Tools for Change: OPIRG Toronto is offering a series of workshops: January 2009

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Tools for Change: OPIRG Toronto is offering a series of workshops: January 2009


A series of skills sharing and skills building workshops hosted by OPIRG-Toronto to help you gain the tools for doing research, education, and action for Social Justice.

Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) - Toronto
Active @ the University of Toronto and Downtown Toronto since 1982

January 2009 Schedule!

1) Facilitation 101 (how to facilitate/chair meetings): January 14th
2) Get on the Mic! Public Speaking Workshop: January 15th
3) Collective Creative Improvisation for Activists: January 19th
4) Design 101 (posters/flyers): January 20th and January 27th
5) OPIRG Open House and Volunteer Training: January 29th

Facilitation 101:
how to facilitate/chair meetings

By: Reena Katz

Wednesday, January 14th
International Students' Centre
33 St.George St, University of Toronto

A major part of movement building is lots and lots of MEETINGS. Meetings can be inspiring, sometimes hellish, or sometimes somewhere in between - but most certainly what can help a meeting be FRUITFUL is GOOD FACILITATION. Being a meeting facilitator is NOT running the show and it is MORE than keeping track of the people who want to speak
next. So what is it?

Come learn and share strategies on how to maintain good communication, equity, active listening and effective decision making for meetings of all shapes and sizes..

Reena Katz is an audio artist, educator and organizer. Her work focuses on developing listening strategies in a silencing world. Reena was politicized by feminist anti-racist and anti-colonial struggles in the early 90s as a result of a rise in white supremacy in Toronto's streets. Since then, she has had the honour and opportunity to work in a variety of grassroots organizing formats including community radio, feminist bookselling, group consensus building, direct action projects and the fine art of queer
feminist processing. Reena is currently active with the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Women in Solidarity with Palestine (formerly the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation) and Zatoun: Fair Trade Olive Oil from Palestine.

Get on the Mic! Public Speaking 101 Workshop
Thursday, January 15th
International Students Centre
33 St.George St, University of Toronto

By: John Clarke

Getting up in front of people and speaking can be intimidating and hard, especially when you are speaking about radical social change and inspiring people to action. But there are people with experience and skills to teach us some tips and help build some confidence to get on that Mic or Megaphone...

John Clarke came to Canada in 1976 from London England where he had been active in trade union struggles. He took a job in the Westinghouse Plant in London, Ontario and was involved in the work of United Electrical Workers, Local 546 as a shop steward. In 1982, he was laid off and helped to found the London Union of Unemployed Workers, one of the organizations that laid the groundwork for the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP). When this organization was formed in 1990, he moved to Toronto to work as one of its organizers and has remained with OCAP ever since.

The workshop will look at the role of public speaking within social struggles and explore some issues that must be considered if you are to perform this function effectively. These will include:

* Assessing what a speech should and can achieve
* Forms of public speaking and contexts in with then can take place
* Reading your audience and adapting to what they tell you during a speech
* Preparing an outline of a speech and using notes will delivering it
* Overcoming nervousness and the fear of 'drying up' in a speech

Collective, Creative, Improvisation for Activists
Monday, January 19th
7 - 9pm
International Students Centre
33 St. George St, University of Toronto

By: Victoria Mata and MataDanZe

*street improv through collective creation
*theatre and activism
*popular education and more!

Collective, Creative, Improvisation for Activists: Explore your body memory and create transformative performance, corporal, expressive art.

Victoria Mata, choreographer and co-founder of MataDanZe "Empowering Womyn Through Movement- Toronto based interpretative dance/performance collective, will lead a workshop of exploration through the memories that we carry. This workshop is ideal for activists and performance artists, no experience is needed, just the guts to create improvisations that explore our own oppressions and suppressed or challenging stories through a collective, creative and empowering process. This is a super inclusive workshop!

for more information please email Victoria Mata at: [email protected]


Design 101: How to use programs and design materials
Tuesday, January 20th and Tuesday, January 27th
6 - 9pm
By: Pedram Mossallanejad

-Learning the basics of Photoshop and In-Design Programs
-Learning the basic concepts of making and creating posters, flyers and other outreach materials
-Tips for getting your message out in a well designed way

**Please RSVP to: [email protected] BY January 16th and also let us know if you have a Laptop that you can bring with you (we have limited computer space, but will try to accommodate as many people as possible)

All above workshops are part of the OPIRG - Toronto Tools 4 Change skills sharing and building series.

For the schedule of workshops, visit:

TOOLS for CHANGE will be continuing throughout the Winter term. February Schedule to be released soon! If you have ideas or suggestions for workshops please contact: [email protected]

OPIRG Open House and Volunteer Orientation

Thursday, January 29th
(During Xpressions Against Oppression Week at U of T)
4 - 6pm
@ the OPIRG Office (563 Spadina Ave in the North Borden Building)

Wanting to get involved in OPIRG?
OPIRG is always looking for new volunteers - join an action group, volunteer at the office, start a new initiative! We provide the space and share the skills to do Research, Education, and Action for Social and Environmental Justice. Our current action groups and supported campaigns are: Critical Area Studies Collective, Committee for Just Education, Students Against Israeli Apartheid, No One is Illegal Student Network, Reparations Committee, Always Question, and Barriere Lake Solidarity.

Hear about how to get involved, about our office and resources, staff, action groups, campaigns, or any ideas you might have - Please join us Thursday, January 29th from 4-6pm:

Tour the office and resource library, meet the staff and board members, hear about upcoming events in the city, join an action group, get involved...

Everyone is Welcome!

OPIRG - Toronto
[email protected]