Education

Looking for a speaker or presenter?

Urban Alliance have delivered a wide range of workshops and presentations for organizations, community groups, and schools. We’ve worked with educators, youth and community members to deliver impactful educational experiences. We also offer speakers for panels, presentations, and assemblies. 

We are committed to providing dynamic speakers who incorporate popular education, movement, and arts-based activities, which create a space for inclusive participation.

We also encourage collaboration between other agencies, organizations and community-based initiatives. We can tailor our workshops to fit your specific needs.

For more information contact: nigel@urbanalliance.ca


Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Trainers in Toronto

Our capacity to deliver organizational training has been limited due to such factors as funding and personnel resources, as a grassroots organization led by a volunteer Board, We rely on partnerships and are open to co-facilitation, curriculum consulting, and other forms of collaboration with individuals or groups who have the resources to carry out training.

Below is a list of other credible equity, anti-racism & anti-oppression education providers in the Greater Toronto Area who may be able to meet your needs:

Anima Leadership 

Annemarie Shrouder

Bloom Consulting

Canadian Race Relations Foundation

Harmony Movement

Sojourner Mediation & Consulting Services.

Turner Consulting 

Note: This is not an exhaustive list; we welcome connections with other AO/AR educators interested in being on our referral list.


Topics of special interest and focus

Anti-Racism

Our workshops have provided opportunities to explore the social construction of race and its impact on systems, communities, and individuals. We support participants in examining the nature and roots of racism, how it operates in our lives, and most importantly – ways to dismantle it.

Examples of previous workshops and speaking engagements:

  • “It’s In Your Hands,” TDSB Leadership Camp – Trained youth leaders to enable the creation of an anti-racism workplan for the TDSB Youth Super Council.
  • “Dismantling Racism,” SEAS Centre, March Break Camp – Provided full-day training on issues relating to migration, racism, settlement, and inclusion.

Anti-Oppression

Anti oppression work must be accessible, meaningful and sustainable. UARR has focused on practical ways to apply the anti oppression framework in education, community work, service delivery, and advocacy. This includes exploring how structures of power, privilege and oppression operate in our work, our communities, and our lives. We examine the daily manifestations of key forms of oppression such as racism, colonialism, patriarchy, heterosexism and cissexism, classism, and ableism. We help create a common understanding of systemic oppression by introducing and working with definitions, theory and analysis.

Examples of previous workshops and speaking engagements:

  • “Connecting the Dots: Food, Community and Colonialism” in partnership with Food Share –  Delivered full-day training with youth on issues relating to food security, colonialism, and racism.
  • “Examining Power, Privilege and Oppression in Our Work” in partnership with Toronto Community Housing – Delivered full-day training for TCHC staff on utilizing anti-oppressive practice in their work.

Equity and Public Education

Information on current school policies, inclusive curriculum development as well as rights and responsibilities of students and caregivers. Focus on identifying key issues and brainstorming strategies for community mobilizing on issues in education. 

Examples of workshops and speaking engagements:

  • The Toronto Coalition for Equity in Education forums in which 165 participants were provided with legal education on parent and student rights and responsibilities under the Safe Schools Act.
  •  “School Safety for Whom?” project addressing the Safe Schools Act in partnership with Ryerson Public School – Participants participated in legal education including learning about their rights under the Safe Schools Act, and were supported in strategizing and mobilizing to advocate for an inclusive curriculum, employment equity, the Safe Schools Act, and funding ESL/International Language programs.
  • “Are Our Schools Safe?” Community Action Forum for Teacher Candidates OISE – This forum brought together Toronto Catholic District School Board staff, Toronto District School Board trustees, teacher candidates, students, and parents/caregivers of children who had been suspended or expelled to discuss the issues of school safety, racism, and the disproportionate representation of racialized youth among the suspended students.
  • “What Part Can We Play?” Addressing Systemic Racism in our School System with Malvern Family Resource Centre – Participants took part in legal education about their rights under the Safe Schools Act. Break out groups strategizing around Curriculum, Employment Equity, ESL/Black Heritage Programs, and Safe Schools Act, as well as a group for youth only.

Gender-Based Violence

We focus on various forms of gender-based violence including bullying, sexual assault, and homophobia and cissexism, and we explore the construction and maintenance of gender and race stereotypes through an analysis of media.

Examples of previous workshops and speaking engagements:

  • “Drop the Labels: Gender-Based Violence” in partnership with Parkdale Collegiate Institute, Sir Sandford Fleming Collegiate Institute, and TDSB Leadership Training and Set It Off Ladies Group –  UARR project staff facilitated workshops on gender-based bullying using popular theater and popular education, and examined the connections between racism and gender-based violence.

Media Literacy & Production Training

UARR have provided education on media literacy and production to camps and organizations throughout the city. We welcome opportunities to speak on issues of race and racism in the media.


Urban Alliance and Equity in Education

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Urban Alliance Board Member Nigel Barriffe Co-Presenter with Gary Pieters, Urban Alliance President and Bro. Kofi Sankofa at TDSB Futures Conference, 2012.

We have continued our work for equity in education and have joined forces with Social Planning Toronto in monitoring the progress of the Model Schools for Inner Cities Program, the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Program, the Equity Programs and other issues at the Toronto District School Board. We wrote letters as well as made deputations at the TDSB.

In the fall 2011, the Toronto District School Board invited the Urban Alliance on Race Relations to present at its 2012 Equity conference on the topic: Who’s got the power: Rethinking anti-racist policy and pedagogy.

Additionally, workshops on anti-oppression were presented to groups of students by the UARR, and our project staff was invited to participate at the Toronto District School Board African Heritage Educators Network meeting and panel on closing the racial achievement gap in education.

The Urban Alliance on Race Relations also has an advisory seat/membership on the TDSB Community Equity Advisory Committee, and Sharon Simpson has been our representative on the committee.

Additionally, three of the directors on the board of the UARR are in the educational sector. Gary Pieters, president, is a vice principal in the Toronto District School Board; Kirk Mark, member-at-large, is the coordinator of race and ethnic relations for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, and Nigel Barriffe is a teacher in the Toronto District School Board. Our vice-president Tam Goossen served as a trustee in the former Toronto Board of Education in the 1990s.

Toronto Coalition for Equity in Education

The Toronto Coalition for Equity in Education is composed of a diverse range of community groups and individuals, aiming to address racism in our public education system. It is our goal to support all ethno-racial, religious and cultural communities to get more involved in the school system.

This coalition is based out of the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, which is a community organization that has worked to promote racial and ethnic harmony by challenging barriers to equal access opportunity through educational programming, research and advocacy.

There are 4 areas that we are looking at as major priorities:

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