2016 Grant Recipients

Butterfly (Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network)

Butterfly was 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.

Butterfly will use the Groundswell grant for capacity training workshops to build up the leadership of twelve migrant sex workers, so that they can advocate for migrant sex workers’ rights and justice, and lead the migrant sex workers’ movement as well as be involved other social movements. Butterfly will also produce and distribute materials on migrant sex workers’ rights and social injustice, as well as engage in coalition work.



Earth Justice (EJA)

Members of Grassy Narrows Asubpeeschoseewagong Anishinabek (GNAA) have given direction to EJA to organize the fourth bi-annual River Run, a week of events and action in Toronto, between May 30 and June 3, 2016.

Members of GNAA territory will travel to Toronto for a week of action focused on the issues of logging and mercury contamination on their territory. EJA will use the Groundswell grant to help fund the events of this week, as well as partial transportation costs of Grass Narrows community members.


Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network (HTSN)

The Hamilton Tenants Solidarity Network (HTSN) is a grassroots initiative that seeks to link tenants from across Steel City in order to amplify our struggles through solidarity and direct action. Our goal is to build a powerful working-class fightback against absentee slumlords, tenant harassment, and the rampant gentrification that is transforming our city into a bedroom community for the GTA professional class.

HTSN will use the Groundswell grant to help cover the costs of a tenant organizing conference and city-wide tenant assembly – specifically, renting the venue, travel reimbursements for out-of-town presenters, food, printing and translation services. The conference will consist of an intensive day of workshops, skill-shares and discussions, aimed at providing practical know-how and invaluable lessons for tenants who are interested in, or have already started organizing in their buildings, as well as fostering a better understanding of the root causes of the housing crisis currently affecting city residents. This will be followed by a city-wide general assembly of tenants, which will discuss tenant-led solutions to affordable housing, and begin to network established tenant associations into regionally federated bodies.


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.

At last year’s Violence No More event, No More Silence decided it would be important to gather in a new place to broaden this network. In partnership with No More Silence (NMS), the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre and the Dept. of Gender Studies at Memorial University of Newfoundland stepped up to host a follow-up event in July 2016.

NMS will use the Groundswell funds to send two representatives to the event. The event will be structured similarly to past years with a public event and closed workshop. Given our central role in organizing past events, NMS representatives will facilitate the workshop, whose focus will be on developing strategies to hold the government accountable to those most affected by the violence—Indigenous women, families, communities and nations—in its implementation of the Inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.




Thorncliffe Reach-Out Teach-In (TRT)

Thorncliffe Reach-Out Teach-In (TRT) is an independent community-based organization that brings together residents of Thorncliffe Park to discuss and address issues of concern. By building local unity and strength, it aspires to create change in the community such that we can live, learn and work in conditions of our own choosing.

TRT wants to organize a self-defence program for Muslim women in the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon communities. By combining physical training with political analysis we want to build organizers who can contribute to deepening our political work in the neighbourhood. The Groundswell grant would allow us to hire an instructor who shares this understanding of self-defence in its broader systemic implications as social defence. In order to ensure that cost would not be a barrier to the working-class women of these communities, we aim to cover the expenses of both the instructor and the equipment.