DISORIENTATION WEEK: SEPTEMBER 22 - 29, 2023

DisOrientation 2023 is dedicated to reviving activism and empowering students here at York University. The series celebrates the environmental and social justice gains made by student & community organizers, works to share activist knowledge and resources, and build capacity for organizers new to our campus.

Free Admission | Register here!

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 – YORK UNIVERSITY, KEELE CAMPUS

Grassy Narrows Solidarity and the Land Alliance
REGISTER TODAY | Free admission + snacks

Are you thinking about joining the Land Alliance March on Wednesday 27th, but aren’t totally sure what it’s all about? Or maybe you’re familiar with the Land Alliance, but you want to learn more about the history that led Grassy Narrows, and four other First Nation communities, to call for a moratorium on mining?

This participatory workshop is open to anyone, and will offer context and history to the Land Alliance, especially focused on the community of Grassy Narrows’ experience. We will open by sharing a short film, work through some popular Indigenous solidarity terminology, and then move into a timeline exercise. Join this free workshop, and then come out on Wednesday to be part of history-in-the-making!

Facilitator bios: 

Jennifer Coles (she/her) is a settler, white, heterosexual, educator who is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Social Justice Education at The University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). Her focus and research are understanding the entry points for white folks in anti-racism and anti-colonial work. Jenny has been a high school guidance counsellor for 12 years and in that time has also served as the Director of Inclusivity for 4 years and social science teacher. She is currently an active member of the organization, Showing Up For Racial Justice Toronto (SURJ TO), and a trained anti-oppression facilitator through Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED). Jenny loves facilitating white affinity spaces and supporting folks along their journey of ending white supremacy and settler colonialism.

Anna Lippman is a third generation Ashkenzi Jewish settler on Turtle Island. She is a PhD student in the Sociology department at York University. Anna’s research focuses particularly on the power of hip-hop culture and rap music and how hip-hop inspires young people in Toronto to engage in social change movements. Anna organizes with several groups in Toronto including Showing Up for Racial Justice and Independent Jewish Voices.

 DAY, SEPTEMBER 26 – YORK UNIVERSITY, KEELE CAMPUS

Airing Dirty Laundry: A Radical Walking Tour of York University
2:30 – 4:30 pm | Meet at York University TTC station, North exit
REGISTER TODAY | Free Admission + snacks

York is not only a place to learn. It is also the site where the university and York’s brand of education has been, and continues to be, contested. Knowing the history of these contestations is important for us today as we organize and mobilize around the numerous social, economic and political issues on campus. In this tour, we will learn about significant events that have shaped our university campus and student life. We welcome all York University students to join us and learn more!

Meet up time and location: 2:15 pm at York University TTC station, North exit. We will distribute snacks at the start of the walk to take along with us.

Walk begins at 2:30 pm sharp.

Facilitator bios:

Lauren Champagne is a fourth year York student in the Math for Education program, hoping to become a high school math and chemistry teacher. Their volunteering has been mainly around food and housing justice; this year Lauren is a volunteer with OPIRG. 

Negus Taylor is a current board member of OPIRG York. He is currently pursuing his second degree at York University. Previously, Negus helped to run York’s Undergraduate Philosophy Club for many years.

 

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 – YORK UNIVERSITY, KEELE CAMPUS

March for the Land – Solidarity with Grassy Narrows First Nations
11 am – 2 pm | Meet at York University TTC station, North exit

REGISTER TODAY | Free admission + snacks

On September 27th, 12 pm, five First Nations from Northern Ontario will come to Toronto to lead a march calling on Premier Ford to end unwanted mining activity on their Territories.

OPIRG York, the York Federation of Students (YFS), the York University Graduate Students’ Union (YUGSA), and the Canadian Union of Public Employees – Local 3903 are organizing a York University students’ contingent for the march. Want to join the contingent? Meet us at 11 am in front of the York University TTC station, North exit. We will have snacks to distribute and TTC day passes for those who require it.

 

 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28 – YORK UNIVERSITY, KEELE CAMPUS

Film Screening: The Seeds of Vandana Shiva
6 – 9 pm | Nat Taylor Cinema

REGISTER TODAY | Free admission

OPIRG York is excited to present “The Seeds of Vandana Shiva”, a feature-length documentary that presents the remarkable life story of the Gandhian eco-activist and agro-ecologist, Vandana Shiva.

A world-renowned environmental thinker, activist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer and science policy advocate, Vandana Shiva is the founder of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, Navdanya, and Bija Vidyapeeth “Earth University” in Uttarakhand, India. The recipient of many awards, including the Right Livelihood Award, (the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’) and the Sydney Peace Prize, she has been named among the top five “Most Important People in Asia” by AsiaWeek.

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva focuses on the people, circumstances and seminal events in Vandana’s life—what shaped her thinking and defined her purpose. It also shows how the battle against multinational agribusiness has become an international struggle between two visions for feeding the world: The first, a multinational corporate model of chemically dependent monoculture that rewards a capitalist imperative of profit and growth. And the other, ‘Earth Democracy’, that honors ecology, biodiversity, sustainability and community—what Dr. Shiva demonstrates is the only way forward for the future of food.

Vandana speaks for an ecological vision for food and farming in which we can regenerate the environment and human democracies. The film’s goal is to share Vandana’s extraordinary story in hopes it will act as a catalyst for more awareness around the issues, and to inspire audiences to be part of the change.

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 – YORK UNIVERSITY, KEELE CAMPUS

re-Makings at Maloca: Activisms Through Art
11 am – 1pm | York University Maloca Community Garden
REGISTER TODAY | Free Admission

Join Phyllis Novak, a social practice artist and Director of York University’s Maloca Gardens, as they lead an interactive arts workshop on working with natural dyes to invigorate our activist spirit and practice.

How to find Maloca Community Garden:
From Pond Road & Hoover Road: Take Hoover road to the end and follow the meadowline until you hit the gardens just across the ball field

Hands-on workshop program:

    • Activism and Sensuality – Plants to awaken the senses – attuning to our environment
    • Activism and Resistance – Tools to strengthen intentions – preparing for impact
    • Activism and Memory – Fabrics to hold our expressions – learning what we can build on

Facilitator bio: TBA

 

Past Events

DisOrientation 2023 will kick off with a two-day Intergenerational Activist Gathering: Rooting our Activism in the Big Picture and Organizing Across Generations, consisting of participatory learning, sharing and relationship building. This collaborative event with OPIRG Toronto aims to bridge the gap that so often exists between student activism and community activism taking place throughout the city.

Everyone is welcome! This event is for students at York University, the University of Toronto, as well as new and experienced activists in Toronto.

Your Title Goes Here

FRIDAY, SEPT 22, 9:30 am- 4:30 pm – YORK UNIVERSITY, KEELE  | First Student Centre, GSA Lounge | Room 430

REGISTER TODAY | Free admission, meals + TTC tokens

9:30 am – 10 am: Breakfast and Welcome

Coffee, tea, juices, croissants, fruit & more (meat, vegetarian, vegan & gluten free options will be available)

10 am – 1 pm: Get Organized to Make Change Happen!

So you’re interested in getting involved in movements for social change, starting your own group on campus, or making your existing organizing more effective. What do you need​ to build at the foundation of your group to help you effectively win the changes you want to see in your world? This workshop will explore some of the foundational elements of getting organized as a social movement group (including an explanation of why that matters!): building a group structure, designing a shared decision-making process, setting goals, sharing power, creating institutional memory, and onboarding new members. You will walk away with some new ideas about how the structure of your group can reflect the values of the better world you want to live in.

Facilitator: Kate Klein

Kate Klein (they/them) is a facilitator, teacher, and organizer. They organize with a local abolitionist collective to create safety without/despite police in their neighbourhood, and against workplace ableism with other sick & disabled college workers. Kate has been a part of helping a number of collectives get off the ground in their lifetime, and is personally committed to fighting the good fight against the “tyranny of structurelessness” wherever they go.

1 pm – 2 pm: Lunch & Silk Screening Activity

Warm lunch (meat, vegetarian, vegan & gluten free options will be available) and silk-screen your own t-shirt!

2 pm – 4:30 pm: How To Show-Up Fully: Communication Tools and Skills for Activists (experienced and aspiring!)

Have you noticed that our world has been on fire a lot lately? What skills and tools do we need to challenge the systems that are causing this destruction? Whether you’re an experienced activist, or someone just thinking about dipping your toes in, this participatory workshop is an opportunity to think together about what it takes to be an effective activist. We’ll start by talking about the day-to-day things like how to know your own capacity, follow your desires, and set boundaries. Then we’ll move into some bigger picture things like models of solidarity, building the activist cultures we want, and nourishing our collective imaginations. Let’s build more vibrant and resilient activist communities for generations to come!

Facilitator: Emily Green

Bio: Emily Green is the Volunteer Coordinator at OPIRG York, and an activist with the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network. She is a queer Jewish person dedicated to anti-colonial struggles from Turtle Island to Palestine. Emily likes to learn by trying to teach things, and she’s excited to facilitate this new workshop full of skills she wishes she had when she started her organizing work about 15 years ago. Some things that bring Emily joy are swimming, making art, and hanging out with cats!

 

Your Title Goes Here

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 – UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, ST. GEORGE CAMPUS | 230 College Street 5th Floor 

REGISTER TODAY | Free admission, meals + TTC tokens

9 am -10am Breakfast and Welcome

Coffee, tea, muffins, bagels, fruit & more (meat, vegetarian, vegan & gluten free options will be available)

10 am – 1 pm: Panel Discussion – Intergenerational Perspectives on Lessons Learned & Organizing in the Current Moment

  • Panelists from Climate Justice U of T, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, Justicia-Justice for Migrant Workers & more will address important questions like:
  • What is one specific tactic you have used effectively, and how relevant do you think it is to organizing today?
  • Can you identify something you’ve done that you now consider a strategic error? What would you/will you do to avoid similar decisions moving forward?
  • How did/do you deal with the challenge of building strong relationships and communities of care versus the sense of urgency we feel around achieving our campaign or movement goals? How has this impacted the long term sustainability of your organizations/movements?

Speaker bios (TBA)

1 pm – 2 pm: Lunch

Warm lunch catered by Ghazale (meat, vegetarian, vegan & gluten free options will be available)

2 pm – 5 pm: Interactive Activist Skills Training Workshops

Workshop Option 1: Where do I begin? Preparing for and Attending Demonstrations and Direct Actions

  • Learn & share guidance around what to wear, what to bring/leave at home, how to keep you and your friends safe, what happens if you encounter police presence & more

Workshop Option 2: What’s next? Organizing Successful Demonstrations & Direct Actions

  • Explore what direct action is and how it can be employed within a demonstration you’re attending or have organized. Discuss practical tactics and strategies commonly used, challenge yourself to think beyond colonial state narratives around resistance, learn tools for dealing with police violence, and gain concrete, hands-on skills and knowledge around blockades and locking down.

Speaker bios:

Facilitator for Option 1: TBA

Facilitated for Option 2: Trish has 12 years experience as a street medic and organizer in Toronto and Hamilton. They have a particular passion for defending the land & water and have been criminalized for it, but can often be found using those experiences to initiate empowered discussions around power, fear, courage, and resilience.

5 pm – 9 pm: Dinner & Social featuring dj deLish

Meal catered by Buddha & Swatow (meat, vegetarian, vegan & gluten free options will be available)

DJ bio:

deLish aka LiChelle has spent nearly 13 years rooted in a life of community and celebration in the Toronto underground music & activist scenes. deLish curates techno, house, and drum & bass selections that inspire play, with bass lines that will make you drop in deep. LiChelle is an accomplished visual artist and graphic designer. She advocates for police and prison abolition, and works in street outreach.