About the podcasts

EFECT’s work is experimental and process based, focusing on self and collaborative discovery to evolve our network and build better digital futures. Part of our method is to work with community based organizations that are affected by violence to craft appropriate toolkits and resources for those wishing to begin or further their careers working in ICT/M spaces. EFECT was organized into independent working groups with pods located in Montreal, Toronto, and Edmonton. These pods function together as a collaborative network.

We produced the 6 podcasts to offer you a different window into the last 3 years of our collaborative efforts.

The series is meant to be both a different way to engage with some of our team members and their process, as much as it is meant to also be a resource for sharing knowledge, skills and reflections related to some of the critical concepts and subjects we uncovered and worked with through EFECT’s different sub-projects. In each episode, our team members candidly share their own experiences, reflections, challenges and strategies for success in approaching their work. Our collective hope is to move beyond buzzwords such as “diversity, inclusion and equity” in order to actually build material, tangible strategies for actualizing these realities. While in way do we suggest that EFECT’s efforts are universally applicable or replicable in all contexts, we do hope that the stories we share can serve as useful perspectives or thought puzzles to help other communities in their own endeavors.

We hope you find the series informational, engaging and inspirational in your own efforts.

Knowledge Spaces: Techniques for Recognizing, Managing and Wielding Power in Collaborations

Paula Gardner: Assoc Professor, Communication and Media Arts, McMaster University

Awo Abokor: Former METRAC staff member, Community-based educator and facilitator

Maria Belén Ordóñez: Assoc Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, OCAD University

Director & Creative Producer: Paula Gardner

Editor & Technical Producer: Stephen Surlin

Associate Producers and Staff: Nathaniel Laywine and Prateeksha Singh

EFECT researchers dialogue regarding techniques our team employed to navigate university and organizational power structures and practices, to name power, to take collective responsibility for collaborative, share intellectual property and use “the pause” to address tensions. Awo provides keen insights into the concerns of equity-seeking community partners and how METRAC staff supported youth to work with university researchers; this included coaching youth to enter the university space, youth positioning themselves as valuable agents, use grounding principles and “I” statements, protecting confidentiality, and giving credit to the creators of ideas. The group finishes the conversation on an optimistic tone, discussing the pleasures of such collaborations, including cultivating experimental methods, creative opportunities, and innovating products not possible outside of collaborative teams.

Cyberbullying and Code Switching: METRAC Action on Violence program youth staff in conversation

Wendy DeSousa, ReAct Youth Coordinator, METRAC Action on Violence

Asha Dejir, former youth engagement worker at METRAC, Action on Violence

Tanika Ferguson, former youth engagement worker at METRAC, Action on Violence

Director & Creative Producer: Paula Gardner

Editor & Technical Producer: Stephen Surlin

Associate Producers and Staff: Nathaniel Laywine and Prateeksha Singh

In this pod, METRAC youth leaders discuss the ReAct program’s anti-violence training program, and experiences working with the EFECT team to create digital media curriculum for high school youth. The group discusses their experiences teaching anti-violence and digital safety to peripheralized youth in Toronto. Topics of discussions include what implicit and explicit bias looks and feels like for peripheralized youth, cyber violence and cyber bullying and microaggressions experienced by teens, and how the youth ‘code switch’ to avoid racialized aggression. Youth listeners will gain useful lessons on how to recognize and respond to violence, stalking, grooming, and other common on-line situations. The pod leaves listeners with a sense of the resilience of these youth, a deeper understanding of the challenges youth experience in digital culture, and respect for METRAC, which works tirelessly to empower black and racialized youth with anti-oppression and digital resources to support their development and dreams.

Diversifying How We Think about Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Spaces

Suzanne Stein, Associate Prof at OCAD University and Director of Super Ordinary Lab

Anna Serrano, President of OCADU; former CFO Canadian Film Centre and Managing Director Media and Entertainment Accelerator IdeaBoost, and Co-Chair of the Open Democracy Project

Valerie Fox, Chief Innovation Consultant of Pivotal Point and Co-founder of the DMZ Incubator, Ryerson University

Director & Creative Producer: Paula Gardner

Editor & Technical Producer: Stephen Surlin

Associate Producers and Staff: Nathaniel Laywine and Prateeksha Singh

In this pod, METRAC youth leaders discuss the ReAct program’s anti-violence training program, and experiences working with the EFECT team to create digital media curriculum for high school youth. The group discusses their experiences teaching anti-violence and digital safety to peripheralized youth in Toronto. Topics of discussions include what implicit and explicit bias looks and feels like for peripheralized youth, cyber violence and cyber bullying and microaggressions experienced by teens, and how the youth ‘code switch’ to avoid racialized aggression. Youth listeners will gain useful lessons on how to recognize and respond to violence, stalking, grooming, and other common on-line situations. The pod leaves listeners with a sense of the resilience of these youth, a deeper understanding of the challenges youth experience in digital culture, and respect for METRAC, which works tirelessly to empower black and racialized youth with anti-oppression and digital resources to support their development and dreams.

Visualizing and Designing Collaboration: Conversations on Interdisciplinary Teams

EFECT Design team members: Lauren Connell-Whitney, April DeZen, and Maryam Mohamedali

In conversation with

EFECT project manager Nathaniel Laywine

Director & Creative Producer: Paula Gardner

Editor & Technical Producer: Stephen Surlin

Associate Producers and Staff: Nathaniel Laywine and Prateeksha Singh

The Critical Digital and Media Literacy Workbook:
Feminist, critical race and anti–colonial pedagogy for social change (EFECT.CA)

The EFECT design team discusses the trials and tribulations of designing the Digital and Media Literacy handbook, and agile digital collaboration tool (CARPSI) for use by highly diverse populations, using a collaborative approach. Challenges discussed include: the challenges if different calendars and changing network staff and members; making decisions in a lateral process; how to fully engage community partners, with consent, and respect for the limited labour and time they can offer; and designing with shifting goals. Design fans and practitioners will be interested in the designers’ navigation of design approaches from web brutalism, collage and traditional aesthetics. The pod gives a sense of the struggles and benefits of collaboration in the EFECT team’s efforts to create feminist and anti-oppression-based tools and pedagogy that is exciting, effective and accessible for diverse teaching and learning styles and communities of users.

Feminist Collaboration Across Sectors: Issues Arising and Pathways Forward

Awo Abokor: Former METRAC staff member, Community-based Educator and Facilitator

tl cowan: Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Arts Culture and Media (UTSC) and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.

Kendra Cowley: Community organizer, sound artist, podcast & radio producer, recent graduate of Digital Humanities and Library and Information Studies Graduate Program, University of Alberta

Director & Creative Producers: tl cowan, Kendra Cowley and Awo Abokor

Executive Producer: Paula Gardner

Editor & Technical Producer: Stephen Surlin

Associate Producers and Staff: Nathaniel Laywine and Prateeksha Singh

Graduate student researchers have a frank conversation with tl cowan, faculty member in the EFECT team on how structures, calendars, time constraints, and seeded academic hierarchies impact collaborations such as EFECT. The group details how, despite intentional efforts to use ethical frameworks, relationships can remain troubled by barriers posed by online versus in-person research, the structural constraints of grants, and academic rank and hierarchies of power. The group provides detailed descriptions of how they attempted to deploy feminist and anti-oppression principles to level power and manifest equity, as well as the types of barriers and issues that often remain as ongoing work in collaborations.

Creating Curriculum to Combat Campus Rape Culture: A Collaboration of McGill and Concordia Universities and the Atwater Library collaboration, Montreal

Carrie Rentschler, Associate Professor, Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

Eric Craven, Digital Literacy Project, Atwater Library, Montreal

Other team members: (not present on podcast):

Shanley Dixon, Digital Literacy Project, Atwater Library, Montreal

Jennifer Drummond, Sexual Assault Resource Center, Concordia University, Montreal

Sandra Gabriel, Communication Studies, Concordia University, Concordia University

Maggie Kathwaroon, (team collaborator), Women’s and Gender Studies Coordinator, Vanier College

Director & Creative Producer: Carrie Rentschler and Eric Craven

Executive Producer: Paula Gardner

Editor & Technical Producer: Stephen Surlin

Associate Producers and Staff: Nathaniel Laywine and Prateeksha Singh

Carrie Rentschler and Eric Craven discuss their team’s 4-part workshop series to engage students to reflect upon, learn about, and intervene in rape culture on college campuses.  Carrie and Eric discuss their feminist-tipped, ‘dragon’s den’ approach to collaborating with students to creating this school curriculum for 18–19-year-old students in Quebec. The novel workshop they discuss invites students to prototype media lessons for other students, to produce lessons to understand the roots of gender-based violence, critique media campaigns, complicate understandings of consent, and learn effective prevention techniques.  This podcast will be of interest to educators, anti-violence organizers and students seeking effective sexual violence curriculum made with and for college aged youth. The curriculum, notably, is being integrated into CJEP schools in Quebec.