Rob Simon is associate professor in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, and has been a teacher educator since 2003. At OISE, Rob teaches courses in critical literacy and practitioner research. He is also academic director of the Centre for Urban Schooling (https://cus.oise.utoronto.ca) and director of the Toronto Writing Project (https://www.torontowritingproject.com). Rob began his career in education in 1998 as a founding teacher of Life Learning Academy (http://www.lifelearningacademysf.org), a high school for youth who experienced struggles in traditional school settings. Rob’s current research explores how teachers and students inquire into and co-research issues of social justice, and how they use the arts, film, writing, and other creative mediums to share their findings with the world.
Sarah Evis is a cis white woman, who teaches grades 7 & 8 at Delta Alternative Senior School, in Toronto, where she has taught since 2001. Her desire is to encourage students through hands-on, arts based learning, to actively engage with and push back against privilege, colonialism, oppression, and marginalization. Sometimes, she is successful. Sarah is involved with various community initiatives, and does activist work with a focus on issues affecting Indigenous, BIPOC, and queer and trans folks. She has two grown sons, Pogo and Mingus, who are fierce advocates for the rights of others. Before becoming a teacher, Sarah had a career as a visual artist and owned a restaurant. Her interests include visual arts, theatre, music, and gardening. She is devoted to her two pugs, Marvin and Rupert.
Ty Walkland is a writer and social justice educator who works with teachers and youth to confront issues of power and privilege. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, where his research explores critical and holistic approaches to drug education. Before pursuing full-time graduate studies, Ty taught secondary English, Social Science, and Special Education for the Simcoe County District School Board, where he continues to work as an occasional teacher. He helped organize Simcoe County’s first-ever “Pride Prom” for LGBTQ+ students and their allies in 2014 and has developed numerous resources for colleagues to better support queer and trans youth. He continues to facilitate professional development for education workers across the province to better meet the needs of diverse youth and families.
Ben Gallagher is a poet and essayist, and is currently a PhD candidate in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. His research interests include experimental poetics, non-linear pedagogy, and the environment. His writing has appeared in magazines and anthologies across Canada, and in 2017 he won Arc magazine’s Critic’s Desk Award. He is the coordinator of the Toronto Writing Project, a co-founder of Listening Parties, an irregular reading series, a member of the Scotch Village Co-operative Farm, and a member of the arts collective 7+/-2. He has taught art and writing in community and non-profit settings for the past decade, and helped found The Spot, an arts program for people involved in the mental healthcare system. When Ben isn’t working with the Addressing Injustices project, he’s at home with his seven-month-old daughter stacking blocks and knocking them down, or encouraging her to nap.
Ashleigh Allen is a writer, educator, and PhD student in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. For nearly a decade she has taught at colleges and community centres in New York City and Toronto. Involved in projects at Teachers & Writers Collaborative, 826NYC, and Scarborough Arts among others, she has roots in and is inspired by community and collaborative creations that are grounded in the spoken and written word. In addition to Addressing Injustices, she is a member of the Toronto Writing Project.
Douglas Friesen has led teachers, students, and professional musicians through ways of using improvisation and soundscape to engage creativity and community. He is currently working on a PhD in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto where he is researching sound and listening pedagogies. Doug has worked as a teacher and Instructional Leader in public schools and a course instructor at the University of Toronto and Wilfrid Laurier University. Doug is a student and friend of Canadian composer and educator R. Murray Schafer who he has taught with and for in Canada, Mexico, and Brazil. As a professional musician, Doug has played with Dave Bidini (Rheostatics), John K. Samson (Weakerthans), Ron Sexsmith, and many others. soundmarker Noisetown
benjamin lee hicks is a visual artist, elementary school teacher, and PhD candidate in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto. They taught JK-grade 6 classrooms in the Toronto District School Board for 8 years prior to beginning graduate school. benjamin has written and designed curriculum materials on topics of sustainable community building, queering school space, and arts-based activism. They are interested in how we might better support teachers to expect queerness and welcome all gender identities in elementary school classrooms. benjamin is also passionate about centring the voices and experiences of trans/gender diverse people who are navigating the school system as students, staff, and caregivers.
Pamela Baer is a theatre and media artist with a focus on community engaged work. Drawn from a young age to storytelling as a way of connecting people and building community, her work revolves around personal narratives, oral histories, and life stories. Pamela has facilitated community arts projects with diverse groups, and wide reaching themes, in England, Ghana, and Canada. Her current work focuses on LGBTQ families, stories, and representations, and explores the role of collective community creation in the the production of participatory media. Pamela is a PhD candidate Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, the research manager on the LGBTQ Families Speak Out project (www.lgbtqfamiliesspeakout.ca), and an instructor of Applied Theatre at Brock University.
Slam poetry meets folk music meets queer-themed tunes in Toronto-based singer-songwriter Kate Reid. Kate has five albums under her belt: Kate Reid (ep, 2005), Comin’ Alive (2006), I’m Just Warming Up (2009), Doing it for the Chicks (2011), and Queer Across Canada (2013). She performs at live music venues, folk and music festivals, Pride festivals, conferences, public schools, universities, and in people’s living rooms. She also combines musical activism with teaching by facilitating workshops and giving concerts and keynote addresses for educational institutions and community service organizations. Kate is a Ph.D candidate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), University of Toronto, where she is conducting research on the use of songs in curriculum development on gender and sexual diversity. Kate loves hiking, cycling, watching birds, (and all animals in general), and going to the occasional Blue Jays ballgame. www.katereid.net