SBA Newsletter [May 15, 2017]

SBA Programming and Events

  • What’s Left? Countering the Alt Right
  • The Muslims Are Coming! – Discussion Series
  • Crafternoon
  • Moving Beyond the Checklist; Intro to Disability Justice and Planning Accessible Events

Community Events and Resources

  • Bikechain Bike Mechanic – Job Opportunity
  • Decolonizing Solidarity
  • Support Parkdale Rent Strikers
  • The Politics of Passing: Call for Participants!
  • Support #BLMTOFreedomSchool 2017
  • Disorientation Week – Call for Volunteers
  • Inclusive Employment Advocacy Project with AEBC – One more Left!

SBA Programming and Events

What’s Left? Countering the Alt Right
The Toronto Research and Action Community Exchange (TRACX) is a two part program started by Opirg Toronto to build space for student and community research on social and environmental justice issues. The first component is a research portion. Through this research we work to facilitate connections between campus resources and community organizations working for social change. Through the TRACX program, community organizations can develop research projects useful to their campaigns and long-term strategies while being matched with students interested in completing the research for credit.

This year’s symposium is tentatively titled “What’s Left? Coalition-Building and Countering the Alt-Right” and will be co-hosted by Opirg Toronto and Sba Centre along with the Toronto Research and Action Community Exchange collective. The symposium portion is organized to showcase research with a community organizing focus from students, non-students and community groups. We want to problematize and challenge perspectives on research, and build networks between socially-conscious students and grassroots community organizations to develop research proposals led by the community group’s needs and priorities. We hope you can join us in helping facilitate this process as we focus on how we resist fascism, racism and oppression in our relationships, in our workplaces, and in the institutions and systems that govern our daily lives.

This year’s symposium will include both a skills-based component for developing the practical tools for conducting and disseminating research, and a thematic set of panels, keynotes, group discussions and presentations on anti-fascist work in Toronto and its intersections with other movements. This symposium is motivated by a need to reflect on our understanding of anti-fascism in the era of Trump and what the practice of anti-fascist organizing looks like. How do we cultivate an understanding of what anti-fascism means, and how do we employ it in our organizing work? We will explore how it intersects with other movements (like anti-racist organizing, migrant justice work, trans rights, and disability justice work) and what the antifascist organizing of the future might look like. Students attending the symposium will be exposed to a variety of social and environmental justice causes in the city of Toronto and will be able to network with community organizations about their research interests in the areas that the community groups work in. Students and community members will also have an opportunity to learn more about issues in the communities surrounding the campus and learn how the resources of the University could be utilized to assist with community projects.

September 30 – October 1
University of Toronto
Find this event on facebook

We are committed to providing ASL and captioning and are currently working on organizing other accessibility related logistics such as childcare and gender neutral accessible washrooms. Full details around accessibility will be posted along with the schedule

The submissions period for panels, keynotes, and group discussion sessions opens June 1st, 2017 and closes August 1st, 2017

For inquiries around accessibility, schedules, how to propose a session and how to get involved (volunteer or join the organizing committee) email opirg.toronto(at)

Are you interested in supporting us? If you appreciate our programming initiatives and have the capacity to do so, consider making a donation of any amount here:
All donations, big and small are greatly appreciated!


The Muslims are Coming!

This event is part of 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 a combination of short video clips of poetry, prose, comedy, as well as films 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: Wednesday May 24, 2017

Time: 2:30-4:30PM

Location: 246 Bloor Street West (Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work Building), Room 720, 7th floor

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



Join us for another evening of crafternoon at 215 Huron Street, room 924. We’ll have yarn, knitting needles, and crochet hooks for anyone who wants to learn how to knit or crochet! All skill levels welcome!

Date: Thursday May 18th, 2017

Location: 215 Huron Street, room 924.

Time: 4:30 – 6:30pm – If you arrive after 5pm, please call 416 967 7322


Community Events and Resources

Bikechain Bike Mechanic – Summer Student Position

The Organization:

Founded in 2005, Bikechain is a not-for-profit corporation, whose mandate is to provide a free, educational bicycle repair facility and lending program, to promote the use of bicycles as a form of sustainable transportation, and to educate the public about safe cycling and repair.

At the core of Bikechain’s operations are its educational DIY repair shop and free bicycle lending program for U of T students. Bikechain also operates bicycle-related seminars and events, and spearheads various initiatives to promote cycling on U of T campus and throughout the city.

The Position:

Key responsibilities include:

  • Assisting Bikechain participants with repair and maintenance
  • Running the Bikechain bike lending system: checking bikes in and out, training volunteers on the system, doing maintenance, and building new bikes for lending
  • Assisting the Shop Manager with coordinating the day-to-day operations of the repair shop
  • Supervising and training volunteers
  • Animating the Bikechain space
  • Processing transactions
  • Other duties as directed by the Shop Manager and Executive Director

For more information, please visit:


Decolonizing Solidarity 
Conversations with Leanne Simpson, Zainab Amadahy, Chanelle Gallant and special guest, Kerieva McCormick (Glasgow based Romani activist).

Film Screening: Not Just Another Case, When Your Loved One Has
Gone Missing or Been Murdered (an Aboriginal Legal Services/No More Silence collaboration by Audrey Huntley)

With lunch and kids’ activities

Saturday May 27th, 2017
1 PM – 3:30 PM
Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, 16 Spadina Road

For more information, please visit:


Support the Parkdale Rent Strikers

On May 1, 150 tenants in Parkdale began a coordinated rent strike to pressure their landlord, MetCap Living, to withdraw its “Above Guideline Rent Increase” applications (AGIs) and to complete the hundreds of outstanding repair requests.

Today, these tenants need your help to ensure the success of this critical campaign.

Very soon, MetCap can file applications to the Landlord and Tenant Board to evict each of the striking tenants. The Board can charge each tenant with the landlord’s $190 filing fee associated with each application.

In order to avoid eviction and ensure the success of the rent strike campaign, each of the striking tenants will need to pay this $190 fee.

This is why your support, today, is so vital to this campaign.
If you’re a union member or a member of another organization interested in making a larger donation, please contact

For more information and to donate, please visit:



The Politics of PassingDisabled students’ experiences of disclosure in higher education

Researcher: Fady Shanouda, PhD Candidate, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

WHO: Undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities

WHAT: Discussing experiences of disclosure in higher education

WHERE: Toronto – but get in touch if you are in the field or on leave

WHEN: Two Interviews (between April and October, 2017)

WHY: Is the disclosure process a barrier to accessing higher education?

$30 Gift Card as compensation for your time and energy.

Get in touch: or


Support #BLMTOFreedomSchool2017

Support #BLMTOFreedomSchool 2017
#BlackLivesMatter-TO is creating educational resources for #BlackLivesMatter Freedom School, a 3-week long summer program for children aged 4-10 running this July. Freedom School is a response to a lack of humanizing, self-affirming, queer positive educational opportunities for Black children in the GTA. The money raised by this campaign will pay Black artists to create much needed educational resources for young children. It will also go towards programming costs.
Click Here for Support!


Disorientation Week – Call for Volunteers
DisOrientation is an alternative orientation week that educates students about social and environmental justice issues while fostering student activism and connecting campus and community issues. The full event lasts for a week and includes panels, workshops, performances and other events intended to expose students and community members to critical analysis, insight and research about a range of social and environmental justice campaigns. OPIRG Toronto is looking for volunteers and like minded
campus organizations

interested in collaborating
to help make the next DisO week our best one yet. Are you passionate about social and environmental justice? Are you interested in learning more about political campaigns happening here in Toronto and around the province? Are you involved with a student service or campus group thats looking to host social or environmental justice themed programming for the new school year? Looking to develop your organizing skills while getting involved in campus politics and/or community organizing? We want you!

This years DisOrientation Week will be structured and focused on hands on, arts, DIY, skillsharing and participatory workshops from September 18th – 22nd. We would encourage groups interested in proposing panels, keynotes and discussion spaces to instead submit or volunteer with the TRACX symposium happening the following week on September 30th and October 1st. For more information on the TRACX symposium email

Here are some specific roles for interested volunteers:

• Event Logistics
– Set-up and clean up at events
– Moderating and/or liaising with facilitators about workshop needs

• Outreach & Promotion
– Tabling at clubs day and outreach at campus events
– Distributing flyers at community events
– Postering on and off campus
– Assisting with publicizing Disorientation through online social media and listservs
– Assisting with coordinating class talks promoting Disorientation

• Media
– Liasing with any media interested in recording or writing about events
– Video or audio recording our events
– Photographing events for the Disorientation archives.
To get involved in organizing Disorientation 2017, please fill out the volunteer form here.


Inclusive Employment Advocacy Project with AEBC

The Alliance for Equality for Blind Canadians (AEBC) is launching a City of Toronto-funded project to provide new self-advocacy tools, resources and training for people with disabilities seeking employment. This peer engagement project will equip people with disabilities from diverse backgrounds to better advocate for equal access to employment services, programs and opportunities.

Project activities include identifying barriers, gathering and developing advocacy resources, education and training. Project outcomes include participants being able to present a case for inclusion in employment services and programs.

Project participants will consist of persons with different disabilities from diverse groups including women, youth, seniors, ethno-racial minorities, and LGBTQ community members, among others, who are unemployed or under-employed. They are invited to join two parts of the project:

  1. Focus Groups in five regions of the Toronto Area: Downtown Toronto, North York, Scarborough, East York/Beaches, and Etobicoke/West Toronto.
  2. Five education/training sessions, developed from their recommendations, to be led by Subject Matter Experts.

For more information, including dates, times and location of focus group please review attachment.

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