Linden Teachers Host First-Ever Teaching for Justice Conference

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April 1, 2017, served as an important milestone in The Linden School's history when the school opened its doors to Toronto's first-ever conference on Teaching for Justice. Conceived and developed by Beth Alexander, Linden teacher, and Michelle Munk, City View Alternative, TDSB teacher (who formerly taught at Linden), the event took more than a year of planning. Not surprisingly, the response was overwhelming. Academics and teachers around the city flooded their inboxes with workshop proposals, and the event sold out quickly. 

"We planned this conference because it was something we wanted to attend—a place to meet teachers, community partners, and activists who do the kind of work we do. It is our goal today to expand our networks, learn new ideas, gain new perspectives, and derive inspiration and support from each other," shared Beth and Michelle at the start of the conference. 

The Linden School thanks our community partners, conference speakers, and participants for their wonderful support! Our kudos and heartfelt thanks to Beth Alexander and Michelle Munk for devoting their time and energy into making this event such a huge success. We have no doubt this conference will become an annual event, and we look forward to hearing more about the event in the coming months! 

Learn more about the conference speakers and workshops by visiting TeachingForJustice.org. 

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Donna Ashamock, Eeyou (Cree) community educator and practitioner served as the conference keynote speaker. Donna began her presentation by acknowledging that the land on which the gathering took place is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, Huron-Wendat, Petun, Seneca Nations, Metis, and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. The territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and the Ojibwe/Anishinaabe and Allied Nations to peaceably share and care for the land and water resources around the Great Lakes. On behalf of the gathering, Donna expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work and present in this territory. 

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Ausma Malik, TDSB Trustee, gave a warm welcome to the participants. 

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Beth Alexander, Linden teacher, and Michelle Munk, TDSB teacher (who formerly taught at Linden) conceived and organized the Teaching for Justice Conference.

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The conference resource fair included community activist partners such as A Different Booklist.

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Representatives from the Canadian Women's Foundation were available with reference material. 

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Workshop leaders Faye Guenther and Laura Schein.

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Faye Guenther and Laura Schein leading a workshop on "Teaching Social Justice Through Song, Story, and Community: A Retrospective View and New Possibilities."

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Conference participants included a wide variety of teachers and academics from across the GTA. 

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One of the conference highlights was the student panel on "Students as Activists." 

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David Stocker, City View Alternative, TDSB designed a special word cloud for his workshop on "Beyond Pizza Party Math: Mathematics for Social Justice."

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David Stocker, City View Alternative, TDSB with his fantastic maththatmatters textbook. His interactive workshop provided participants a chance to try lessons from his new textbook.

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Participants sharing their thoughts at one of the workshops.

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Participants sharing their thoughts at one of the workshops.

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Tasha Smith, Aboriginal Education Centre, TDSB, leading a workshop on "Indigenous Education: Promoting Allyship and Activism through Indigenous Education."

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Michelle Munk, TDSB teacher with Maria Vamvalis, EAST Alternative/Critical Thinking Consortium (and former Linden teacher). Maria gave a workshop on "Nurturing Transformative Citizenship through Critical Inquiry."