

Access information:

-two buses

-wheelchair accessible van

-ASL interpreter booked

-There will be kid-friendly activities, tokens, and food available.

-Any specific access requests beyond this can be indicated on the registration form, and we’ll do our best to meet these needs — especially if folks register and let us know soon!

– What exactly is going on in those shiny skyscrapers on Bay Street
– The Toronto Stock Exchange – happens there and why it is the best place on earth to raise capital for extractive projects
– The headquarters of some of the world’s biggest corporate villains
– The sites of inspiring direct actions and other forms of resistance – where and how Torontonians are fighting back!
– The connections that exist between big money and investment here in Toronto and controversial industrial projects all over the world (like Canada’s Chemical Valley on Aamjiwnaang First Nations’ land, or the Dakota Access Pipeline being resisted across the border at Standing Rock, or Canadian mining operations on territories beyond Turtle Island).
– The tour will end with a rally outside the PDAC convention. Participants can also choose to go inside and check out the convention for themselves at the end of the tour!

Wanna learn more? Hop on the bus!

We take major inspiration for this tour from our friends and allies at ASAPwho have been running Toxic Tours of Canada’s Chemical Valley in Aamjiwnaang for years, as well as from the Mining Justice Alliance in Vancouver.

Thank you to Inter Pares, MiningWatch Canada, Rights Action, & CUPE 3903 Flying Squad for sponsoring this tour!

*PDAC stands for the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada

Reserve your seat on the bus here:


Colonization Road 

This event is free and open to everyone that would like to attend.

COLONIZATION ROAD unearths the history of the Public Lands Act of 1853 — its impact on First Nations, treaties, land and the expansion of “Canadian” settlement. Anishinaabe comedian and activist Ryan McMahon follows a few roads, one in his own home town of Fort Frances, Ontario, where the main drag is still called Colonization Road. Ryan meets up with a number of people along the way, exploring the state of relationships, settlers in solidarity and what it means to “decolonize.”

Director Michelle St. John will be in attendance, along with Dr Pamela D.Palmater and Professor Jeff Denis.

More event details TBD.

Location: Ryerson Image Arts, IMA307
(122 Bond St, Toronto, ON M5B 1E9)

Mark your calendars and follow our page for updates.

For more information on the film:


Black Death Matters

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Hart House (7 Hart House Circle), Debates Room

We are honoured to welcome Dr. Shante Paradigm Smalls to the University of Toronto. Dr. Smalls will be offering a talk titled, #BlackDeathsMatter: Performance, Queer-Trans-Black Bodies, & Public Space. The talk explores the intersection of art, politics and the afterlife.

For the full abstract, please visit:

Dr. Smalls is a scholar, artist, and writer. Her teaching and research focuses on Black popular culture in music, film, visual art, genre fiction, and other aesthetic forms. Dr. Smalls is currently finishing her first scholarly manuscript, Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Black Scholar, GLQ, Criticism, Lateral, Women & Performance, American Behavioral Scientist, Suspect Thoughts, Syndicate Lit, and Oxford University Press.

Dr. Smalls is also a certified mediation instructor and dharma teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist (Tibetan) tradition. She is a vajrayana student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche and teaches regularly at the Shambhala Meditation Center of New York City. For her schedule of Buddhist teaching and past podcasts, please visit:

Join this event on Facebook.

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