Ever since I have been at Ryerson, I’ve been wanted to establish an activist school and now we have finally succeeded. On June 28, if we can get enough people registered, the Gindin Chair and the Chang School for Continuing Education will co-sponsor an activist school called Community Engagement Course.

The eight-week program in July will cover two main areas, Invisible History of Social Movements and Transformational Strategies. A full program is below. I talked with Annahid Dashtgard from Anima Leadership about why we need this course

Judy: One of the reasons I initiated this activist school is that young people are always asking me about how we won certain battles in the 80’s and 90’s like abortion rights. I realize that even those of us that participated in those struggles don’t really take the time to discuss the tactics and strategies and what worked and what didn’t… Judy Rebick

Annahid Dashtgard:

I know. I was hugely involved in the anti-corporate globalization movement of the mid-90’s, and I’m watching what’s going on with the G8/ G20 protests now and I wonder what’s changed, what lessons were learned.


Yes, activist training is often very narrowly focused on non-violent resistance or how to deal with legal issues but there is a wide range of skills like negotiating differences, working across political and cultural differences, keeping your head when someone makes you angry, that are not covered and I wanted to see a program that included those kinds of skills.


I fully agree. I think that the gap between values and vision and actions in social movements is a big barrier to social change. I look around at how organizations and coalitions handle power and wonder: how are we leading the depth and kind of changes needed? A lot of time, the way we go about creating change is f**ked up. There’s remarkable history of social struggle in this country that most of us don’t know about. In bringing together history, theory, practice and skills is a truly unique opportunity. So, peeps, come on out for this cool course on DIY activism!

Starting June 28, twice a week for four weeks. Registration now open. Cost is $254.

Registration closes on June 21st . Full program  To register contact: Anne-Marie Brinsmead, Chang School Arts at [email protected]

Program outline

Last chance to Register deadline June 22
Co-sponsored by Gindin Chair and Chang School, Ryerson U.

The Call to Activism: Laying the Foundations

An introduction to basic terminology, concepts and frameworks that will be referred to throughout the course.

Section One: Learning from Invisible History
• Supporting Indigenous Struggles, Decolonizing Our Relations
• African Canadians and the struggle against racism
• Struggles of the Labour Movement
• Lessons from the Women’s Movement

Section Two: Transformational strategies– Changing the world while changing ourselves
• Working Across Difference and Navigating Conflict
• Spreading the word: Working with the Media
• Transforming Power: Effective activism

To register contact: Anne-Marie Brinsmead, Chang School Arts at [email protected]

Judy Rebick

Judy Rebick

Judy Rebick is one of Canada’s best-known feminists. She was the founding publisher of , wrote our advice column and was co-host of one of our first podcasts called Reel Women....