The Philosophical Pillars of CTSC

Centre for Transformative Social Change 

Goals of CTSC

To provide the space and process outside a formal classroom setting for students, faculty of all disciplines, community members, agencies and activists to explore and engage matters of transformative learning and transformative social change with social and environmental justice issues as the main an inspiring, innovative, safe and supportive environment.

To provide opportunities for the formation of partnerships on the individual, local, national, and international levels which focus on practices of transformative social change.

To provide a means for students and faculty to expand existing formalized curriculum structures to include informal community capacity building processes.

To provide a process for college-community partnerships in action based research, transformative learning, and transformative social change initiatives.

4 Primary Focus Areas:

  1. Transformative Justice
  • Restorative justice philosophy and practice
  • Contextualizing impact of privilege/anti-oppression
  • Feminist philosophies and practices
  • Alternatives to imprisonment/prison abolition
  • Retributive philosophy and the prison industrial complex
  • Systems of oppression: poverty, racism, imperialism, patriarchy
  • Indigenous philosophies

Example areas of study/research:

  • An examination of the gendered dimensions of domestic and state violence.
  • An examination of racial injustices in policing and imprisonment. 
  1. Environmental Justice
  • Environmental racism
  • Environmental justice communities
  • Climate justice
  • Food Sovereignty
  • Resource access, control, and stewardship
  • Indigenous solidarity

 Example areas of study/research:

  • Analysis of the tendency for environmentally hazardous and harmful projects to be established near impoverished and/or racialized neighbourhoods i.e. housing projects in cities, aboriginal reserves in rural settings.
  1. Transformative Pedagogies
  • Healing circles
  • Empathy in education
  • Contemplative practices
  • Indigenous knowledge and education
  • Anti-oppression in education

Example areas of study/research: 

  • An examination of the impact of contemplative practices such as mindful meditation; ba duan jin, by students and faculty as a means of creating a vibrant learning environment.
  • The process of facilitating a healing circle in a school as an alternative to conventional discipline procedures.
  1. Ethical Subjectivity
  • Politics of connection
  • Narrative identity
  • Strategies for making change
  • Community building
  • Allyship
  • Indigenous solidarity
  • Decolonization

Example areas of study/research:  

  • Adopting the practice of “journaling” to critique how our individual daily behaviours/activities impact the planet.
  • Using one’s own privileged position as a form of participatory action to provide support for a traditionally marginalized group/community.