School of Social Justice - 2016


Announcement & Call For Applications

TO: OCASI Member Agencies
FROM: Debbie Douglas, OCASI Executive Director
RE: OCASI School of Social Justice 2016- Invitation to Participate

Deadline for 2016 Applications - Friday, July 22, 2016

Application: Download the OCASI SSJ Application (Word document)

Please review all the information below before submitting your application.

What is the SSJ?

The OCASI School for Social Justice (SSJ) is a participatory capacity building initiative for new and experienced change agents to strengthen the social policy analysis, community organizing, and action on social, political and economic justice capability of OCASI member agencies. It will be held over three two-day face-to-face (for a total of six days) and four 1 1/2 hour web-based (for a total of six hours) training sessions betweenSeptember 20 and November 1, 2016. This year we can accommodate20participants from across Ontario.


Strengthen capacity within the sector to build a broader vision for equity and justice for all Canadians through a transformational process for sector practitioners to become empowered leaders of social change in their communities as they become stronger champions for their clients and communities as well as a resource for the Council.


  • Build capacity to understand and analyze the underlying reasons for discrimination and oppression and how it operates in society;
  • Build skills for social and political analysis and public policy advocacy;
  • Build skills to organize and mobilize communities;
  • Build capacity to build alliances across and between sectors and issues; and
  • Build technical communication and media engagement skills.

Content: Key Themes/Issues and Skills Areas included in the Training:

  • Key concepts and principles related to “social analysis”, in the context of immigration and settlement programs;
  • Integrated anti-oppression analysis in the context of power relations;
  • Integrating service programs with advocacy;
  • Structural, systemic and conjunctural analysis – includes current socio-economic moment, history, root causes, key trends, and naming key economic/cultural/political/social forces;
  • Develop action-strategies-coalitions, education campaigns and community organizing
  • Media analysis and how to engage with media for social change;
  • How to work within the framework of Registered Charities regulations.

Who Should Apply:

Any employee of an OCASI member agency with a demonstrated interest in social justice, regardless of position within the agency is invited to apply.


Registration fee - $100.00

Training Dates:

  • Tuesday September 20, 2016, 10:00 am (1 1/2 hour) – Interactive web-based introduction
  • Monday September 26 and Tuesday September 27, 2016 (all day) – In-person (Toronto)
  • Tuesday October 4, 2016, 10:00 am (1 1/2 hour) – Interactive web-based training
  • Tuesday October 11, 2016, 10:00 am (1 1/2 hour) – Interactive web-based training
  • Thursday, October 20 and Friday, October 21, 2016 (all day) – In-person (Toronto)
  • Tuesday October 25, 2016, 10:00 am (1 1/2 hour) – Interactive web-based training
  • Monday October 31 and Tuesday November 1st, 2016 (all day) – In-person (Toronto)

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Current employment at an OCASI member agency;
  • At least two years of experience (work or volunteer) with the non-profit human services sector;
  • Demonstrated involvement in social justice/community development work in any capacity (including professional, volunteer, personal/private)
  • Availability for all scheduled training dates;
  • Payment of $100 Registration fee by the participant’s organization; and
  • A passion for advocacy and an interest in learning more!

Please Note: Participants must obtain support from their organization to participate in every training session, complete short “homework” assignments between training sessions, and undertake on-going advocacy work after the training. The $100 registration fee is required to cover certain costs.

Application: Download the OCASI SSJ Application (Word document)

Please email your completed application form and supporting documents to

Supporting Documents Required:

Resume showing work/volunteer experience in non-profit human services sector; and demonstrated involvement in social justice/community development work in any capacity (including professional, volunteer, personal/private)

If you are not an Executive Director, please submit a signed support letter on organization letterhead from your Executive Director (download attached form letter [Word document]);

Deadline for Applications:

Please complete the on-line application byFriday, July 22, 2016. Don’t forget to attach all the requested supporting documents. Candidates will be informed of the results of the application process by Friday, August 5, 2016.


  • Registration fee of $100.00 is payable to OCASI after your participation is confirmed.
  • Your confirmation will include information to join the web-based introduction/orientation.
  • Once participation is confirmed, we will follow-up regarding any accommodation needs.
  • All sessions are delivered in English only.
  • All web-based sessions are interactive, and will be delivered using GoToWebinars.
  • All face-to-face training sessions will be held in Toronto. We will provide breakfast and lunch. The site is located in downtown Toronto and is fully accessible.
  • OCASI will reimburse travel and accommodation costs for participants from outside the GTA in accordance with OCASI’s travel guidelines (will be provided with confirmation).
  • Sessions may be photographed or videotaped, and the results will be used only for OCASI promotional and reporting purposes.

Contact Information:

Should you have any questions, please contact Martha Orellana at (416) 322-4950 ext.230 or or Amy Casipullai at ext.239 or


Immigration has been the main driver of Canada’s population growth since the beginning of 2000, and has been important to Canada for much longer. In the context of that reality, Canada’s treatment of immigrants can be held as a barometer of the state of social justice in the country. Like a canary in a coal mine, immigrants’ well-being or its’ lack can signal whether all Canadian residents benefit equitably from Canadian laws and policies.

Recent cohorts of immigrants are doing much worse economically compared to those who arrived fifteen to twenty years ago. Canada’s public discourse on immigration and refugee protection has undergone a significant change for the worse. Governments at all levels, but particularly the federal government, have been moving forward on austerity measures that disinvest in services. The federal government’s pursuit of a law-and-order agenda is creating a disproportionate negative impact on foreign-born Canadian residents of racialized background.

This political moment is an opportunity for the immigrant and refugee-serving sector to actively and creatively engage with community to advance social justice for immigrants and other equity-seeking Canadian residents.

The OCASI School for Social Justice (SSJ) is a learning opportunity for sector practitioners to build on talents and skills so that they become stronger social change agents in their communities. The OSSJ recognizes the leadership of sector practitioners, and also recognizes the need to strengthen our collective and individual social justice analysis, facilitate leadership development, build solidarity across sectors and issues, and strengthen our skills in organizing and communications.