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Day 1 - Workshop 1A

Black Brilliance: Engaging Students and Community Voice

Facilitator(s): Deepa Ahluwalia, Leanne Hughes & Rohan Thompson

Our educational institutions create barriers for racialized students, specifically those who identify as African, Caribbean and Black (ACB), but how often do we engage ACB students about their experiences of anti-Black racism in school? The Waterloo Region District School Board has created “Our Digital Story: A Voice for Students” collaborating with ACB community members and secondary students and has been using this resource to raise the awareness of educators on how they may be contributing to these experiences. The video was launched at our first annual Black Brilliance Conference for ACB students, planned and organized in partnership with the ACB community.

Challenging the Traditional Notions of Parenting

Facilitator(s): Donna Cardoza, Rashmee Karnad-Jani & Camille Logan

*This workshop will have two presentations*

Invisible Work and Hidden Labour in Ontario’s Public Education: A Decolonizing Institutional Ethnography of Mothering and Teachers’ Work by Rashmee Karnad-Jani

Institutional Ethnography, a critical research methodology allows researchers to examine work from participants’ experiences. Rashmee’s research highlights key aspects of the Parental Engagement Policy (2010) that organizes work of mothers and teachers in GTA public schools but does not take into account the social relations and material conditions that affect their work. This workshop invites participants to think about the importance of school context as ‘the problematic’ where educational policies are taken up and people do their everyday work. Rashmee takes up common sense sexism and racism as well as the Standard North American Family as an ideological code in educational discourse.

Dismantling Barriers to Parent Engagement by Donna Cardoza & Camille Logan 

Participants will have an opportunity to deconstruct and challenge traditional approaches to parent involvement which serve to marginalize families, particularly those from racialized communities and those impacted by a circumstance of poverty.  Through active discussion, participants will have an opportunity to rethink common conceptualizations of parent engagement and to hear promising practices from various school communities where the presence of parents in the learning of their children truly matters. These stories speak to how relationships between parents and schools hold the great possibility for addressing gaps in achievement and enhancing the potential for all students.



Disrupting the Systemic Structures of Public Education and Corporatization that Marginalize Low-Income Students and Families

Facilitator(s): Judith Bishop, Diana Grimaldos, Yvonne Kelly, Sharma Queiser, Dr. Sue Winton, Sharan Widsten & Jersey PS Students

**Workshop Full**

**This workshop will be carousel style**

Members of Ontario’s Knowledge Network for Student Well-Being’s Community of Practice on Equity/Inclusion highlight how common policies and practices in the province’s public schools serve as barriers to access, opportunities, and outcomes for low-income and other marginalized students. Using a carousel format, workshop facilitators will discuss: Costs of a Day in Public Education; Schools’ Reliance on Fees/Fundraising; Impacts of Classism on Low-income Students; Efforts of Educators Working to Mitigate Impacts of Poverty; Impacts of Streaming; and the Growing Focus on Financial Literacy. The presenters will situate these topics within their broader social contexts, including capitalism and privatization of public education.

Enacting Reconciliation Across the Grades 6, 8, 10 Social Studies and History Curriculum: Ontario Truth and Reconciliation Case Studies

Facilitator(s): Keri Cheechoo & Nicholas Ng-A-Fook

This workshop will introduce participants to some newly developed Truth and Reconciliation guides for Grades 6, 8 and 10 Ontario Social Studies and History curriculum. Participants will have opportunities to examine an overview of how to use three case studies (one per grade). Each one investigates the historical significance of a Residential Schools in relation to different Indigenous communities: Mohawk Institute, Cecilia Jeffrey and St Anne’s. This workshop will provide educators with opportunities to develop critical pedagogies in relation to unsettling a settler colonial historical consciousness. Attendees will receive copies of the guides during the session.

Fed Up & Past Due: Anti-Black Racism in Education

Facilitator(s): Melissa Wilson

**Workshop Full**

This workshop, “Fed Up & Past Due: Anti-Black Racism in Education,” will outline the legacy of anti-Black racism in Ontario. While the concept “anti-Black racism” may be new to some people, the presenter will outline that anti-Black racism and white supremacy are entrenched in the historical and contemporary institutions in Ontario – including education. Furthermore, Black communities in Ontario have been advocating for change in the education system for more than one hundred years, yet we continue to see the same racist practices in schools. This workshop will contextualize the current attention around anti-Black racism in Ontario’s public education system.

Queer Pedagogy

Facilitator(s): Francesca Piccione, Riven Thorne & Jamea Zuberi

This workshop will be exploring queer pedagogies from three different perspectives:

Jamea Zuberi will share her lived experience in terms of her personal journey in the classroom which is informed by “queer pedagogy” while deeply rooted in feminist pedagogy and Africentricity.

Francesca Piccione is an elementary Health and Phys Ed teacher, she will bring some perspective to the issues around the health curriculum in terms of understanding LGBTQ issues.  The barriers that lead to intolerance are exacerbated by the lack of support by our provincial government which contributes to less confidence in educators who teach it. She will discuss what we can do as educators to mitigate these barriers and create an inclusive school culture in support of LGBTQ communities. 

Riven Thorne is a young transgender person who recently finished high school and has had experiences at many different schools. Riven will share perspectives on what it was like as a transgender student in a variety of high schools. Riven would love to discuss actions them seen taken by staff that have aided their LGBTQ student body as well as inaction that has hindered them.



Settler-Indigenous Relationships

Facilitator(s): Pamala Agawa & Nada Aoudeh

Through sharing our own stories, Pam and Nada will speak about how finding the truths in the Indigenous-Settler relationships moves us to decolonizing the nature of that relationship and edging closer towards reconciliation in intentional and authentic ways. We will share the importance of how equity-seeking groups in Canada have a different relationship with Canada than Indigenous People. Through our own learning, we share the importance of being rooted in who you are, centering our relationships in a place of trust and vulnerability to support social and political powers in spaces to push for change. We will engage in a very real conversation of practical examples of how we have worked beside each other to achieve authentic solidarity.​

The #NotSoMicro Impacts of Microaggressions in Schools

Facilitator(s): Farah Rahemtula & Sharla Serasanke Falodi


Join us in making the #NotSoMicro impacts of microaggressions visible in our schools! Through interactive discussions and activities, we’ll learn to identify these brief, everyday, covert interactions that perpetuate and maintain oppressive conditions for students who experience anti-Black racism, heteronormativity, Islamophobia and other forms of oppression. We’ll challenge attendees to reflect on their positional power and their own complicity in committing microaggressions. Finally, practical strategies will be shared to address microaggressions in schools, which in turn, supports in removing individual and systemic barriers facing students and their families. By paying attention to microaggressions in schools, we can foster a school environment where all students and their families are better able to thrive.

Unpacking Islamophobia

Facilitator(s): Aasiyah Khan & Gilary Massa

This workshop will trace the history of Islamophobia in Canada, its role in shaping ideas of belonging, and what this means for marginalized students in the public education system. In the process, we hope to examine Islamophobia as a by-product of white supremacy and through case studies, student voice and activities. Participants will be asked to confront their own assumptions about Islam and Muslims as a lead into a broader conversation about the impacts of Islamophobia in the classroom.

Day 2 - Workshop 2A

Children's Aid Society

Facilitator(s): Christine Baccus & Michael Bowe

This workshop will address the unique lived experiences of young people in care and further dismantle the barriers within the education system impacting educational outcomes. This workshop will provide strategies and alternative approaches to support young people in Extended Society Care to increase well-being and academic success. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to explore and the ways in which education can support young people in care through alternative approaches and perspectives. Further, participants will be able to reflect on their current practices and unpack the ways in these practices contribute to the marginalization of young people in care. Participants can look forward into the ways they can work in a community with Societies to better support the educational outcomes for young people in care.

Countering Absence and Erasure: Challenging Islamophobia through CRRP

Facilitator(s): Ayesha Syed & Rizwana Kaderdina

The absence and erasure of Muslim identities, histories, and narratives in educational spaces function to allow stereotypes and assumptions about Muslims that have existed since the Crusades, to be perpetuated and reinforced over generations, and for Muslim students and communities to continue to be Othered in educational spaces. Participants will explore ways CRRP can be leveraged to counter this so that the prevailing Eurocentric, Occidentalist paradigm is challenged. Participants will explore the possibility that socialization that intentionally humanizes and values Muslim identities might be one of the necessary pre-conditions for establishing a space in which true transformation can take place.

Equity Through Community Music Programming: Barriers and Bridges to Resources and Representation

Facilitator(s): Prof. Karen Burke, Karen Cyrus, Sam Tecle & Evelyn Ponsah

Learners whose social identity is defined by minority group memberships may become demotivated when there is a lack of equity in the curriculum. This workshop explores two barriers to equity in music education for students in low-income areas and racialized students; these students are marginalized due to a lack of resources and a lack of representation in the curriculum respectively. We will discuss the impact of the lack of representation and resources in music education on the engagement, achievement and well-being of Black students in the Jane and Finch area. We will then explore how to source instruments for music programs and integrate pan-African music into the music curricula of schools and community music programs. This is necessary as all children need resources to excel, and children of pan-African descent need positive representations of themselves, beyond tokenism, to promote their success and well-being.

Examining Heterosexist and Non Cisgender Language and Practice

Facilitator(s): Leslie Eddy

I hope to challenge attendees’ unconscious biases and use of language, related to heteronormative attitudes, heterosexist practices and gender binary assumptions within schools and society. In examining heteronormative language/assumptions, as well as gender binary terms, I hope to raise awareness as to how this language/practice, contributes to oppression/micro-aggression and exclusion of marginalized groups/individuals. I hope to identify language & practices that can promote a more inclusive and accepting environment in schools for queer and gender fluid individuals. We will discuss ways that educators can promote a safer space at school for students identifying within the 2SLGBTQA+ community.

Hard Conversations

Facilitator(s): Andrew Parent, Awad Ibrahim, Geordie Walker, Krisa Kopra, Krista Mcnamara & Sherwyn Solomon


The Ottawa Hard Conversations is a group which started with 3 principals and a University professor, who had grown tired of waiting for change to come from “above” on the hard and daily issues we deal with daily as administrators in our schools. Addressing the suspension rates of racialized students, systemic racism, unchecked biases, and dress codes are the kinds of hard conversations we are interested in discussing during this session with fellow administrators from across the province. Our group has grown to 30-40 principals, elementary and secondary, from across our district. During this session, we would like to reflect on our own practices and beliefs, recognize and name spaces of privilege, and to challenge, as Dr. Robin Di’Angelo puts it, our “white fragility” when engaging in conversations with racialized students, families, and our staffs by talking about race and how it affects our and others’ lived experiences.

How Ableism Intersects with White Supremacy to Harm BIPOC Students

Facilitator(s): Krystal Kavita Jagoo


The Ontario Human Rights Commission defines ableism as “attitudes in society that devalue and limit the potential of persons with disabilities,” and it aligns with settler colonialism, white supremacy, etc. towards the oppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) students. Especially when the diverse student body is not reflected in those providing instruction, BIPOC students will continue to be marginalized unless greater efforts are made to challenge widespread cognitive dissonance in the field of education. My workshop will attempt to equip teachers with the necessary skills to counter mainstream assumptions that contribute to the dehumanization of BIPOC students.

Identifying and Addressing Anti-Black Racism in Ontario Schools

Facilitator(s): Natasha Henry & Phiona Lloyd-Henry


Our session examines the historical roots of anti-Black racism in education in Ontario to develop a critical awareness of how it manifests today. Participants will be guided in a discussion of some of the issues and concerns in the education of Black students; engage in a series of activities to deepen our understanding of historical and contemporary forms of anti-Black racism and its unique history in the Transatlantic Slave Trade; reflect on how anti-Black racism manifests in classrooms & schools; review the role of engaging Black student voice in understanding and addressing anti-Black racism and provide strategies on how to design ways of #TeachingForBlackLives as a means to disrupt anti-Black racism. At the end of the session, we will spend some time reflecting on our personal roles in making change happen.

Success Beyond Limits (SBL): Year 1 Findings From A Research Project That Asked: What Can Community Mean From inside a Jane and Finch School?

Facilitator(s): Kherto Ahmed, Darren Aning, PK Boateng, Jumoke Jimoh, Tesfai Mengesha, Presila Mason & Sam Tecle

In this workshop, we present findings from Year 1 of an SBL-led qualitative research project, in partnership with HEQCO, that explored the effectiveness of SBL’s Graduation Model Approach in supporting secondary school educational attainment and access to postsecondary education. While there exists an abundance of research and evaluation on SBL’s Program as it relates to achievement, graduation outcomes an SBL’s Summer Program (as recently as 2017), to date, no systematic evaluation has been conducted engaging SBL Alumni – those who have gone through some or all of SBL’s Graduation Model and engaged with a variety of post-secondary trajectories, including but not limited to any and all forms of post-secondary education (university, college, trade programs). This research project fills that evaluative gap. In addition to a broad-based survey aimed toward all SBL Alumni, our team of 5 Youth Researchers also conducted 27 semi-structured interviews with SBL Alumni. This workshop will present those findings and is connected to Question 2, which is concerned with dismantling barriers to education. Specifically, this workshop focuses on barriers to secondary school completion and postsecondary access.

Jour 1 - Atelier 1A

« Existe-il une version en français? » - Les défis et opportunités dans l’appui aux jeunes francophones LGBTQ+

Facilitator(s): Miriam Greenblatt, Camille Blanchard-Séguin, Jared Boland

« Existe-il une version en français? » En tant que membres et alliés de la communauté LGBTQ+ francophone au Canada, cette question représente un défi auquel nous faisons face continuellement. Nous existons à l’intersection de plusieurs identités minoritaires, et cette réalité entraine des défis, des approches et des besoins particuliers. Cet atelier nous permettra de discuter des enjeux de cette intersection, et surtout du thème 2 : challenging heteronormativity, ainsi que de partager des ressources en français.

Jour 1 - Atelier 1B

Transformer les tâches en FLS pour maximiser l’engagement des élèves

Facilitator(s): Julie Liu, Trudy Rampersad

Student engagement can make or break achievement and retention in FSL programs. In this session, participants will gain a basic understanding of CEFR principles that drive our action-oriented approach to learning in FSL programs and increase student engagement and language proficiency. Using sample learning situations grounded in social justice and global competencies, we will explore how these principles come together to create a positive environment for second language learning that highly reflects student voice and identity.

Jour 2 - Atelier 2A

Le Hip Hop dans le contexte de l’enseignement de FLS: décortiquer le narratif

Facilitator(s): Keverne Cenac-Lopes

Le Hip Hop, traité souvent comme un genre des opprimés et des délaissés, démontre de l’évidence des barrières d’apprentissage causées par le colonialisme et la négligence des minorités. On va explorer comment la langue est utilisée dans ce genre comme moyen d’expression pour arriver à défaire et à comprendre quelques-unes de ces barrières. Le Hip Hop apporte des connaissances riches à notre réalité. En analysant le genre, on peut essayer de refaire le narratif. En intégrant l’Identité et l’Équité, on apprendra à encourager un dialogue ouvert qui donne à tous la voix importante dont ils ont besoin pour réussir.

Jour 2 - Atelier 2B

Contrer l’islamophobie dans nos écoles, particulièrement dans le contexte de FLS

Facilitator(s): Jafar A. Hussain

Sans doute, l’attentat en Nouvelle Zélande était une grande tragédie. C'était l’islamophobie à l'extrême; cependant, il faut comprendre le mécanisme derrière l’attaque, et s'adresser au grand système préalable mis en place qui donnait lieu à ces actions. Nous éclairons la relation entre le média et l'islamophobie, quelques idées fausses propagées par le média, le rôle de l’Hollywood par rapport aux stéréotypes, et les activités concrètes qu’on peut entamer en salle de classe afin de briser ces stéréotypes. De plus, nous espérons éclairer les biais par rapport à l’immersion française, y compris “l’image blanche” et l'accès au program.

Jour 2 - Atelier 2C

Trois perspectives importantes dans le contexte francophone

Facilitator(s): Alice Fomen, Yollande Dweme M. Pitta, Sussana Zundiebe

La discussion portera sur les défis des pères immigrants. Ce thème est le fruit d’une recherche sur l’intégration des africains francophones d’origine subsaharienne au Canada : le cas des pères de famille. Une analyse de données qualitatives réalisée auprès de ces immigrants met en lumière les nombreux défis auxquels ils sont confrontés.

Notre principal objectif est de mieux saisir le processus migratoire et son impact sur cette catégorie d'immigrants et de comprendre les réalités que vivent les hommes issus d'une culture africaine. Mais aussi de partager leurs souhaits. C’est-à-dire : leur meilleure intégration au Canada requiert de leur apporter du soutien, à valoriser leur rôle et à mieux les outiller à connaitre leur environnement.