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Fort Massey United Church

5303 Tobin Street

Halifax, NS B3H 1S3


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Register for ESJ's first Social Justice Education symposium! A day of workshops and discussion on education as a tool for social justice, aimed at educators, youth and all interested community members.

Social Justice Education Symposium Schedule

***Please note that last-minute changes are always a possibility!***

9:00 a.m. - Registration and Check-in

9:30 a.m. - Keynote panel (more info to follow)

11:00 a.m - Break

11:15 - First set of workshops:

Restorative approaches - Amy Hunt and Richard Derible

Child Poverty and our Classrooms - Debbie Reimer

School Choice? Voucher Systems? Charter Schools? - Grant Frost

12:15 - Lunch (on your own)

1:15 Second set of workshops:

From Access to Actualizing: Planning for Equitable Education for African Nova Scotian Students - Malik Adams

Climate justice in Nova Scotia - Shannon Power, Kenn Orphan and Amber Tucker

Salaam B'y - A Story Of A Muslim Newfoundlander (film & educator's guide introduction) - Aatif Baskanderi

2:15 - Break

2:30 - Third set of workshops

It's my party: Why partisan organizing matters - Alia Saied and Joanne Hussey

Workers' Rights: Past and present - Katrin Macphee and Laura Cameron

Climate Strike! - Citadel High School students

Workshop descriptions and bios (to be completed soon!)

School Choice? Voucher Systems? Charter Schools?

The language of educational options can be nothing if not daunting. In this presentation, we will examine the idea of school choice and charters, exploding some of the myths that surround these ideas and exposing one of the largest threats being faced by public education today. Who wants Charter schools? Why? What motivates these groups? By the end of this session we will have unpacked the complex answers to these questions in a way that will hopefully resonate with parents, teachers and members of the public at large.

Grant Frost is an educational commentator and a frequent contributing author to the Chronicle Herald. His career spans 25 years of teaching, both within the public and First-Nations education system. His latest book, "The Attack on Nova Scotia Schools" is currently being reviewed for publication by Formac-Lorimer. He is presently serving as President for the Halifax County Local of the NSTU, and he blogs at Frostededucation.com.


Salaam B'y - A Story Of A Muslim Newfoundlander (film & educator's guide introduction)

Salaam B’y presents a story of social inclusion as a pillar of sustainable innovative communities. At a time of increasing racial and religious friction across the Canada, Aatif’s story is a reminder of what can happen when a community welcomes newcomers with open arms. The Educator’s Guide is built for Grade 7-12 to engage with root causes of discrimination through positive engagement and social innovation activities building around kindness, empathy and identity.

Aatif Baskanderi grew up in Clarenville, NL and currently lives in Calgary, AB working as an innovation manager at a global power utility. He has a Bachelor of Engineering & Master of Technology Management from Memorial University, and a M.Sc. Social Policy & Development from the London School of Economics, leading to a diverse career centered on innovation for social good.


Climate Justice in Nova Scotia

Solidarity K’jikpuktuk-Halifax ’s Eco-Justice committee would like to engage teachers and community members in learning and discussion about climate justice and what ongoing climate-induced crises mean for teaching and supporting youth in Nova Scotia. We would like to discuss how climate change and our continued reliance on resource extraction projects upholds a capitalist system predicated on the myth of unlimited growth and colonialism by making connections to local struggles such as offshore drilling in Nova Scotia and the Mi’kmaq-led resistance to the Alton Gas project along the Shubenacadie river.

Shannon Power, Kenn Orphan and Amber Tucker are members of Solidarity K’jipuktuk-Halifax's eco justice committee.


Workers' Rights: Past and Present

This presentation will provide a historical overview of the movement for workplace justice in Nova Scotia, a summary of non-unionized workers' rights and how those rights change once the workplace is unionized, and will end with a discussion about how the modern struggle for workers' rights is being fought locally by the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign. Our workshop is intended for an audience of either youth or adults.

Lisa Cameron had a number of negative experiences with jobs in the retail and service sector which sparked her passion for workplace rights activism. She became involved in the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign in Ontario where she gained experience in political organizing and workplace rights education. She moved to Halifax this year, where she became an organizer with the Fight for $15 and fairness campaign locally, and the Halifax Workers' Action Centre.

Katrin MacPhee is a member of Solidarity K'jipuktuk Halifax as well as an organizer with the Halifax Workers' Action Centre and the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign. She is now a labour, employment, and human rights lawyer. Before law school she studied labour history.

From Access to Actualizing: Planning for Equitable Education for African Nova Scotian Students

This session will identify both the significant historical context of African Nova Scotian public school education, and the current state of African Nova Scotian students’ programming in public school. From various social justice perspectives, we will explore possibilities to “make a reality of” full educational opportunities and experiences for our students.

Malik Adams is a 20-year public school teacher in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He has taught at junior and senior high levels. He has 3 Masters Degrees in Education: 2 from MSVU, focusing in Curriculum, and Lifelong Learning in Africentric Leadership, respectively. He also has a Masters in Education (Counselling) from Acadia University in Canada.

Malik has developed curriculum for the DOEECD in Nova Scotia. He has trained teachers in delivering such courses and texts, and was a mentor teacher for university students most of his career. Malik continues to work with Black men in prisons, using Africentric principles to encourage dialogue and literacy to support their lives in prison, and upon their exit from prison. He is an executive member of the Halifax City Local chapter of the NSTU, and a long-time member of the Black Educators Association of NS.

It’s My Party: Why partisan organizing matters

Is there hope in big ‘P’ politics? This workshop will explore the importance of partisan organizing as a component of advancing social, economic and environmental justice goals. It will unpack the discomfort and complexities associated with partisanship, and consider the value of deepening engagement in electoral politics. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their experiences in grassroots and/or partisan organizing and discuss strategies for political activism.

Joanne Hussey (preferred pronouns: she/her) works in the NS NDP caucus office as Deputy Chief of Staff and is the researcher on a number of portfolios including Education and Early Childhood Development, Community Services, Justice, Finance and Treasury Board and Status of Women. Joanne was the NDP candidate for Fairview Clayton Park in the 2017 provincial election and, in 2015, ran for the NDP in the longest federal election in modern history. Through her career as a social policy researcher and small business owner, Joanne has had the opportunity to work with provincial and federal government departments, not for profit organizations, and Aboriginal groups. Joanne has a Master’s degree in Gender Studies and Social Policy.

Alia Saied is an adventurer of many disciplines who believes good communication is leadership in action. She is the caucus coordinator with the NS NDP Caucus after many years of working with university students in a student affairs context. With a B.A in IDS and Spanish, she has travelled and lived in the global south and the Canadian north. In her other time, she serves as a Facilitator, Justice of the Peace, birth doula and DJ.

Cost: Suggested donation $10 (no one will be turned away for lack of funds). FREE for youth 18 and under

Please let us know if you are not able to register via this method by emailing esjnovascotia@gmail.com.

The building is older and updates have made it more accessible, however, please let us know if you have particular needs related to accessibility at esjnovascotia@gmail.com.

Co-sponsored by Educators for Social Justice - Nova Scotia and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Nova Scotia. Thanks also to Fort Massey United Church Outreach Committee for providing the space.

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Fort Massey United Church

5303 Tobin Street

Halifax, NS B3H 1S3


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