Camille Isaacs and Ryan Rice receive 2018 BLG Faculty Equity Awards

Dr. Gillian Siddall and Eric Roher presenting Camille Isaacs and Ryan Rice with the BLG Faculty Equity Award
Monday, June 18, 2018

OCAD University is proud to announce that Assistant Professor Camille Isaacs and Ryan Rice, Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture are this year’s co-recipients of the BLG Faculty Equity Award.

The BLG Faculty Equity Award, sponsored by Borden, Ladner & Gervais (BLG), recognizes distinctive and outstanding work in teaching, pedagogy, research or creative work and service in advancing OCAD U’s mandate in fostering an inclusive, equitable and diverse learning environment inside and/or outside the classroom.

Dr. Camille Isaacs teaches in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Her teaching load regularly includes courses in Postcolonial Literature, Diasporic Literature and Caribbean Literature where she “privileges the margins” to allow students to pair their own life-experiences and cultures with the literary material under discussion. This directly corresponds to her own significant research practice focusing on the Black Atlantic Region, as well as her work as the chair of Black History Month festivities, where she actively supports students’ success as they prepare for exhibits, workshops and conferences each February.

As the co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Under-representation of Indigenous and Racialized Faculty and Staff, Dr. Isaacs has been instrumental in ensuring the implementation of a ground-breaking initiative. In the words of one nominator: “It is significant that Dr. Isaacs has a 360-degree commitment to her work of increasing visibility and facilitating inclusion of black, Indigenous and racialized faculty [and her] overarching commitment to seeing equity enacted at OCAD University through her service, research and teaching makes her a strong candidate for the BLG Faculty Equity award.”

Ryan Rice is serving his second three-year term as Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture (INVC), which includes teaching, administration, management and researching responsibilities. He has made great strides in strengthening and advancing the INVC BFA program, while establishing an inclusive Indigenous Students Centre for support and services while also contributing to committees, consultations and development opportunities. These have included the Presidential Task Force on Underrepresented Racialized and Indigenous Faculties, the Education and Employment Equity Committee and OCAD U search committees. Throughout the year, Ryan continued to program documentary series Culture Shiftsand hosted the final two Nigig Artists-in-Residence, while also participating in the Provost’s Indigenous Learning Task-Force and the hiring of the university’s Indigenous cluster hire.

As a leader within the field of Indigenous art and curatorial practice, Ryan recently curated an exhibition entitled raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015)at Onsite Gallery. Intended to create a discourse that spoke to equity through the visual voices held within a national collection, Ryan held workshops, hosted artist talks, conducted forty-one group tours and created a corresponding Education Guide. One nominator wrote, “The impact of Ryan’s research and creative work in curating raise a flagand its public program were imperative to contributing new knowledge of human rights, equity and social justice issues.” 

The pair were publicly celebrated for their achievements by BLG representative Eric Rohrer and OCAD University President Dr. Sara Diamond at Convocation on Tuesday June 12, 2018 at Roy Thomson Hall.

Student leaders recognized for contributions to OCAD U

OCAD U student leaders were celebrated on March 22 for their outstanding extracurricular leadership contributions at Campus Life’s annual recognition and awards dinner. 

Student leaders recognized for contributions to OCAD U

Monday, March 26, 2018

OCAD U student leaders were celebrated on March 22 for their outstanding extracurricular leadership contributions at Campus Life’s annual recognition and awards dinner. Emcee’d by Campus Life Student Monitor Daniel Naraindas, and included remarks from President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Sara Diamond and Vice-President, Academic & Provost Gillian Siddall.

The Diversity & Equity Excellence Award for Students, supported by OCAD Student Union and Office of the Vice-Provost, Students & International, acknowledges an outstanding student whose advocacy and leadership, promoting and advancing human rights, equity and social justice.

This year’s recipient, Meghana Ravi, co-led The Kaleidoscope Project, a multi-part arts-based participatory research project that included community consultations, an interactive public arts installation, and a full-length documentary that reflected the experiences and stories of OCAD U’s international student community. “Meghana is an exemplary student leader who uses her expertise in visual communication to engage in community building, education, and advocacy on issues of race and ethno-cultural identity, the international student experience, and decolonizing design,” said Sharmina Chherawala, Programs, Outreach & Human Rights Advisor in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives.

As an advocacy initiative, The Kaleidscope Project amplified the voices of equity-seeking communities on campus and situated all participants as experts and educators in sharing their critical analysis and lived experiences. “Meghana’s project helped build a stronger international student community on campus, and was highlighted in Now Magazine, showcasing how OCAD U community members are advancing decolonization in the curriculum and beyond. The highly anticipated documentary screening and panel discussions premiered to a packed house of students, faculty, staff, senior leadership and community members,” explained Chherawala.

Peer Mentor Awards, supported by First Generation Programs, acknowledge Peer Mentors who have made outstanding contributions to the Student Mentor Program over the past program year. This year’s recipients, Daniel Lugo Travieso and Matt McCleery, have both demonstrated an inclusive approach in sharing their wealth of knowledge and insights. They have taken initiative to help other students navigate the university, it’s systems and programs and off-campus resources, and exercised patience when responding to questions. Their commitment to keeping in touch with their mentees, and to help students connect with each other and opportunities have helped build our student community. An honourary mention was given to Becky Wu.

Special Commitment Pins were presented to Peer Mentors who have shown commitment to the Student Mentor Program. For the first time ever, a four-year pin was presented to Arashdeep Chahal, while three-year commitment pins were given to Elisabeth Chan, Jacqueline Lee and Adria Maynard.

The Student Group Leader of the Year Award, made possible by Imagination Catalyst, is presented to a student leader of a group who excels, above and beyond in their leadership role. This year it was awarded to The Grind’s Russell Chiu. The Grind is an incubator for students who want to start their own small business, with goals to encourage networking and collaboration between students, provide workshops, guest speakers, and resources to assist in the development of new skills and portfolio building.

“Our student group leaders embody the entrepreneurial qualities of creativity, innovation, risk-taking and independence,” said Ahmed ElBedaway of the Imagination Catalyst. “Russell works consistently on bringing The Grind team together to curate a variety of inclusive entrepreneurship and creative business events on campus through encouraging open-floor discussion of ideas, while ensuring the core team members are on the right path of growing the group, supporting personal growth of each individual member, and making sure that he is able to help others achieve their goals as well as his own.”

Deanne Fisher, Vice-Provost, Students & International, acknowledged the commitment and leadership of OCAD Student Union executive and student participants in Board of Governors and OCAD U Senate.

Andre De Freitas, Manager, Financial Aid & Awards, presented a special Excellence in Student Services Award to Michelle Pereza, who, since 2016, has served students with expertise, empathy, enthusiasm and excellence. “An extraordinary student services representative, Michelle’s skills and dedication have helped to break down financial barriers for her student peers,” said De Freitas.

Special interest, student-run clubs and the six-year old Intramural Program at OCAD U allow interaction among students, support faith and culture, and create an atmosphere of diversity while encouraging self-development, entrepreneurship, social responsibility, environmental awareness, and fitness and well-being. Brent Everett James, Campus Life Coordinator, acknowledged student group leaders and intramural team captains for their leadership and contribution to community.

Thank you to Financial Aid & Awards, First Generation Program, Office of the President, OCAD Student Union, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students & International, Imagination Catalyst and Campus Life for making this evening possible. 

Poster: 
Group photo of student winners with OCAD U staff

Call for Nominations: DIVERSITY & EQUITY EXCELLENCE AWARD FOR STUDENTS

Supported by OCAD Student Union and Office of the Vice-Provost, Students & International.

Workshop: Surviving Art School - Toolkit for Artists & Designers of Colour

collage image of artwork attributed to Raju Rage
Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 3:30pm

Surviving Art School: An Artist of Colour Toolkit
with artist + activist Raju Rage

Thursday, 14 September 2017, 3:30–5 PM
Lambert Lounge (MCA 187), 100 McCaul St
OCAD University

Co-presented with the Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives and OCAD Student Union
Hot Lunch will be served starting at 2:30pm ($3 suggested for meal)

Using the 'Surviving the Art School' publication, produced by Collective Creativity (of which Rage is a member) and published by Nottingham Contemporary (UK), as a starting point, the talk and workshop will ask what this visually entails. During this workshop participants can expect to learn and share strategies for decolonising education. Participants are encouraged to bring with them a 'problem' of the institution to collectively strategise and create a surviving the art school toolkit. This workshop is open to students from all disciplines. 

A presentation of Collective Creativity: a Queer, Trans* Intersex People of Colour artist collective in London UK which aims to create radical, grass roots space for QTIPOC to interrogate the politics of art, in relation to queer identity, institutional racism, and anti-colonialism. CC is dedicated to creating space for conversations that challenge institutional racism and white supremacy within a cultural framework. We are concerned with how we decolonise our art educations, unlearn the histories that replicate the colonial gaze, re-formatting our own art educations and a re-positioning of this canon by re-centring artists and cultural producers of colour.

Raju Rage is an interdisciplinary artist who is proactive about using art, education and activism to forge creative survival. Based in London and working beyond, they primarily use their non-conforming body as a vehicle of embodied knowledge; to bridge the gap between dis/connected bodies, theory and practice, text and the body and aesthetics and the political substance. They work in performance, sculpture, soundscapes and moving image, focusing on techniques of resistance and utilising everyday objects and everyday life experiences in communicating narratives around gender, race and culture. They investigate history, memory and trauma, with an emphasis on colonial legacy, its continuation and impact on the body and contemporary diasporan identity. They are an organiser and member of Collective Creativity arts collective. 

For any accessibility accommodation requests to fully participate in this event, please contact Shamina Chherawala at schherawala@ocadu.ca or 416.977.6000 ext.3840 in advance.

Venue & Address: 
Thursday, September 14 at 3:30 PM - 5 PM Lambert Lounge, 100 McCaul Street
Website: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/306759276454557/
Email: 
schherawala@ocadu.ca
Phone: 
416.977.6000 ext.3840
Cost: 
Workshop is free! OCAD Student Union will be serving Hot Lunch from 2:30pm onwards (suggested $3)

Whose Art Counts?

Whose Art Counts? event poster
Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Whose Art Counts
Moderated by Emily Norry

Whose Art Counts is a night of presentation and discussion to consider who is and is not included in art and art history. Our speakers will take varied approaches to the subject consider what art is left out of our mainstream culture and what problems do these artists face. Together we will question the cultural canon and broaden ideas of whose art has value.

This event is fully wheelchair accessible.

Speakers:

  1. Pamila Matharu - Worlding the Art World
  2. Ojo Agi - African Art and the Politics of Authenticity
  3. Ryan Rice - Whose Art Matters
  4. Rei Misiri- Re-Rooting Urban Arts culture: Why We Must Give Exposure to Hip Hop's True Reputable Face

Artist Bios:

Pamila Matharu
Pamila Matharu is a Toronto-based interdisciplinary artist, educator, and cultural producer. Her practice engages a close reading of the ‘other’ experience; examining issues of identity and representation through socially-engaged art, critical / feminist pedagogy and the minutiae of the everyday. Installation artworks are the result of combined strategies through collage, analogue + new media, printed matter and social practice. She received her BA in Visual Arts and her Bachelor of Education in Fine Arts Education, from York University (Toronto), has exhibited and screened her work, locally, nationally and internationally.

Ojo Agi
Ojo Agi is a Nigerian-Canadian self-taught artist living and working in the GTA. Ojo studied Health Sciences and Women's Studies at the University of Ottawa and is currently taking Continuing Studies courses with OCADU. She studied anti-racist feminisms throughout her undergraduate degree and has a deep interest in applying a social critical lens to contemporary art. For more of her work visit ojoagi.com.

Ryan Rice
Ryan Rice, a Mohawk of Kahnawake, Quebec received a Master of Arts degree in Curatorial Studies from the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, graduated from Concordia University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and received an Associate of Fine Arts from the Institute of American Indian Arts. He has worked for the past 18 years within the museum/art gallery milieu at various centers including the Iroquois Indian Museum, Indian Art Centre, Carleton University Art Gallery and the Walter Phillips Art Gallery. Rice was also a co-founder and former director of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. His exhibitions include ANTHEM: Perspectives on Home and Native Land, Oh So Iroquois, Scout’s Honour, LORE, Hochelaga Revisited, ALTERNATION, Soul Sister: Re-imagining Kateri Tekakwitha and Counting Coup. In August 2014, Rice was appointed the Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University.

Rei Misiri
Rei Misiri is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary artist and designer migrated from Tirana, Albania. Since 2006, he has been consistently involved in community related urban art projects. As an urban arts youth educator and performer, Rei has had the privilege to spread the discipline of urban arts and dance across Ontario. Moreover, he has extensively worked along leading Canadian urban arts organizations such as Unity Charity, Toronto Crime Stoppers, and The Patch project. Since 2010, he has hosted and curated over 15 integrated urban arts events - providing youth opportunities to preform and compete along some of the world’s highest ranking urban dancers, artists, and DJ’s. Upon graduating from OCAD University with a major in fine arts and a minor in graphic design, Rei plans to pursue a masters in visual arts to further merge urban arts into academia and other professional fields.

This event is funded by the OCAD U $1,500 Big Ideas Fund. The fund is sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives and made possible with generous support from OPSEU Local 576 Unit 1. 

 

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University The Lambert Lounge - rm. 187, 100 McCaul Street
Website: 
http://www.facebook.com/events/253931118361960/
Email: 
schherawala@ocadu.ca
Phone: 
416.977.6000 ext.3840
Cost: 
Free public event
Whose Art Counts? event poster

Student leaders celebrated for giving back to the community

Student leaders with Sara Diamond and Amanda Hotrum
Thursday, April 21, 2016 - 4:00am

The Diversity & Equity Excellence Awards were handed out at a reception in March to acknowledge OCAD University’s exceptional student leaders and their tremendous contributions to advancing equity at the institution. This year, with generous support from Office of the Vice-President, Academic; Office of the President; and Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives, the selection committee chose to give out three awards rather than one.

The recipients were:

  • Rouzbeh Akhabari
  • Zviko Mhakayakora
  • ​Amanda Robertson-Hebert

The contributions of this year’s winners ranged from advancing equity in OCAD U’s governance and policy through community initiatives in art and design creation and in the learning environment.

At the same event, the Peer Mentor Awards were given to students who made outstanding contributions to the Student Mentor Program, demonstrating enthusiasm and positivity while providing helpful advice and support to their student mentees.

This year’s recipients were:

  • Ahmed Bokhari
  • ​Jacqueline Lee

Tracy Cai and Madison Leeson were recognized by Andre De Freitas, Manager, Financial Aid & Awards, for their excellence in Financial Literacy. They collaborated to produce CreativeFunds, a series of videos that teach students how to manage and budget their finances.

Brent Everett James, Campus Life Coordinator, recognized the students behind two student initiatives on campus: 

  • Sofy Mesa and Oliver Roberts coordinated a winter clothing drive and soup kitchen community members in need.
  • Tooba Syed took on an active role with Textbooks for Change, coordinating the collection of donated textbooks on campus, repurposed to create social impact and improve the educational landscape for students around the world.

The awards celebration was made possible by the First Generation Program; Financial Aid & Awards; Alumni Relations; and the Office of the President. Contributions to Diversity, Equity & Excellence Awards were made by the Student Union; the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Students; the Office of the Vice-President, Academic; the Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives; and the Office of the President.
 

Call for Nominations: DEEAS

Recognized students from 2014/2015 Awards Dinner
Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 2:00pm to Friday, February 26, 2016 - 10:00pm

DIVERSITY & EQUITY EXCELLENCE AWARD FOR STUDENTS:
The Diversity & Equity Excellence Award for Students (DEEAS) is sponsored by OCAD Student Union and the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Students. It includes a $1,000.00 prize and congratulatory letter from Dr. Sara Diamond, President/Vice-Chancellor. Nominations will be accepted from all members of the OCAD U community, describing the nominee’s exceptional contribution to OCAD University and to equity and diversity through advocacy and leadership, promoting human rights, social justice, inclusion, and impactful engagement.

NOMINATION FORMS can be found online, or pick up printed copies at Campus Life (51 McCaul Street); Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives (Level 2, 115 McCaul Street); or OCAD Student Union (Level 5, 205 Richmond St. West). Submission deadline: Friday, February 26, 2016.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD U Campus Life, 51 McCaul Street
Website: 
http://www.ocadu.ca/services/campus-life/student-leadership-awards.htm
Email: 
bjames@ocadu.ca
Phone: 
416 977 6000, Ext. 275

Feminist FOMO NOMO

Black and green poster
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 5:00am to Sunday, December 6, 2015 - 5:00am

OCAD U: Feminist Art Exhibition, November 2015

Artists, this is your chance to show what feminism means to you. From November 10 to December 6, The Learning Zone at OCAD U will exhibit the collaborative creativity of artists reflecting on feminism. For a month, interact within a feminist space that connects artists across ages, mediums and perspectives. Don’t let the word feminism dissuade you. This is an all-inclusive event.

GET INVOLVED Artists, email us for more information as we will require some information from you as an artist before the show, including name, school, copyright and redistribution rights. Groups, this is the perfect time and space to host discussions, presentations and events relating to feminism. Submit a date on which you would like to host an event during the exhibit along with a description of it. Submit your interest by November 3rd, and for any further information contact feministfomonomo@gmail.com. A call for the online exhibition will follow so if you can't get it ready for this one.

This exhibition is sponsored by WIAprojects at CWSE/OISE University of Toronto, the OCAD University Library’s Learning Zone, OCAD U's Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Issues (ODESI) and the Feminist Art Conference (FAC).

Venue & Address: 
The Learning Zone at OCAD U
Email: 
<p>feministfomono@gmail.com</p>
fomo nomo poster

Creating a culture of consent

Image of zine called Create Consent
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 - 4:00am

First-year OCAD University students received something new in their Welcome Packets this September: Create Consent, a ‘zine that aims to create consent culture in a way that centres anti-oppression and intersectionality.

Developed at a two-day student workshop facilitated by OCAD U faculty Sheila Sampath and led by OCAD U’s Sexual Violence Prevention & Awareness Working Group, the 30-page ‘zine is a student resource that examines issues of sexual consent in classrooms and studios, on-line and in our communities. It offers information on where to go for support in cases of sexual violence and marks the beginning of a series of initiatives to continue this dialogue.    

The ‘zines are available around campus and at the Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives at 115 McCaul.

At the Student Gallery, the grassroots non-profit organization Bad Subject facilitated a workshop called “Let’s talk consent!” Participants engaged in role-playing activities to develop practical tools to gain and understand consent.

Find out more about sexual violence resources available on- and off-campus.

Read OCAD U President Dr. Sara Diamond’s statement about the university’s policies and resources.

The Ontario Government’s #whowillyouhelp video has received international attention for its stark message on sexual violence. Watch and share!

 

 

 

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