It’s DisOrientation Week!

This week (October 15-19) WPIRG is hosting a DisOrientation week with tons of interesting and engaging events. Because so many of them can be considered PACS related, I’m just going to post the whole schedule here for easy access!

Welcome to the campus grassroots!

DisOrientation is an alternative orientation week hosted annually by WPIRG that introduces students – new and returning – to activism, volunteering, and social engagement opportunities on campus and in the KW community. Because campus isn’t just dorm parties and pub crawls, and learning involves so much more than the classroom, this week of events is ideal for students who want more from their time at university: who want to be involved in campus life, learn by doing, and take action on issues that matter to them. 
DisOrientation 2012 will showcase a variety of social and environmental justice groups, and feature workshops, discussions, and social events. Events will provide students with the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to tackle injustice and get started with student activism. 




11am-2pm: Thinking Through Colonialism and the Politics of Solidarity @ SLC 2134/35
3-6pm: Anti-Racism- An Introduction @ RCH 205
8-11pm: Resource Library Launch Party! @ Rum Runner Pub- Back Room (1 King st. W, Kitchener)



11am-4pm: Social Justice Fair @ SLC Multi-Purpose Room
4-6pm: Reproductive Access Info-session @ MC 4041
7-10pm: Visions of Abolition- A Books to Prisoners Film Night @ MC 2017


1-2:30pm: Consent Workshop @ CPH 3602
4-7pm: Movement Through Sport- Pick-up Soccer & Veggie Bonfire BBQ @ Columbia Lake Fire Pit E2
6-8pm: The Itty Bitty Titty Committee Film Screening @ RCH 305


2-4pm: Journalism from the Grassroots @ RCH 212
4-6pm: Organizing and Time Management for Student Activists @ RCH 207


2-4pm: Why We Should Stop the Tar Sands Teach-in @ RCH 212
8pm-12am: Hip Hop Dance Show  & Land Defenders Fundraiser @ Rum Runner Pub- Back Room (1 King st. W, Kitchener)

Event Descriptions


Thinking Through Colonialism and the Politics of Solidarity

Think colonialism ended when Canada became a country? Think again. This multimedia workshop will introduce participants to some of the realities of colonization, from past histories to present-day struggles. Raising important questions related to terms like ‘settler’, ‘Indigenous’, and ‘solidarity’, our discussions will build towards better understandings of the Canadian context and how we continue to make (or unmake) this colonial history. Designed to be a starting point for thinking about anti-colonialism, decolonization, and solidarity with Indigenous people in struggle, the workshop will also explore how we can move forward together to take action on these issues.
Facilitated by Kathryn Wettlaufer and Adam Lewis from the WPIRG action group Grand River Indigenous Solidarity (GRIS)

Anti-Racism: An Introduction

A popular education workshop that starts from the assumption that racism is a tool that a white dominated social system uses to divide and limits campaigns, relationships, power and capacity.  Understanding that racism is part of a net of intersecting systems of oppression, we’ll explore its effects and discuss strategies for developing anti-racist organizing practices.
Facilitated by Lesley Wood and Mac Scott. Mac and Lesley have been organizing around poverty, immigrant rights, environmental justice and indigenous solidarity for a good long while, mostly in Toronto.

Tangled Roots! Direct Action! Beautiful Trouble! Celebrate the ReLaunch of WPIRG’s Resource Library with a Multi KW Book Launch

WPIRG is home to a library of hundreds of radical books useful for research, reference, and your general reading pleasure. This past summer, WPIRG revamped its resource centre, and brought in hundreds of new and exciting books. From indigenous and decolonization studies, to gender and sexuality, to DIY activism and environmental protection, the resource library offers a broad range of texts you’d have a hard time finding in other libraries – or even bookstores – in the city.
On October 15th join us in celebrating the library’s grand reopening with food, drinks and a celebration of the written word’s contribution to our movements for social and environmental justice.
Featuring three activist-authors whose recently published books have joined WPIRG’s collection, you will have the opportunity to participate in a conversation on a range of perspectives, ideas, and tools important to our struggles. For those who want to get their own copies, featured books will be available for purchase.
Book Launch Featuring:
Lesley Wood, author of Direct Action, Deliberation, and Diffusion: Collective Action After the WTO Protests in Seattle
Matt Soltys, author/editor of Tangled Roots: Dialogues exploring ecological justice, healing and decolonization
Yutaka Dirks, contributor to Beautiful Trouble
Attendees will also have the opportunity to browse through a display of the many new books available at WPIRG, and even sign up for a free library membership!


Social Justice Fair

Check out local social and environmental justice group tables. Chat with volunteers and learn about all the amazing activist work being done on campus and in the broader Kitchener-Waterloo community.
Featuring: Books to Prisoners, Planned Parenthood Waterloo Region, Stop the Tar Stands KW, Amnesty International, Grand River Indigenous Solidarity, Transition KW, Ban the Bottle Coalition, UW Community Garden, Engineers Without Boarders, Common Cause, Roots & Shoots and more!

Documentary Film Screening & Discussion: Visions of Abolition 

Visions of Abolition is a new documentary about the prison industrial complex and the prison abolition movement. Part I “Breaking down the Prison Industrial Complex” weaves together the voices of women caught in the criminal justice system, and leading scholars of prison abolition, examining the racial and gendered violence of the prison system. Our film features the work of Susan Burton, a formerly incarcerated mother who established A New Way of Life, a group of transition homes for women coming home from prison in South Los Angeles.Part II “Abolition: Past Present and Future,” documents the recent history of the prison abolition movement through the organizing efforts of Critical Resistance and explores the meaning of abolitionist politics. By focusing on the collaboration between Critical Resistance and A New Way of Life, (known as the L.E.A.D. Project) the second half of the film unfolds a vision of abolition in practice.
Hosted by Books to Prisoners KW (a WPIRG action group). Books to Prisoners KW is a WPIRG action group which works to support those affected by the Canadian (in)justice system. Most of our activities are dedicated towards breaking the isolation of prisoners in local jails. This includes sending donated books to provincial prison libraries, sending books directly to prisoners upon request, as well as writing letters and connecting prisoners with pen pals.  We host a variety of events ranging from letter-writing nights to information sessions to movie nights.


Consent 101 Workshop

How important is sex in a relationship? When should you become sexually active in a relationship? What do you want, what are you looking for, sexually? What turns you on? What turns you off? What are your limits? How fast or slow do you want to go? Talking about questions like these can be fun and interesting. And, can tell you a lot about whether you are both sexually compatible. Much better to know this BEFORE you begin a sexual relationship! Understanding what is and what is NOT consensual interaction is important for so many reasons – it ensures the safety and security of those involved and also maximizes the enjoyment for all! Unfortunately we live in a society where we are not taught to understand no or how to enthusiastically say yes. Nor do we know what to do when our notions of consent are challenged. This workshop will be an opportunity for all for us to work together in confronting rape culture and ensuring an orgasmagical good time.
Facilitated by Holli-Lynne Elash. Holli-Lynne is an MSW student at Laurier University. She has worked in the violence against women sector for 7 years working with victims, survivors, thrivers, witnesses, perpetrators, and a diversity of community partners (including University and College communities) to develop strategies that strengthen relationships.

Movement through sports: pick up soccer & Veggie Bonfire BBQ at Columbia Lake! 

Want to find community and get to know WPIRG and socially engaged folks on campus but find that workshops just aren’t the best way to meet people? Then come hang out at an autumn evening bonfire BBQ and relax at a totally work-free social! Free vegetarian food and drinks will be available (while supplies last!) but you’re totally welcome to bring your own foodstuffs for a potluck too. And while we warm ourselves by the fire…
Join local soccer team United Radicals FC, as they, and you, learn about “the beautiful game” in a non-competitive atmosphere.  Nicknamed “The Rag Tag Rebels” and working towards kicking repression, commercialization and racism out of soccer, the team is focused on introducing and re-introducing the sport as a way to keep the movement moving!
All skill levels welcome and encouraged in this informal, very relaxed introduction to soccer!

Movie Night! The Itty Bitty Titty Committee

Not into soccer but still want to just hang out and meet people? Join us post-BBQ for a relaxed and fun movie night, with the hilarious tongue-in-cheek indie movie The Itty Bitty Titty Committee.
The Itty Bitty Titty Committee is a rockin love song to the heady rush of sex, freedom and rebellion that happens when an everyday girl discovers her own strength and the righteous indignation needed to take action and change the world.
For more info, check out the film’s site at


Grassroots Journalism Workshop

Everyone can make their own media. This workshop will look at the variety of forms that that grassroots journalism can take and explore the nature of using each one. We will discuss how to find, report on and promote a story. We will also learn about amazing grassroots media projects from across the continent.
Facilitated by Tim Groves. Tim is an indepednant journalists who has worked on a variety of media projects including setting up a media centre for the G20, a creating a project to create posters on local history, and working with the Media Co-op. 

Making the Most of Yourself: Organizing and time management for student activists

It can be really hard to stay on top of everything, especially if your planner, workspace, and files aren’t working for you (or don’t exist)! Aside from the practical aspects, organization also affects us on emotional, physiological, and interpersonal levels, and being just a bit more organized can bring a sense of calm and control to the often overwhelming life of a student/activist. This workshop will cover some basic ideas and tools for organizing anything in your life, with a focus on time management and an exploration of how and why we get disorganized – and burnt out.
Facilitated by Laura McDonald. Aspiring professional organizer, WPIRG Board member, and generally organized person Laura McDonald will share tips and suggestions, but organizing is never one-size-fits-all, so we’ll also generate ideas together. Please bring your planner/agenda/to-do list!


Why We Should Stop the Tar Sands Teach-in

Enbridge, a Calgary oil and gas company, is on a mission to expand the tar sands industry across Turtle Island/North America. As they attempt to push through the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal amidst outcry in British Columbia, Enbridge is also solidifying plans to pump crude oil and diluted bitumen through a 37 year old pipeline on a route from Sarnia to Montreal. The Line 9 pipeline reversal is facing fierce opposition from Haudenosaunee people, students, and community activists alike as they resist the expansion of the world’s dirtiest source of energy. Join us for a teach-in that will start with the fundamentals of tar sands extraction and controversial pipeline projects, and end with Ontario specific community resistance.
Facilitated by Paisley Cozzarin of Stop the Tar Sands KW. Paisley is a student and activist based in Kitchener. Stop the Tar Sands KW is a WPIRG action group working to mobilize the Kitchener-Waterloo community into action against tar sands expansion. 

Midnight: Six Nations Hip Hop Show & Party feat. True Rez Crew

Featuring Six Nations’ own
Sarah Stinson
MCed by John Henhawk
Other acts TBA. ALL AGES & FREE
NO COVER! PWYC donation at the door – all proceeds go to the Six Nations Land Defense Fund
The grand finale to WPIRG’s disOrientation Week 2012, join us for the acoustic melodies of Sarah Stinson (on guitar) and the beats and rhymes of Six Nations’ Tru Rez Crew. MCed by Haudenosaunee poet and performer John Henhawk.
Email comments, questions and/or accessibility requests to

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s