Application deadline: September 16th Seminars take place Thursdays || 4 PM - 7 PM || September 20th - December 6th “Get Radical! A seminar in community organizing” is a semester-long hands-on workshops series about building social movements from the ground up. Dynamic 2-3 hour weekly sessions will provide you with a range of practical skills from finding money to finance your campaigns to honing your media skills, all with the goal of fostering meaningful engagement with pertinent socio-political issues within our communities. It is open to undergraduate students and entirely free! Registration is required and participants must commit to attending all of the workshops. Upon completion, students will earn a Concordia Student Union Certificate in Community Organizing. Additionally, students may have it added to their transcripts on their Co-Curricular Record.
Sept 20th – Welcome & Know your rights! Legal info 101
To start off the series, first, we’ll get to know each other, then, we’ll discuss and collectively determine common values and principles that will guide how we engage with each other and with this series over the next 3 months.
Next, we’ll have two accomplished lawyers answer some questions that are crucial to activists, like what should you do if you get stopped by the cops? What if the protest you’re at is declared illegal? We’ll go over basic legal information as it relates to social justice campaign work as well as available resources to empower you to keep fighting the good fight!
Sept 27th – Graphic design is my passion
This hands-on workshop will cover the basics of designing posters, flyers, and other promotional materials, using free and open-source software, with a focus on accessibility and readability. We’ll go over some of the tools that are available, and work on a poster mock-up while sharing tips on picking colour themes, choosing images and fonts, and arranging text. This is a beginner-friendly workshop, so no experience or previous training is required! Please bring your own laptop and a mouse (if possible). Graphic tablets can also be used but are not required.
Oct 4th – Lessons from the 1969 Computer Riot
As extreme far-right groups gain popularity, it is crucial to ask ourselves how we can collectively work together to counter the rise of the racism and neo-fascism. Rodney John, one of the original six black biology students who stepped forward to complain about racist grading at Sir George Williams will share from his involvement in the computer uprising and provide us with concrete tools on grassroots mobilization.
Oct 11th – Funding your campaign
So you want to coordinate a project relating to social, environmental, and/or economic justice, but you need some cash to get started? You’re in luck because Concordia is home to tons of funds set aside for student-led projects! This workshop will provide you with a simple and straightforward information on funding sources available on campus, and how to access it.
Oct 18th – Art & Activism
Why does social change need art? Why do art practices benefit from social change? This workshop will connect these concepts in a fun and creative way. We will talk about art and activism as well as get our hands dirty with some crafting. The second part of the workshop will take pop songs and turn them into protest songs in a participatory workshop that can be modified to fit all your protest needs!
Oct 25th – Lessons from Palestine solidarity organizing
Concordia has a rich history of student activism. This seminar will go over how to grow power and build alliances as well as go over 10 lessons learned since Bibi’s failed visit (2002) at Concordia.
Nov 1st – Collective care & sustaining activism
As we build social movements, we tend to spend a lot of time on meetings, strategizing, organizing, mobilizing and so on. While the what and why of organizing are often sufficiently covered within the groups, aspects around how we carry out our organizing, the soft side, is frequently overlooked and not enough emphasis is placed on the well-being of the members involved as we pursue the political goals; emotional labour associated with dealing with power dynamics, interpersonal conflicts, various frustrations, internalized oppressions and such is not valued. This labour is often disconnected from the “political” work of what and why, and consequently not enough time and effort are spent on working through such issues, while it should be a collective responsibility. In such environment, so many activists tend to overstretch, burnout and leave the movement while still wanting to bring about social change. This participative workshop will be a space to reflect on our collective practices and brainstorm ideas on how we can inculcate care in various forms in our organizing in order to sustain our activism and build thriving spaces.
Nov 8th – Basics of street medicine
An overview of first aid in the context of political actions, demonstrations and large events. We will discuss medical ethics and patient consent, basic aid techniques and how to apply them in common scenarios (eg. pepper spray, tear gas) and less common scenarios (eg. broken bones), mental health first aid, and operating as part of a medic team. Participants will have the opportunity to acquire first aid skills while sharing their own experiences and practicing techniques.
Nov 15th – Lessons from the 2012 student strike
This seminar will provide some historical context about student strikes in Quebec, focusing on the 2012 general unlimited strike that shook up this province and this very university. How did Concordia students get involved, and how was the strike different for us? What did the strike look like from the inside? What did direct democracy have to do with it? What were its successes and failures?
Nov 22nd – How to get good media coverage
This workshop will give you the low-down on how to get the media to cover your events and actions. Organizing actions and edgy stunts is important, but getting the media to show up and publicize those big moments is key. From writing a press release to organizing a press conference to tips and tricks for talking to journalists, by the end of this workshop you will be a media wizard.
Nov 29th – Rise of far-right in the West
This workshop will provide a basic introduction to the rise of the far right and the various groups that exist in Montreal, Quebec, and beyond. What is the far right, why is it growing, and how can we stop them? How are current groups connected to earlier fascist movements, how are they different, and what can we learn from the history of anti-fascist resistance? This workshop will be largely discussion-based, so please come with questions.
Dec 6th – Cybersecurity for activists
The purpose of this workshop is to help members of marginalized communities, particularly artists and activists, to develop online self-defense tools to improve their own safety and privacy on the web. Through this, we are attempting to reclaim agency over our spaces, lives, and communities, both online and offline. We will cover basic “low-tech” security techniques related to one’s online presence, as well as techniques to counteract cyber harassment and online attacks (legal recourse, damage-control, self-care). This introductory workshop will not cover deeper cybersecurity concerns such as government surveillance and the gathering of information by corporate entities.