Tag Archives: Environment

nsjf 2011 Workshops: Session 1

Niagara Social Justice Forum 2011: Saturday, April 9th from 9 am – 5pm Pond Inlet, Brock University: FREE! Lunch Provided :)

9:30-10:30am: SESSION 1: Workshops

Workshop 1a: Protecting Brock’s Niagara Escarpment – Corey Burant
Location: MC C407
The work of the Niagara Restoration Council to restore forests and streams throughout Niagara. A Power Point presentation will be made that will illustrate some of the restored forests and other natural habitats that we have been involved in creating, and will have images of a potential future project at Brock University.

Workshop 1b: Developing a People’s Assembly on Climate Justice for Niagara – Fiona McMurran, South Niagara Chapter, Council of Canadians
Location: MC D308
April 2011 marks the first anniversary of the World Peoples’ Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, called by President Evo Morales, following the failure of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009. In response to the invitation, 35,000 people, representing an historic gathering of social movements, came to Cochabamba, Bolivia. Participants divided into working groups, each tackling a different problem associated with climate change. The conference in Cochabamba was the start of a climate justice movement that draws together social justice and environmental activists, through the creation of People’s Assemblies on Climate Justice, modeled on the Cochabamba process. This workshop will introduce participants to the concept of climate justice and the Cochabamba model of People’s Assemblies, in the hope of establishing one here in Niagara, so that we can work together to identify local problems associated with climate change and determine possible solutions.

Workshop 1c: Disability Accessibility, Cultural Sensitivity and Audisum – Karly Schaefer, The Canadian Hearing Society
Location: MC D309
This workshop will explore issues of accessibility and discrimination that deaf and hard of hearing individuals face daily in our communities. Living with a hearing loss is an invisible disability that makes our basic human function of communication more challenging. Often social stigmas surrounding hearing loss in general tend to limit deaf and hard of hearing individuals from being able to fully participate in society.

Workshop 1d: Social Media: Your Movement Needs You! – Dylan Powell
Location: MC H313
This workshop will focus on social media empowerment and ways in which every individual can leverage social media to promote social justice. Participants will create an “event” and direct it through social media from beginning to end.


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nsjf 2011 Workshops: Session 3

Niagara Social Justice Forum 2011: Saturday, April 9th from 9 am – 5pm Pond Inlet, Brock University: FREE! Lunch Provided :)

1:30-2:30pm: SESSION 3: Workshops

Workshop 3a: Back to the Source: The Right to Water Access – Elizabeth Sauer, Liz Morelli, Frank Fohr and Nancy Santamaria
Location: MC C407
“Back to the Source” will heighten awareness about the critical issue of the national and international right to water access. This workshop offers a unique perspective on the connection between our choices and their implications for the peoples of the Global South. The multimedia workshop will include a DVD on The Story of Bottled Water, a powerpoint presentation on the consequences of the privatization of water in the South; a skit dramatizing debates over the issue; and an invitation to create Bottled Water Free Zones and advocate for the right to water at the local, national, and international levels.

Workshop 3b: Resisting Orders, Crossing Borders – Karrie Porter, Michelle Robidoux and The War Resisters Support Campaign, Niagara Chapter
Location: MC D308
Is it just that the Canadian government should deport Americans who have decided to seek asylum in this country rather than be redeployed to fight in an illegal war of occupation that has decimated Iraq and killed thousands upon thousands of its citizens? Abandoning their country, friends and family to seek a new life has been a difficult and often painful experience for war resisters and they are grateful to have the support of the majority of Canadians. American war resisters come from small towns and cities in economically depressed regions, much like Niagara. Brock students and Niagara residents have much to learn from these men and women. In this important workshop, a local war resister will share her family’s story.

Workshop 3c: Migrant Workers – Richard C. Mitchell, David Fancy, Frupo N. Doam, Rangel R. Zapata, Jackie Barrett-Green, Jennifer Pothier, Chris Woodall, Jeff Burch and Janet McLaughlin
Location: MC D309
The workshop aim is to communicate contemporary legal, labour, health and advocacy issues building upon outcomes from last year’s SJ Forum when Niagara Region migrant worker representatives requested Brock faculty assist them in engaging in a public, participatory, democratic conversation focused on their concerns.

Workshop 3d: The Problematic yet Promising Relationship Between Faith and Social Justice – Bob McMillan and Troy Watson
Location: MC H313
How has faith both helped and hindered social justice movements throughout history? What positive aspects can postmodern Christian faith bring to social justice work? How can social justice help Christianity progress and mature into a more benevolent influence in our world? This workshop will explore these questions.

Workshop 3e: Aboriginal Diabetes: Hip Hop & The Empowering Voice of Aboriginal Youth – Laurie Sherry-Kirk, John Henhawk and Southern Ontario Diabetes Aboriginal Initiative
Location: MCD 303
This workshop discusses how Aboriginal youth are using the art of Hip Hop musicality as an organizing tool to address both the disproportionate levels of diabetes that are prevalent within their communities and also as a form of activism to resist the Coca-colonization and McDomination of Aboriginal people.

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nsjf 2011 Workshops: Session 4

Niagara Social Justice Forum 2011: Saturday, April 9th from 9 am – 5pm Pond Inlet, Brock University: FREE! Lunch Provided :)

3:00-4:00pm: SESSION 4: Workshops

Workshop 4a: Vagina Monologues Performance – Nicole Jol and the Feminist Action Collective
Location: MC C407
A shortened version of Eve Ensler’s original script, which was written after she had interviewed over 200 women on the topic of their vagina. Every monologue somehow relates to the vagina, be it through sex, love, rape, menstruation, mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, the variety of names for the vagina, or simply as a physical aspect of the body. This recurring theme uses the vagina as a tool of female empowerment and the ultimate embodiment of individuality.

Workshop 4b: The Global and Local Relevance of Sport and Physical Education – Kelsey Pinch and Nick Beamish
Location MC D308
This workshop explores the “new age”, humanistic approach to physical education and its possible role in less developed countries. Additionally, it will touch on how El Salvador’s humanistic approach to physical education has impacted youth in Niagara. The workshop will be both experiential and discussion based.

Workshop 4c: Unveiling the Veil – Brock University Muslim Students Association, Student Justice Centre and Carol Leishman
Location: MC D309
This workshop focuses on the debate within Muslim communities surrounding the choice to wear or not wear a veil in their daily lives. This issue is often misunderstood by the larger population that frequently lacks insight into the realities of life within Muslim communities. Our aim is to provide information that may decrease the discrimination, ostracization, and prejudice that occur against Muslim women who work, study, and live in the Niagara region.

Workshop 4d: Are We Heading Towards the Futuristic Vision of Gender and Race?: Fluidity of Gender and Race in Science Fiction Films – Douglas Clarke, David Corman and Lynh Doan
Location: MC H313
This presentation examines depictions of gender in science fiction, focusing on how science fiction artists illustrate non-normative performances of gender. Secondly, presenters look at the futurist creation of voice. The third aspect examines comic book art and narrative of black superheroes. Together these are the cutting edge of social justice weaving popular culture and traditional sociological questions into theoretically driven inquiries about personhood, gender, culture and race.

Workshop 4e: The Bad Trip: Niagara Threatened by Motorway Madness – Sandy Vant and Tim Seeburn
Location: MCD 303
The threat posed by the Canadian Motor Speedway in Fort Erie. It proposes to remove agricultural zoning protection on 827 acres of protected agricultural land. The project is a threat to endangered species such as the Grass Pickerel and the Box Turtle, and would involve the urbanization of the entire headwaters of Miller’s Creek.  The workshop will detail plans to stop the motorway through an upcoming hearing at the Ontario Municipal Board.

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nsjf 2010 Workshops: Session 1

Niagara Social Justice Forum 2010: Saturday, March 20th from 9 a.m. – 5:45pm Pond Inlet, Brock University: FREE! Lunch Provided 🙂

9:30: SESSION 1: Workshops

Niagara’s Threatened Beautiful Landscapes
Niagara has a beautiful mosaic of a natural and human influenced landscape, which has evolved over the past 10,000 years since the retreat of the last glaciers. This spectacular mosaic, of forests, farms and buildings which go back to the 18th century, is threatened by wreckless urban sprawl and insensitive development.

Proper Shelter Saves Lives (Habitat for Humanity)
This presentation is about the housing crisis in Niagara and how Habitat Niagara’s unique homeownership program transforms the lives of families and breaks the cycle of poverty by providing a safe, decent and affordable home.

Building Global Solidarity with Migrant Farm Workers in the Niagara Region
This participatory and action oriented workshop would start with a brief history of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program (SAWP), how it operates, who the actors involved are. Workshop participants will look at the changing context of Canadian agriculture and the critical role temporary workers play in Canadian food production.

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nsjf 2010: Schedule

Niagara Social Justice Forum 2010
Saturday, March 20th
9 a.m. – 5:45pm
Pond Inlet, Brock University
Price: FREE. Lunch Provided
Evening performance of The Vagina Monologues
Market Square, Downtown St.Catharines
7:30 p.m.
Price: $10: All proceeds go to the Niagara Sexual Assault Centre.
Hosted by OPIRG. Refreshments provided.



8:45: DOORS OPEN. Coffee Available
9:00: Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:30: SESSION 1: Workshops
– Niagara’s Threatened Beautiful Landscapes
– Proper Shelter Saves Lives (Habitat for Humanity)
– Building Global Solidarity with Migrant Farm Workers in the Niagara Region
11:00: Coffee Break and Information Tables
11:30: SESSION 2: Workshops
– Aboriginal Children in Care of Children’s Aid Societies
– The Other Side of Consciousness: Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Queer Films
– Conflict, Violence and Reconciliation: Lessons to be Drawn from Colombia
– Naming Homelessness
1:00: LUNCH
2:15: SESSION 3: Workshops
– Native Woman – Endangered Species
– Food Sovereignty in the Global South: A Development and Peace Appeal
– Peace Cafes: Opening Your Own Community Centre for Peace Education and Social Justice
3:45: Coffee Break and Information Tables
4:15: PLENARY: Film – Six Miles Deep (2009) about the Haudenosaunee Women and the Six Nations/Caledonia Conflict. Panel to follow with Director Sara Roque.
5:35: Drumming and Closing Remarks
For map, visit:
*Pond Inlet is located in “J” block of the MacKenzie Chown Complex which is directly north of the Zone 1/Lot A parking lot

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15 Days Away: nsjf 2010 Is Fast Approaching!

In just over two weeks the 4th annual Niagara Social Justice Forum is happening at Brock University, and the excitement is definitely building!
The Forum, based on the World Social Forum model, provides a dynamic space for dialogue and learning. The model invites diverse groups to mount self-organized activities in a common space in their own ways and on their own terms, but within a shared commitment to social justice broadly understood.
Self-organized individuals and groups responded to an open call for proposals and put the day’s program together, which features exhibits, workshops, information tables, music, film, theatre and food.
“The organizers of this event were mindful to create an open and shared space for community groups and individuals to encounter one another without any interference in how they choose to do that,” says Janet Conway, one of the event’s lead organizers and a Canada Research Chair in Social Justice at the University. “We had about 85 people at the first Forum in 2007 and last year’s event attracted more than 150 participants. We also had more workshop applications that we could accommodate this year.”
“We’re encouraged by this growth and the fact that we are able to provide an open forum for individuals and groups working for social change in Niagara to connect with one another,” adds Conway. “The organizing committee has heard from past participants that the Forum has helped groups and individuals with like-minded interests and concerns to come together.”

The Forum opens at 8:45 a.m., and there are 10 workshops taking place throughout the day from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Workshop topics include Niagara’s threatened landscapes, homelessness, Aboriginal children and Children’s Aid Societies, food sovereignty, migrant farm workers in Niagara and Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgendered Queer films, just to name a few.
The event’s Plenary at 4 p.m. looks at women’s leadership in the Six Nations/Caledonia land claim dispute and will feature a screening of the documentary film Six Miles Deep, followed by a talk with its director Sara Roque. This film tells the story behind the headlines and offers a compelling look into a community where the achievements and roles of women have long been admired and respected.
The day’s program will finish off at 5:20 p.m. with a performance by the Aboriginal big drum group Gathering Thunder.
Forum attendees are then invited downtown for a special evening performance of the Vagina Monologues at Market Square, St. Catharines at 7:30 p.m. Admission for this event is $10 with proceeds going to Niagara Sexual Assault Centre.
The Niagara Social Justice Forum features free lunch and drinking water and dishes will be provided. The event is fully accessible (wheelchairs, sign language) and childcare services are available on-site. Please register before March 8 for sign language and childcare services.
The Forum is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Social Sciences, the departments of Social Justice and Equity Studies, Child and Youth Studies, Sociology and Women’s Studies, and OPIRG Brock.

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