Resisting Oppression and Reclaiming Spirituality (ROARS): Ally or Accomplice?

Resisting Oppression and Reclaiming Spirituality (ROARS) presents: Ally or Accomplice?

When: 6-8 pm, October 26, 2017
Where: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (Room 5250)
252 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1V6

RSVP: multi.faith AT utoronto DOT ca

FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1772562576369553/?active_tab=about#

It was wonderful seeing everyone at our meet and greet last week! Our second event of the term will be about performative vs substantive allyship. Discourse surrounding allyship oftentimes seem to be white-centered. In this session we hope to explore inter-POC allyship and what that looks like. We would like to discuss the question “what can I do to be an ally?” and how to reframe the question so that it is more helpful rather than potentially harmful. This session will also explore “ally” vs “accomplice” and whether there are tangible differences between the two terms. Along with a light dinner, we will also have a cookie decorating station, so come though if you would like some ally cookies!

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-Spirit, 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 y/our spirituality.

Access Info:
Free event! Wheelchair accessible building and room. Accessible, single-user, all-gender washroom located on the same floor as the event room. Light dinner including vegan & gluten-free options. Limited TTC tokens available, upon request. Please arrive fragrance-free if possible. For access needs please contact: roarsuoft AT gmail DOT com

Roars is a collaborative initiative between the Multifaith Centre for Spiritual Study & Practice and the Centre for Women and Trans People at the University of Toronto.

If you would like more info on future events, please subscribe to our newsletter!
https://tinyletter.com/ROARS

 

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If you are not yet signed up for the ROARS Newsletter, here is the first issue:
Hello everyone,
Thank you for subscribing to the ROARS (Resisting Oppression and Reclaiming Spirituality) Newsletter and thank you to all who came out to the Meet & Greet. We wanted to be sure that everyone who did come could have access to all of the topics and ideas we discussed, as well as making it available for those who could not make it to the meeting.
We first gathered as a group and created our own list of guidelines: a set of malleable points to keep in mind when interacting with the ROARS space. We came up with 12 in total. They are as follows:

1. Confidentiality: what is said in the space needs to stay in the space
2. Avoid generalizing so as not to speak for other’s experiences/ No assumptions
3. No supremacies: do not let your privilege oppress others
4. Respect when someone is speaking
5. Be mindful of the time and space that you are taking
6. Feel free to check in (or out) whenever you would like
7. Use “I” statements when possible
8. Call people in instead of calling people out
9. Be open to people sharing feelings
10. Be compassionate
11. Be aware of people’s triggers and needs
12. The words we use matter, choose them with care

We realized at the end of this exercise that all of the guidelines would work best if they were operating together at the same time, in a scribble-like manner like so:

Afterwards, we came up with topics we wanted to explore for future sessions. This was a fairly short list, but it was packed with so much rich possibility. If you have any ideas you specifically would like to see form us, send us an email. In the mean time, the next topic will be on allyship!

We will explore what it means to be an ally. Is there a performance aspect to being an ally? What is the difference between being an ally and being in solidarity? Is there one? Discussions of allyship most often centre white-ness and what white people can do for non-white people. We will attempt to move beyond this conversation and ask how marginalized groups themselves can become allies or accomplices.

You know how sometimes people think they deserve a cookie for working against oppression? In good fun, we are planning to have a cookie decorating station for the ally cookies we will freshly bake (or buy from the store, let’s be real). As per request, we will have healthier food options. Gluten-free and vegan choices will be available. So come out to our next session on October 26, 2017 in OISE 252 Bloor St w, M5S1V6, Room 5250.

In the mean time, here are some links for articles you may want to check out that will be relevant to our next session.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/being-a-muslim-ally-1.3851660

http://www.indigenousaction.org/accomplices-not-allies-abolishing-the-ally-industrial-complex/

https://everydayfeminism.com/2013/11/things-allies-need-to-know/

https://everydayfeminism.com/2017/09/ally-means-not-expecting-a-reward/

VIDEO How Latino Anti-Blackness Helped Kill Philando Castile: From Biases to Allyship: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTSlB-JFA28

VIDEO PSA: How To Be An Ally- DON’T: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sOPngK1DSc

Hope to see you soon!

Cookie Exchange & Social: Mon Dec 12, 4:30-6:30PM

LOCATION CHANGE: This event will now be held at SBA, 215 Huron Street, 9th floor. Monday December 12, 4:30-6:30PM

Join Students for Barrier-free Access and the Centre for Women and Trans People at U of T for a cookie exchange and social. This will be a relaxed and fun evening of cookie decorating, button-making, and socializing.

Cookie exchange guide:

A cookie exchange allows participants to bring in a batch of cookies to share with the group (we suggest 6-12), and to take home cookies brought by other participants.

We ask that, when possible, people bring between 6-12 cookies to share at the cookie exchange. They can be home baked or store bought. Please bring a list of ingredients for the cookies that you bring to share. Please ensure that all cookies are nut-free. If possible, please bring a container to take your cookies home in. If you can’t bring cookies no problem, we’ll have extra to share 🙂

Please let us know if you have any allergies.

Free! Everyone welcome! We will have tea, coffee, and a cookie decorating station set up!

Date Monday December 12, 2016
Time: 4:30pm-6:30pm
Location: SBA Centre, 215 Huron Street, Suite 924 on the 9th floor.

This is an anti-racist, anti-ableist, queer and trans positive and family friendly space.

Accessible, single-user all-gender washroom located on the same floor as the event space.

***Contact Nadia at sba.advocacycoordinator AT gmail DOT com with information about allergies, access needs, or any other questions/concerns.***

FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/381760692168792/

QT2SBIPOC Discussion Night: Surviving the Holiday Season

Wednesday December 14, 6-8PM at SBA, 215 Huron Street, 9th floor

Students for Barrier-free Access (SBA) and the Centre for Women and Trans People (CWTP) at U of T invites you to join us for a new series of events that works to create space for community building, critical conversation, and support for Queer, Trans and Two-Spirit, Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (QT2SBIPOC).

As organizers of this space, we recognize that this event will be taking place on the territories of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca and the Mississaugas of New Credit. We are here because this land is occupied. As organizations located within the University of Toronto, it is our responsibility to acknowledge that we are all treaty people that live, work and organize on occupied land.

We also recognize that this University is a space that many of our community members experience violence, including the violence of settler-colonialism, anti-black racism, white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, transmisogyny, ableism, sanism, classism, Islamophobia and the violence of rape culture. Recent events on campus have highlighted the ongoing presence of these forms of violence. As a collective, we work to challenge these forms of violence in our communities and in our everyday practice.

We have a strong commitment to creating anti-colonial community space that rejects ableist and sanist ways of relating. We are committed to building meaningful and reciprocal relationships between Indigenous, Black, and POC communities and to acknowledge that this requires difficult conversations to be had. Through the QT2SBIPOC Discussion Night Series, we strive to hold a space for these conversations.

TOPIC: Surviving the holiday season. We will be discussing our complicated relationship with our family of origin and our chosen family, challenges around disclosure of our sexuality and gender, and ways in which madness come up during the holidays.

ACTIVITIES:
1. Compile a list of self care strategies to send out for the holidays [keeping in mind difference access to resources and community].
2. Bring in a meaningful item or object to share/show the group.
3. We will be making cards for each other (card making supplies will be provided).

Date: Wednesday December 14, 2016

Time: 6:00pm-8:00pm

Location: SBA Centre, 215 Huron Street, Suite 924, on the 9th floor.

Please note that the front doors to 215 Huron Street lock at 5:30pm. Event organizers will wait at the entrance to let people in from 5:50pm-6:00pm. If you arrive later, please call 416-967-7322 and one of us will let you in.

Wheelchair accessible. Accessible and all-gender washroom located on the same floor as the event room.

Please note that the SBA Centre is a scent-free space.

Snacks, including vegan and gluten-free options will be served.

If you require ASL to participate in the event, or if you have any other access needs please contact Nadia at sba.advocacycoordinator AT gmail DOT com

***This is a QT2SBIPOC only space. As always, we appreciate the support we receive from our white allies by respecting this space and by sharing this event information with their networks.***

FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1493194857376134/

Fearless Heart: Self Compassion for 2SQTBIPOC folks: FREE Full Moon Anti-colonial Mindfulness Workshop

Fearless Heart: Self Compassion for 2SQTBIPOC folks

FREE Full Moon Anti-colonial Mindfulness Workshop

Cultivating a fearless heart does not mean the heart ceases to feel fear. A fearless heart is one that is unafraid to turn towards fear with kindness, which is the heart of compassion. This mindfulness workshop introduces practices of self-compassion to befriend and attend to fear through the direct experience of thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Mindfulness is offered by centering embodied traditional knowledges for the liberation of ourBlack, Indigenous and POC (BIPOC) Two-Spirit, Queer, Trans, Gender non-conforming and Gender non-binary communities, and all oppressed communities, and all oppressed communities. 

To Register:

1. Read the Detailed Description below to see if this workshop series meets your needs.

2. Email or call Lu to request a spot. Space is limited.

3. If you have any questions, Lu would be happy to set up brief phone call with you.

Lu: lu AT lulam DOT ca, 416-876-8135

Workshop Date, Location & Access Info:

Date: Tuesday, December 13 from 6-8:30pm

Location: Centre for Women and Trans People UofT, 563 Spadina Ave, Room 100, Wheelchair access via Bancroft Ave.

Access Info: Light vegan dinner included. Wheelchair accessible space. Single-user, wheelchair accessible, all-gender washroom. Tokens available upon request.

Facilitator: Lead Facilitator, Lu Lam, M. Ed, CCC, is a trans-identified, Chinese-Taiwanese Counsellor and Mindfulness Consultant. He is trained in mindfulness and critical diversity counselling practices. Lu has 8 years of daily meditation practice and is in continual mindfulness study.

 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Fear can be carried in our cells through the impacts of colonization, historical trauma, and ongoing systemic, interpersonal, lateral violence of the everyday-even scientific research has caught to this truth. Instead of denying, disciplining, concealing fear, what if we honoured fear? What would be known we view fear a respected teacher? How could we be curious about fear-based insecurities like thinking we are too f*cked up to be loved in order to re-member our inherent wholeness and reclaim a deep sense of belonging.

When we begin to pay gentle attention to fear, we radically change our relationship to difficult or scary experiences. Our brilliant, once life-saving ways to push away, numb, ignore the stress of fear in the long-run impacts our holistic personal and community health. And every one of us has the capacity to heal our soul wounds with a fearless heart. When we become first, aware that fear is present, we can then greet fear with deep self-compassion. This radical act of noticing taps into our intrinsic potential to grow resiliencies to the hardships in life. When we grow resiliencies, we also grow our possibilities to live with more trust in ourselves, more ease and wonder which ripples out into all our relations, offering power and sustainability to our liberation movements.

This workshop will be facilitated from an anti-oppression approach, which means that experiences of Indigenous and traditional ways of knowing will be privileged, lived experiences of intersectionality and oppression are welcomed with respect, humility and sacred understanding. A critical perspective on mainstream mental health which promotes the medical industrial complex and white supremacy will be woven throughout.

Is this workshop for me? Take a few moments to reflect on these questions:

Do I have an interest to meet my own direct fear experience (feeling, thought, sensation), whatever that may be, with facilitative support?

Do I have a readiness to practice a little bit every day for 7 days.  Daily commitment to practice is the intention – even a few minutes a day; length of practice is not the focus.

Am I looking for a non-judgmental non-pathologizing space where my whole being and the wholeness of my life are welcomed?

How many people will be in this workshop?

Approximately 8 participants.

What happens in this workshop?

In the first part, information will be shared on how self-compassion from a mindfulness paradigm may benefit us and our collective well-being. Psychoeducation on how fear activates our heartmindbody systems will be integrated. Poetry is also used to illustrate mindfulness and compassion concepts. A mindfulness practice will be introduced and we will engage in this practice.  In the second part, the facilitator will open the workshop for any questions or reflections on the mindfulness and compassion practice.

What can I expect from attending this workshop?

This is a practice based experiential workshop. You can expect to experience practices in a supportive environment which encourages you to directly explore your feelings, thoughts, and sensations.  You can expect to have time and space to ask any questions related to your experience of the mindfulness practices.

You can expect to learn how mindfulness based practices and paradigm can benefit our well-being in order to strengthen our social justice, anti-colonial activist work.

Can you provide an example of a mindfulness and compassion practice?

An example of mindfulness practice could be being mindful of the breath or sounds. Self-compassion practice, you bring your awareness with kindness; to whatever you are experience with an allowance for the experience, with kind acceptance, no rejection, no changing, no pushing away what is present.

Facilitator

Lu Lam, M. Ed. C.C.C.  is a Counsellor in Private Practice and a Mindfulness Consultant. He finds joy and is skilled in creating spaces for people to make contact with who they truly are in order to re-inspire and strengthen our social justice work.  Lu brings over 18 years of front line counselling and facilitation experience to his work and is trained in mindfulness and critical diversity counselling approaches. He has a daily mindfulness practice of 8 years, is in continual mindfulness study, and regularly attends meditation retreats. www.lulam.ca

Fearless Heart: Self Compassion for BIPOC Two-Spirit, Trans, Gender Non-Conforming and Gender Non-Binary People: FREE 2 Part Anti-colonial Mindfulness Workshop Series

Fearless Heart: Self Compassion for BIPOC Two-Spirit, Trans, Gender non-conforming and Gender non-binary people

FREE 2 Part Anti-colonial Mindfulness Workshop Series: December 1 & 8

Cultivating a fearless heart does not mean the heart ceases to feel fear. A fearless heart is one that is unafraid to turn towards fear with kindness, which is the heart of compassion. This two part mindfulness workshop introduces practices of self-compassion to befriend and attend to fear through the direct experience of thoughts, emotions, and sensations. Mindfulness is offered by centering embodied traditional knowledges from an anti-colonial paradigm, in service to the liberation of ourBlack, Indigenous and POC (BIPOC) Two-Spirit, Trans, Gender non-conforming and Gender non-binary communities, and all oppressed communities.

To Register:

1. Read the Detailed Description below to see if this workshop series meets your needs.

2. Contact facilitator Lu Lam to request a spot. Space is limited. Registration closes November 29. Spots may still be available after this date; contact Lu to ask.

3. If you cannot attend full series, contact Lu to ask if single workshop spots are available.

4. If you have any questions, Lu would be happy to set up brief phone call with you.

Lu: lu AT lulam DOT ca, 416-876-8135

Workshop Dates, Location & Access Info: 

Dates: Thursday December 1 & Thursday December 8, 6-8:30pm

Location: Centre for Women and Trans People UofT, 563 Spadina Ave, Room 100, Wheelchair access via Bancroft Ave.

Access Info: Light vegan dinner included. Wheelchair accessible space. Single-user, wheelchair accessible, all-gender washroom. Tokens available upon request.

Facilitator: Lead Facilitator, Lu Lam, M. Ed, CCC, is a trans-identified, Chinese-Taiwanese Counsellor and Mindfulness Consultant. He is trained in mindfulness and critical diversity counselling practices.

 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Fear can be carried in our cells through the impacts of colonization, historical trauma, and ongoing systemic, interpersonal, lateral violence of the everyday-even scientific research has caught to this truth. Instead of denying, disciplining, concealing fear, what if we honoured fear? What would be known we view fear a respected teacher? How could we be curious about fear-based insecurities like thinking we are too f*cked up to be loved in order to re-member our inherent wholeness and reclaim a deep sense of belonging.

When we begin to pay gentle attention to fear, we radically change our relationship to difficult or scary experiences. Our brilliant, once life-saving ways to push away, numb, ignore the stress of fear in the long-run impacts our holistic personal and community health. And every one of us has the capacity to heal our soul wounds with a fearless heart. When we become first, aware that fear is present, we can then greet fear with deep self-compassion. This radical act of noticing taps into our intrinsic potential to grow resiliencies to the hardships in life. When we grow resiliencies, we also grow our possibilities to live with more trust in ourselves, more ease and wonder which ripples out into all our relations, offering power and sustainability to our liberation movements.

This workshop will be facilitated from an anti-oppression approach, which means that experiences of Indigenous and traditional ways of knowing will be privileged, lived experiences of intersectionality and oppression are welcomed with respect, humility and sacred understanding. A critical perspective on mainstream mental health which promotes the medical industrial complex and white supremacy will be woven throughout.

Is this workshop for me? Take a few moments to reflect on these questions:

Do I have an interest to meet my own direct fear experience (feeling, thought, sensation), whatever that may be, with facilitative support?

Do I have a readiness to practice a little bit every day for 7 days.  Daily commitment to practice is the intention – even a few minutes a day; length of practice is not the focus.

Am I looking for a non-judgmental non-pathologizing space where my whole being and the wholeness of my life are welcomed?

How many people will be in this workshop?

Approximately 8 participants.

What happens in this workshop?

In the first part, information will be shared on how self-compassion from a mindfulness paradigm may benefit us and our collective well-being. Psychoeducation on how fear activates our heartmindbody systems will be integrated. Poetry is also used to illustrate mindfulness and compassion concepts. A mindfulness practice will be introduced and we will engage in this practice.  In the second part, the facilitator will open the workshop for any questions or reflections on the mindfulness and compassion practice.

What can I expect from attending this workshop?

This is a practice based experiential workshop. You can expect to experience practices in a supportive environment which encourages you to directly explore your feelings, thoughts, and sensations.  You can expect to have time and space to ask any questions related to your experience of the mindfulness practices.

You can expect to learn how mindfulness based practices and paradigm can benefit our well-being in order to strengthen our social justice, anti-colonial activist work.

Can you provide an example of a mindfulness and compassion practice?

An example of mindfulness practice could be being mindful of the breath or sounds. Self-compassion practice, you bring your awareness with kindness; to whatever you are experience with an allowance for the experience, with kind acceptance, no rejection, no changing, no pushing away what is present.

Facilitator

Lu Lam, M. Ed. C.C.C.  is a Counsellor in Private Practice and a Mindfulness Consultant. He finds joy and is skilled in creating spaces for people to make contact with who they truly are in order to re-inspire and strengthen our social justice work.  Lu brings over 18 years of front line counselling and facilitation experience to his work and is trained in mindfulness and critical diversity counselling approaches. He has a daily mindfulness practice of 8 years, is in continual mindfulness study, and regularly attends meditation retreats. www.lulam.ca

Back2School Barbershop

DATE:Sept 27, 2016

TIME: 3:30-6:30PM

Are you LGBTQ2SIA and Black, Indigenous or POC? Want a short hair cut, fade, shave, buzz, undercut or design? Come by for a free haircut by Kou! By appointment sign up at coordinator.cwtpAT gmailDOTcom

Part of the University of Toronto’s Queer Orientation Week

Letter-writing Night (to Immigration Detainees)

DATE: September 21, 2016, Wednesday

TIME: 6-8PM

Join us for an evening to write letters to the detainees and a discussion about immigration detention, how our communities are continually affected by intensified policing, and how to build a movement towards ending immigration detention, double punishment, and policing!

Hours Update for December 2014 and January 2015

Please note the following changes to our office & drop-in hours this December and January:

CLOSED: Tuesdays December 2, 9 & 16
OPEN 12PM – 6PM: Wednesdays and Thursdays until December 18
CLOSED: December 19 – January 5

Regular hours resume: Tuesday January 6

Mindfulness and Settlement Workshop for LGBTQ Newcomer Youth and Allies

ReachOUt workshop

 

*Want to feel more grounded and less stressed in your day to day life?
*Join us to learn about mindfulness practices and what it can do for you.
*Health care and settlement info will also be available.

Free workshop. TTC tokens, food and winter clothes (first come, first serve) provided.

Date: October 29, 2014
Time: 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Centre for Women and Trans People, 563 Spadina Avenue
Facilitators: MJ Rwigema & reachOUT Newcomer Network

To register, contact Edmond Du at eduATgriffin-centreDOTorg or 416-738-8210 by Oct 28, 2014.
For ASL contact us by Oct. 15, 2014
Wheelchair Accessible

Facilitators:
MJ is queer, African and Ph.D student at U of T’s school of social work. She has over 15 years of experience doing popular education, counselling, group facilitation and community development using anti-oppressive and various healing-based approaches.

reachOUT Newcomer Network provides free, confidential settlement services, offered in multiple languages, for newcomers with a focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and questioning newcomers, and newcomers with disabilities.

American Sign Language Class: Basics!

This free American Sign Language class will be led by a Centre volunteer!  Learn ASL in a trans-inclusive, anti-racist, and relaxed environment.  Over 8 weeks we will learn fingerspelling, numbers, vocabulary, food, greetings, and more.

EVERY WEDNESDAY 5PM – 7PM, starting October 8th to November 26th.

Spots are limited.  Registration for full series is required.  Email cwtp At utoronto DOT ca to register.

Please note that this class does not grant formal certification in ASL.