The Toronto Research and Action Community Exchange (TRACX) was a program that ran from 2015 until 2018 intended to match University of Toronto students with Toronto-based community organizations to engage in participatory action research for academic credit.
In keeping with OPIRG Toronto’s mandate to direct resources and research towards anti-oppressive, social and environmental justice projects, TRACX worked to create critical links between the university and Toronto community to make research accountable, non-voyeuristic, and multipurpose in its distribution and use as a shared resource.
Currently, we are in the middle of organizing the second component of our program, which is our annual symposium. This year’s symposium is titled “What’s Left? Coalition-Building and Countering the Alt-Right”. The symposium portion is organized to showcase research with a community organizing focus from students, non-students and community groups. We want to problematize and challenge perspectives on research, and build networks between socially-conscious students and grassroots community organizations to develop research proposals led by the community group’s needs and priorities. We hope you can join us in helping facilitate this process as we focus on how we resist fascism, in our relationships, in our workplaces, and in the institutions and systems that govern our daily lives.
This year’s symposium will focus on participatory panels, keynotes and group discussion spaces covering the theme of anti-fascist work in Toronto. This symposium is motivated by a need to reflect on our understanding of anti-fascism and what the practice of anti-fascist organizing looks like. How do we cultivate an understanding of what anti-fascism means, and how do we employ it in our organizing work? Students attending the symposium will be exposed to a variety of social and environmental justice causes in the city of Toronto and will be able to network with community organizations about their research interests in the areas that the community groups work in. Students and community members will also have an opportunity to learn more about issues in the communities surrounding the campus and learn how the resources of the University could be utilized to assist with community projects.
The Toronto Research and Community Exchange collective is currently working on coordinating an upcoming symposium scheduled for September 30/October 1 and will be soliciting submissions, proposals and. The Toronto Research and Action Community Exchange (TRACX) is an annual program intended to match University of Toronto students with Toronto-based community organizations to engage in participatory action research for academic credit.
In keeping with our mandate to direct resources and research towards anti-oppressive, social and environmental justice projects, TRACX attempts to create critical links between the university and the wider Toronto community. All in an effort to make academic research non-voyeuristic, accountable to the communities it depends on, and multipurpose in its distribution and use as a shared resource. As part of the collective you would assist us in preparing for our annual symposium as well as coordinating the research portion of the project in the coming fall.
How do we highlight research led by community organizations? What research is needed for current social justice campaigns? Our third annual symposium will again feature community-based social justice research by community groups and students, research projects and presentations on social and environmental justice issues and workshops on current organizing work.
This is not an academic conference. We want to problematize and challenge people’s perspectives on research, encourage social investigation and engage in collective, creative problem solving and skills sharing around community concerns. How do you organize against discrimination and injustice in your own life? What movements do you participate in that confront racism, fascism, transphobia, misogyny, and Islamophobia for example? Whether you’re a student, community member, activist or someone curious about activism, everyone is encouraged to participate and attend!
If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out via email to opirg.toronto(at)gmail.com or racheleopirgto(at)gmail.com.
Racism is at the foundation of a deeply oppressive system that has yet to be fully dismantled. From the practice of colonialism that founded this nation to the continuous attacks on racialized bodies by the arms of the state, anti-racist work entails confronting racism in our relationships, our workplaces, our organizing work and in the institutions that govern our daily lives. We want to engage in discussions on how race impacts activist spaces and the work we do as organizers to fight against police brutality, prisons, gentrification and other forms of violence.
In spring 2016, join us to showcase research with a community organizing focus. How do we highlight research led by community organizations? What research is needed for current social justice campaigns?
Our schedule includes some great events, including workshops on prison abolition and alternatives to police intervention, panels on gentrification, policing and putting research into action, and skills based trainings on doing research as activists, infographics and social media!
Whether you’re a student, non-student, activist or someone curious about activism, everyone is encouraged to participate and attend! We encourage people planning on attending to register beforehand and it would be especially helpful for accessibility purposes but everyone is welcome to attend!