A project of OPIRGToronto and Earthroots, Tools for Change helps you develop skills to advocate for social, economic and environmental justice by holding workshops throughout the year. Payment is based on a sliding scale system from $10 to $90. Scholarships are available. Community sponsors, University of Toronto students, OPIRGToronto volunteers, Greenpeace and Earthroots members attend the workshops on a free/donation only basis. Most workshops are held in physically accessible classrooms on the University of Toronto campus.
These are some examples of past Tools for Change training series. For an updated list of current workshops make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram:
DIRECT ACTION: LESSONS FROM THE FIELD
In this workshop we’ll be sharing stories and examples from real-life direct actions and discuss everything that goes into planning and executing them successfully. You’ll be given tips of what to think you’re planning and strategizing and together we’ll share anecdotes and stories that will hopefully leave you feeling prepared, uplifted and inspired to take action.
Trainer: Taylor Flook is a settler of english and welsh descent studying to become a medical herbalist. She dares to identify as an anti-capitalist and an anarchist, even tho she files taxes. She endevours to work on decolonization both within and what that means in practical terms for the people of Turtle Island. She bases her work and her life around ways to sustain and repair her relationship to Indigenous people and all oppressed peoples, as well as the land itself. She has been involved in organizing and community engagement from ~10 years. With many lessons and mistakes, she aims to share her adventures in Direct Action for the benefit of those who seek the liberation of all beings.
FACILITATING CONFERENCE CALLS & ONLINE MEETINGS
Do you work with a group who are too spread out to meet in person, but you still want to build good relationships? Suffering from endless email-list overload? Ever wonder if the people on the other end of the phone are really listening, or just sitting on their laptops? If so, this is the workshop for you.
We’ll cover (and practice!) some simple tools and techniques for activists who need to facilitate meetings and discussions using video or audio-conferencing tools (like phone, Skype and Google Hangouts). And we’ll make your meetings fun!
Please note: You can join us in person, or you can join online from anywhere, however you must have good wifi. If you register, you will receive login details via the email the week prior to the workshop.
Trainer: Anna Kennan got her start in activism in her student years in the Australian climate movement. In 2008 she transitioned to international movements, working with Avaaz.org and Greenpeace International – first as a climate and energy campaigner, and then as a volunteering network developer, with a focus on bridging the online-offline gap to build strong activist communities. Since 2015, Anna has worked as a freelance campaign consultant and facilitator.
SCOUTING FOR EVENTS AND ACTIONS
Whether you are planning a march, a sit-down, a picket, a meeting disruption, a banner or a blockade, it is often important to check out the location in advance. Scouting the location well can help you plan an action that is safe, effective and less likely to be foiled. This workshop will introduce you to the basics of scouting for situations where you are trying to go unoticed to maintain the element of surprise.
Trainer: Mark Calzavara has scouted and coordinated direct actions for the last twenty years. He is currently the Ontario-Quebec organizer for the Council of Canadians.
SPEAKING TO THE MEDIA AND GETTING YOUR STORY OUT THERE!
In this workshop, participants will learn about a tool for crafting strong messaging for the media and practice quick sound bites that will resonate. We will also explore different social media platforms and each of their strengths. Working with the knowledge in the room, we’ll create a list of best practices using real life examples and challenges.
Trainer: Loveleen Kaur Kang is a content creator and Courage and Creativity coach with over a decade of experience as a community organizer, political campaigner, podcast producer and documentary filmmaker. She holds a M.A with a focus on decolonization and activism. On any given day, you can catch her whizzing around on her shiny, red bike named Hedwig, envisioning her next creative project or dreaming about her next backpacking trip.