As an anchor institution we leverage the campus’ economic influence to build collective assets for a larger community.
We recognize and acknowledge the financial barriers that local grassroots organizations may experience and through sponsorship we can reduce some of these barriers while also creating opportunities for students, staff and faculty to engage with the community.
Click through to see some of our recent intiatives...
In search for an engaging, arts-based facilitator for middle school students, we reached out to Randell Adjei, Founder of R.I.S.E. Edutainment. In the initial conversation, we discussed sustainable ways to partner beyond one-off facilitation sessions. We discussed the benefit of providing work-study students, sponsorship support in return for subsidized facilitation fees.
Throughout 2018 and early 2019, Randel Adjei, the founder of R.I.S.E. Edutaiment, facilitated successful workshops and keynote addresses for community partners while U of T Scarborough provided work-study student administration.
In March 2019 the RISE community partnered with University of Toronto Scarborough to host the sixth annual 416RISE, which is a celebration of the community’s work to enrich Scarborough’s culture and develop artists across the city. It is an opportunity to showcase some of Toronto’s emerging artists who are often excluded from mainstream event stages.
R.I.S.E. will continue to create spaces where artists from local communities can express their art and share their talents with the greater public. University of Toronto Scarborough is humbled to support the continuation of the project, while also exploring further opportunities to partner, for example, by having R.I.S.E as a Doris McCarthy Gallery artist in residence.
It all started on March 30, 2019, at the Scarborough Seedy Saturday event, one of the largest community gardener events in Toronto. In the interest of sharing her knowledge with the broader community on how to grow rice, a staple food, Jewel Gomes, a Filipino-Canadian and Toronto gardener, reached out to U of T Scarborough Campus Farm to seek opportunities to access land to share and introduce her rice seeds.
The U of T Scarborough Campus Farm responded to her call and offered space at the farm to experiment growing rice in an urban environment and non-tropical climate. Meanwhile, Professor Jo Sharma was planning her summer course “Foods that changed the world” and was looking at hands-on tutorials on staple crops. The timing was perfect: on May 31, Jewel Gomes gave a hands-on workshop on how to plant rice to 170 U of T Scarborough first year students in Food Studies. Intern students with the campus farm looked after the rice during the growing season and benefited from Jewel’s advice and knowledge. The grown rice was showcased during the rice festival at the GrowTO Fair on Sept. 14, the opening event of the Urban Agriculture week in Toronto.
The success of the partnership between Jewel and the campus farm is an inspiration to carry on the work of learning from the community and having the community as an educator on the topic of farming ethnocentric crops. For the 2020 growing season, the campus farm is partnering with the Association of Bangladeshi Agriculturalists in Canada (ABACAN) to share knowledge and expertise on growing six crops: eggplant, chilies, bitter melon, gourde, amaranth, and Indian spinach.
Kelsey Kilgore, TA in Food Studies at U of T Scarborough
As an educator in the interdisciplinary study of food and who routinely runs discussion-based tutorials, I have found experiential learning to be extraordinarily useful in engaging students and drawing connections between the written material and its implications/applications in broader conversations and the world outside the Academy. In one particularly memorable case, the rice planting workshop we did at the farm began a conversation between a student in FSTA01 and her father. When she told him about the workshop he recounted, for the first time, his own youthful experiences of commercial rice planting experiences before coming to Canada. From this hands-on experience at the UTSC Farm she gained new insights into agriculture, labour, migration, and cultural identity. As an educator, I celebrate the opportunities for enriched learning made possible by the use of the farm as a classroom!