Solidarity Across Borders: Campesino Resistance in the Dominican Republic

We’re very excited to announce a special event happening in March with our friends from Dominican organization La Federación de Campesinos Hacia El Progreso. This event presents a “first” for the ESSU, as it will be our first bilingual event – our panelists will be speaking in Spanish, and their words will be translated to English in real-time by student translators.

La Federación de Campesinos Hacia El Progreso (La Federación) is a grassroots cooperative in the Dominican Republic that fights for the land rights of local farmers, promotes more ecologically responsible farming and advocates for ecological preservation. They build networks of resistance by creating cooperation amongst local farmers, and pooling their efforts to create a more socially responsible and economically viable way of life. Some of their initiatives include: offering trade skills to youth; growing sustainable coffee; building micro-hydro-electric generators to allow isolated communities access to power; and advocating for environmental and social responsibility on a national level. Amidst their various efforts to promote greater social justice for rural communities, they have also long resisted the interests of foreign mining interests, notably the Barrick Gold Corporation.

On the evening of March 19, 2015, the ESSU will be hosting three members of La Federación to speak about their personal and professional experiences as activists in the Dominican Republic. The night will be themed broadly around the following topics: the impacts of Canadian resource extraction on natural spaces, peoples and politics in the Dominican Republic; sustainable energy, agriculture, and eco-tourism as modes of empowering local communities; and allyship across borders, examining the impacts of volunteering and international partnerships.

Solidarity Across Borders: Campesino Resistance in the Dominican Republic
Thursday, March 19, 2015 // Koffler House KP108 (569 Spadina Ave.)
doors open at 6:30PM // event begins promptly at 7PM

this is a free event. refreshments provided. please register in advance to reserve a seat.

accessible space // all-gender washrooms available // all bodies welcome

With Support From: Caribbean Studies Program // Equity Studies Program // Latin American Studies Program // Organization of Latin American Students // Ontario Public Interest Research Group

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Presenting Decolonizing Our Minds 2015: life is protest

Each year we host Decolonizing Our Minds (DOM) with the aim of creating a space where Equity Studies students and members of the community can identify and interrogate the ways in which different marginalized groups practice resistance. This year, we want to engage you in an exploration of the intersectionality of resistance and oppression, with a special focus on conceptualizing life as the most dynamic form of protest and its parallel narrative of death as a galvanizing force for activism.

Decolonizing Our Minds 2015: life is protest
Saturday, February 28, 2015 // Koffler House (569 Spadina Ave.)
doors open at 11:30AM // opening remarks at 12:00PM // agenda + more details tba

featuring keynote speaker Dr. Audra Simpson, associate professor of anthropology, columbia university.

this is a free event. lunch and refreshments provided. please register in advance to reserve a seat and meal option.

asl + accessible space // all-gender washrooms available // all bodies welcome

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Check out’s washroom inclusivity project!

Have you ever noticed that the ESSU offers all-gender inclusive washrooms (or gender-neutral washrooms) at all of our events? We made a commitment to do this a while ago, and haven’t looked back since. Seeing as our main job is to foster safe and inclusive event spaces, it’s so important that this atmosphere is continued into our restroom areas as well.

Offering all-gender restrooms just got a little easier – and more beautiful – thanks to and their offer to send free all-gender restroom signs to university groups that are interested in hanging them.

Check out this link for more info:

ESSU Fall Social

Come hang out, enjoy some free food, listen to some good music, mingle with your fellow Equity Studies peers and awesome ESSU reps!

ESSU Fall Social
Thursday, November 27, 2014 || 6:00-10:00PM
Wilson Commuters’ Lounge (40 Willcocks St.)

accessible space | all-gender washrooms available | veg options available | this is a community event | all bodies welcome

Please contact with any questions or concerns.

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This Is A Stereotype Film Screening Press Release

This Is A Stereotype Film Screening
Tuesday, October 28 | 5pm | Run time is 40 minutes
Location: TBA on the UofT St. George Campus

This Is A Stereotype is a film project motivated from an exhibition by Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara/Lakota/Austrian/Norwegian artist Cannupa Hanska Luger, further inspired by the vision of filmmaker Dylan McLaughlin and collaborator Ginger Dunnill. Hanska’s body of work, Stereotype: Misconceptions of the Native American exhibited at the MoCNA from August 15-December 31, 2013. The exhibition addressed several preconceived notions about Native people supported by popular culture that have been invented, imagined and rooted within the American public’s social conscience. Highlighted in this exhibition was a performance, Destroying the Stereotype, where Hanska let go of the stereotypes embodying his sculptures and invited the community to witness their destruction. The remains of the destroyed ceramic sculptures were then placed on view for the duration of the exhibition. McLaughlin documented this process and together they felt this conversation needed to go deeper than this exhibition. There were more questions; the explanation and understanding needed further attention. 

The film allows for the continuation of this dialogue. The exhibition/performance, was just the spark. It pushed artist Cannupa Hanska and filmmaker Dylan McLaughlin to ask Why? Where do these stereotypes come from? Are all stereotypes negative? Do they come from some level of truth? Is there a place to blame? How can we break down these ways of thinking into something positive and useful? Can stereotypes become empowering? How has history influenced the way Native Americans see themselves today, and how do non-Natives and popular culture perceives Native Americans? What are the economic parallels of stereotyping? How do you let go of stereotypes? The questions kept coming. The more they talked about it, the more there was a need to dig deeper, to look at many stories of past and present, of ordinary and esteemed, in order to have the proper tools to address the idea of the stereotype.

This film is made from archival footage juxtaposed with modern interviews, and woven together with an artistic response. We have gathered historical footage from the Institute of American Indian Arts Archive (Native American Videotape Archive – 1976) along side more current documentation, allowing a broader approach to addressing the subject matter. It utilizes a wide range of sources for interviews including artists, scholars, and political activists representing nations from across the United States. “This Is A Stereotype” documents many perspectives, creating a multi-faceted dialogue, which will enrich the theme of the film and allow for the audience to build their own interpretation around the misconceptions of the Native American.

Please RSVP here.

* Accessible Space * CC Provided * Gender-Neutral Washrooms Available *
* This is a Free Event Open to the Public *