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1-Day Institutes

Conference Location:

George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre
(245 Church St, Toronto, ON M5B 1Z4, external link)

Note: ENG = George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre, LG = Lower Ground, 01 = Room number one

Registration opens at 7am on May 9th and is located on the main floor lobby.  

Addressing the Impact of White Supremacy, Bias & Exclusion in the Workplace

Facilitators: Ritu Bhasin and Komal Bhasin

Location: Room ENG LG-05

As we work to build more empowered, innovative, and inclusive work environments, it's critical to explore the impact of white supremacy and bias within our organizations. We know from research that experiencing supremacy and forms of bias causes racialized people to disproportionately conform and mask aspects of who they are in the workplace. And, unfortunately, this profoundly impacts career satisfaction and performance.

As leaders, how can we address these forms of exclusion? In this dynamic session, inclusion experts Ritu Bhasin and Komal Bhasin will discuss strategies that leaders and organizations can use to interrupt white supremacy, address bias, and build stronger, more inclusive environments. Topics covered in this workshop include:

  • A deep-dive on unconscious bias, including key forms of bias that manifest within workplace culture
  • What minimization is, and how it impacts the engagement, advancement, and retention of racialized people
  • Leadership tools and strategies for interrupting minimization and overcoming biases
  • Authentic leadership strategies to promote innovation, engagement, and empowerment of team members


The Guide for White Women Who Teach Black Boys

Facilitator: Eddie Moore Jr.

Location: Room ENG LG-04

This workshop will introduce The Guide for White Women Teaching Black Boys (2017), which was created to support White women in engaging in concentrated, focused inquiry around their relationships with Black male students and the impact on those relationships of race and racism. This guide requires the reader to work through activities that may challenge them, by encouraging them to reflect on their own identity and on their own role is in perpetuating an inherently white and privileged society.

The workshop supports White teachers in their search for opportunities of personal growth as educators and the academic achievement of their Black male students. By engaging in personal and professional introspective work, this guide takes the readers through works by experts, stories by educators and students, and videos that will help personalize the educational lives of Black males.


Inclusive Design: The 6 Threads for Transforming School Effectiveness Using an Assets Based Approach

Facilitator: Jeewan Chanicka

Location: Room ENG LG-06

Many teachers come to the profession with the hope to make a difference in the world. Over the past decades there have been many amazing contributions to the field to support more inclusive classrooms. However, the challenge of linking this directly to school goals and overall improvement continues to be a challenge.

Inclusive Design is a holistic, integrative design process that is anchored in anti-oppression, critical pedagogy and human rights. The process weaves through it much of the excellent work happening within Ontario into the 6 threads of Inclusive Design. This process centres conversations about identity, in particular student identities, and engages an assets-based approach to addressing school improvement in ways that can be monitored and measured.

School Effectiveness only happens when students are centred, community engaged, environment is reflective of students and families, instruction is rich and leadership is sustained and transformational. All of this needs to be anchored in data and understanding the realities of answering the question: Who are our students? It's 6 threads include: Designing Instruction, Engaging Parents, Families, Elders and Community, Establishing Environment as Third Teacher, Analysing Data, Building Leadership and Capacity and Responding to Student Voice.

This one day teach in will support a deeper understanding of the principles and the thinking needed to engage this in classrooms and schools in order to challenge and change outcomes for the most marginalized students.


Accountability for Action: Inaction Gives Traction to White Supremacy (All Levels)

Facilitators: Lila Cabbil

Location: Room ENG LG-21

We are living in an era when accountability for anti-racist action is critical for saving lives. Acts of violence around the world have have demonstrated an escalating disconnect with humanity. We bring to the table an opportunity to shape solutions that reconnect us to our humanity, in part, by answering the question, “How do white silence and lack of individual and collective action continue to fuel the current culture of violence toward people of the global majority? This day-long, interactive process expands on the work of WPC’s Accountability for Action (#A4A) Initiative. It presents key concepts and steps in building accountability for action for those who are committed to dismantling structures of oppression. Participants will be led in activities for introspection on this topic. As participants learn about accountability definitions, levels of learning and action entry points, they will have an opportunity to engage in discussion and share personal stories. Together we will explore the “conspiracy of politeness” and allow each person to determine how it impacts the perpetuation of white supremacy. Specific strategies and examples of action will be shared by the facilitators integrating the contributions from the group and leading to crafting a personal accountability for action plan as a take away. We will emphasize the urgency for action and encourage participants to use these insights to take action year-round in their home communities. This Institute is especially recommended for presenters who wish to more effectively prepare their own audiences to influence change around the globe in future social justice work.


Addressing White Privilege & Disability Through an Intersectionality Lens (Panel Discussion)

Facilitator: Rabia Khedr, Heather Willis, Darren Cooper, Sri Pathmanathan

Location: Room ENG LG-12

All people embody a multitude of identities that shape their lived experience. The experiences of people with disabilities are also informed by their race, creed, gender identity, sexual orientation etc. This interactive institute will explore the impact of white privilege through personal narrative.  

This institute will adopt an “unconference” format. Personal narrative presentations by people with disabilities addressing intersections of identity that matter to them will be followed by roundtable discussions led by the presenters allowing for deeper discussions.

​In addition, ​the role of disability art will be highlighted with performance and will facilitate further discussion about how disability arts reflects lived experiences and how art can be employed to address and challenge white privilege.

Essential to this institute will be an opportunity for networking. This will allow for the possibility of global conversations and broader perspectives to emerge. 

Topics to explore include:

  • How physical and social barriers, and social norms reinforce systems of power. 
  • How internalized oppression and hierarchies of oppression operate to further disable and divide disability communities.
  • How white privilege or racialized identity can mitigate or exacerbate the experience of disability.
  • How various identity specific movements can unite and support each other to reflect intersectionality. 
  • Issues related to leadership and the lack thereof required to mobilize alliances.


Anti-Black Racism Workshop & Film

Facilitator: Akua Benjamin

Location: Room ENG LG-13

Over the past few years, Ryerson University’s School of Social Work has deepened its social justice approach to the teaching, learning, rhetoric and praxis of social work. This approach includes interdisciplinary knowledges of critical social theories including concepts that are intersected and intertwined by histories of: colonization, anti-Native/Indigenous racism, glolocal relations, anti-Black racism, cis/sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, Sanism, disabilities, and today’s increased neo-liberal globalized policies and practices. This pedagogy emphasizes forms of resistance historically and present day that were/are critical to advancing social justice for individuals, groups, communities and society overall.

This 3-hour interactive session is divided into two parts. In part 1, we will share our engagement with teaching and learning on:

      1. Concepts of colonization, anti-Black racism, anti-Native/Indigenous racism, cis/sexism, transphobia, Sanism and the ways in which they intersect and intertwine under systems promulgated by globlaization and neo-liberal policies and processes today.

    2. The challenges of teaching and learning in a diverse classroom, when issues related to intersecting oppressions, privilege, powerlessness, microaggression and other oppressive behaviours in the teaching and learning environment are engaged.

    3. In keeping with the focus of this conference, this session will examine the concept and complexities of white privilege, and effective ways of engaging with some of its varied manifestations.

    4. Resistance in its formulations, particularly activism historically and present day at the individual, group and community level

In part 2, we will share a short video on resistance in the form of activism against anti-Black racism in Toronto by six Black activists. Many of these activists were of Caribbean background. Through this interactive discussion and film, we hope to share perspectives and lessons that can advance social justice in the curricula and program of social work.