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Breaking New Ground

Hart House, University of Toronto

Friday, March 8, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (EST)

Breaking New Ground

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Breaking New Ground

Celebrate International Women's Day at Hart House!


Friday, March 8, 2013

Registration and Refreshments at 8:30

9:00am – 4:00 pm

Music Room, Hart House

(See Detailed Schedule Below)


You are cordially invited to a symposium on International Women's Day, March 8th, 2013 celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the entrance of women into Hart House as well as the important contributions of women to the University and beyond. This event aims to celebrate, inform and inspire by sharing stories and creating opportunities for dialogue and experiential learning.  There will be a panel discussion and Judy Rebick will be the keynote speaker.  The conference also includes breakout sessions that focus on movement, visual expression, poetry, and topics of equality and social change.



Judy RebickKeynote Speaker

Activist and author Judy Rebick will deliver a rabble rousing keynote address celebrating strategies for transformational change across generations, cultures and ideologies.





Panelists and Special Guests
  • Michele Landsberg, award-winning author, journalist, and social activist who has impacted opinion leaders across the country about local and global issues of race and gender equality.
  • Keren Braithwait, A long-time and passionate advocate for access and equity in higher education and co-founder of the highly successful Transitional Year Program (TYP).
  • Meg Luxton, Professor and Director of the graduate program of Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York.
  • Pauline Shirt, Cree Elder, respected educator, mentor, and founder of the First Nations School and the Red Willow.
  • Kathryn Morgan, Celebrated professor from the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto.
  • Njoki Wane, Special Adviser on Status of Women at the University of Toronto and Director of Centre for Integrative Anti-Racist Research Studies.
  • Lee Maracle, award-winning Aboriginal poet, novelist, lecturer, storyteller, actor and keeper/mythmaker among the Stó:lō people.



Detailed Schedule:

Registration and Refreshments / Music Room 8:30 - 9:00 am

Welcome & Introduction / Music Room With Jan Sherman, Dr. Bruce Kidd & Carly Stasko 9:00 - 9:15 am

Groundbreakers Panel / Music Room With Michele Landsberg, Dr. Keren Brathwaite, Dr. Meg Luxton, Pauline Shirt & Dr. Kathryn Morgan 9:30 am


11:00 - 11:15 am

Concurrent Sessions

11:15 am - 12:30 pm

1. Sharing Circle: Filling Your Learning Bundle & Living Your Wisdom

/ North Dinning Room

Learning is lifelong. Every experience holds the potential for powerful learning as a spirit, a heart, a body, and a mind. Explore this traditional perspective on holistic learning and wisdom in a traditional Sharing Circle with Jan. Come prepared to participate in a respectful and empowering Circle!

Jan Sherman is an Anishnaabe Metis woman who honours her Aboriginal, English, and Irish ancestors as integral parts of herself. Jan is a mother, culture keeper, storyteller, drummer, singer and teacher.

2. Who is This Woman? A Writing Workshop with Poet in Community Ronna Bloom / South Dinning Room

How do you experience yourself as a woman in the world? How do you experience the women around you? What qualities do you want more of in yourself or in them? Courage? Sassiness? Self-acceptance? What or who inspires you? Be guided by poetry, and the company of each other, to recognize, claim and celebrate the woman you are or might be and the women around you -- on paper and out loud. Organized by the KPE Student Equity Initiatives Team.

Ronna Bloom is currently Poet in Community at the University of Toronto and Poet in Residence at Mount Sinai Hospital. She has published five books of poetry, most recently, Cloudy with A Fire in the Basement (Pedlar Press, 2012). Her poems have been broadcast on CBC, displayed on billboard walls, and recorded by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.

3. Making Inclusion Happen / Music Room

The workshop will provide a space for participants to apply an equity lens to critically think about and recognize inequalities and barriers to inclusion and, fundamentally, diversity. This will be a space for engaged discussions and self-reflection aimed at enhancing and embedding inclusion in a broad range of contexts.

Sandra Carnegie-Douglas is the Anti-Racism & Cultural Diversity Officer (ARCDO) at the University of Toronto. The ARCDO works to promote an equitable and inclusive campus community, free from discrimination or harassment based on race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship and/or creed.

Organized by the Hart House Social Justice Committee. The SJC seeks to facilitate deep dialogue based around awareness, appreciation, and action into the lives of individuals and communities within and around the University of Toronto. The SJC seeks to provide accessible and creative ways to learn about a range of social justice issues.

4. Vision Boards / Reading Room

Using simple collage techniques and a healthy dose of intuition and creativity, this workshop will be a key stepping stone in transforming ideas, dreams and goals into a fun and excellent reality.

Day Milman is the Coordinator of Programmes and Outreach at Hart House. She has been designing and delivering arts-based workshops to students and community members through the University of Toronto and other arts institutions in Toronto for over 10 years.

Lunch / Music Room 12:30 - 1:30 pm

Keynote Address / Music Room

1:30 - 2:15 pm

Activist and author Judy Rebick will deliver a rabble-rousing keynote address celebrating strategies for transformational change across generations, cultures and ideologies.


2:30 - 2:45 pm

Concurrent Sessions

2:45 - 4:00 pm

5. Why is Thinking About Gender and Sexuality on Campus Important?

/ North Dinning Room

This interactive workshop will encourage participants to explore and engage in questions of inclusion and exclusion for queer women and trans people on campus.

Allison Burgess is the Sexual & Gender Diversity Officer (SGDO) at the University of Toronto. The SGDO is one of the Equity Offices at the university which works with students, staff and faculty to make our university an inclusive and welcoming place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer people and their allies. Kim Abis is with the Centre for Women and Trans People, which is committed to providing a safe, harassment-free drop in space for all women and trans people on campus.

6. Indigenous Women’s Knowledge and Cultural Resistance / South Dinning Room

Dialogue with Dr. Njoki Wane, Special Adviser on Status of Women at U of T and Director of the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racist Research Studies, and Dr. Lee Maracle, award- winning Aboriginal poet, novelist, lecturer, storyteller, actor and keeper/mythmaker among the Stó:lo people.

7. The Real Runway / Music Room

This workshop will examine the representation of women in media and challenge the image of the ‘idealized woman’ in society through dialogue and creativity. Organized by the KPE Student Equity Initiatives Team (SEIT).

The SEIT encourages students from different fields of study to propose, initiate, and develop an initiative that helps to meet and advance the faculty’s and the university’s goals of accessibility and equity.

8. Learning and Unlearning Gender as Embodied / Activities Room

Through dialogue, personal reflection, and group exercises, this session will explore the lived embodied experiences and understandings of women with respect to gender and gender inequity. Research suggests that the body plays an important role in navigating interpersonal interactions, and that gender oppression is characterized by an asymmetry in the embodied interactions between men and women. As women reclaim our own bodies as important sources of knowledge and power, how do we also address the unvoiced lessons in submission and deference that are enacted through the body on a daily basis? As we celebrate access

to public spaces dedicated to cultivating embodiment, how do we also reclaim personal and interpersonal spaces through a process of learning and unlearning how we, as women, are (and can be) embodied?

Dr. Rae Johnson, PhD, RSMT, RSW, is the former Chair of the Somatic Psychology Department at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, former Director of the Body Psychotherapy Program in the Somatic Counseling Psychology Department at Naropa University, and founding Coordinator of the Student Crisis Response Programs at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the intersecting dimensions of embodiment and anti-oppression education.

Keynote and Panelist Biographies

Judy Rebick

Judy Rebick is a well-known social justice activist, writer, educator and speaker. Most recently she helped lead a fight against the intense police repression during the G20 in Toronto. Her latest book is Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political. Her other books include Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution (Penguin 2005).

One of Canada’s best known feminists, Judy is the former President of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women and was a spokesperson for the Ontario Coalition for Abortion Clinics during the fight to legalize abortion.

Judy has just stepped down after eight years as the CAW Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University. She is the founding publisher of and is currently on CBC Radio Q’s media panel. During the 1990s, Judy was the host of two national TV shows on CBC Newsworld.

Dr. Keren Brathwaite

Dr. Brathwaite came to Toronto from Antigua in 1967 to pursue graduate studies at OISE/ UT. She is co-founder of the Transitional Year Programme (TYP) at the University of Toronto, which since 1970 has provided access to university education for under-represented students who are Aboriginal, African Canadian, working class, women, students of sexual diversity and different abilities. In her 33 years at U of T, she was a member of the U of T Faculty Association, Status of Women Advisory Committee, and Committees for Women Studies, African Studies, Caribbean Studies and Equity Studies. She co-founded the Organisation of Parents of Black Children and also contributed to the development of the International Languages and Black Cultural Heritage Programme in Toronto schools.

Dr. Meg Luxton

Dr. Luxton is a Professor and Director of the graduate program of Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies at York University. In 1965 she started as an undergraduate at U of T where she completed a BA, MPhil and PhD in Social Anthropology. From 1971-78 She was part of the first Women’s Studies collective which taught courses such as Women and Society and Women, Resistance and Revolution and taught in the Anthropology Department. She was part of the last generation of women who were not allowed in Hart House and as part of the Women’s Liberation Movement, was part of the Campus Community Co-operative Day Care occupations and efforts to open Hart House to women. As an activist and an academic she has researched and published on the women’s movement, women’s work, and on feminist theory.

Pauline Shirt

Pauline Shirt was born and raised on the Saddle Lake Reserve, Alberta. Pauline is greatly recognized for her commitment to the Toronto Native community, her activism for women’s rights and her dedication as a teacher and lecturer since the late sixties. Pauline Shirt is a Founder of the First Nations School and the Red Willow, and Indian Women for Indian Rights. She serves as a mentor to many Aboriginal youth and young families as an experienced and trusted Grandmother. She also works in all levels of government conducting Opening Prayers and attending meetings, making sure the Aboriginal community is positively recognized as she offers a voice for her people.

Michele Landsberg

Michele Landsberg is an award-winning Canadian writer, social activist and feminist who wrote a major column for the Toronto Star newspaper for 25 years. As a trailblazing feminist columnist, Landsberg drew the public’s attention to wrongs, injustices and anomalies that had been completely invisible before she brought them vividly to life in print. Her column quickly became one of the best-read and influential features in The Star and remained so until her retirement in 2003. Michele’s career in journalism began in 1962 with a job as a reporter at the Globe and Mail, after which she continued at Chatelaine magazine and The Star in 1978. Michele is an activist in progressive causes as well as a journalist and has written four best-selling books. Last year, she published Writing the Revolution, a retrospective of the Canadian feminist movement. Other distinctions include two National Newspaper Awards, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award, the Dodi Robb Award from MediaWatch, the Florence Bird Award from the International Centre for Human Rights, and Canadian Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the 1929.

Dr. Kathryn Pauly Morgan

Dr. Morgan received her MA and Ph.D., in Philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University. She is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and is cross-appointed to the Women and Gender Studies Institute. She also received a M.Ed. degree from the University of Alberta in the Dept. of Educational Foundations. She has published extensively in the areas of feminist ethics and bioethics (on such topics as cosmetic surgery, sexuality, reproductive technologies, gender identity, and weight-loss surgery), on philosophy of the body, critical disability studies, feminist bio-technoscience, theorizing medicalization politics, and feminist pedagogy. She thinks and writes primarily through a feminist/ Foucauldian lens.


Have questions about Breaking New Ground? Contact Hart House, University of Toronto

When & Where

Hart House
7 Hart House Circle
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3H3

Friday, March 8, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM (EST)

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Hart House, University of Toronto

Hart House is a living laboratory of social, artistic, cultural and recreational experiences where all voices, rhythms and traditions converge. As the vibrant home for the education of mind, body and spirit envisioned by its founders, Hart House encourages and supports activities that provide spaces for awakening the capacity for self-knowledge and self-expression.

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