Resources designed to set the table for courageous conversations and deepen learning about equity and justice in classroom settings

We hope that this arc + elements of a workshop support and inspire you in creating workshops and lesson plans of your own.

Check out the following clips featuring youth facilitators about things to consider before the workshop​.
It might also be advisable to give members of marginalized groups a heads up before you dive into these topics–to ensure that they have the time and space to emotionally prepare. This is especially important in school communities where there are very few racialized or marginalized students.

Watching these videos might help get you into the zone to steward this critical work.

 
 

6 Ways to be an Antiracist Educator
Educator Dena Simmons on engaging in antiracist work in the classroom.

 

Building Critical Consciousness for Educational Equity
On a critical exploration of marginalization, Nicole leads us through what social change in schools would lead to in a truly equitable education system.

We encourage you to make the acknowledgments heart-felt and personal; to do them in way that meaningfully reflects the importance of naming the traditional territories upon which the workshop is taking place, and situating this practice as part of ongoing work to unsettle deeply internalized colonial relationships to the land and each other.

Check out these sample Territory Acknowledgments with KimMortal + JB The First Lady:

Go to native-land.ca to find out the Territories that you are learning on.

When making land acknowledgements meaningful, authentic and personal, consider adding some of the following:

  • Your own ancestral background/indigeneity
  • Acknowledging you are a settler (if you are not Indigenous to these lands) who benefits from settler colonial Canada
  • “Unceded” means that this land is stolen
  • Settler colonialism is ongoing
  • Your commitment to decolonizing work, and this work being part of that

Not sure how to make Territory Acknowledgments less of a token gesture?​

Get the goods on why acknowledgments matter, and how to make them real and heart-felt: https://raventrust.com/territorial-acknowledgement/

You might also consider screening these videos with your students:

Our Shared Territories: A short film featuring local Indigenous leaders that helps us to dig a little deeper into why Territory Acknowledgments are so important.

Baroness von Sketch, the all-female sketch comedy show, humourously calls out the ‘check-box’ approach to Territory Acknowledgements.

 

Notice how these young facilitators bring themselves, and their connections to the issues at hand, into the room. Even just a little bit of transparency, real-talk and vulnerability about some of the bumps in the road you’ve experienced during your own anti-racism, intersectional equity or lateral liberation learning journey will go A LONG Way in setting a tone of openness and humility.
 
 
Introduce yourself in really personal ways. Model both vulnerability and strength, and reveal some of your personal connections to the particular issues you are addressing. This might mean sharing your personal investment in creative or social change work, or barriers you’ve overcome. This signals a shift away from a ‘right/wrong’ approach to learning that helps to build trust and

Here are a few of our ‘go to’ ice breakers.
Time: 7-10 minutes
Resources needed: Whiteboard, pens, post its
Aims:
● To get people moving and ready to learn
● To get to know each other
Instructions:
“Let’s see who’s in the room”…
On the board/flipchart post-its (allow for anonymity) note:
● The languages we speak
● Places we were born
● Nationalities/ethnicities we carry with us
● Religions, spiritual beliefs, ethical practices
● Other important aspects of our identities we want to share
Debrief:
What are your thoughts about the diversity in this
room? Is there more than you expected?
Time: 7-10 minutes
Aims:
● To get people moving and ready to learn
Instructions:
● Participants stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a circle, placing both hands in the center.
● When the whistle blows everyone grabs the hands of someone else, being careful not to
grab both hands of same person or the hands of someone right next to them.
● Once everyone is connected, the object is to untangle the knot, without releasing the
grip, except for permissible pivoting, as long as touch is maintained.
● One pair will be instructed to release their grip.
● Try to form a straight line.
Human Chain
Time: 7-10 minutes
Aims:
● To get people moving and ready to learn
● To get to know each other
Instructions:
● One person begins by standing up, introducing their name, and then describing things
about themselves (e.g. “I love to sing”).
● The first person who feels like they have that in common with the speaker walks over
and connects arms with them (*note: multiple people might have things in common but
only one person [whoever is first] connects arms).
● The new person then continues the process by introducing their name and describing
things about themselves until someone else feels like they have something in common
with them.
● This process continues until everyone in the room is linking arms in a chain.
● The last person introduces themselves and describes themselves until the first person
who went has something in common with them, linking the two ends of the chain
together in a circle.
Facilitator tips:
● Pay attention and make sure everyone is getting a turn
● Consider ways to make the game accessible if not everyone can run or move about
3
Move Your Butt
If you really knew me…
Time: 10 minutes
Resources needed: Paper and pens, heart stencil
Aims:
● To get to know one another
● To practice active listening
Instructions:
● Get into small groups of four or five.
● Each person in the group takes turns finishing the sentence “if you really knew me” for
1 min.
Debrief
● How was the exercise for people?
● How was it speaking?
● How was it listening?
Time: 7-10 minutes
Resources needed:
chairs
Aims:
● To get people moving and ready to learn
● To get to know each other
Instructions:
● Arrange chairs in a circle and have one less chair then there is people in the room.
● Start in the middle of the circle and say something that’s true for yourself and
might be true for others
● Everyone the statement rings true for has to change seats
● One person will be left in the middle, having been unable to find a seat
● It’s now this person’s term to make a “move your butt statement”
● Keep going for a few rounds
Facilitator tips:
● Pay attention and make sure everyone is getting a turn
● Consider ways to make the game accessible if not everyone can run or move about

AMES boosts the imaginations and skillsets of young digital activists and creative change-makers by providing them with unique opportunities to MAKE and SHARE meaningful media.

Our media-making intensives provide young people with open and supportive spaces to reflect on the issues affecting their lives, develop concrete skills, and produce creative work that prompts courageous conversations.

Creating Soft Spaces for Hard Conversations

See Yourself In Someone Else's Story

Angela Brown speaks to the empathy-building value of using youth created video and media as conversation starters in your classrooms.

Book a Game-Changing Workshop

Our programs primarily engage young people with lived experience of systemic inequities. Connecting with youth means engaging adult allies, mentors and community workers who also work to support them, and amplify their voices.

What we do

Our media-making intensives provide young people with open and supportive spaces to reflect upon issues affecting their lives, develop concrete skills and produce media artworks that spark conversations about creating conditions for change. Most of our outreach activities  are school-based, involve sharing videos, resources and workshops designed to refine our collective equity-lens.

Who we are

We are a registered charity run by a small group of dedicated staff and core collaborators that is guided by a Board of Directors composed of educators, artists, activists, community workers, students, and filmmakers.

VIDEO SHOWCASE & RESOURCE GUIDES

Here are some of the complete Educational Resource Guides we’ve developed to go with Videos made during our Media-Making intensives

HumanEYES: Intergeneration Storytelling and Creative Reflection

YouthMADE (Media Arts Diversity Education): Challenging Racism and Homophobia

Racism for Reel: Media for Change

Vimeo showcase: https://vimeo.com/95926895

Resource Guide: R4R guide

Expressions of Aboriginal Youth

Outlet: Queer Youth Speak Out

Book a Workshop

Due to the pandemic, Access to Media Education Society is not booking workshops for the time being. AMES is currently translating existing workshops, and creating new online versions to better serve youth. Contact ames@accesstomedia.org for more information on when online workshops will be available.

Learn more about the key elements of a typical AMES workshop, and the thinking behind them to support you in building your own:

"Working with AMES, I witnessed marginalized, urban and rural youth coming together to share space in meaningful, critical, and honest ways. Their stories, lived experiences and voices were heard and honoured."
Angela Ma Brown

Finding these
resources helpful?​

If so, please pay it forward, so we can continue to
build an accessible storehouse of resources!

Crossroads Chronicles

Stories That Drive Change

Developing skills for courageous conversations

Crossroads Chronicles

Stories That Drive Change

Developing skills for courageous conversations