SJC and OPIRG collaborate on workshop series


Brock will host an Anti-Oppression Workshop Series run by the partnership of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) Brock chapter and the Student Justice Centre (SJC).

This series will offer more than 20 events each month on topics ranging from Supporting Black Survivors to Making Theory Accessible, according to Anella Bieteru, a graduate student in Social Justice and Equity Studies and an OPIRG Board Director.

The partnership, predominantly built around this workshop series, was formed to increase the outreach ability of both the SJC and OPIRG.

“Where the Student Justice Centre brings necessary priorities on campus-centered programming, OPIRG Brock then connects it to the broader community working on these issues. For example, the SJC have strong ties with services throughout campus, enabling OPIRG Brock to connect with these services through programming together with the organizations we work with throughout Niagara. Social and environmental justice initiatives on campuses are far too often pushed into one office, or allocated to a few key people, who are always expected to take on the advocacy role,” said Bieteru. “The expanded SJC-OPIRG Brock relationship this year has worked to address these issues by broadening our outreach basis and cross-promoting the different and joint initiatives each space has prioritized.”

According to Bieteru, the combination of the SJC’s and OPIRG’s resources has not only widened their outreach but has also provided greater flexibility within on-campus power dynamics.

“Where the Student Justice Centre ensures that BUSU offers a space, programming, and advocacy focused on social and environmental issues facing its members, OPIRG Brock serves as a third party with greater opportunity to expand these narratives,” said Bieteru. “By serving students, but working with our own set of guidelines, OPIRG Brock has greater space to challenge problematic structures that fall within campus bureaucracy without being bound by the traditional hierarchies of power found on campus.

Hosts of upcoming events include Brock alumna, activist, author and blogger Lydia Collins, who will host a four-part series including the following topics: Transformative Justice, Sexual Violence As a War Tool, Destigmatizing STDs, and Accessible Consent Education.

Brock student and writer Rebekah Christie will be facilitating a workshop entitled 10 Things to Make Adulting Easier.

Silvia N’sungani, also a Brock student, has multiple upcoming workshops, including Sex & Race (a space reserved for Black and Indigenous folks and people of colour) and Autism Awareness Week: Disability in Society.

Co-founders of the Supports of Haudenosaunee Right to Hunt, Celeste Smith and Jodielynn Harrison, will continue their on-going series entitled Decolonial Reflections: The Haudenosaunee Deer Harvest. According to Bieteru, the co-facilitators have been “opening a dialogue to anyone, no matter your perspectives on the hunt, to look at topics, such as Indigenous rights including inherent land and treaty rights; considering our Nation-to-Nation relationship, animal liberation and decolonization, notions of culture and tradition among others.”

OPIRG will also be hosting its Annual General Meeting this month.

“This will be a space to hear about the past year of growth and needed steps forward, the plan for the year ahead, and a discussion of the increased need for activism on campus and in the region related to the Provincial cuts,” said Bieteru.

The meeting will also provide OPIRG members the chance to vote in the election for the 2019-2020 Board of Directors.

The complete list of workshops can be found online on the Brock Student Justice Centre Facebook page.


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