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Collection of interviews with BIPOC musicians

  • CA OTUFM 65
  • Collection
  • 2020

Collection consists of 9 recorded interviews, both audio and video. The interviews were held by members of the design team for the exhibit Polyphony: Diversity in Music, and feature students and faculty from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and musicians based in Ottawa, Ontario; Toronto, Ontario; and Regina, Saskatchewan. Interviewers used questions to help the interviewers share their experiences with diversity in music. Questions included whether they identified with current categories in racial discourse (i.e. BIPOC), whether their culture or identity has impacted their opportunities, and what advice they would offer to emerging BIPOC musicians. Themes within the interviews cover a broad range of topics, including systemic discrimination, imposter syndrome, racism, identity, and music pedagogy.

University of Toronto Music Library

Oral History Interview with Julie Mathien conducted by Ruth Belay

Julie Mathien, a long-time childcare reform advocate and former public servant, was an early member of the Campus Community Cooperative Daycare. Established in 1969, the collective developed the childcare centre at 12 Sussex Ave. at the St. George Campus of the University of Toronto. Mathien recounts her experiences as both a volunteer and staff member providing insight into the underlying philosophy, membership, and organization of the collective. She describes the history of negotiations and tensions with UofT’s administration, including what led to the 1969 occupation of Simcoe Hall, as well as the shifting media coverage on the centre. Mathien explains the evolving discourse on approaches to childcare that have been part of her research and later work with the municipal and provincial governments. The interview also covers Mathien’s work with the Huron-Sussex Residents Organization, where she describes past confrontations with the University and their jointly developed plans for the future of the neighborhood.

Organizations

  • Campus Community Cooperative Daycare Centre
  • Daycare Reform Action Alliance
  • Office of the President, University of Toronto
  • Canadian National Advocacy for Childcare
  • Toronto Board of Education
  • Province of Ontario
  • City of Toronto
  • University Planning, Design and Construction, University of Toronto
  • Huron-Sussex Residents Organization

Subject Topics

  • Child care
  • Early childhood education
  • Cooperatives and collective models
  • Protests and sit-ins
  • Women’s movement
  • Institutional response
  • Community engagement
  • Neighborhood advocacy
  • Toronto city planning and development

Oral history interview with James Nugent conducted by Ruth Belay

Dr. James Nugent, currently Lecturer at the University of Waterloo, received his undergraduate degree in 2006 from UTSC and continued with his graduate work at UofT’s St. George Campus. Nugent shares his early experiences of student activism and involvement at UTSC, particularly through Resources for Environmental and Social Action (RESA), while also reflecting on the larger societal and political shifts following 9/11. Nugent remarks on the unique student environment at UTSC, noting events, initiatives, as well as the cross-cultural learning he experienced there. In describing his participation in the anti-globalization movement and peace action, through to his later work on climate justice and social policy, Nugent discusses the impact of service learning and community engagement in education. He reflects on the pressures faced by current students and questions how these will shape youth activism, as well as considering the effects of social media and the breadth of issues in which students are engaged both here and abroad.

Organizations

  • Resources for Environmental & Social Action (RESA)
  • International Development Studies Association (IDSA)
  • University of Toronto Scarborough College (UTSC)
  • Grrl Fest, University of Toronto Scarborough College
  • The Meeting Place, University of Toronto Scarborough College

Subject Topics

  • Anti-globalization movement
  • Protests and demonstrations
  • Anti-war movement
  • International development studies
  • Fair trade
  • Climate / environmental justice
  • Community partnerships
  • Social media
  • International students

Oral history interview with Ikem Opara conducted by Ruth Belay

Ikem Opara, currently Director of National Learning Partnerships at the Rideau Hall Foundation, was an international student at UofT’s St. George campus. His active involvement at the University included executive roles with Black Students’ Association (BSA), playing Varsity football, and membership in organizations such as the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the African Students’ Association and the Nigerian Students’ Association. Opara describes the personal impact that these organizations had in forming deep social connections, while emphasizing throughout the interview their commitment to create spaces of belonging on campus that reflected both racial and ethnic identities. He recounts many of the BSA’s and Alpha Phi Alpha’s activities, including mentorship initiatives, talks, social events, and discusses their underlying goals, particularly regarding the strategic use of space to highlight Black presence at the University. He reflects on the BSA’s engagement in issues such as representation within curriculum and broader community activism around police violence in the city, while also reflecting on challenges faced at UofT.

Organizations

  • Black Students’ Association (BSA)
  • High School Conference, Black Students’ Association
  • BLACKLIGHT, Black Students' Association
  • African Students’ Association (ASA)
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (AΦA)
  • Nigerian Students’ Association (NSA)
  • Tan Furu
  • UofT Korean Students’ Association (UTKSA)
  • Hart House, UofT

Subject Topics

  • Acculturation
  • Varsity sports
  • Mentorship
  • Equity in education
  • Community engagement
  • Solidarity networks
  • Social networks
  • Food
  • Organizational memory
  • Institutional response
  • Institutional racism
  • Funding of student groups

Albert Frank Moritz fonds

  • CA ON00399 49
  • collection
  • 1935-2020

The A.F. Moritz fonds contains records relating to his education, teaching, translation and editing work, journalism and other employment, and, predominantly, his work as a poet.

Fonds is comprised of the following series:
Series 1: Education, [195-?]-2002;
Series 2: Teaching, 1985-2017;
Series 3: Poetry manuscripts, essays and related records 1970-2020;
Series 4: Correspondence, 1973-2020;
Series 5: Poetry Readings, 1975-2019;
Series 6: Periodicals containing material by or about A.F. Moritz, 1969-2020;
Series 7: Editing and Watershed Books, 1979-2017;
Series 8: Anthologies containing A.F. Moritz poems, 1976-2015;
Series 9: Literary related activities, 1973-2020;
Series 10: Translation projects, 1973-2016;
Series 11: Personal material, 1935-2019;
Series 12: Employment, 1969-2001.

Moritz, Albert Frank

UTARMS' Oral History Collection on Student Activism

  • UTA 0302
  • Collection
  • 1972-2020

Collection includes seventeen oral history interviews focused on illuminating the impact of student action and initiatives across UofT’s three campuses. Themes within the interviews cover a broad range of topics including community building and mentorship, institutional response, and the deep personal and educational value drawn from commitments to systemic change.

University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services

Oral history interview with Ceta Ramkhalawansingh conducted by Ruth Belay and Daniela Ansovini

Ceta Ramkhalawansingh is the former Equal Opportunity Director at the old City of Toronto, later becoming the Corporate Manager, Diversity Management and Community Engagement in the new City of Toronto after amalgamation in 1998. She is a prominent community activist and was a founding member of the student-initiated teaching collective at UofT in one of Canada’s first women’s studies course. Her family moved to Canada in 1967 from Trinidad and Tobago. Ceta reflects on her time as an undergraduate student from 1968, recounting her political involvement through the Student Administrative Council (SAC), and her work in establishing, participating in, and advocating for the inclusion of women’s studies and feminist methodologies in curriculum at the University. She discusses some of her positions at the City of Toronto and the Toronto school board, particularly around diversity and equity work, and her continuing connection with UofT through the Women and Gender Studies Institute, New College and Innis College. Ramkhalawansingh, as a dedicated community and housing advocate, also describes the negotiation and resistance to key developments in the neighborhoods surrounding UofT, particularly in the downtown Toronto Grange neighborhood, as well as the University’s position and response. She recalls a number of different groups and initiatives that she has been involved with, including on issues of heritage preservation and range of human rights issues.

Organizations

  • Women and Gender Studies Institute, University of Toronto (WGSI)
  • Student Administrative Council (SAC)
  • Labour History Collective and The Women’s Press
  • New College, University of Toronto
  • Innis College, University of Toronto
  • City of Toronto
  • Grange Community Association
  • University of Toronto Community Liaison Committee
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, AGO
  • MATCH International Women’s Fund
  • Ontario Advisory Council of Women’s Issues

Subject Topics

  • Student governance
  • Women and gender studies programmes
  • Social responsibility
  • Reproductive rights
  • Toronto city planning
  • Toronto development
  • Neighborhood advocacy
  • Heritage conservation
  • Social housing
  • Financial access to education
  • Institutional response
  • Equity, diversity, and human rights

Additional material

Includes article, "Struggle, sit-ins and serious chutzpah: The early years of campus community co-operative day care centre and child care in Canada," by Julie Mathien, April 2020, in addition to a portrait taken at the interview.

Oral history interview with Dena Taylor conducted by Ruth Belay

Dr. Dena Bain Taylor, a retired faculty member in the Department of English at the University of Toronto, attended the University at its St. George campus as both an undergraduate and graduate student. While the interview touches on the early experiences Taylor had as a student, it focuses on the period between 1968 to 1973 when she was a resident of Rochdale College. She describes the foundation and structure of the residence, including identifying key individuals, concurrent initiatives, funding sources, and the external issues that shaped the residence. Throughout the interview, Taylor reflects on the philosophical underpinnings that were central to the collective ethos of the space and its genesis as a centre for experiential learning, activism, arts, spirituality, experimentation and place-making. The interview captures aspects of Rochdale’s impact, including the activities of involved individuals, the influence of American political thought, as well as the organizations and initiatives that were developed there. Taylor speaks to some of the issues that surfaced in the residence such as sexism, sexuality, and mental health, as well as how these issues were portrayed in the media. In discussing her own experiences and reflecting on the broader significance of the College, Taylor details and questions how the residence fundamentally challenged the status-quo.

Organizations

  • Rochdale College
  • Hart House, University of Toronto
  • Indian Institute
  • Campus Co-operative
  • Toronto Community Housing

Subject Topics

  • Experiential learning
  • Alternative education
  • Co-operative and collective models
  • Housing
  • Counter-culture
  • Arts
  • Back-to-the-land movement
  • Financial access to post-secondary education
  • Sexual freedom
  • Draft evasion
  • Spadina Expressway

University of Toronto. Department of Molecular Genetics

This accession contains two digital files from the tribute to Dr. Louis "Lou" Siminovitch on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Includes a video of the tribute that took place online as well as a Powerpoint slide presentation about Siminovitch. It was hosted by Dr. John Dirks and includes talks by Siminovitch himself as well as medical colleagues, Robert Phillips, Ken Knox, Ron Worton, James Friesen, Jim Woodget, David Naylor and daughter, Kathy Siminovitch. The event was held on 18 November 2020 and was co-sponsored by the Toronto Medical Historical Club.

Alan T. Davies fonds

  • CA ON00357 2131
  • collection
  • 1969-2020

Fonds consists of papers of Dr. Alan T. Davies primarily concerning Jewish-Christian issues, racism and anti semitism. The records consist of correspondence (various), correspondence re Jewish-Christian issues, letters to the editor, published articles, book reviews, addresses/lectures, sermons, announcements of addresses/lectures, reviews of books authored by Dr. Davies and related correspondence. Also includes a copy of his curriculum vitae.

Davies, Alan T.

Oral history interview with Bill Gardner conducted by Ruth Belay

Bill Gardner, CEO of CRM Dynamics, was a former University of Toronto student at the St. George Campus who was actively involved in student government from 1985 to 1989. Serving as president of both the Arts and Science Student Union (ASSU) and the Students’ Administrative Council (now the University of Toronto Students’ Union), Gardner discusses his focus on addressing concerns specifically relevant to UofT students, the dynamics present internally within both groups, as well his approach in working with the University’s administration, external groups and political figures. He touches on a number of issues and activities including frosh programming and planning, the production of the ASSU’s Anti-Calendar, and the adoption of digital technology at the University. Gardner reflects on his own career to highlight the benefits of the leadership experience he gained during this time, as well as the long-term effects of a shift away from student-led organizing within post-secondary institutions.

Organizations

  • Arts Science Student Union (ASSU)
  • Students’ Administrative Council (SAC)
  • Canadian Federation of Student (CFS)
  • Office of the President, University of Toronto
  • Investment Club, UofT
  • Economics Course Organization, UofT

Subject Topics

  • Student governance
  • Student fees
  • Student services
  • Student elections
  • Anti-Calendar
  • Institutional response
  • Frosh Week
  • Course unions
  • Changes in post-secondary education
  • Computerization and automation

Oral history interview with Kumaraswamy Ponnambalam conducted by Ruth Belay

Dr. Kumaraswamy Ponnambalam, currently a Professor in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, graduated from the University of Toronto with his PhD in 1987. Dr. Ponnambalam shares his experiences as an international student, reflecting on what brought him to UofT and some of the challenges he faced in attending the University. In particular, he focuses on the financial and workload pressures placed on students. He recalls some of the support networks that were created on campus, both through social activities, for example through residence and the International Student Centre, academic collaboration, and demonstrations. These networks also extended outside of the University, in particular between Tamil-speaking communities. Dr. Ponnambalam describes the impact of differential fees as a UofT student and his continued response as he now observes the current financial barriers faced by international students. At the request of Dr. Ponnambalam, this oral history interview is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Sinnathurai Vijayakumar who played a profound role in Dr. Ponnambalam's life, particularly while at UofT.

Please note that this interview contains a racial slur used when Dr. Ponnambalam describes racial harassment he faced [approx. 00:22:15].

Organizations

  • International Student Centre, University of Toronto
  • Graduate Student Union (UTGSU)
  • University of Waterloo

Subject Topics

  • Differential student fees
  • Education affordability
  • International students
  • Canadian South Asian communities
  • Sri Lankan Tamil (Eelam) independence movement
  • Engineering
  • Student residence
  • Student labour
  • Academic hiring practices

Oral history interview with John Foster conducted by Ruth Belay

John Foster, Sessional Lecturer in International Studies and Justice Studies at the University of Regina, formerly in interdisciplinary studies, Carleton University, completed his graduate studies at the University of Toronto in the late 1960s (M.A., 1973, Ph.D. 1977). In his interview, Foster comments on how the growing social consciousness of the era shaped student organizing, protest movements, and interest in cooperative models. He discusses his early experiences with student activism both in Saskatchewan and Toronto, including with the Student Union for Peace Action (SUPA) and the Christian youth movement.

The interview focuses on his involvement in the establishment of accessible and affordable childcare at U of T that provided students and working parents with the necessary supports to pursue their education. Foster connects the founding of the Campus Community Cooperative Daycare Centre to the women’s movement, as well as with new and developing ideas around early childhood education. For example, the cooperative approach used at the daycare was challenged by the provincial government’s daycare branch who were critical of the model. Foster recalls key moments in the Cooperative’s history, including the sit-in at Simcoe Hall and occupation of 12 Sussex Ave., the second centre on Devonshire Place, his personal experiences as a parent-volunteer, and the coordination of member’s contributions to the collective.

Organizations

  • Campus Community Cooperative Daycare Centre
  • Student Union for Peace Action (SUPA)
  • United Church of Canada
  • Student Administrative Council (SAC)

Subject Topics

  • Child care
  • Early childhood education
  • Cooperatives and collective models
  • Peace movement
  • Women’s movement
  • Institutional response
  • Community engagement
  • Institutional response

Oral history interview with Sean Wharton conducted by Ruth Belay

Dr. Sean Wharton, Medical Director of the Wharton Medical Clinic, holds doctorates in Medicine and Pharmacy from the University of Toronto. Wharton discusses his early experiences at UofT, the underrepresentation of Black students in his courses, and how his growing interest in deconstructing systemic barriers drew him to the Association for the Advancement of Blacks in the Health Sciences (AABHS). Inspired by the Association’s success in providing mentorship and developing outreach initiatives, Wharton helped found the Black Medical Students Association (BMSA) in 2000. He recounts how support and allyship from AABHS, UofT administrators, such as Dr. Miriam Rossi, and fellow students was necessary in establishing the BMSA. Wharton describes the continued goals of the organization, including addressing financial barriers for students and the importance of BIPOC representation through all organizational levels and roles. In emphasizing the significance of building connections and community, he also details the BMSA’s engagement within Toronto schools and the growth of the organization nationally.

Organizations

  • Black Medical Student Association (BMSA)
  • Association for the Advancement of Blacks in the Health Sciences (AABHS)
  • Faculty of Medicine, UofT
  • Community of Support, UofT
  • Summer Mentorship Program, UofT
  • Visions of Science
  • Camp Jumoke

Subject Topics

  • Mentorship
  • Racial justice
  • Access to post-secondary education
  • Financial barriers to education
  • Equity in education
  • Community partnership
  • Institutional response
  • Solidarity networks
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