2016—2017 · V. 44 No. 3



Live the change

CLC Rise Up 2016

I am grateful to OSSTF/FEESO for all the experiences I was able to take in at the Rise Up! Live the change, 2016 conference. I was able to gather new and different perspectives surrounding marginalized communities, and I felt empowered by the various speakers, all of whom emphasized that we must strive for inclusiveness and acceptance of all people. And I heard straightforward and thoughtful concerns about the demographics of various unions, and about who does and does not get high paying jobs, and why.

Thanks to this conference, I have been able to inform my own teaching practices and bring discussion about the importance of accessibility into the classroom. I am able to challenge students with material they normally don’t experience in a safe way, and I am planning to present some of the workshop materials to different school clubs and union meetings in Kitchener-Waterloo.

One of the workshops I participated in was called “An Intergenerational Talk.” We had a discussion around the stories told by individuals who were new to their union, and about how the union had helped them. Through this opportunity to participate in a diverse gathering of people with differing and sometimes unique opinions about the purpose of unions, I have become better informed about the essential work unions do for their members and in defence of human rights. As a new member of OSSTF/FEESO, I feel very welcome and appreciated after attending this conference.

/Travis Smalley is a member of District 24, Waterloo.

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