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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Louder Than a Bomb Youth Poetry Festival - May 1-9

Announcing the 2015 Louder Than a Bomb Canada
Youth Poetry Festival -May 1-9, 2015


HAMILTON: The annual Louder Than a Bomb Canada: Youth Poetry Festival (“LTABC”). This year marks the second annual LTABC, presented by Hamilton Youth Poets, which launches on May 1 at City Hall. The festival runs from May 1-9 at various venues across Hamilton's downtown core. It has been planned to correspond with Children’s Mental Health Week (May 3-9), National Youth Arts Week (May 1-7) and National Youth Week (May 1-7). This year’s festival will feature over 130 youth competitors, and more than 10 teams founded in local high schools.

We are thrilled with this year’s theme — Our City, Our Voice, Our Future — because it brings teens together across racial and socio-economic lines; it encourages creative self-expression, positive mental health, and literacy. LTABC is a platform for social change. Please see our official program below.
About HYP:

Hamilton Youth Poets transforms the lives of young people by cultivating their voices through writing, publication, and performance education.

CROSSING THE STREET
Friday, May 1st | 2:30PM - 4:30PM
Location:  Wentworth Room, Central Library. 55 York Blvd, Hamilton
Cost:     Free
Featuring:
Dominique Chestand
Malcolm London - Spoken Word Artist
Kevin Coval - Spoken Word Artist
Nea Reid - Organizer and Festival Host

Join us for the annual Louder Than a Bomb Canada Festival kick off. This event is mandatory for all youth competing in this year’s festival. Teams meet and write alongside their peers. It is a day of poetry, performance, and community building. We are tearing down our arbitrary borders. We will build together as one.

LOUDER THAN A BOMB CANADA OFFICIAL LAUNCH
Friday, May 1st | 5:00PM - 8:30PM
Location:    Council Chambers, Hamilton City Hall 71 Main Street West, Hamilton
Cost: Free
Join us for a public celebration of young voices, music, performance, and so much more The winning team will move into Grand Finals May 9th - Top individual score will move on to Indie Finals May 8th.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Sanctuary City Volunteers Wanted!

Dear Friends,

The Hamilton Sanctuary City Coalition is looking for new members and we're inviting you to get involved.  As a coalition, to date we've worked on getting a policy passed at City Council ensuring access to city services to undocumented residents, raising awareness through hosting a Migrant Workers’ speaking tour and other events, and coordinating with others across Canada to demand status for migrant workers.  With each of these actions, we're trying to develop and expand the migrant justice movement in Hamilton, and we want to invite you to join us in growing this movement.

We see three key areas where the movement can grow in Hamilton.  These are by no means the only things we can work on together, but if you are interested in any of them we want to hear from you.

1) Anti-deportation and Stop Immigration Detention: Over the past few years we've seen several residents in Hamilton threatened with deportation, and we've also seen strong communities of support come together to fight for the right to stay.  Now we see a need for a space where people can come together outside of these emergency situations and build the knowledge and history together to hit the ground running when threats of deportation and immigration detention arise.  This means developing our legal knowledge of how to challenge within the system, but also our direct action and campaigning knowledge and skills because we know legal routes are not enough.

2) City Accountability/Access not Fear at the School Board, Police Services: Part of our work getting the Sanctuary City motion passed at City Council was the knowledge that passing a motion is one thing, making sure people follow through on it is another.  We want to make sure that services are meeting their requirements to be accessible to all residents regardless of status, that people are able to access without fear of deportation or detention.  And we want to call City Council and services out if they aren't meeting their commitments.  Beyond this, the School Boards and Police Services were not included in the motion passed by Council and so getting these institutions to pass their own Access not Fear Policies is another important step we can take.  This is a long haul project, but it is one that matters to people's daily lives and to building the movement.

3) Organizing with Migrant Workers and Allies Across Canada: Recent days of action were held in Hamilton and elsewhere as part of the No4and4 campaign to protest the changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program that are leading to mass deportations.  Across Canada, people involved are building momentum to turn this into a broader mass movement of migrant workers and allies that can push for real change in the TWFP and LCP, but can also organize workers and fight against austerity and neoliberal immigration regimes.  We were part of the initial action organizing, but to keep up this work, we need to get more people together in Hamilton to organize locally and contribute to this nation-wide campaign.

These are some of the ideas that excite us and that we think can help make the movement stronger in Hamilton. But, we're still a small group and we need more people involved to make any of this happen.

We need people who can do anything: website maintenance, facilitating meetings, holding signs at rallies, public speaking, one-on-one talking to workers/migrants, legal knowledge, design, or just coming out and sharing your ideas and taking on tasks.

 If you're excited to do this work too, we'd love to hear from you.   You can reach us at sanctuaryhamilton@gmail.com.

In soli,

Hamilton Sanctuary City Coalition

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Wonderful Volunteers: Thank you Michelle!


Michelle is a real treat to work with, she creates beautiful videos with a dedicated work ethic that gets the job done! Her contributions to our Youtube channel help tell the story of OPIRG McMaster. She is also involved with the Guatemala Solidarity Working Group, and has taken part in OPIRG skill development workshops.

Thank you Michelle for being there every year for OPIRG McMaster! We're happy to know you will be back for at least one more semester!

Fossil Free McMaster video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyDatXTwnJc
Food Not Bombs! Keith McHenry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM0CGF76n-M

Wonderful Volunteers: Thank you Sunia!


Sometimes volunteers come along at just the right time, and jump in with both feet by taking on extra responsibility. Sunia did just that when she started volunteering with our History Archive project, a steep learning curve to get the basic procedures down and then leading a group of new volunteers into the dusty bins of OPIRG McMaster history.

That was back in October, and since then, based on her interests and objectives, she was steered by our co-ordinator of volunteers to another agency, where she could gain the experience she wanted. Such is the selfless nature of volunteering with social justice and environmental not-for-profits in Hamilton Ontario.

You will be seeing more of Sunia around campus next year, but for now, thanks so much for your contributions at OPIRG and elsewhere Sunia!

Randy Kay

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Volunteer Satisfaction Survey

What was your volunteer experience with OPIRG McMaster like? Let us know!
Create your own user feedback survey

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

It's been a long time since OPIRG did a radio show on CFMU 93.3

RadiOPIRG, RadioActive... Should we explore the medium again? With remote digital recording and editing, a short spoken word format would be quite possible on a weekly basis. All we need are interested volunteers (and approval of the CFMU bosses). Campus radio is an amazing resource and a wonderful experience and opportunity.

Interested? Let's talk - contact randy at randy.opirg@gmail.com or 905-525-9140 ext. 26026


Monday, April 20, 2015

Student work: Street Tree Project Co-ordinator, Deadline to Apply, April 22

OPIRG McMaster is seeking a Street Tree Project Co-ordinator

Building on two successful projects during the summers 2013-2014, OPIRG McMaster is looking to apply lessons learned to expand our reach into more Hamilton Neighbourhoods where additional street trees would benefit residents’ experience of air quality.

Air quality studies conducted by Dr. Dennis Corr, Engineering Physics at McMaster University, found high concentrations of air borne pollutants in the lower city, including High pm 10 and High pm 2.5, High nitrogen dioxide and a mortality rate up to 8% higher than average.

OPIRG McMaster arranged support for the project to address localized air pollution with the ward councillors with the support of the city’s Street Trees program.

Currently, city street trees are made available upon request to home-owners. Street trees are proven to contribute to improving local air quality, as well as adding to improved property values and other health benefits.

The Street Tree Project changes the onus by actively targeting a neighbourhood to provide a more active and comprehensive planting – we would continue to sign up home-owners and take the requests as a bundle to the city.

Tasks and Responsibilities
  • The student position would focus on implementing a door to door canvas, utilizing a small group of volunteers from McMaster and the larger community to make homeowners aware of the street tree program and the potential to add a tree to their property.
  • The student would be responsible for recruiting, orienting and supervising volunteers in the field and for compiling the street tree request information.
  • The student will be expected to develop outreach capacity by targeting neighbourhood hubs in areas of the lower city and offering to train volunteers from the neighbourhoods to carry out door to door campaigns.
  • The student would also be required to seek partners in the community and from McMaster and make recommendations for further action.
  • The student would be required to keep a web blog of activities, run the street tree social media (twitter), to prepare (if required) a handbill and checklists for homeowners/volunteers as needed, and to write a final report detailing the advantages and disadvantages encountered in pursuing the project objectives.
Details of the Position

Hourly Rate of Pay: $13.50
Hours Per Week: 30
Employment Start Date: May 4, 2015
Employment End Date: July 3, 2015
Work Schedule: Monday – Friday
Application Deadline: Noon, Wednesday, April 22, 2015 (updated)

Applications require a cover letter and resume and should be submitted to opirg@mcmaster.ca

Please note, to be eligible for Canada Summer Jobs, students must:
  • be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment;
  • have been registered as full-time students in the previous academic year and intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year;
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act3; and,
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bridge from Prison to Community


Street Tree Project Coordinator

OPIRG McMaster is seeking a Street Tree Project Co-ordinator

Building on two successful projects during the summers 2013-2014, OPIRG McMaster is looking to apply lessons learned to expand our reach into more Hamilton Neighbourhoods where additional street trees would benefit residents’ experience of air quality.

Air quality studies conducted by Dr. Dennis Corr, Engineering Physics at McMaster University, found high concentrations of air borne pollutants in the lower city, including High pm 10 and High pm 2.5, High nitrogen dioxide and a mortality rate up to 8% higher than average.

OPIRG McMaster arranged support for the project to address localized air pollution with the ward councillors with the support of the city’s Street Trees program.

Currently, city street trees are made available upon request to home-owners. Street trees are proven to contribute to improving local air quality, as well as adding to improved property values and other health benefits.

The Street Tree Project changes the onus by actively targeting a neighbourhood to provide a more active and comprehensive planting – we would continue to sign up home-owners and take the requests as a bundle to the city.

Tasks and Responsibilities
  • The student position would focus on implementing a door to door canvas, utilizing a small group of volunteers from McMaster and the larger community to make homeowners aware of the street tree program and the potential to add a tree to their property.
  • The student would be responsible for recruiting, orienting and supervising volunteers in the field and for compiling the street tree request information.
  • The student will be expected to develop outreach capacity by targeting neighbourhood hubs in areas of the lower city and offering to train volunteers from the neighbourhoods to carry out door to door campaigns.
  • The student would also be required to seek partners in the community and from McMaster and make recommendations for further action.
  • The student would be required to keep a web blog of activities, run the street tree social media (twitter), to prepare (if required) a handbill and checklists for homeowners/volunteers as needed, and to write a final report detailing the advantages and disadvantages encountered in pursuing the project objectives.
Details of the Position

Hourly Rate of Pay: $13.50
Hours Per Week: 30
Employment Start Date: May 4, 2015
Employment End Date: July 3, 2015
Work Schedule: Monday – Friday
Application Deadline: Noon, Wednesday, April 22, 2015 (updated)

Applications require a cover letter and resume and should be submitted to opirg@mcmaster.ca

Please note, to be eligible for Canada Summer Jobs, students must:
  • be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment;
  • have been registered as full-time students in the previous academic year and intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year;
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act3; and,
  • be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations.