Past Courses & Workshops

 ENCUENTRO: A Popular Education Encounter

A two-day gathering to share popular education praxis

 April 11-12, 2011- Room 140, HNES Building,
 York University, Keele Campus
 

We invite you to participate in a potluck lunch

(York also has a number of restaurant and cafeteria options)

Registration is free and to register, please RSVP

MONDAY, APRIL 11

 10:00 a.m. PLENARY
 1. Community Mapping HNES140
 This is a conference of hands-on, participatory, popular education workshops. Plenaries will be brief and as active and participatory as possible. We will begin by framing this event and then, given that popular education includes numerous participatory practices of research and knowledge-making, we will focus on the use of community mapping to get to know a little bit about who is here. Lead by Hannah Lewis and chris cavanagh.

11:00 a.m, WORKSHOPS

2. Theatre of the Oppresses: fun, form. Facilitation with Bridgid Tierney

Forum Theater takes on a lot of different forms.  My experience with 
Forum borrows from Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed that 
originated in Brazil..  Often dubbed “a dress rehearsal for life” this
 dynamic form of interactive theatre is a fun way to create strategies 
for the daily challenges we face in our communities and lives. This 
innovative form of peer education allows participants to share life
 skills and gain practice using strategies to address issues including 
sex, gender, sexuality, drugs, relationships, violence, self-esteem
 and intersecting forms of oppression. 
I see forum theater as a tool for engagement and dialogue that ties in
 nicely with popular education.  The workshop involves games that have 
people getting into their bodies and moving around.  In playing
 together and de-briefing, we can explore how these games can be useful
 for tools for opening spaces where new ideas can be shared and 
developed. This makes for a really fun and exciting form of
 facilitation that honours the body as a site of knowledge and can be 
readily applied to a wide variety of groups and contexts.  Come play!!

3. Creative Action Circles: an aboriginal oral history research praxis – with J’net Cavanagh, Catalyst Centre

 In this workshop J’net will introduce participants to Creative Action Circles-Cha chim hey aqulth-go the right way Indigenous Research Cycle seeks to strengthen cultural identity through an exploration of how oral teachings as research data influence modern times.  Creative Action Circles generates dialogue that is turned into creative expression to honour the retelling of Indigenous oral teachings. Following the Initial Circle, Creative Action Ambassadors are trained with participatory activities to anchor discussion in strengths.  The ambassador training is very focused on building participant capacity in presentation skills, events planning, theatre training, peer support skills and wellness plan.  Ultimately the Creative Action Ambassadors are trained within the research cycle to inform, prepare and deliver a final creative presentation to retell oral teachings collected from the initial Creative Action Circle.  Whatever is unable to be included in the final presentation is recorded in a Creative Action Map to detail areas of action the community can undertake and synchronize tasks with ongoing or future initiatives to advance strengthening cultural identity.
 4. Community Mapping with Hannah Lewis
 Community mapping is a diverse set of participatory methods that includes sketch mapping, asset mapping, neighbourhood mapping, cultural mapping, ah hah drawing and much more. Hannah Lewis, a recent graduate of FES researched community mapping and her exemplary work makes her a home-grown expert in the field. Leading a community food mapping project in the Toronto neighbourhood of Parkdale, Hannah was able to develop a  popular education handbook for community mapping. This workshop will share some of Hannah’s experience and practice some innovative community mapping.
 2:00 p.m. WORKSHOPS
 5. Mapping our media with Maryam Adrangi
 Rarely do we stop and look at where our information comes from. These days media, advertisements, and information hit us from all angles and in so many different ways. In this session we will use community mapping tools to get a deeper understanding of how we as individuals get our information so that we can then look at how our communities and other communities get their information. How do we use media and a spatial understanding of information to convey our messages? To each other and our communities? To other communities? We will look at community-based media and look at how power, privilege, and/or opportunity shape our communities, and how we can dismantle some of the barriers between us and others so that we can effectively communicate together.
 6. A popular education dialogue: Democracy and gentrification with  Barrio Nuevo
 Are you for sale? Come and join a popular dialogue on democracy. Find out how Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio in Harlem put a “NOT FOR SALE” sign in their hood. Be inspired to apply participatory democracy in your every day life.

7. Tea Time Tragedies: and how to avoid them… with Jessica Whitbread

In this workshop participants will explore how to disrupt the innocence of tea parties with critical reflection and dialogue. Together we will build on existing frameworks of community mapping to develop strategies to incorporate popular education into this much loved ritual.

Since participants will be partaking in an actual tea party, space in this workshop will be limited. A fine selection of teas will be served.

4:00 p.m. PLENARY

8. Storytelling & Popular Education – facilitated by Chris Cavanagh

Storytelling is, arguably, the oldest form of popular education, a practice which makes more space for narrative knowing than most dominant practices. But storytelling takes time. And stories are tricky. How do educators and activists use (and learn from) the wealth of stories that popular education evokes? How do we honour the abundance that is mobilized? How do we do this within often tight time constraints?

TUESDAY, APRIL 12

10:00 a.m. WORKSHOPS

9. Life Line(s): Constructing Movement Memory with Robin Buyers

This workshop will offer participants the opportunity to work forward and backward from the date of their births to remember moments of repression and resistance that are intertwined in their life stories.  As participants document their remembering on a collective timeline, conversations about the intersections in their life journeys with those of others will emerge, and a collective lifeline will be created.

The workshop will be hosted by Robin Buyers, faculty member in the Community Worker Program at George Brown College and member of Christian Peacemaker Teams. The Life Line(s) exercise honours Chrissy Swain, Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishnabek (Grassy Narrows) Youth Leader, from whom it takes its inspiration.

10. Bankelsang Production – A Community Arts Workshop – with CAP students

Picture storytelling is a practice and tradition that finds roots in China and other Asian nations going back over hundreds and hundreds of years. Our contemporary cinema finds surprising picture storytelling precursors in medieval German bankelsang (literally singing banners), Italian cantastoria (sung stories), and even 12th Century Japanese Buddhist kamishibai (literally “paper scrolls”). This workshop will work with a poem to create a bankelsang – several panels to tell the story of the poem. Come and be prepared to draw and paint.

11. Body Mapping with Sara Mohammed & Cassie Scott

What stories are told and which stories are silenced?  Which stories and are erased from our personal “mainstream” narratives?

In this playshop we will use the tools of movement, drawing and touch to begin to explore and map our bodies and literally draw out some of the narratives found through our internal sensory (proprioceptive) experience.

The tools of this workshop will be engaged in the service of “re-membering” our bodies internal sensations, feelings and experiences—many of which have been pushed under the common sense experience of day to day or consensual reality.

We hope that through this remembering different experiences and narratives will be more accessible, and that through our collective remembering new possibilities for resistance, existence and persistence will be available to us as we confront “common sense” reality as presented through media and state narratives.

 11:30 a.m. PLENARY
 12. WORLD CAFÉ/ Zine Fair
 A smorgasbord of popular education ‘zines and discussions and a few arts activities to boot (e.g. artist trading cards).
 2:00 p.m. WORKSHOPS

13. Designing for an ideal learning environment with Katherine Ngui/Public Displays of Affection

How do material, light, furniture. And form affect popular education? At this workshop we will explore spatial qualities and build a model of an idea learning environment.

Popular educators know what difference an alternative seating arrangement can make for facilitating communication and learning. What about an alternative setting altogether? What does your ideal popular education classroom look like? Is it even a room? There is no denying that the quality of an environment has a direct effect on the people within it. During this workshop we will explore spatial qualities and work as a group to generate a set of guidelines for an ideal learning environment. We will then use the guidelines to create a physical model of what such a space might look like.

14. Road Dances: A Choreographic Experiment with Sally Morgan & Brittany Ross-Fichner

How can we dance the street? Why should we dance the street?

ROAD DANCES is a dance experiment and research project grounded in the experience of performing place; empowering individuals to understand and connect to the roads and streets they regularly visit.

An intersection of psycho-geography, cartography and improvisational dance, ROAD DANCES emphasizes the process and quality of the individuals’ experience, rather than the “artistic” product. Rather than depositing a representation, ROAD DANCES hopes to support dances that can be woven into the fabric of the street/road, the performers becoming a part of the landscape themselves.

The final outcome from this research phase will be videotaped documentation of four trial solo ROAD DANCES and the first draft of a handbook (including a ROAD DANCE score) for research/creation/implementation of a ROAD DANCE.

In the future, this handbook will be available online for the general public to download.  They can then follow the guide and upload their own version of a ROAD DANCE.

15. Women of Vision with Pauline Peters, Naja Graugaard, and Cassie Scott

The Women of Vision workshop will begin with an offering of tales about women, both actual and mythic, who can be called “seers.”  Stories will be told of women of vision in history, such as Harriet Tubman, and women of myth, like Vala of the Elder Eddas. These stories will be offered in the spirit of making heard the often silenced voices of women, in particular, our visions for the shaping of a better world.  The workshop will begin with a storytelling performance by the facilitators.  This performance will include instruments and vocal harmonies that will support the tales.  This will be followed by a series of warm ups for the participants, who will then be asked to separate into small groups where they will asked to recall and offer stories of women of vision from their own lives, experiences and knowledge.  The groups will then be asked to select one of their shared stories for an offering to the larger gathering.   These stories can be told or presented in whatever form each group wishes.  The workshop will conclude with a discussion of how we can integrate women’s vision into our lives and how it is – if it is –that our voices are silenced.

 4:00 p.m. PLENARY
 16. Where to go from here..? What to do next year
 As we look ahead to future popular education gatherings we will share some of what we have learned of our collective map of popular education and discuss next steps for our work.

Making Paper Movies


A workshop with Ron G. Davis, 

founder of the San Francisco Mime Troupe

www.sfmt.org

Friday, April 15, 2011

11:00 – 1:00


Palmerston Ave & Bloor St.


Picture storytelling is a practice and tradition that finds roots in China and other Asian nations going back over hundreds and hundreds of years. Our contemporary cinema finds surprising picture storytelling precursors in medieval German bankelsang (literally singing banners), Italian cantastoria (sung stories), and even 12th Century Japanese Buddhist kamishibai (literally “paper scrolls”). Ron G. Davis, found of the San Francisco Mime Troupe has practiced numerous forms of popular theatre including the production of “paper movies” – moving scrolls of paper in which stories are illustrated and brought to life with witty and pointed scripts.


In this workshop Ron will share some of his experience and he will lead some thinking, research, writing and production of a paper movie (likely to focus on the global production, marketing, distribution and consumption of the tomato; bring with you everything you know about tomatos).


Registration is Pay What You Can 

& you can get some guidance about Catalyst Centre’s fee policy here: 

http://www.catalystcentre.ca/a-school-of-activism/fees-policy


 and to register, please RSVP by e-mail to chris@catalystcentre.ca and to get the workshop location address

 

We invite you to participate in a potluck lunch after the workshop







Friday February 4 and Friday February 25 from 9:30- 4:30

DEMOCRATIC  FACILITATION  BY  DESIGN


This popular workshop has been expanded to give you TWO FULL DAYS. Together we will explore some of the principles and practices of good workshop design and facilitation.

While it’s tempting to think that many group problems can be solved through better facilitation, many are better dealt with through effective meeting design. Design is way to ensure that group processes are just, inclusive and effective and facilitation is learning to follow a design with flexibility and imagination.

Through participatory activities you will learn new tools for design and facilitation, share issues and experiences - and have fun in the process!

The added bonus of the two day format is that you will work on designing an activity or event from your own real life experience and benefit from the insight and feedback from other participants and the facilitators.

Facilitators: chris cavanagh and Deborah Konecny

Fee: recommended $300 for the two days or Pay What You Can.

(You can read about our fee policy below – we’re serious about the PWYC – we accept all offers – assuming that enough is collectively offered to make the workshop viable.)

Location:

East York East Toronto Family Resources

947 Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario M4M 1J9

phone: 416-686-3390 ext. 9985

fax: 416-686-8282

website: www.eyetfrp.ca



Saturday, February 27, 2010 – 10:00 – 4:00

NOT JUST BAG o’ TRICKS – SMORGASBORD
popular education tools, techniques and thoughts

The popular educator Myles Horton said that education should percolate, not drip down. Popular education is a democratic practice of education rooted in social and economic justice struggle and intended to make social change. “Pop-ed” is sometimes thought of as simply a “bag of tricks” that promote conversation and reflection in a more “fun” way than conventional means – it’s not seen as being as serious and purposeful. However, popular education (both the tools and the theory) is a radical means of analyzing power, oppression and resistance and collectively learning in the context of community organizing.    

From timelines, to energizers, to image theatre, to a political weather report, we will explore (and try out) a range of these tools and discuss how they can be used in different contexts.  We will also talk a bit about facilitation and design and how they interact.

Please come prepared to participate, to share your ideas, to listen and, hope
fully, to have some fun.

Fee: recommended $150 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitators: chris cavanagh, Deborah Konecny, Ravi Badri
Location: Bloor & Spadina


Monday, February 8, 2010 – 6:30 – 9:00

FINDING THE “YES” BEHIND THE “NO”
connecting across difference for activism

Do we experience differences with others as a wall or a doorway in our activism?  Whether we’re engaging with the public, persuading decision-makers, strategizing with allies, or dialoguing with opponents, it really helps to have a way to connect – to reveal that which we have in common. Clarify needs and choices and handle conflicts with a simple yet transformative process which facilitates dialogue. 

Fee: recommended $35 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitator: Henry Wai
Location: TBD


**NEW DATES**
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 – 7:00 – 9:00
Tuesday, March 2, 2010 – 7:00 – 9:00
Saturday, March 6, 2010 – 10:00 – 4:00
Tuesday, March 9, 2010 – 7:00 – 9:00

ENOUGH TO GO AROUND
an introduction to popular economics

The worldwide economic crisis has thrown into question many understandings of how economics works and even what is economics. Bookstore shelves overflow with books explaining the “economics of everyday life”, revealing “hidden forces”, “hidden clues” and “secrets” of  economic indicators, catering to “dummies” and “complete idiots.” All the book titles taken together would seem to answer every question that could possibly be posed about economics. But this is all just a contest of expert opinion about a subject for which no one is in control.

Popular economics is not simply about better and more accurate information. It is about exploring our individual and collective understandings of economics – the math, the politics, the values and morals. Combining sharing our experience with economics with debunking economics, developing our economic literacy and imagining different economic futures, the Catalyst Centre has developed a course in popular economics that uses a wide variety of popular education exercises, readings and discussions to explore the concepts and practices of contemporary economics as well as imagine different economic relationships for a better world. This short course samples some of the more than 50 exercises in the full course.

Fee: recommended $150 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitator: chris cavanagh
Location: Bloor & Spadina


Monday, February 22, 2010 – 6:30 – 9:00

KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE
the power of vision for activists

When we care so much about a social or environmental issue, there can be a strong focus on what we’re against (anti-oppression, combating carbon emissions, anti-globalism, etc.). In order to sustain and enliven our activism, it helps to be plugged into the power and beauty of our vision. After all, Martin Luther King’s 1963 speech focused on “I have a dream” not “I have a nightmare”. He appealed to everyone with a compelling vision “that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood”. For our own resilience and for engaging others to join in our campaigns, it is powerful to speak from such a grounded place. Join us to engage our minds and hearts for envisioning, documenting (with colour and image) and sharing what we care deeply about.

Fee: recommended $35 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitator: Henry Wai
Location: TBD


Friday, February 26, 2010 – 9:30 – 4:30

DEMOCRATIC FACILITATION BY DESIGN

This popular day-long workshop will explore some of the principles and practices of good workshop design and facilitation. While it’s tempting to think that many group problems can be solved through better facilitation, many are better dealt with through effective meeting design. Design is way to ensure that group processes are just, inclusive and effective and facilitation is learning to follow a design with flexibility and imagination. Through participatory activities you will learn new tools for design and facilitation, share issues and experiences – and have fun in the process! 

Fee: recommended $150 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitators: chris cavanagh, Deborah Konecny, Ravi Badri
Location: TBD


Thursday, March 11, 18, 25, 2010 – 6:30 – 9:00

HERE & NOW: EQUAL RIGHTS, EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES 
skill building & taking action in the moment

Community organizing and skill building at times requires us to keep the faith – faith that what we are doing will help to facilitate change or build capacity. Sometimes we just need to feel an impact in the here and now. Come for evenings with fellow activists and experience the joy of taking an action in the moment – who knows, you may even decide to repeat the session(s) in your own community.

Fee: recommended $50/session or $120 for all three  or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitator: Deborah Konecny
Location: TBD


Monday, March 8, 2010 – 6:30 – 9:00

“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”*  
transforming enemy images

When we demonize our opponents and no longer see them as humans who also matter, the risk increases that we will seek to dismiss or dominate them. Transforming enemy images frees up the energy tied up in that so that we can shift our focus to creating inclusive strategies which appeal to both sides. Learn and practice a practical way to translate limiting labels and interpretations about our opponents into a hopeful understanding. 
*quote by AUDRE LORDE
Fee: recommended $35 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitator: Henry Wai
Location: TBD


Friday, March 12, 2010 – 9:30 – 4:30

IF NON-PROFITS ARE NOT FOR PROFIT, WHAT ARE THEY FOR?
a workshop about transforming our work

The workshop is for non-profits service agency employees, students, community development professionals and any one who is interested in exploring how the work of non-profit service agencies can be transformed. We will investigate from different lenses the contemporary situation in which non-profits find themselves, in order to explore the opportunities for transforming the sector. At the end of the workshop, participants will have an indepth understanding of the issues facing non-profit service agencies and some ideas for transforming them.

Fee: recommended $75 or Pay What You Can.

Facilitator: Ravi Badri, chris cavanagh
Location: TBD


Monday, March 22, 2010 – 6:30 – 9:00

“WE ARE GOVERNED NOT BY ARMIES, BUT BY IDEAS” * freedom from internalised oppression

When there is conflict or stress, how we relate to ourselves and those we engage with – our group members, the public, our perceived opponents – will likely reflect the prevailing power-over approach in our society. To neither submit nor rebel but to act freely in accordance with our values depends on recognizing and transforming our conditioning. Join us to learn and practice using our everyday language/thinking as a pathway to reconnecting and acting from our values.
*quote by MONA CAIRD
Fee: recommended $35 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitator: Henry Wai
Location: TBD


Thursday, March 25, 2010 – 9:30 – 4:30

FACILITATING CONVERSATION CAFÉS

Description forthcoming

Fee: recommended $150 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitators: Mandy Bergman, chris cavanagh
Location: TBD


Saturday, March 27, 2010 – 10:00 – 4:30

NOT JUST A BAG ‘O TRICKS -DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN? visual popular education tools, techniques and thoughts

Description forthcoming

Fee: recommended $150 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitators: chris cavanagh, Deborah Konecny, Ravi Badri
Location: TBD


Saturday, April 10, 2010 – 10:00 – 4:30

NOT JUST A (GREEN) BAG ‘O TRICKS 
environmental popular education tools, techniques, thoughts

Description forthcoming

Fee: recommended $150 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitators: chris cavanagh, Deborah Konecny, Ravi Badri
Location: TBD


Tuesday, April 20, 2010 – 6:00-9:00

SUPPORTING INDIGENOUS STRUGGLES IN CANADA:
starting the journey

Central to the Canada’s history is the story of dispossession, assimilation, and genocide of the Indigenous peoples who have lived on this land since time immemorial, and their continued resistance and survival. Non-Indigenous people learn a spotty version of these stories in Canadian schools – often romanticizing Indigenous cultures as historical artifacts, or treating Canada’s crimes as things of the past that have been overcome and replaced with an “enlightened” multiculturalism and celebration of Indigenous peoples’ place in Canada. But the project of assimilation, termination, and extinguishment of Indigenous peoples and their rights, including land rights, continues today. We will be looking at at this ongoing history and talk about some of the ways Indigenous Peoples and supporters can work to decolonize Indigenous-Canadian relations.
Who this workshop is for: This workshop is for people who want to learn more about the history of Indigenous-Canada relations, and who are interested in supporting Indigenous struggles. The workshop is especially intended for non-Indigenous people, but all are welcome. It is intended as a first step towards developing the skills and consciousness needed to do solidarity work. The workshop will include a range of activities and methods. 
Relevance to activists and frontline workers: Indigenous issues are often lumped in with broader anti-racism work, or framed in terms of poverty and the need for service provision. While those approaches have some validity, they miss the central cause of the social trauma experienced by Indigenous peoples: Canada’s ongoing attempt to terminate Indigenous peoples, destroy their economies and cultures, and take their land. This workshop aims to foster consciousness of this process, and of the vast range of experiences and perspectives of Canada’s different Indigenous peoples, ranging from bush life to city life, as well as looking at the ways we can constructively support Indigenous struggles.
Workshop Delivered By: The workshop will be delivered by Corvin Russell, a non-Indigenous activist and educator who has worked on many Indigenous solidarity projects, including co-organizing the Defenders of the Land gathering of first nations in land struggle in Winnipeg last year.
Suggested donation for the workshop is $5-$20 but no one who has RSVP’d will be turned away for lack of funds.
RSVP to corvinr@gmail.com. If possible, please include a little bit about yourself: why you are interested in this workshop; any relevant background, including work on Indigenous issues or decolonization, trainings you may have attended (including anti-racism trainings), and so on. This will help with planning of the workshop.
Facilitator: Corvin Russell
Location: TBD


Saturday, April 24, 2010 – 10:00 – 4:30

COMEUPPANCE – STORYTELLING & TRICKSTERS 
speaking truth to power

Storytelling, as one of the oldest forms of learning, is an essential means of passing on the lessons of the past. But some traditions are ever in danger of being lost and forgotten. One such set of stories – found in all cultures – is that of the Trickster Tale. Thieves, fools, clowns, jesters, crazy holy men, clever wise girls, tricky animals of all kinds are each and every one a teacher. Trickster wisdom is an ancient and powerful stream of thinking and doing that holds within it important and largely forgotten means of resisting oppression, avoiding disastrous thinking, finding the road to compassion, connection and growth. This workshop will explore this trickster wisdom, practice trickster pedagogy. We will discuss and share stories as a form of popular education in struggles for social, political and economic justice.

Fee: recommended $150 or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitator: chris cavanagh
Location: TBD


Thursdays, May 6, 13, 20, 2010 – 6:30 – 9:00

HERE & NOW: THEME TBD 
skill building & taking action in the moment

Community organizing and skill building at times requires us to keep the faith – faith that what we are doing will help to facilitate change or build capacity. Sometimes we just need to feel an impact in the here and now. Come for evenings with fellow activists and experience the joy of taking an action in the moment – who knows, you may even decide to repeat the session(s) in your own community. 

Fee: recommended $50/session or $120 for all three or Pay What You Can.   

Facilitators: Deborah Konecny
Location: TBD

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