OASW and the School Social Work Advisory Group were pleased to host more than 400 participants at the 34th Annual School Social Work Symposium, Decolonizing Education: Engage, Dismantle & Change, on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

We Gon’ Be Alright, But That Ain’t Alright: Abolitionist Teaching and Anti-Racism Social Work
Keynote Address by Dr. Bettina Love

The 34th annual Symposium explored the theme of de-colonizing education, with a keynote address from Dr. Bettina Love, an award-winning author, sought-after speaker and co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network (ATN).

Dr. Love’s talk discussed the struggles and the possibilities of committing ourselves to an abolitionist goal of educational freedom, as opposed to reform, and moving beyond what she calls the educational survival complex. Abolitionist Teaching is built on the creativity, imagination, boldness, ingenuity, and rebellious spirit and methods of abolitionists to demand and fight for an educational system and social work practices where all students and everyone we serve are thriving, not simply surviving.

Dr. Love’s writing, research, teaching, and advocacy work meet at the intersection of education reform, anti-racism, carceral studies, abolition, and Black joy. She has worked with activists, communities, youth, families, and school districts to build communal, civically-engaged schools rooted in the aspirations of abolitionist strategies, and to advance how the field of education understands and critiques the systemic and structural racism of public education.

OASW and the School Social Work Advisory Group have compiled a selection of related resources to help participants continue their learning.

9:00 to 9:30 a.m.
Opening Ceremony and Remarks from OASW and the School Social Work Advisory Group (SSWAG)

  • Tracey Grose, SSWAG Chair
  • Deepy Sur, OASW CEO
  • Tina Armstrong, Elder, Bearskin Lake First Nation

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
KEYNOTE: We Gon’ Be Alright, But That Ain’t Alright: Abolitionist Teaching and Anti-Racism Social Work
Dr. Bettina Love, Co-founder of the Abolitionist Teaching Network 


10:30 to 10:45 a.m.
Greetings from Special Guests

  • Patrick Case, Assistant Deputy Minister,  Education Equity Secretariat, Ministry of Education
  • Claudine Munroe, Director, Special Education and Success for All Branch, Ministry of Education
  • Kathy Short, Executive Director, School Mental Health Ontario

10:45 to 11:45 a.m.
PANEL: Exploring Intersectional Experiences

  • Dr. Gillian Parekh, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Disability Studies and Education, Faculty of Education, York University
  • Dr. Ann Lopez, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
  • Laura Arndt, Chief Operating Officer, Survivors' Secretariat

11:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Artistic Presentation
Fauzia Agbonhin, Spoken Word Artist


1:00 to 1:30 p.m. 
Greetings from Special Guest and Presentation of 2021 School Social Work Achievement Award

  • Greetings and remarks from the Honourable Jean Augustine, Elder
  • Presentation and Remarks from Recipient of the 2021 School Social Work Achievement Award

1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
Interactive Breakout Sessions

  • A: Constructing and Responding to Disability, Facilitated discussion led by Dr. Gillian Parekh, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Disability Studies and Education, Faculty of Education, York University
  • B: Anti- Racism and Socially Just Leadership, Facilitated discussion led by Dr. Ann Lopez, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
  • C: Indigenizing Approaches, Facilitated discussion led by Laura Arndt, Chief Operating Officer, Survivors' Secretariat

3:00 to 3:45 p.m.
Moving Forward Together: Q&A and Discussion

Facilitator: Lakhdeep S. Dhaliwal, M.Ed, VP of Equity Education, Unlearn, Program Coordinator, Hate Crime Reporting Project, Council of Agencies Serving South Asians


3:45 to 4:00 p.m.
Closing Remarks


Dive deeper into the program by exploring our detailed session descriptions.

Learn more about our expert speakers and the experiences they bring to the table. 

OASW and its School Social Work Advisory Group were delighted to recognize Jacqueline Davis with the 2021 School Social Work Achievement Award at the Symposium. Learn More

Thank you to all members of our School Social Work Advisory Committee for sharing your expertise and insights to help make this critical event a success:

  • Chair: Tracey Grose, School Mental Health Ontario
  • Vice-Chair: Kristi Gordon, Hamilton Wentworth District School Board
  • OASW Board Liaison: Candace Hanna
  • Alexandra Dean, Peel District School Board
  • Andréanne Fleck Saito, School Mental Health Ontario
  • Bridget Foley (Interim Member), Simcoe County District School Board 
  • Dominique Doyle, Conseil scolaire catholique mon avenir
  • Gabriella D’Ambrosio, Halton District School Board
  • Geer Harvey, Upper Grand District School Board
  • Jessie Grosz, Waterloo Catholic District School Board
  • Maria Peixoto, Toronto Catholic School Board
  • Miguel Guayasamin, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Patricia Codner, Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Sara Mclean, District School Board of Niagara
  • Sarah Kirby, Hamilton Wentworth Catholic School Board
  • Shenelle Bernier, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
  • Stefanie Burosch, Trillium Lakelands District School Board
  • Toni Lauzon, Greater Essex County District School Board

Thank You to our Sponsors and Partners:


PRESENTING SPONSOR


KEYNOTE SPONSOR


Workshop Sponsor


Supporting Partner


Supporting Partner


Supporting Partner