A project of OPIRG-Toronto 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, OPIRG-Toronto 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.
Winter/Spring 2013 Schedule: (click the links to register for individual workshops)
January 16: Online Organizing and Making Social Media Count
This workshop explores how to do effective online campaigning and maximize social media strategies in your projects and campaigns. Participants will explore the benefits and challenges of different online campaigns and social media tools, be given useful information about managing online campaigns and social media platforms, as well as mobilizing different audiences and tracking results.
January 26: Research Skills for Activists and Independent Journalists
This workshop will introduce participants to a banquet of research skills and techniques from a variety of fields. Facilitators will use storytelling to give concrete examples of ways to apply advanced google techniques, freedom of information requests, archival research, private eye tricks, crowd sourcing, database skills, and many other skills. Jammed packed from edge to edge, this session will be a chance for novice and expert researchers alike to pick up skills they can use everyday.
February 2: Political Writing 101
In this workshop, participants will be encouraged to think carefully about the writing process itself, learn effective methods for improvement, and develop approaches to (alternative) publishing.
March 2: Self-defense: Politics and Practice
Our experiences of violence impact our lives and our activism. To challenge patriarchy, colonialism and capitalism, we need to be able to defend ourselves and our communities. Join us for a physical self-defense workshop and a discussion about gender norms and the right to anger, to healthy agression and the pathologizing of women who fight back.
This workshop will take place at the Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Gym, 388 Carlaw Avenue, Unit #108
(Located just south of Gerrard Street, on the main floor of the building)
March 5: Avoiding Activist Burnout
This workshop aims to break down the stigma surrounding activist burnout, offer some constructive solutions on how to get back from the brink of burnout, and tips on how to prevent it in yourself and members of your group.
March 30: Navigating Conflict Resolution
This workshop will provide techniques for resolving conflicts within our groups, as well as long term strategies to build a climate of equity, constructive debate and internal cooperation. This workshop will provide participants with space to discuss and practice de-escalation and conflict strategies.
April 7: Grassroots Fundraising
This workshop will help you learn to develop a strategic fundraising plan for your grassroots social or ecological justice group. This workshop will focus on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of common grassroots fundraising methods including events, membership donations, small grants, contributions from NGOs and unions, online, etc, with an eye to assessing what will be most effective and appropriate for your group. We will also offer tips on best practices, including case studies of effective fundraising efforts.
April 14: Direct Action 101
Learn the skills necessary for organizing and participating in a direct action. This workshop will cover basic action strategy and planning, group decision-making, roles and responsibilities, execution, and post-action follow up.
April 16: Get on the Mic! Public Speaking Workshop
Public Speaking can be intimidating and difficult, especially when you're talking about social change and inspiring people to action. Learn some tips that will help you build your confidence and get on that mic or megaphone!