Teachers for Global Awareness (with members from Greater Essex County District School Board, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board, Faculty of Education -University of Windsor, Ontario Secondary Schools Teachers Federation & Can-Am Indian Friendship Centre) is proud to present the 13th Annual High School Social Justice Forum titled "Consent" on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at the University of Windsor - Alumni Auditorium and Dillon Hall.
Our keynote presenter is Teajai Travis, a locally-renown community activist and artist who will perform a spoken word and drumming piece that explores growing up in Windsor with ancestors who were enslaved.
In the name of freedom of choice, giving consent and even empowerment, some governments claim that membership in elected student associations on campuses and Labour unions in the workplace should be voluntary and not required. Participants will engage with one another in sorting out what role these non-governmental organizations play, the democratic principles involved and whether or not what government claims makes sense to them.
Through a full day of workshops and group discussions, students will learn about social justice issues relating to the theme of Consent: the right to conscience on topics such as feminism, FNMI issues, LGBTTQ, cultural appropriation, human trafﬁcking, substance abuse, mental health, politics, environmental racism and much more. Students must select four workshops in order of preference from which two will be assigned.
As participants in the Annual High School Social Justice Forum, we encourage all students to complete a social justice project at their school. In preparation for the event’s ﬁnal activity, students should come to the forum with several ideas for social justice projects. These could include starting a Students for Global Awareness group, organizing a Diversity Assembly, hosting a fundraising dance, running an awareness/fundraising/outreach campaign (i.e. White Ribbon campaign, World AIDS Day Awareness, Day of Silence), environmental art installations, or any project that touches on topics such as human rights, poverty, health, environment.
Keynote Speaker: Teajai Travis
Teajai Travis is an Afro-Indigenous descendant of formerly enslaved peoples. He comes from a strong family of self-emancipated survivors who emigrated into Canada in 1853, after fleeing the United States, following the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act. Prior to his Ancestors, leaving their home in Mercer County, where they founded one of the first black settlements in Pennsylvania, they were active in the Afro liberation movement known today as The Underground Railroad.
As an artist, Teajai works in the spirit of the Ancestor, guided by the infinite light of their legacy. Using Spoken Word and abstract rhythmic sound art, Teajai explores existence, consciousness and humanity as a bubbling manifestation of sensations. He meditates on questions of reality and illusion and muses on the presence of naturally occurring patterns found in the make up of the universe. He mindfully incorporates these themes into his work.
Teajai Travis is an art educator with Arts Can Teach, the Founder and Director of The Bloomfield House, he is the current chair of The Windsor Youth Centre, a board member with The Friends of the Court and Literary Arts Windsor and he is currently working on a collection of poetry titled Born Enslaved: A Freedom Story, as well a play and a collection of short stories of the same name. The work shares his Ancestors heroic journey from slavery to freedom. He often describes his creative style as “lyrical hood spit” a reflection of his humble upbringing in one of Windsor’s public housing communities – he proudly claim’s ‘Westside for Life’. In the anthology By the River, published by Urban Farmhouse Press, he continues to describe his style as “channeling the desperate melodies of a pawn shop saxophone, praying abstract jazz to the whispers of a misunderstood Harlem Renaissance; black”. Inspired by the works of Nikki Giovanni, Dick Gregory, James Baldwin, Afua Cooper and Sal Williams, Teajai uses a poetic language to share the complexities of struggle and triumph from his unique lens.
Teajai is grateful for the opportunity to share intelligence with a powerful community of social justice warriors. Consent is a critical topic for discussion and Teajai is looking forward to growing his knowledge by engaging in conversations that will challenge and expand his understanding.
Teajai Travis CSW, RSW, Iphm
The Bloomfield House - Director
Arts Can Teach - Artist Educator
Afro Present: Art and Media - Artist, Writer, Producer, Consultant
Board of Directors: The Windsor Youth Centre, Literary Arts Windsor & Friends of the Court (Mackenzie Hall)
"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one that brings peace."
Workshop 1 - Dr. Tanya Basok
Please check back as we update Dr. Basok's bio.
Workshop 2 - Jayce Carver
Jayce Carver is the co-founder and Executive Director of Windsor-Essex Transgender and Allied Support. Jayce, along with a carefully chosen team of like-minded community activists, is working to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of transgender, gender-queer, Two Spirit, gender-non-binary, and gender-questioning communities and their families. Through evidence-based activities, programming, and services that create and build community on a platform of empowerment, Jayce focuses on the provision of essential resources and advocacy work that recognizes and honours the importance of peer-led programming. With a focus on human rights, Jayce embraces, promotes and supports the diversity of a marginalized population. These contributions are bringing about a reduction in isolation of Trans* individuals, creating community and visibility of Trans*individuals, and providing tailored supports in our community from a person-centered perspective that relies on strong partnerships with other community agencies.
Workshop 3 - K. Ellsworth
Ms. Ellsworth is a sixth generation Canadian and a descendent of enslaved Africans who escaped slavery in the Southern United States and travelled on the Underground Railroad to Windsor, Ontario. She is of African-Canadian and Chippewa decent and believes that using her experiences as a racialized minority in Canada to inspire youth in the community is essential through promoting education, social and cultural awareness, equity and diversity.
She is a graduate of the University of Windsor. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Modern Languages in Spanish, and a certificate in Law and Politics. She is also a graduate of the University Of Toronto Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, qualified to teach high school.
Ms. Ellsworth is the Change Your Future Program Counsellor within the Greater Essex County District School Board at W.F. Herman Academy Secondary School and Kennedy Collegiate. The Change Your Future Program is a supplemental educational support program designed to assist racialized students in finding their path to success, guiding them through obstacles and challenges that they may face in the educational system, as well as promoting anti-racism.
Workshop 4 - Jessica Cook
Jessica Rachel Cook, is a First Nations artist with an Honours Bachelor of Fine Art and a Bachelor of Education degree and presently working towards her Master of Education. As the Education and Public Programs Coordinator at the Art Gallery of Windsor she enjoys designing curriculum linked art activities, coordinating educational and public programming and community outreach initiatives. For over twenty years Jessica has been combining traditional and contemporary art mediums to create original works of art for promotional and marketing materials for online, print, film & television.
Workshop 5 - Enver Villamizar
Enver Villamizar is an Occasional Teacher with the Greater Essex County District School Board. He was a candidate in the Federal Elections in the riding of Essex and has been politically active since he was in high school. His main work has been to involve the youth in politics and in defending the rights of all in society.
Workshop 5 - Peter Miller
Peter Miller has been involved in the student movement for many years because he believed education is a right and it should be free of tuition fees. He is in his final year in Teachers college at the University of Windsor.
Workshop 6 - Darlene Marshall
With a Masters in Indigenous Education at Western University and BEd and Undergrad at University of Windsor, Darlene Marshall is currently employed as Indigenous Education Lead for Windsor Essex Catholic district School Board and also as a professor of Indigenous studies at University of Windsor. She is a member of Caldwell First Nation and lifelong resident of Essex County.
Workshop 7 - Irene Moore Davis
Irene Moore Davis is President of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society and fulfills committee roles with the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum, Amherstburg Freedom Museum, BookFest Windsor, and other organizations. Irene was part of the writing and editorial team for African Canadian Roads to Freedom, resource manuals which help local Grade 1 through 12 teachers integrate Black history into their everyday curriculum; she was a historical consultant on the documentary The Greatest Freedom Show on Earth which aired on TVO in 2015; she has been interviewed for a number of history-focused documentaries; and she was one of several Canadian and U.S. historians to contribute chapters to the book A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland (Wayne State University Press, 2016.) Currently, Irene is writing a book about the history of African-descended people in Windsor and Sandwich. She enjoys speaking about African Canadian history to a wide variety of audiences.
Born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, where her family has lived since the mid-nineteenth century, Irene Moore Davis is a graduate of the University of Windsor, Western University, and Queen’s University. In her professional life, Irene is the manager responsible for Continuing Education and English language programs at St. Clair College, where she also teaches Underground Railroad history. She lives in Windsor with her husband Rodney Davis.
Workshop 8 - Danielle Soulliere
As a University of Windsor alumnus, Danielle. Soulliere completed a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology degree in 1992 and a Master of Arts in Sociology degree in 1994. She received a Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology degree from Wayne State University in 2001.
Her M.A. thesis titled “Reported Sexual Assault in a Mid-Size Ontario City: Probing Police Decisions in Sexual Assault Complaints” investigated the progress of sexual assault cases in the initial stage of criminal justice processing by exploring the factors that influence police decisions in sexual assault complaints.
Danielle's doctoral dissertation titled “Prime-Time Criminal Justice: If All We Knew is What We Saw on Television” examined the way in which crime and criminal justice are portrayed in contemporary prime-time entertainment television justice shows in order to assess the implications such presentations may have for viewer understanding and knowledge.
She am currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology/Criminology at the University of Windsor.
Workshop 9 - Carrie Sekela
Carrie Sekela is a certified teacher and hockey coach at A21 Academy, part-owner of Sandwich Brewing Company, and a part time trivia MC. She has her Masters in Education from Harvard University and a B.A. in Art History modified with Studio Arts from Dartmouth College. While at Dartmouth she was a NCAA D1 dual sport athlete in Hockey and Softball. Prior to A21 she was a Psychology and Sociology instructor at St. Clair College.
Workshop 10 - Lina Chaker
Please check back as we update Lina's bio.
Workshop 11 - Vanessa Gray
Vanessa Gray is a Anishinaabe kwe from the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, located in Canada's Chemical Valley. As a grassroots organizer, land defender and educator, Vanessa works to decolonize environmental justice research by linking scholarly findings to traditional teachings. Vanessa is a co-founder of Aamjiwnaang & Sarnia Against Pipelines (ASAP), host of the annual Toxic Tour of Canada's Chemical Valley. She continues to take part in a diversity of tactics such direct action, classroom lectures, co-hosting Toxic Tours and Water Gatherings.
Workshop 11 - Lindsay Gray
Please check back as we update the bio for Lindsay.
Workshop 12 - Jodi Pearce
Jodi Pearce – attended Riverside Secondary School (GO REBELS!!); a graduate of the University of Windsor; Masters Degree in Education; a health promoter with the Windsor Essex Community Health Centre; married with 2 children age 18 & 22; enjoys spending time with family and friends, walking and going to the gym!
Workshop 13 - Matthew Dunlop
Matthew Dunlop (He/Him) is a born and raised Windsorite whom graduated in 2017 with a Social Work and Disability Studies degree. During his university career, Matthew was elected for two years as the Vice President of Student Advocacy for the undergraduate student’s union, the University of Windsor Student’s Alliance, which represents all 12,000 undergraduate students. The teams he worked on brought significant victories only possible bringing students together such a subsidized bus pass, National Day of Action against tuition fees, and a Bikeshare project among various other student-led victories.
Matthew current works at the YMCA as a Project Manager on a project that looks to re-envision the newcomer settlement sector by exploring peoples strengths instead of their weakness or gaps. Matthew is also working with the Ontario Public Interest Research Group – Windsor Branch to support the important work of social and environmental justice in the university mentorship context. Matthew is also the President of the Ontario Association of Social Workers – Southwestern Branch which advocates for the social work profession that helps find answers to complex situations. Matthew looks forward to learning with you and exploring the ways that you see what it means to come to a consensus.
Workshop 14 - Alexandra (Ali) Caputo
Alexandria (Ali) Caputo has been a student at the University of Windsor since 2016. She is majoring in criminology and minoring in family and social relations. Her journey started with the Bystander Initiative in the fall of 2018 when she decided she wanted to make a powerful impact on her campus. She was able to facilitate several workshops with the goal of mitigating sexual assault across campus.
Workshop 14 - Millissa Fares
Milissa Fares is a 4th year student, double majoring in Psychology and Criminology at the University of Windsor. She took a class that sounded interesting during the Fall of 2017 (Strategies in Preventing Sexual Assault) and ended up learning so much. She became passionate about spreading awareness on the issue of sexual violence and was able to do that on campus by joining the Bystander Initiative.
Not For Sale: Human Trafficking by Dr. Tanya Basok (University of Windsor)
This interactive workshop will introduce students to the complex problem of human trafficking in our area. Through hands-on activities and in-depth discussions, students will explore the concept of consent as it relates to human trafficking and the actions they, governments, and social activists can take to address this societal problem.
Workshop 2 - WE Trans Support: The Building Of A Dream by Jayce Carver (WE Trans)
The building of Canada's first centre for Transgender People and their families
Workshop 3 - Who Has A Say? The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation by Natalie Browning-Morgan and Kaitlyn Ellsworth (GECDSB)
This workshop will explore the complicated concept of cultural appropriation. Who can give consent? And what can be given in consent? Complex discussions and interactive activities will help students explore this challenging topic.
Workshop 4 - Reframing Indigenous Art by Jessica Cook (University of Windsor)
Reframing First Nations Art workshop aims to address and acknowledge 10, 000 years of First Nations People’s existence and contributions in response to Canada’s 150 years of occupation. A visual story of resilience and survival featuring First Nation works of art from past to present.
Workshop 5 - Democracy in Our Schools and Our Workplaces: Using Consent to Violate Your Rights by Enver Villamizar (GECDSB) and Peter Miller (University of Windsor)
There are many layered and topical aspects to consent in schools and workplaces. This workshop will explore the historical and current context of consent and human rights in these scenarios through interactive discussions and hands-on activities.
Workshop 6 - Anishinaabe Kwe: The Power of Indigenous Women by Darlene Marshall (WECDSB and University of Windsor)
From time immemorial, Indigenous women have had a major role in leading their nations. This workshop speaks to how Indigenous women are overcoming colonial oppression and reclaiming their role as leaders.
Workshop 7 - “Oh, Freedom”: Slavery and Resistance in the Detroit Windsor Area by Irene Moore Davis (St Clair College & Essex County Black Historical Research Society)
There is a popular misconception regarding slavery in North America, that it was an institution unique to the American South. Few people realize that individuals and families of both African and Indigenous heritage were enslaved in the places we now know as Metro Detroit and Windsor-Essex County. This workshop will explore the lives and experiences of enslaved people in our region, with a particular focus on the ways in which they resisted their condition despite limited access to choice and consent. In this session, we will also briefly examine the culture of resistance that developed among local people committed to the anti-slavery cause and discuss the lessons that can be learned from these stories in our present time.
Workshop 8 - #metoo by Dr. Danielle Soulliere (University of Windsor)
This workshop will explore the concept of consent as it relates to sexual assault and harassment. Through hands-on activities and complex discussions, students will delve into how social media and popular culture has impacted this movement and our society.
Workshop 9 - LGBTTIQQA CommUNITY and Consent: An ongoing conversation for everyone by Carrie Sekela (A21 Academy)
This workshop focuses on consent across personal, community and professional contexts from the Queer and Allied perspective. For consent to become habitual, the conversation needs to be inclusive, and in process.
Workshop 10 - Muslims Beyond Headlines: Consent & Islam by Lina Chaker (University of Windsor)
This workshop will challenge your assumptions about Islam and those who practice this faith. Through hands-on activities and complex, interactive discussions, you will explore stereotypes and gain a deeper understanding of the facts surrounding Islam. This workshop will also help you understand the threats of Islamophobia and provide you with the tools needed to combat hate and oppression in our society.
Workshop 11 - Environmental Racism: The Indigenous Front Line Experience by Vanessa Gray and Lindsay Gray (Aamjiwnaang & Sarnia Against Pipelines (ASAP)
Growing up in Aamjiwnaang surrounded by petro chemical refineries has always made me question my relationship to the environment. Being Indigenous in Canada continues to be the struggle to uphold my responsibility to the Anishinaabek Territory. Education and understanding our interconnected sturggles is essential to our ever-growning movement, but we can't afford not to take risks for a sustainable and just future.
Workshop 12 - At the Crossroads of Substance Abuse and Mental Health: Teens & Consent by Jodi Pearce (Windsor Essex Community Health Centre)
In this workshop, students will explore the concept of consent as it intersects with substance abuse and mental health. Through hands-on activities and discussions, students will examine this difficult topic and look for ways to empower themselves and their communities.
Workshop 13 - he Game of Consensus: Building Comfort with Principled Compromise by Matthew Dunlop (O.P.I.R.G University of Windsor)
Consensus is as easy as playing a game of cards! Building relationships and trust while sharing power or authority is a hard process where people explore what it means to be vulnerable. This workshop will have you playing card games, talking about your morals, and the role of consensus decision making in different types of groups.
Worshop 14 - Be An Ally To Survivors: Alexandria Caputo & Milissa Fares (University of Windsor)
Bystander workshops put into practice the insights of social psychologists whose research shows that emotional and social barriers, not indifference, explain why most people don’t offer help in emergency situations. This workshop helps students overcome these barriers.
Workshop participants also learn to notice situations that commonly lead to sexual assault; brainstorm ways to safely intervene to prevent a sexual assault before it happens, for example, by turning on the lights at a party or by telling the intended victim that you need to speak to her in the washroom “right now!”; and to offer appropriate support for those who experience sexual assault.