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: AT utoronto DOT ca

FB Event:

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!



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.

VIDEO How Latino Anti-Blackness Helped Kill Philando Castile: From Biases to Allyship:

VIDEO PSA: How To Be An Ally- DON’T:

Hope to see you soon!