2015 Grant Recipients

asap

Amjiwnaang and Sarnia Against Pipelines (ASAP)

ASAP was created in 2012 with the vision to raise awareness about the Enbridge Line 9 pipeline project, which increases the transport of tar sands dilbit in Chemical Valley. The pipeline will result in greater pollution of Aamjiwnaang and increase the risk of spills.

Over the past couple of years, ASAP has expanded its mandate to include opposition to fracking projects, refineries, and the transport of toxic chemicals in Aamjiwnaang’s territories. ASAP is a community-led initiative. Meetings are held regularly in the community, and the group is open to all Aamjiwnaang residents, as well as Sarnia allies, who are also impacted by Chemical Valley.

ASAP’s mandate is to confront the industries that pollute, steal our lands, and put our community at risk. ASAP asserts Indigenous Rights and Sovereignty, and we use both direct action and education to raise awareness about environmental injustice. We highlight how environmental racism has created a scenario where our community is polluted and cannot receive basic health or environmental testing, while oil companies make billions from their operations in the Valley. We work with allies throughout Southern Ontario in order to build a network of support for our community, and break down barriers of race, class, gender, and culture that have historically kept Aamjiwnaang isolated from its neighbours. We also work closely with youth and Elders in First Nation communities in Southern Ontario.

http://aamjiwnaangsolidarity.com/

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8 March Women

Our members are Iranian and Afghan women who are oppressed and face violence in their family and society. We publish a quarterly called Hashte Mars (March 8 in Farsi) and strive to be a tribune for those women who fearlessly expose patriarchy and male supremacy.

We have initiated or participated in campaigns against execution of women, including stoning to death of women in Iran and Afghanistan, for the so-called crime of adultery, prostitution etc., in defense of refugee rights, and against the persecution and massacre of political prisoners. We have also actively participated in struggles against the US and the Western invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. Every year, we celebrate International Women’s Day, March 8, and we strive to carry out these celebrations along with our sisters from around the world. More recently we have launched a campaign along with other women activists to Abolish All Unequal Legislation against Women in Iran. We believe that the struggle for liberation of women is a political struggle, and when women rise up against patriarchal relations, they will inevitably get involved in politics. We strive to struggle against all forms of women’s oppression, both overt and hidden.

http://www.8mars.com/

zan_dem_iran@hotmail.com

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Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network)

Butterfly is formed by sex workers, social workers, legal, and health professionals. It provides support to, and advocates for, the rights of Asian and migrant sex workers. The organization is founded upon the belief that sex workers are entitled to respect and basic human rights.

Further, Butterfly asserts that, regardless of their immigration status, Asian and migrant sex workers should receive the same respect and human rights as other workers. We run a hotline service; do outreach, workshops, training, and networking; produce publications; offer emotional, social, health, and legal information, services and supports; provide emergency support for crisis situations; and do research and public education.

Mandate

  • provide support, education and information to Asian and migrant sex workers
  • promote safety and dignity for all sex workers, regardless of their gender, race, or immigration status
  • promote equality and eliminate racism, stigma, and discrimination against Asian, migrant, and sex workers
  • build up support networks and promote solidarity among sex workers
  • facilitate opportunities for the voices of sex workers to be heard in society
  • advocate for human rights of sex workers and to promote the decriminalization of sex work

 www.butterflysw.org

cswbutterfly@gmail.com

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Marcus Garvey

We run an after-school program, and mobilizing around evictions, housing conditions, police brutality, and horizontal (black-on-black) violence since September 2012 in the Jamestown neighbourhood. We address issues impacting the working-class residents of North Etobicoke, focusing on the Black community, and come at our work from a revolutionary Pan-Africanist, anti-capitalist ideology.

Our decision to launch an after school program as a way to organize residents came from door-to-door canvassing of the area; parents and youth alike identified the failure of social service agencies in the area to engage young people, especially those most targeted by the criminal justice system. We built the Marcus Garvey Program based on this direction from the community, and created a curriculum based on the issues identified by residents.

Our program runs weekly workshops with 30-40 participants aged 14 to 21 where we talk in depth about issues like police brutality, colonialism, systemic racism, patriarchy, etc. We have mobilized the participants of our program and their parents to oppose individual attacks against area residents by the Toronto Police, Toronto Community Housing and the TDSB/TCDSB, who are responsible for the arrests, raids, brutality, evictions, run-down conditions, and suspensions/expulsions that face area residents. Our approach to horizontal (black-on-black) violence is unique in the city because we work directly with the youth involved as victims and perpetrators, and we recognize the ultimate cause is the economic and social conditions they are faced with. We know that the only way for communities like Jamestown to fight back is to get organized.

marcusgarveysp@gmail.com

NEPV

Network for the Elimination of Police Violence (NEPV)

NEPV Toronto fights for the rights of those affected by police violence and discrimination through direct action, legal education and broader public education campaigns focusing on larger issues of discrimination within local law enforcement. We bring together those impacted by police violence and their networks as well as community-based support systems to organize and defend one another through the dissemination of legal advice, information on discriminatory policing practices and direct actions that demand transparency from policing bodies.

NEPV is currently working in the Jane & Finch community with a community-based organization to develop its capacity to fight police violence. We are an organization that is run by and for victims of police discrimination and their allies, a diverse coalition of citizens, agency workers, community organizers and lawyers working with individuals, organizations and communities directly affected by discriminatory systems of policing.

www.nepv.org

eliminatepoliceviolence@gmail.com

nms

No More Silence

No More Silence aims to develop an inter/national network to support the work being done by activists, academics, researchers, agencies, and communities to stop the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women.

If you would like a loved one's information included in our database, please get in touch via http://www.itstartswithus-mmiw.com/

In 2014, supported by a grant from Groundswell, Violence No More brought together women from across the country (Victoria to Newfoundland) to work on building a national community-led database. You can watch a video from the event here.

http://nomoresilence-nomoresilence.blogspot.ca/

nomoresilenceorg@gmail.com

OCAP

OCAP

OCAP fights for the rights of poor people using direct action. We have been organizing in Toronto and Ontario for almost 25 years. Our aim is to bring together the poor, unemployed, workers and homeless to defend one another and organize to fight back against the powers that attack the poor, whether it be landlords, bosses, the police or government institutions.

We are critical of symbolic gestures and protests, or negotiating without action. In the day-to-day we do casework, meaning that we support and work with people to get benefits or wages they are entitled to.

www.ocap.ca

ocap@tao.ca

janefinch

JFAAP

Jane Finch Action Against Poverty (JFAAP) is a grassroots group in the Jane Finch community in Toronto. We directly confront socio-economic issues perpetuating poverty, racism, and gender inequality. We have participated in deputations to government committees, engaged in direct actions, facilitated coalitions with other groups active in the community, hosted educational forums, issued press releases and open letters, and much more.

JFAAP educates and brings awareness both within and outside the community about the forces and policies that solidify and perpetuate the systemic disadvantage of Jane and Finch and other marginalized communities.

We encourage an inclusive membership base, and prioritize women and racialized groups in leadership and decision-making positions. One of our priorities is to redefine the popular views of Jane and Finch that are portrayed in the media. We strive to empower community members to be forces for change with respect to the issues that affect us, our neighbours, friends, and families. We also work to ensure that local politicians are held accountable for the mistreatment of their constituents, and inform the community of political platforms during election seasons. The money received from the Groundswell grant will allow JFAAP to continue doing this work in the name of social justice.

https://jfaap.wordpress.com/

janefinchactionagainstpoverty@gmail.com