Newsletter Archives — February 2017

What’s New for February 2017

February is Black History Month!

It is Black History Month. This year also marks Canada’s 150th anniversary. This is a great opportunity to reflect, educate and engage in conversations about the contributions, role and place of African Canadians throughout Canada historically, today, and as we move forward as a country.

Tragedy in Quebec City

The President has issued a statement on the shooting in Quebec City which can be found at the following URL:

U of T TRC Steering Committee – Report Released

The Final Report of the Steering Committee for the U of T Response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada was submitted (January 2017). We encourage the community to read the report which can be found at the following URL:

Call for Abstracts deadline fast approaching!

See below for further information:

University of Toronto 2017 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) Campaign

The University of Toronto 2017 IDERD Campaign will be held over two days (March 20–21, 2017). The theme for this year’s IDERD Campaign is “What’s Anti-Racism Good for Now?”.

The two days will consist of a one-day thought-provoking Conference that will convene on March 20th followed by the Recognition Award Ceremonyon March 21st. Both events will be held at the University of Toronto St. George campus.

Call for Abstracts – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) Conference
Abstract Deadline: February 17, 2017

The Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO) in partnership with the Women and Gender Studies Institute (WGSI) and the Department of Sociology, UTM and Hart House will convene an anti-racism conference as part of the 2017 U of T IDERD Campaign which will be held over two days. The IDERD Conference will convene on March 20, 2017 and the Recognition Awards Ceremony will convene on March 21, 2017. Both events will be held at the University of Toronto St. George campus.

We invite abstracts for papers, workshops, video and poetry performances, and other artistic forms of activism, which will be selected for presentation at a workshop or poster session which will convene during the annual U of T IDERD Campaign.

Abstract Deadline: February 17, 2017.
IDERD Conference: March 20, 2017.

Further information on the Call for Abstracts can be found on the ARCDO website at the following URL:

Race and Faith Dialogues

Topic: Peace from Broken Pieces: Race, Faith and Unlearning
How do we deconstruct our internalized oppression and cultivate self-empowerment?


February 9, 2017
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Davis Building, Room 2122A
3359 Mississauga Road

Free Food!


February 15, 2017
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Location: Cat’s Eye Pub and Lounge, Victoria University in the University of Toronto, 150 St. Charles Street

Free Food!

ARCDO Drop-In Hours

The ARCDO will have drop-in hours for the month of February. Students can drop-in and enjoy critical discussions about race, faith, gender and other intersections of identity. Drop-In hours will be Tuesdays from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Don’t have a space to talk about these topics? Come to our drop-in hours on the following dates:

  • February 7th;
  • February 14th;
  • February 21st; and
  • February 28th.

Connections and Conversations

Connections and Conversations is an affinity group for racialized staff at the University of Toronto and their supporters. The staff-driven initiative offers discussions and a support network for racialized staff to flourish at U of T. The focus is to create an open and empowering environment for racialized staff to celebrate their accomplishments and contribute their unique ideas and talents to the University through networking, mentoring and other activities. Local chapters were created on all three campuses – earlier this year.


Mississauga Campus:

The next local chapter meeting will take place on February 10, 2017 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm at UTM, 3359 Mississauga Road, Faculty Club, DV 3140.

The local chapter is presenting its first ever guest speaker event, Starting the Conversation: Staff Diversity at U of T. A topical debate and discussion with Professor Sonia Kang from the Institute for Management & Innovation (IMI) and Professor George Dei from OISE.

Light snacks and refreshments will be provided but feel free to bring your own lunch.

Registration required for this event.

St. George Campus:

The next local chapter meeting will take place on February 15, 2017 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm at the Bahen Centre for Information Technology, 40 St. George Street, Room 1240 (BA1240).

Each of the work groups (Human Resources, Events, Mentoring and Communication Strategy) will give a short report on their work.

BYOL (Bring your own lunch).

Please RSVP by noon on February 13th to:

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Black History Month

Following is a list of events taking place on campus and within the community for Black History Month:

From now until February 28, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work (FIFSW), 246 Bloor Street West, 3rd Floor (just outside of elevator): Black History Month 2017 FIFSW Interactive Art Wall Installation. February is Black History Month and the FIFSW Black History Month committee invites everyone to share their knowledge of Black History in Canada. Social work best practice suggests that when looking at issues, challenges, and experiences we begin with the history. What came before? How did we get to this point in time? So bring your knowledge of Canadian Black History to share on the art wall. It might be an article about someone who contributed or whose lived experiences offers a valuable lesson. It might be an event that is key in the historical timeline but has faded from the mind of the public. You can print an article or a photo, write your understanding of a historical situation or draw or create a representation that reflects what you know. Creativity is welcomed! Paper, markers and sticky stuff are provided so that you can attach your contribution to the wall. Please attach only to the coloured section of the wall.

From now until April 9, Ryerson University, 33 Gould Street, Ryerson Image Centre: Power to the People Photography and Video of Repression and Black Protest. The Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) and Black Artist’s Networks Dialogue (BAND) team up to present a season of exhibitions exploring historical and ongoing struggles for justice between people of colour and police forces representing the state.

From now until April 1, UTSC, 1265 Military Trail, Doris McCarthy Gallery: Heather Hart, Northern Oracle. Northern Oracle is a large-scale rooftop installation – a series of mixed media drawings – exploring issues of home, stability and shelter, and the ways in which these rights have been denied to the Black community, historically and to the present. The work is an act of reclaiming space, providing a site for conversation and community building.

From now until February 26, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm daily, Gladstone Hotel, 2nd Floor: No Justice, No Peace: From Ferguson to Toronto. No Justice, No Peace: From Ferguson to Toronto positions photography at the forefront during an era of heightened global protests against systemic violence by the police. No Justice, No Peace features the work of Zun Lee, Jalani Morgan and Nation Cheong, who capture the present, build on the past and shape the future through their representation of current activism. They are socially-conscious photographers whose images evoke the pan-geographic urgency with which their black subjects demand to be seen and heard!

February 6, 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, 246 Bloor Street West, Room 320: Black History Month Luncheon, Film Screening & Facilitated Discussion. Film: Journey to Justice. This documentary pays tribute to a group of Canadians who took racism to court. They are Canada’s unsung heroes in the fight for Black civil rights. Focusing on the 1930s to the 1950s, this film documents the struggle of 6 people who refused to accept inequality. Featured here, among others, are Viola Desmond, a women who insisted on keeping her seat at a Halifax movie theatre in 1946 rather than moving to the section normally reserved for the city’s Black population, and Fred Christie, who took his case to the Supreme Court after being denied service at a Montreal tavern in 1936. These brave pioneers helped secure justice for all Canadians. Their stories deserve to be told. RSVP at

February 11, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Miss Lou’s Room: Denham Jolly Book Launch: In The BlackIn the Black traces B. Denham Jolly’s personal and professional struggle for a place in a country where Black Canadians have faced systematic discrimination. Jolly chronicles not only his own journey; he tells the story of a generation of activists who worked to reshape the country into a more open and just society. While celebrating these successes, In the Black also measures the distance Canada still has to travel before we reach our stated ideals of equality.

February 13, 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm, William Doo Auditorium, 45 Willcocks Street: 13th Screening. A powerful documentary from Ava DuVernay that explores race in the US criminal justice system. Registration required.

February 28, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle, Debates Room: #BlackDeathMatters: Performance, Queer-Trans-Black Bodies, and Public Space. This event explores the afterlife, art and Black life as part of an ongoing conversation in our Hip Hop For a Different Future series and in support of Black History Month. Hip hop has emerged as a site for creativity, play and insurgency, countering alienation and disillusionment by engaging youth with humanizing discourses and cultural practices. Hip hop is anti-racist and de-colonial as a cultural movement, art form, educational philosophy and way of being. #BlackDeathMatters draws on specific performance art pieces (dance and rap) that are connected to Black death in a socially unjust context. BlackDeathMatters reminds us that while Black lives are in jeopardy and struggling for validation, Black Death Matters too.

More Events

(If you wish to request that your event be included in our monthly newsletter, please submit requests to at least one week prior to the beginning of the new month.)

From now until March 4, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, University of Toronto Art Centre, 15 King’s College Circle: Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience. A project by Kent Monkman. Journey through Canada’s history beginning 150 years before confederation. This exhibition narrates a story of Canada through the lens of First Nations’ resilience. This touring exhibition is produced by the Art Museum at the University of Toronto in partnership with the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown and has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

Spirit Singers: Celebrating Diversity and Our Common Humanity. Intercultural choir committed to songs of peace and justice. Haven’t sung in a while come on out! Spirit Singers takes place from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Centre for International Experience (CIE), 33 St. George St., on the following days:

  • February 6th;
  • February 13th; and
  • February 27th.

February 7, 7:00 pm, Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle, Hart House Theatre: Land and Life in Tkaronto New Solidarities Toward a Decolonial Future. As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, this year’s Hancock Lecture addresses the history of Toronto, or Tkaronto, as a home to Indigenous peoples and the ways in which their legacy and language must be recognized, respected and encouraged to flourish. Speaker Susan Blight examines the potential for real change, renewed relationships and the repatriation of Indigenous land and life in Tkaronto. This examination is particularly relevant now in light of the Final Report of the University of Toronto’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission Steering Committee, which was submitted to the President and Provost on January 13. Free for students: Register online / $10 non-students: Buy tickets.

February 8, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm, Multi-Faith Centre, 569 Spadina Avenue, Room 208, Main Activity Hall: The Muslims Are Coming! This event is the first 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. The topic for this session will be state surveillance, islamophobic violence, and current events. This will also be a space to talk about ways in which we can respond to current events and how we can collectively hold space to grieve. Allies, we appreciate your support in helping us maintain this closed conversations space for people who have connections to Muslim identity.

February 8, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, UTSC, 1265 Military Trail, Alumni Lounge in Student Centre (2nd Floor): Black Muslimah Magic: An Evening of Self-Care for Black Muslim Women at UTSC. This workshop is open to anyone who is a student at UTSC** and who self-identifies as a Black girl or woman that is Muslim through the spectrum of familial, spiritual, political, cultural, community and ancestral connections. Registration required.

Q21: A Conversation Café. Q21 is a weekly conversation café (hosted by the SGDO) that takes place on Thursday’s and will give you an opportunity to connect with students and guest facilitators about the topics on your minds. Each week will have a theme and a new guest facilitator. Q21 takes place from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm at 21 Sussex Avenue in Room 421 (lounge) on the following days:

  • February 9th; and
  • February 16th.

Brown Girls Yoga. For self-identified Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, who currently or formerly identify as woman/girl. Queer- and trans- positive space. All bodies, sizes and levels welcome. Bring your own yoga mats. No registration required. Presented by the Multi-Faith Centre and endorsed by First Nations House. Brown Girls Yoga takes place from 5:10 pm – 6:00 pm at the Multi-Faith Centre, 569 Spadina Avenue in the Main Activity Hall on the following days:

  • February 9th; and
  • February 16th.

February 11, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm, Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Brigantine Room: Beyond policing: Alternatives for supporting Black people in crisis. Why are so many Black people in Toronto and beyond met with police violence when they call for help? If not policing, what interventions can help support Black people in crisis? What existing and emerging alternatives can we use to nurture and support Black residents? Speaker: Desmond Cole is an award-winning freelance journalist and an activist based in Toronto. He is a columnist for the Toronto Star, and his work can also be found in Toronto LifeWalrusNOWTorontoistEthnic Aisle, and several other publications. Desmond was honoured three times at the 2015 National Magazine Awards, including a gold prize for Best New Magazine Writer. He also hosts a radio program every Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. on Newstalk 1010. Desmond is currently working on his first book about the experiences of Black Canadians.

February 16, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Centre for Women and Trans People, North Borden Building, 563 Spadina Avenue, Room 100: Resisting Oppression and Reclaiming Spirituality. ROARS is a student-led peer support group that provides a safe(r) space for self-identified women, trans, two-spirited, and gender non-binary/non-conforming people to examine the impact of oppressive -isms and reclaim your own spirituality. ROARS is a collaborative initiative between the Multi-Faith Centre for Spiritual Study & Practice and the Centre for Women & Trans People at the University of Toronto.

February 17, 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm, 21 Sussex Avenue, Room 421 (lounge): Queer & Trans Students of Colour Discussion. Queer & Trans Students of Colour (QTSOC) is a monthly discussion group for Black , Indigenous and other racialized U of T community members who identify as LGBTQ, gender non-conforming, two-spirit, third gender and intersex. The group will discuss how the intersections of race, sexuality and gender affect personal experiences and communities. Students across all three campuses are invited to meet other people and join in discussions that challenge racism, homophobia and transphobia.

February 28, 11:45 am – 2:00 pm, Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle, Great Hall: 5 Buck Lunch at Hart House. The $5 lunch for students ($7 for non-students) at Hart House offers a tasty and balanced meal. Experience the flavours and cultures of the world. Whether you like sweet or savoury, comfort fare or spicy dishes, there is something for all taste buds. Everyone that attends a 5-buck lunch will go home with a copy of all of the recipes used for their lunch and directions to recreate the meal at home. All of the recipes will be easy, budget friendly and delicious.

Disclaimer: This newsletter may contain links to non– Anti–Racism & Cultural Diversity Office (ARCDO) websites. These links are provided solely as convenience to you. The ARCDO is not responsible for the content of any non–ARCDO websites and does not endorse the information contained therein.