Newsletter Archives — January 2017

What’s New for January 2017


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.

We currently have two Calls open for submission, the Call for Nominations for the IDERD Recognition Award and the Call for Abstracts for the IDERD Conference. Please see the below for information on each of the Calls.

Deadline Extended!
Call for Nominations – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD) Recognition
Extended Award Nomination Deadline: January 23, 2017

The IDERD Recognition Award recognizes students, staff and faculty who have contributed outstanding work and initiatives in an effort to eliminate racial discrimination and advance anti-racism throughout the U of T community in support of our overall commitment to diversity, equity and excellence, and in keeping with the University’s mission. The 2017 IDERD Recognition Award will be presented on March 21st.

Projects, activities or initiatives that are eligible for the IDERD Recognition Award must, among other criteria:

  • Demonstrate an explicit focus on addressing barriers to racial equity and advancing antiracism, whether as a first time endeavor in antiracism practice or as an advanced initiative.
  • Feature antiracism as the primary focus of the initiative or as a demonstrable component in a broader initiative.
  • Demonstrate an on-going commitment to advancing antiracism and eliminating barriers within the University community and/or in contribution to the University’s profile in the broader community.
  • Demonstrate leadership.
  • Contribute to enhancing student/staff/faculty experience within the academic, co-curricular, and/or workplace contexts.

Nomination Deadline: January 16, 2017.
IDERD Recognition Awards Ceremony: March 21, 2017.

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

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 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:

ARCDO Dialogue Sessions

For the winter semester the ARCDO will continue to hosts a series of dialogues for students. See below for further details:


Scarborough Campus:
January 19, 2017
Peace from Broken Pieces: Race, Faith and Unlearning
How do we deconstruct our internalized oppression and cultivate self-empowerment?
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Ralph Campbell Lounge, Bladen Wing (BV380)
1265 Military Trail

Free Food!


St. George Campus:
January 17, 2017
Preserving Memory in Colonized Societies

This discussion will unpack how we use collective memory to preserve our beliefs, culture and history in times and conditions of colonialism. In the context of Canada’s 150th Anniversary on stolen land we would like to discuss how culture is preserved on this land and on other settler colonial lands worldwide. We will attempt to answer questions of how to pass on memory in a society that has continually erased histories of colonial oppression. We will explore how colonial mindsets impact us on campus and how we can work to preserve the history in a just way.
Time: 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Centre for Women and Trans People (CWTP)
563 Spadina Avenue

Free Food!

Mississauga Campus:
January 26, 2017
Taking Up Space: Who Can, Who Can’t?
Davis Building, Room 2122A
3359 Mississauga Road

Free Food!

The Blanket Exercise: Experience and Facilitator Training

Developed by KAIROS Canada, the Blanket Exercise is based on participatory popular education methodology and the major themes and findings of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The goal is to build understanding about our shared history as Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada by walking through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. Everyone is actively involved as they step onto blankets that represent the land, and into the role of First Nations, Inuit and later Métis peoples. It is being successfully used by hundreds of facilitators across the country in elementary and high schools, organizations, training programs, government departments, colleges and universities. The demand continues to grow as do the positive impacts. It builds relationships, breaks down stereotypes and generates meaningful dialogue and action toward decolonization.

All students, staff, faculty and friends are invited to this KAIROS Blanket Exercise and Facilitator Training sponsored by Hart House, KAIROS, the Multi-Faith Centre, First Nations House and the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Office.

January 19, 2017
9:30 am – 4:00 pm
East Common Room, Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle

9:30 am Registration and Coffee
10 am – 12 pm KAIROS Blanket Exercise (KBE) with opening by elder Andrew Wesley
1 pm – 4 pm KBE Facilitator Training*

*Those who wish to be trained must participate in the full day. Anyone who wants to simply experience the KAIROS Blanket Exercise is welcome to come for just the first 2 hours. Lunch will be provided for trainees.

Spaces are limited. Please register by January 13, 2017.

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 is scheduled on January 27, 2017 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm at UTM, 3359 Mississauga Road, Kaneff Centre, in Room 2213 (KN2213).

Please check the ARCDO website for further updates coming soon!

Upcoming Indigenous Initiatives Office Speaker Series

This speaker series is offered through the Indigenous Initiatives Office, Faculty of Law. All are welcome to attend!

January 17, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm, Falconer Hall, 84 Queen’s Park, Solarium: History and Legacy of Residential Schools. Phil Fontaine, former Nation Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, will talk about the history and legacy of residential schools. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to:

January 31, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm, Jackman Law Building, 78 Queen’s Park, Room J125: Métis: Past, Present and Future. Métis Nation of Ontario President Margaret Froh will discuss recent cases and policy developments concerning the Métis in Ontario and across the country. Lunch will be provided. RSVP to:

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.)

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:

January 12th;
January 19th; and
January 26th.

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. (Some yoga mats available on site). 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:

January 12th;
January 19th; and
January 26th.

Spirit Singers: Celebrating Diversity and Our Common Humanity. Join a non-auditioned choral ensemble of U of T students to celebrate diversity and foster interfaith and intercultural understanding. The Spirit Singers affirms our common humanity in the quest for peace and justice. Come make a new friend along the way! The repertoire of the Spirit Singers reflects a wide variety of world views. In addition to musical performances, this exciting inter-disciplinary artistic musical performance program may also include opportunities for spoken word, dance and multi-media expressions. Please register at: The ensemble rehearses at 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Centre for International Experience (CIE), 33 St. George St., on the following days:

January 16th;
January 23rd; and
January 30th.

January 13, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, 21 Sussex Avenue, Room 421 (lounge): Gender Talk. Gender Talk is a monthly discussion group for trans+ members at U of T. All members of U of T who identify as trans, transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, non-binary, or who are questioning their gender identity are welcome to come together to talk about topics that matter to you.

January 17, 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 discuss, critically analyze, and take action on issues of sexism, misogyny, racism, transphobia, homophobia, biphobia, xenophobia, ageism, ableism, classism, White supremacy, colonialism, and settler colonialism, in relation to our lived experiences within religious institutions and spiritual journeys. This is a space 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.

January 20, 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.

January 23, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm, Koffler Student Services Centre, 214 College Street, Room 313: Life Management Series: Stuck in the Middle – Juggling School and Family Life. “Stuck in the Middle” is a self-discovery session on dealing with constant challenges of having family responsibilities, working and being a student. This self-awareness session will help you understand the feelings of guilt that arise when juggling your role as a student and not always having enough time to spend with your children and/or your loved ones. It’s for everyone who feels overwhelmed. Most of the exercises are done in pairs and within the group. In this session you will discover your patterns of ‘stuckness’ and learn to convert feelings of being overwhelmed into action, energy and change. Registration required. CCR and GPS approved.

January 25, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm, Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle, East Common Room: Financial Survival Workshop & Fair. Learn about helpful financial resources & information, including: practical ways of budgeting and saving money; OSAP; on campus student services; student discounts; dealing with debt; tax credits and deductions; extended health & dental benefit plans; what grant committees are looking for; and family resources. Free giveaways for those in attendance! Refreshments will be served. This workshop is a collaboration of the UTSU and the Family Care Office. Registration required.

January 27, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle: We Are the Future: Art, Media and Representation. Join Yassin Alsalman “Narcy”, Multi-Medial Artist, Professor Hip Hop Pioneer and Pacinthe Mattar, Journalist and Radio Producer as they discuss how art and media can support those of us who are often misrepresented as not fully human, and how humanizing representations contribute to the realization of a different future. Presented by the Multi-Faith Centre for Spiritual Study and Practice, First Nations House, Hart House, Muslim Students’ Association, Centre for Media and Culture Education (OISE), and the Department of Social Justice Education (OISE), University of Toronto.

January 31, 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.