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Stories from Scarborough

The Stories from Scarborough Collection(SFS) and corresponding course management site (formerly known as the Scarborough Oral History Project and Nearby Studies) are part of an interdisciplinary initiative that supports course-based community research and pedagogical innovation.

The course is interdisciplinary in its design and delivery and has been offered since 2013. It has been offered in partnership with courses in History, Womens’ and Gender Studies, Anthropology, City Studies, Sociology and in the winter of 2022, Curatorial Studies. Students conduct their research in interdisciplinary teams and are introduced to qualitative interviewing research methods and the practice of storytelling. Since the first offering of the course, the final assignment has involved some form of rich media assignment – digital storytelling, mini digital documentary, podcast, StoryMapping. Course research themes have included: community leadership, migration/immigration, sense of belonging, gender dynamics, awareness of indigeneity, social justice and activism, textile production and heritage preservation. For more information on the course and its associated archive please contact: Christine Berkowitz or Connie Guberman

Interview with Fatah Awil

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Fatah Awil speaks about the non-profit organization Urban Alliance On Race Relations in regards to their work on race relations and creation of training sessions across Ontario. Fatah describes his position as a program coordinator of the Diversity Youth Fellowship, which encourages and supports youth from Muslim, Black, Tamil and Filipino groups to become politically involved by providing them with internship opportunities in City Hall. As a previous fellow of this program, Fatah discusses the impact of the Diversity Fellowship both on the fellows that are involved in this program and for their communities as these fellows bridge the gap between their communities and city counsellors and the Mayor. He talks about the support that the Alliance has been providing and the advocation work it has done during COVID-19 for minorities working in high-risk jobs such as nurses, as well as how it has impacted their social activism.

Interview with Craig Heron

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Craig Heron, as a former professor of working-class history at York University, highlights the link between activism and history. Craig discusses how the New Left has contributed to his political involvement in protests for the democratization of the university as a UofT student and later involvements in strikes as a faculty member at York University. Lastly, Craig touches upon his initiatives as the President of Toronto Worker’ History Project, especially in regards to the production of community plays that he wrote surrounding different historical themes such as the Russian Revolution and the Winnipeg General Strike.

Interview with confidential participant 002

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A McMaster student of psychology and social work discusses the importance of mental health awareness and the difference between mental health and mental illness. The participant discusses different tools for building mental health awareness, including online resources, workshops, lived experience and conversations with peers. They also speak about cultural stigma and taboo surrounding mental illness and how mental health education continues to be taught from a colonial perspective.

Interview with Raagini Appadurai

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Raagini Appadurai shares her experience with racism, coming as an immigrant from India at a young age, and her growing love for activism and ant-racism movements. As an educator, she speaks about confronting powers, gaining knowledge, and pursuing social equity, and how she solidly stepped into the field of activism in her high school years, providing a stable platform for herself and her peers to speak about matters pertaining to social justice.

Interview with Margaret McPhail

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Margaret McPhail talks about her experience as an activist, through her role as a secondary school teacher and staff member at the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF/FEESO). She also describes her role on the International Women's Day Committee and with Organized Working Women.

Interview with Carla Neto

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Carla Neto speaks about her work as a social activist at Women's Habitat, working in a variety of positions for over 24 years and helping vulnerable women and children get the support they need. The focus of the interview is immigrant women and how Carla continues to assist these women.