Rise Up! Workshops

March 9, 2016

The following is the list of workshop selections for the Rise Up! Conference. There are a wide range of themes and topics for the conference. We will be making these workshops dynamic and as innovative as possible.

You will be able to make one selection per block. There are three blocks: Block A, Block B, and Block C. You will also be asked to choose an alternate in the event that your workshop is not available.

BLOCK A: Exploring our Issues for Movement Building (13 workshops)

Decolonizing Violence against Indigenous Women

What is the labour movement’s role in helping end violence against Indigenous women? Explore today’s reality, which is the result of hundreds of years of systemic racism, sexism, and violence.

Mental Health and the Workplace: Challenging Stigma

What is the union’s role in changing our workplace and union culture to support and include members with mental health issues?

Green Justice: A Human Rights Perspective

How can we see environmental activism through the lens of Indigenous workers and workers of colour? We will explore the clean water campaign, anti-poverty issues, and the impacts of environmental racism.

Working While Black

Anti-Black racism is increasingly being highlighted in the media with examples of racial profiling, carding, criminalization, and the differential treatment of Black Canadians by the authorities. Explore the systemic barriers faced by Black workers in the workplace, union, and community.

Trans-forming our Assumptions 

This is an awareness-raising workshop on the challenges facing trans workers in communities, workplaces, and unions. How can unions work to end discrimination and support our trans members?

We’ve got Weddings, so Now What?

What are the current issues and challenges facing LGBT workers? What’s beyond the honeymoon?

How Accessible and Inclusive is Canada Anyway?

People with disabilities face considerable challenges and barriers, like poverty, underemployment, discrimination, and violence. Canada has signed on to the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. But are we meeting our obligations?

Islamophobia and the Politics of Fear

What happens when decision makers use fear, hatred, and division for political gain? Learn what unions can do to challenge Islamophobia, discrimination, and violence.

What is Truth and Reconciliation?

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report calls for a new relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. This workshop lays the groundwork by exploring the effects of residential schools, the 60s Scoop, and the child welfare system on Indigenous peoples in Canada. 

International Solidarity and Human Rights

How does the Canadian labour movement work for human rights globally? And why? What does international solidarity look like in the context of free trade, refugee crises, corporate greed, and the rights of the most vulnerable? 

Work it (Real Good): Labour’s Feminist Agenda

Because it’s 2016, but we are still talking about the same things we talked about in the 70s: pay equity, child care, and work-life balance. How can we break through and make some real gains for women in workplaces?


BLOCK B: Fundamentals for Movement Building (10 workshops)

Community Campaigning 

How can we bring labour’s human rights issues to our communities? We will touch on the basics of mobilization, coalition building, communications, and campaign tools and tactics.

Workplace Campaigning 

Learn how to build member engagement and support for human rights issues. Share tactics for face-to-face conversations and turn discussions into action.

Stronger Communities: A conversation with Nav Bhatia

This workshop focuses on building relationships and coalitions with community allies and partners to advance human rights issues.

Lobbying Your Elected Official

Learn the basics of lobbying a human rights issue that matters to you. Tips for effectively engaging decision makers at all levels.

Human Rights and Labour’s Image

Research shows that most people don’t connect the labour movement to advances we have made for workers and the most vulnerable in society. How do we talk to the public—and our members—to dispel the myths about unions as outdated, antagonistic, traffic stopping, constantly striking, and disruptive?

Taking Action: Getting Human Rights Issues to Convention

This workshop will show you how to draft a motion or resolution and move your issue successfully through the union to convention.

Digital Storytelling: Once Upon a Meme

This workshop will show you how to use social media and technology to tell our members’ stories as part of a campaign.

Applying an Equity and Inclusion Lens: Tools for Unions

An equity and inclusion lens is a way of better engaging, representing, and including the full diversity of our membership. This workshop will introduce new tools you can use to assess your progress and identify new ways to promote inclusion in all aspects of union activity.

Practice What You Preach: Anti-Racism in Action

What’s the difference between anti-racist and non-racist? Start unpacking the nuances of proactively being an ally in the struggle against racism and other forms of discrimination.


BLOCK C: Strategies for Movement Building (13 workshops)

What is Labour’s Reconciliation Action Plan?

In this workshop you will gain a better understanding of labour’s role in the process of reconciliation. Build strategies on how labour can implement our own plan around the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report and recommendations.

Uber, Airbnb, the “gig economy” and the Changing Nature of Work: Solutions and Strategies

Who wins and who loses in the so-called “sharing economy?” Business models are changing, which is impacting labour norms and creating new forms of exploitation. Explore how labour can adapt and protect the rights of workers in an ever-evolving work culture.

Taking it to the Streets: Idle No More, Black Lives Matter, Fight for $15

Grassroots-driven organizing has captured the imagination of a new generation of activists, brought powerful stories to light, and inspired action. Where do we see ourselves in these movements? How can we harness this spirit to chart a new course for labour movement activism?

Bargaining For Equity

How can we build membership support for human rights priorities? Bargaining can be a powerful tool to make workplace gains for equity-seeking members. Share success stories and strategies for getting the best language to the table and into agreements.

Rebooting Feminism: Organizing in the 21st Century

Forget the waves—let’s get into formation. How can we connect digital feminist organizing with action on the ground and build an inclusive movement?

Building Safer Spaces in the Workplace

How safe is it to be out at work? LGBT workers still experience homophobia and transphobia at work and in their unions. What strategies can unions use to challenge discrimination and harassment, create safer spaces, and promote inclusion in our movement and in workplaces?

Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Women’s Mentorship

Women—especially diverse women—are under-represented at all levels of leadership, as well as certain sectors of employment. What are unions doing and how successful have our strategies been?

“A loaf of bread, a container of milk, and a stick of butter”: An Intergenerational Conversation

If you recognize that quote, you need to take this workshop. And if you don’t recognize it, you need to take this workshop.

Generational differences can create tensions in unions and workplaces, leaving young workers feeling shut out and older workers feeling misunderstood. How can we break through the generational divide, promote solidarity, and create opportunities for young leaders?

Increasing our Density: Organizing Diverse Workers

Are unions taking advantage of opportunities to organize in new sectors and in diverse communities? Are our traditional models of organizing meeting the needs of today’s unorganized workforce? What tools do we have at our disposal: what new technologies, new approaches, and new challenges?

Promises, Promises: Holding our Governments Accountable

What are labour’s priorities for rebuilding human rights in Canada? How do we hold the Liberal government accountable for their commitments? Where are our opportunities for gains? What are our strategies to make the most of this political moment?

Embracing Digital Culture for Member Engagement

Digital culture is changing the world. Digital activism is a fast growing key strategy for political and social change. Has the labour movement kept pace with changing approaches? Learn how to integrate digital culture into our member engagement strategies to better connect, communicate with, and bring together our members.

Assess, Act, and Audit: An Anti-racism Guide for Building Equity in Unions

This workshop is based on the resource, “A Leader’s Guide to Strengthen Unions: Moving Beyond Diversity… Towards Inclusion and Equity.” Participants will learn how to build a strategic anti-racism framework for analysis and action, and explore tools to help identify, analyze, and remove systemic barriers in programs, policies, and practices.