Are you interested in learning more about grassroots community organizations in Toronto, or getting involved in their work? Check out this list of community groups (which is by no means exhaustive):
AIDS Action Now
AIDS ACTION NOW! is a community-based group engaged in the struggle against HIV/AIDS. Our work is fundamentally driven by the needs of people living with AIDS and HIV infection (PLWA/HIV). While our work comes primarily from the gay/ lesbian community, we are committed to the empowerment of all PLWA/HIVs and all communities affected by the AIDS crisis. AIDS ACTION NOW! welcomes all PLWA/HlVs as well as other individuals who are in basic agreement with our principles.
Black Lives Matter Toronto
To be a platform upon which black communities across Toronto can actively dismantle all forms of anti-black racism, liberate blackness, support black healing, affirm black existence, and create freedom to love and self- determine.
To forge critical connections and to work in solidarity with black communities, black-centric networks, solidarity movements, and allies in order to to dismantle all forms of state-sanctioned oppression, violence, and brutality committed against African, Caribbean, and Black cis, queer, trans, and disabled populations in Toronto.
Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid was formed in January 2006 as part of a growing, global movement against Israeli apartheid.
We believe Israel is an apartheid state that resembles South African Apartheid. Palestinian citizens of Israel are denied from controlling and developing over 90% of land because they are Palestinian. Palestinians expelled in 1948 and 1967 are denied the right to return to their homes and lands, despite the fact that anyone of Jewish background – from anywhere in the world – has the automatic right to become an Israeli citizen. In the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians live under separate and discriminatory military law.
The Canadian government provides extensive political and economic support to the Israeli apartheid regime. Canadian corporations profit through investments and joint operations with Israeli companies. We work to end all Canadian complicity in this apartheid state. We are a network of concerned individuals and organizations working to end this apartheid system. We believe that justice will not be achieved without equal rights for everyone in the region, regardless of religion, ethnicity or nationality. We understand Israeli apartheid as one element of a system of global apartheid. To this end, we stand in solidarity with all oppressed groups around the world, in particular, the indigenous people of North America. We oppose all forms of racism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.
End Immigration Detention Network
The End Immigration Detention Network (EIDN) is a coalition of No One Is Illegal – Toronto, Fuerza Puwersa, End Immigration Detention Network Peterborough and Vancouver and No One Is Illegal – Ottawa. We believe that the only fair immigration system is one without deportations and detentions, and call for full immigration status for all migrants. The Campaign to End Indefinite Detentions is our interim campaign.
Jane Finch Action Against Poverty
Jane and Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP) is a resident-led grassroots coalition of community residents, activists, workers and organizations working to eliminate poverty in our community and in the world. The group was formed in October of 2008 following a rally at the intersection of Jane Finch to commemorate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty .
Justicia for Migrant Workers
Justicia for Migrant Workers (J4MW) is a volunteer driven political non-profit collective comprised of committed activists from diverse walks of life (including labour activists, educators, researchers, students and youth of colour) based in Toronto, Ontario and now in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. We are engaged in this work alongside our personal commitments and numerous social justice struggles. J4MW strives to promote the rights of migrant farmworkers (participating in the Canadian Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program and the Low Skilled Workers Program) and farmworkers without status. Promoting workers rights entails fighting for spaces where workers themselves can articulate their concerns without loosing their work or being repratriated. We start with workers’ knowledge and concerns and and collectively devise strategies to make necessary changes. We see ourselves as allies and strive for a movement that is led and directed by workers themselves.
Maggie’s: The Toronto Sex Workers Action Project is an organization run for and by local sex workers. Our mission is to assist sex workers in our efforts to live and work with safety and dignity. We are founded on the belief that in order to improve our circumstances, sex workers must control our own lives and destinies.
We welcome workers of all genders from all areas of the sex trade – street-based sex workers, exotic dancers, escorts, pornography actors, phone sex operators, professional dominants and submissives, erotic massage workers, web cam workers, and others – to join us in our fight to control our own bodies, sexuality and working lives.
Migrant Sex Worker Project
We are a grassroots group of migrants, sex workers, and allies who demand safety and dignity for all sex workers regardless of immigration status. We use a justice based framework that places sex worker rights on equal footing against racism, settler colonialism and border imperialism. We are creating tools that migrant sex workers use to protect themselves against human rights violations, educating the public about the dangers of anti-trafficking and advocating to change policies that hurt and exploit migrants in the sex trade.
The Migrant Sex Worker Project was formed when three long time grassroots activists came together to deal with problems facing migrants in the sex trade. It brought together organizers from sex work, migrant justice, and migrant sex work justice.
No One is Illegal
No One is Illegal (Toronto) is a group of immigrants, refugees and allies who fight for the rights of all migrants to live with dignity and respect. We believe that granting citizenship to a privileged few is part of a racist immigration and border policy designed to exploit and marginalize migrants. We work to oppose those policies, as well as the international economic policies that create the conditions of poverty and war that force migration. At the same time, we work to support and build alliances with our Indigenous brothers and sisters in their fight against displacement and the ongoing theft of their land.
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
OCAP is a direct-action, anti-poverty organization based in Toronto. We mount campaigns against regressive government policies as they affect poor and working people. Additionally, we provide direct-action advocacy for individuals against welfare and ODSP, public housing and others who deny poor people what they are entitled to. We believe in the power of the people to organize themselves. We believe in the power of resistance.
Prisoners with HIV/AIDS Support Action Network
PASAN is a community-based AIDS Service organization that strives to provide community development, education and support to prisoners and ex-prisoners in Ontario ON HIV / AIDS, Hepatitis C (HCV) and other harm reduction issues. PASAN formed in 1991 as a grassroots response to HIV / AIDS in the Canadian prison system. Today, PASAN is the only community-based organization in Canada exclusively providing HIV / AIDS and HCV prevention, education and support services to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families.
Toronto Media Co-op
The Media Co-op is a coast-to-coast network of local media co-operatives dedicated to providing grassroots, democratic coverage of their communities and of Canada.
The Media Co-op is reader-funded and member-run. This means that we rely on the participation of hundreds of people through discussions of coverage, photography, written accounts, videos and other forms of participatory journalism. We also seek to fund experienced journalists to produce high-quality, in-depth reporting, drawing whenever possible on input and material generated by our membership.
The Media Co-op is formally organized as a solidarity cooperative (also known as a multi-stakeholder co-op) with three kinds of members: readers, contributors and editors. This means that the Co-op seeks to represent the common interests of these various groups. For example: the readers want high-quality grassroots coverage, and are willing to pay for it; the contributors want to cover stories free from the constraints of the corporate press and be paid for their work. The editor members are charged with organizing the cooperative and keeping things running day to day.