(En)gendering Resistance is this years theme for the School of Public Interest, an annual social and environmental justice gathering put on by the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG).

A purposeful play on words, the conference theme is intended to encompass
reflections on the lived experience of gender, the gendering of activism, and
strategies for fostering vibrant resistance movements.

Taking place April 19th-21st at the University of Waterloo, the weekend long
conference will bring together community organizers, activists and students, to
critically discuss issues related to gender and resistance/resisting gender. Shaping,
while simultaneously being shaped by the ways in which we live, love, fuck and
resist, the intricacies and potentialities of gender will be explored.

Our vision is to provide an inclusive space to engage in dialogue that challenges
the narratives of the mainstream feminist movement, expanding its critique
and radicalizing its practice. We dream of a feminism that does not seek the
inclusion of marginalized identities within the dominant order, but rather, strives
to unapologetically challenge the dominant order itself. How can we develop a
movement for gender justice that is necessarily anti-capitalist, anti-colonial and
critical of state institutions? How can we foster resistance practices that are firmly
rooted in anti-racism and an intersectional analysis of gender?

Patriarchy and gendered oppressions are everyday perpetuated within our
communities and movements. Sexism, queer and transphobia permeate social
justice groups and organizations. Gender violence and sexual assault occur with
tragic frequently within our ‘safe’ spaces. How can we challenge the reproduction
of gender oppression within broader social and environmental justice movements?
How can we develop non-state responses to issues of sexual violence? What
potential exists for the construction of holistic and nurturing communities of
resistance? How can we strengthen our ongoing work, and build our collective
capacity to resist?

What is WPIRG?

WPIRG’s mission is to engage students and community members to become active citizens and volunteers on environmental, human rights, and social justice issues. Started in 1973, the Waterloo Public Interest Research Group (WPIRG) provides a place to research, educate, and take action on environmental and social justice issues.

WPIRG functions on fees paid by full-time undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Waterloo. Students’ monetary contribution provides important resources, like a meeting space, library, button-maker, sewing-machine, as well as workshops, film screenings, and events, which are planned, created, and used by student volunteers.

What is SPI?

The School of Public Interest (SPI) is an annual gathering that brings together social and environmental justice activists, and community members to discuss issues, ideas and strategies in order to better collaborate, learn and move together towards a more just world. It aims to build participants knowledge, skills, and understandings of particular issues, through sharing, peer-to-peer learning and with a commitment to creating as accessible as space as possible. In the past, the conference has focused on themes such as food and reproductive justice, activism and art, and challenging the prison industrial complex.

For more information on past SPI’s, or about WPIRG, please visit WPIRG .