Living the Practice: Anti-Racist in the workplace

This workshop is an opportunity for participants to impact and shape the work of equity within their place of work. This session will help participants:

  • To have an opportunity to get interactive and real about experiences of anti- Black racism, in the workplace and in everyday life.
  • Address daily interactions in workplace environments and how anti-racist theories can be put into practice.
  • Share examples or solicit advise on how to ensure anti-racist principles are alive within the workforce.
  • Learn about emerging themes and impacts which will be shared at the end of this workshop.


Shequita Thompson-Reid has been working at the intersections of community development and equity for over 15 years. Currently, she brings with her expertise within the fields of Program Development, Youth Engagement, Capacity Building, Housing, Violence Prevention, Conflict Mediation and Equity. She is well versed in working from practices rooted in decolonization and anti-oppression frameworks. Shequita has worked successfully across various organizations to lead and support a range of broad band and high impact outcomes to achieve the desired goals at multi-level and multi-sectoral non-profit and government spaces. Shequita has developed, led and facilitated training and education on Conflict Mediation, Violence Prevention, Equity and Anti-Oppression to name a few. She also excels in coaching and professional development for individuals, executives and organizations looking to engage in change management processes. Shequita also co-founded a grassroots program, Words of Wisdom. This program used books as a catalyst towards having deeper conversations into inter- generational trauma, identity, equity and healthy relationships. In 2015, she traveled to Ghana to participate in a knowledge exchange with young women and girls globally, and developed collaborative strategies to end gender-based violence. She holds an Honors BA from the University of Toronto with a specialization in -Sociology and Gender Studies.

Standing in your Power

This workshop will help participants:

  • To explore the ways in which social activism has shaped our society and the specific impacts that Black activism has had in Ontario in particular. For example, the creation of the Human Rights Commission.
  • To reframe the way in which they look at activism and consider the benefits and challenges demonstrated through different activism approaches.
  • To provide participants with concrete advise and tips on how to stand in their power and be social justice activists in their daily lives.


Charline is a trailblazer in the diversity, equity and inclusion field, and a fierce advocate for racialized children. In 2016, she led a human rights challenge against one of Ontario’s largest school boards, the York Region District School Board (YRDSB). Determined to change the racism and discrimination her own children faced from the YRDSB, Grant and other diverse community leaders fought against anti-Black racism & anti-Muslim discrimination with resounding success. Charline currently sits on the York Children’s Aid Society Board, representing the needs of Black parents and children. She is also the first person to occupy the position of Provincial Education System Navigator for Parents of Black Children, helping parents navigate the oppressive education system. Charline was the chief advocate in the fight to include hate- related incidents in the professional misconduct criteria for the Ontario College of Teachers, and successfully secured this change. She is leading the charge for education reform, and a new partnership with the Toronto Raptors will ensure change happens for all. In addition to her advocacy, Charline is a business-owner, board member and advisor for a number of organizations & non-profits. She is dedicated, resilient and passionate about standing up against racism and hate in all forms. Charline is also a wife and the proud mother to three amazing children Ziphion, Kezia and Eleazar.

Waking Up to a New Reality

  • An engaging discussion examining the Black/African Canadian context. In this workshop you will talk about the current day lived experience of Black/African Canadian people.
  • This workshop will ask you to examine your social context. This means your position in society.
  • It will help you discover how to be critical actors in your own story by sharing some ideas around how to respond to oppression and anti-Black racism.


Claudette Howell Rutherford is a teacher and Department Head of Social Science and Humanities in the YRDSB. She currently sits on the Equity Steering Action Advisory Committee and the Anti-Black Racism Steering Committee. Claudette is a mother of three children attending school in York Region. Claudette previously served as Director of Youth & Education for the Markham African Caribbean Canadian Association and is now Vice President. Claudette is Chair of MACCA’S Annual Black Youth Empowerment Conference now funded by the Government of Canada, and Summer Camp Administrator. Claudette is the Program Director for the Ministry (MCCSS) funded KinnectYouth Mentoring Program. She is a member of ONABSE under the Parent Commission. Claudette continues to represent MACCA as a contributing member of the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities, a collective impact project with 70 other Black community organizations across the province of Ontario.

Unpacking the Past and Decolonizing the Future

In this workshop you will learn about the history that has shaped Black/African Canadian people, including Black heroes of then and now.

  • This is a chance to explore Africentricity: What does it mean? Why is it important? What are the positives and some of the challenges it gives us?
  • This workshop will also explore the history of colonialism and the role it plays in the creation of systems and legacies that still impact us today.
  • This workshop will focus on how societal constructs have created inequities that social justice movements strive to dismantle.
  • The outcome of this workshop is to provide tips to living your life as more than just an ally and offer practical ways to build an anti-racist life.

Shernett Martin

Award-winning, experienced Equity & Inclusion Consultant, speaker, workshop developer and facilitator. Awarded multiple awards for work in equity, diversity, education and philanthropy. Incredible speaker and mentor. Committed to community and capacity building. Skilled in governing and leading non-profit organizations. Extensive experience in Corporate Coaching, Conflict Resolution, and Volunteer Management.

Professional Educator with a demonstrated history of working with students from elementary to College. Extensive experience as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (B.A.) with a focus on Race Relations, Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) and is completing a Masters in Education from York University.

ATU Local 113 research shows that two thirds of Torontonians disapprove of TTC management’s plan to eliminate Subway Guard

In a new poll conducted for ATU Local 113, two thirds of Torontonians (64%) disapprove of TTC management’s plan to eliminate the second subway crew person, the Subway Guard. Just one fifth support this plan (19%), known as OPTO (One Person Train Operation). These findings are decisive. It is clear the public doesn’t agree with TTC management’s plan to eliminate the Subway Guard.

“It is rare to see this level of consistency of opinion on a public transit issue” said John Corbett, Vice President at Mainstreet Research, the firm that conducted the polling.

The full report can be viewed and downloaded below.

Mainstreet Research: Torontonians’ attitudes on eliminating subway guards and public

READ: Automation will mean the end of an unusual, but effective, safety practice on the TTC’s Yonge line

To coincide with the TTC’s announcement that it extended subway operations on its new Automatic Train Control (ATC), the Globe and Mail has published an article titled “Automation will mean the end of an unusual, but effective, safety practice on the TTC’s Yonge line.”

The role of subway guards, beyond the point-and-acknowledge protocol, is important for passenger safety. They do much more than operating the doors, and have saved people from injuries, stopped suicides and assisted in emergencies and evacuations.

ATU Local 113 is looking forward to showing Toronto how important subway guards are to the safety of transit riders in the coming months.

Click here to read the Globe’s full article.

ATU Local 113 responds to spoof posters featuring members

The Toronto Sun recently reported that spoof TTC fare evasion posters featuring ATU Local 113 members were being circulated online.

Any mean-spirited campaign that targets and insults Toronto’s public transit workers is inappropriate and unacceptable. ATU Local 113 members are not to blame for the TTC’s problems.

Instead, Torontonians should focus their attention on the failed PRESTO system that costs the TTC hundreds of millions a year, as well as the lack of government funding the TTC so badly needs to operate.

Click here to read the full Toronto Sun story.

Black History Month: ATU Local 113 Celebrates its Diversity

ATU Local 113 is extremely proud of its history of diversity and inclusion. These values are the foundation of solidarity, the idea that we are stronger when we work together.

In the spirit of solidarity and in celebration of Black History Month, ATU Local 113 organized a Black History Month lunch on February 19 at Mount Dennis Bus Garage. All members, regardless of racial, ethnic or cultural background gathered to recognize the contributions of the Black community to ATU Local 113 and the legacies of Black Canadians. Black history is an integral part of Canada that everyone should celebrate.

What diversity looks like at ATU Local 113

The annual lunch was organized by Brothers Mark Reed, Paul Wong and others who are passionate about the history of the Black community and their fight for equal rights.

The event also showcased the growing diversity in the workplace. ATU Local 113 is as diverse as Toronto itself. Torontonians see themselves represented in the workers that keep this city moving. That’s why ATU Local 113’s recognition and celebration of diversity will not stop after February, and rather continue all year round.

A huge thank you to Mark Reed, Paul Wong and all those that volunteered their time to make the event such a success.

TOMORROW: Big Push for Solidarity as Four Education Unions Strike Together

ATU Local 113 is encouraging members to join the fight for public education on February 21. All four major teacher unions will strike at the same time across Ontario. That means around 200,000 education workers will be on the picket lines, impacting over 2 million students from K-12.

Join parents, students, community members and 30,000 Toronto education workers for the largest-ever picket line on the Queen’s Park lawns.

WHERE: Queen’s Park
WHEN: February 21, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Teachers stood with ATU Local 113 to protect Toronto’s public transit system from the Ford Government’s reckless TTC Subway upload that would’ve put it on the slippery slope to privatization. Now we need to show our solidarity with teachers to protect students and defend quality, well-funded public education.

ATU Local 113 in the Community: Christopher Jones

A highlight of summer in Toronto is the diverse community events across the city. Accessible by streetcars, subways, wheel-trans and buses, they offer families the opportunity to reconnect with those closest to them – all while having fun! Christopher Jones, an Operator at Malvern Division, is dedicated to finding opportunities to help others and community events became one of his ways to offer a lending hand. With the support of ATU Local 113 and its Sisters and Brothers, Christopher has brought bouncy castles, floats and other fun and important additions to events across the city – for the benefit of all.

“I believe that a community is made up of people getting involved. You do not have to be a part of the community to help. I give back on behalf of ATU 113 to the community we serve,” Chris explains.

Christopher Jones in-front of ATU Local 113’s bouncy castle at Vaughan Fiesta Extravaganza

And a busy summer getting involved he’s had. Already, he has supported the Pinoy Fiesta & Trade Show and Vaughan Fiesta Extravaganza. Next is the Toronto Caribbean Carnival where he’ll lead a float of Sisters and Brothers.

Supporting community events is just part of what Christopher does in his spare time. He’s served on ATU Local 113’s Rec Committee and United Way team, while currently involved with the Willowdale Rotary Association and Knights of Rizal.

Thank you to Christopher for all your hard work!