UPCOMING EVENTS

BUILDING THE CITY WE WANT: HOUSING JUSTICE IN A GENTRIFIED TORONTO | November 28, 2022, 6:30 – 8 pm

REGISTER TODAY

Toronto has never been wealthier, yet at the same time, it has never been more unaffordable than it is now. This is most evident in the rising cost of housing.


In this event, we bring together researchers and activists from three leading housing justice organizations in Toronto (more details on speakers and organizations to be posted shortly) to discuss the current state of homelessness, particularly amongst youth in Canada; how we might push the City of Toronto to advance the right to housing; and how experienced and newer activists can learn from one another to build an effective housing justice campaign.

 

As OPIRG York prepares to launch its own campaign on housing justice, we hope that participants will not only learn from the speakers, but also, apply the knowledge in organizing with us! We invite all York University students, staff and faculty as well as the wider North York community to join us and other organizations working to build the city we want!

Speakers include:

Ahmad Bonakdar

Ahmad Bonakdar holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Public Policy and is currently the Managing Director of Research, Making the Shift (MtS) Youth Homelessness Demonstration Lab at the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH), York University. Prior to this role, Ahmad was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the COH working on Housing First for Youth demonstration project in Toronto and Ottawa. His research interests focus broadly on social equity, environmental justice, and community-based studies, in particular at the intersection of homelessness and housing. His recent research studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals including International Journal of Cultural Policy, Cities, Public Works Management & Policy, and Journal of Planning Literature.

More information on The Homeless Hub here: https://www.homelesshub.ca/.

Ambalika Roy

Ambalika Roy works as a Senior Community Engagement Advisor at the Canadian Centre for Housing Rights (CCHR) and I coordinate the Right to Housing Toronto Network, a coalition of housing rights organizations and housing activists monitoring the 10 year rights based housing plan in Toronto. Prior to joining CCHR Ambalike worked for over a decade in the national legal aid clinics providing legal support to various marginalized communities in India and have facilitated public legal education on issues of access to justice and inclusion.

More information on Right to Housing here: https://right2housingto.ca/.

Samantha Ponting

Samantha works as a tenant organizer for the Oakwood Vaughan Community Organization and is also a hotline counsellor with the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association’s (FMTA) Tenant Hotline. She has experience organizing with the Vancouver Tenants’ Union and is currently working on building a tenant union for Oakwood Vaughan through the Oakwood Vaughan Tenant Network. 

More information on FMTA’s Tenants’ Hotline: https://www.torontotenants.org/hotline.

Moderator

Lauren Champagne

Lauren is a third-year student at York University, in the Mathematics for Education program. They have been involved for years in various social justice groups, especially around food and housing justice, and are now a volunteer with OPIRG York.

For more information, visit www.opirgyork.org.

***

Zoom link will be sent out to all those who have registered 24 hours before the event start time.

Skip the Dishes gift card will be sent to the first 30 participants to log into the event!



[[Dark turquoise font on a light blue background. Join this group's first organizing meeting!/ Housing Justice Now: Launch of OPIRG York's Action Group & Campaign/ Lunch will be provided at the end of the event; .Masks required for in-person gathering./ November 29, 12-2pm/ Location TBA in-person & online// Image at the bottom shows a group of four masked people talking intently about anti-poverty housing strategies. They are all being COVID safe and wearing N95 masks. One person, the notetaker, has their laptop open. There are three speech bubbles, but the conversation in being kept within the group. On an easel in the background there is a chart paper with the OPIRG York logo. There is the silhouette of big windows in the background, and a potted plants.]]

HOUSING JUSTICE NOW: LAUNCH OF OPIRG YORK’S ACTION GROUP AND CAMPAIGN | November 29, 2022, 12 – 2pm

REGISTER TODAY

Join OPIRG York’s Action Group – we’ll be crowd-sourcing names – and help us build a strong and united campaign for housing justice alongside our community partners and allied campus groups.  At this first meeting, we will form our new collective and set our campaign goals and strategy for the upcoming year.


[[Dark turquoise font on a light blue background. Join this group's first organizing meeting!/ Housing Justice Now: Launch of OPIRG York's Action Group & Campaign/ Lunch will be provided at the end of the event; .Masks required for in-person gathering./ November 29, 12-2pm/ Location TBA in-person & online// Image at the bottom shows a group of four masked people talking intently about anti-poverty housing strategies. They are all being COVID safe and wearing N95 masks. One person, the notetaker, has their laptop open. There are three speech bubbles, but the conversation in being kept within the group. On an easel in the background there is a chart paper with the OPIRG York logo. There is the silhouette of big windows in the background, and a potted plants.]]

PAST EVENTS

CAPITALISM SPEAKS | November 14 and 21, 2022, 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Come to Vari Hall on Monday 14 and 21st, 1:30- 3:30pm to talk with us about our new anti-poverty action group! We’ll have paints, canvas, and reflection questions.

Purple background with blue and black text: Capitalism Speaks/ Come paint and talk with OPIRG York about capitalism, poverty and housing struggles/ November 14, 21/ Time: 1:30 to 3:30/ at Vari Hall/ in the bottom right corner is the OPIRG York logo. To the left are some concentric circles with a pencil crayon and paint brushes.

AIRING DIRTY LAUNDRY: RADICAL WALKING TOUR OF YORK UNIVERSITY | November 8, 2022, 2:30 – 4:30 pm

REGISTER TODAY

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 will meet in front of York University TTC station (the space across the street and facing Kaneff Tower/ Archives of Ontario) at 2:15pm. The tour will start at 2:30pm sharp. Please look out for ‘OPIRG Walking Tour’ poster.

We will provide snacks and drinks during the walk. Please register today so we can get a sense of the number of participants and plan accordingly.

If you have any access needs that may impact your participation in the event, please contact jessvort@yorku.ca so that we may accommodate you.

 

the silhouette of pine trees border either side of the poster; there is amber orange background recalling fall leaves. A chunky black text curved over the top says: free smores & vegan chili. Below that it says: Tuesday 20th, Sept 5pm-8pm. There is a graphic of a small bonfire with crossed arrows on either side and the small words “music” and “social.”
Building Cultures of Care/ SEPTEMBER 26-30, 2022/ DisOrienation Week is an alternative to/ Frosh Week promoting campus-based activism and political action./ Join OPIRG York and our community partners for a series of in-person and online events. A pink background with bold flowers in three of the corners. There is a heading in bold black font that states: Disorientation Week 2022/ with OPIRG York. To the right of that is the text: Building Cultures of Care/ This SEPTEMBER, join OPIRG York and other campus organizations to learn how to build cultures of care!/ DisOrienation Week is an alternative to Frosh Week promoting campus-based activism and political action. In white blocks there are five sections: Monday 26/ 3:30 - 5pm Orienting yourself to Allyship with the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (REDI) Location: First Student Centre (room 313; and on Zoom) Monday 26, 5:30 - 7pm Abolition of the Death penalty with Amnesty International at York Location: First Student Centre (room 313; and on Zoom) Tuesday 27, 3:30 - 5pm The Ecology of allyship with the Centre for Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion (REDI) Location: First Student Centre (room 313; and on Zoom). Tuesday 27, 5:30 - 7pm Panel Discussion "On the Housing Crisis, Disparieties, and Beyond" with OPIRG York, moderated by John Clarke Location: First Student Centre, Grad Lounge, rm. 430. Wednesday 28, 1 - 2pm Dismantling ableism with the YFS Access Centre Location: First Student Centre, YFS Access Centre, Room 321; Wednesday 28, 7pm - 9:30pm Film screening of Sgaawaay K’uuna [Edge of the Knife] with Nat Taylor Films (Cinema Politica) Location: Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross Building. Thursday 29, 3pm - 4:30pm Accessible Digital Design with Victoria Barnett of the Design Justice Collective Location: First Student Centre (room 307; and on Zoom). Thurs 29/ 6pm - 9:30pm Velcro Hearts Chapbook Launch & Social with the Centre for Women and Trans People (CWTP) and OPIRG York Location: the Ross Building Podium/ Rain plan: First Student Centre, Rm 430) Friday 30 3pm - 5:30pm /Transforming Masculinity & Moving Towards Collective Healing/ (on Zoom)/ with Ikake Rising/ **an online workshop space for men and masculine people; register for Zoom link

SOCIAL AT MALOCA GARDEN WITH OPIRG YORK AND SASSL | September 20, 5-8 pm 2022

Do you know that there is a community garden on the York Keele campus? Join OPIRG York and SASSL in the Maloca Community Garden for a bonfire and free food! There will be music, smores, hot chocolate, and vegan chili. Come hangout, meet like-minded humans, and get to know OPIRG, SASSL, and the Maloca garden.

The Ontario Pulbic Interest Research Group at York (OPIRG York) is your activist hub on campus; the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Line (SASSL) provides unbiased and non-judgmental support & referrals to survivors of sexual violence. We’ll tell you a little bit about our organizations at the beginning of the gathering, and then the music will be the rest of the evening.

Note: We suggest wearing warm layers, and bringing a blanket to sit on/ wrap-up in, in case it’s cold in the evening!

the silhouette of pine trees border either side of the poster; there is amber orange background recalling fall leaves. A chunky black text curved over the top says: free smores & vegan chili. Below that it says: Tuesday 20th, Sept 5pm-8pm. There is a graphic of a small bonfire with crossed arrows on either side and the small words “music” and “social.”

OPIRG YORK ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING | April 6th, 7-9 pm

Join OPIRG York as we reflect on the last year, and make decisions for the year ahead. We’ll hear a summary of what happened in 2021-2022, learn about our new Action Groups, and we’ll talk about how you can get involved! Register here.

This is also a time to elect our new Board of Directors! Nominations are due March 16-March 23th, and the form is available on our website here.

ACCESS INFO

We will be gathering on Zoom. Closed caption will be available. There will be some SkipTheDishes vouchers available—amount TBA!

If you have any questions about the Board elections, please contact Mithilen Mathipalan at opirgyorkcro2022@gmail.com. If you have any other questions contact Naila Lalji naila.opirgyork@gmail.com.

 

Image description: To the right there is black text on a yellow background that reads: OPIRG at York, Annual General Meeting/ April 6th, 7-9pm. Below the text a crowd of engaged students and community members rally together around a diversity of messages: Consent is Sexy and Mandatory! / No Justice, No Peace! / People before profit / Expect Resistance / ACAB / Books Not Bombs!

SOLIDARITY WITH UKRAINE: MUSIC, POETRY, AND FILM SCREENING | Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross Building, York Keele campus in-person & Zoom | Register here | Donate to the fundraiser here


To open the evening, Ukrainian Canadian composer and vocalist, Anna Pidgorna, will live-stream Ukrainian folk resistance music from Vancouver. Political Activist Denis Pilash will introduce the film remotely from Ukraine and then we will screen Director Sergei Loznitsa’s “Maidan” (2hr 11min). Following the film, Historian, Theatre Activist and Professor Oksana Dudko will join us live from Kyiv, Ukraine to give us a short talk. After the talk, poet and translator Ostap Kin will read us selected Ukrainian poetry virtually from New York, with English translations will be offered by an MFA Grad Students.

Image description: To the right there is black text on a yellow background that reads: OPIRG at York, Annual General Meeting/ April 6th, 7-9pm. Below the text a crowd of engaged students and community members rally together around a diversity of messages: Consent is Sexy and Mandatory! / No Justice, No Peace! / People before profit / Expect Resistance / ACAB / Books Not Bombs!

PHONE ZAP FOR THE ATTAWAPISKAT RIVER

You can still make call and send emails using the script and contact information in this doc!

Let’s join together to push for a regional assessment process that uplifts Indigenous rights, biodiversity, and climate. Join our Indigenous-led coalition for a short educational about the “Ring of Fire” region, also known as “the breathing lands,” and participate in a phone-zap action.

 

SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE CITY: FROM ORGANIZING TO MOVEMENT BUILDING DURING THE PANDEMIC

Watch the recording HERE

How has social justice activism in the city changed with the Pandemic? What has been lost, gained or put on hold? What are the challenges and opportunities that we as organizers have in front of us? As our first event of the new year, OPIRG York invited you to hear about, and reflect on, lessons learned and issues faced by key organizers from several of the city’s key movements and organizations.

Over the course of the past two years, activists have struggled to highlight the crucial issues of our time: anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism, paid sick leave, homelessness and the housing crisis, and more, as frontline healthcare and other essential workers try to contain and mitigate the crises produced by the Pandemic. One of the biggest challenges to organizing has, of course, been the inability to gather safely and in-person, or to collaborate and organize across groups and sectors. Faced with an already fragmented and small social justice landscape, activists in Toronto have had to think creatively and strategically about how to re-shape their activism so that organizing work can not only continue, but constructively address the challenges that communities face.

We brought together activists from the across city, and we invited you to not only learn about the different struggles these organizers have mobilized around, but also, to think through how all of us might contribute concretely to the work undertaken by these groups. The goal of the event was to have organizers consider the obstacles we faced with the onset of the Pandemic, and for participants to brainstorm and come away equipped with tactics, strategies and ideas necessary for (re)building movements that are strong, rooted, and able to make their mark on our post-Pandemic future.