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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Equity groups and workshops

Student Life aims to make the campus community a more inclusive and equitable place, where every student feels welcome and comfortable being themselves. Student Life runs events and discussion groups where students can share, find community, learn, and promote a culture of empathy across the university. If you'd like to meet with the Student Development Specialist - Equity Programs, please connect with them to set up an appointment by contacting

If you'd like to gather more information about Ontario Tech's equity groups from the Student Engagement and Equity team, or have a recommendation for activities or conversation topics, let us know

Equity Discussion Groups

We are committed to having open conversations focused on equity and inclusion, and invite you to join us at our discussion group: Equity Talks. Equity Discussion Groups are a space for all students regardless of identity or background to come together and discuss, share and learn together.  Find the current groups running and register on the Student Life Portal.

Equity Talks

Equity Talks is a discussion group open to all students who want to further their learning around equity issues. This group provides the opportunity to discuss current events and various equity-related topics such as feminism, anti-racism, anti-ableism, 2SLGBT+ allyship and many more. Materials will be provided prior to each meeting as an opportunity for independent learning.

Each week, the session topic will connect to the corresponding RISE Program session that was held earlier in the week.

Student-Centred Spaces are meant for students with shared experiences, identities or backgrounds to come together and support, share, and learn together. 


Breaking Barriers Series: The Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) Experience

The Breaking Barriers series provides a space for BIPOC to connect and share experiences, with a focus on the barriers marginalized folks face, in the workplace and beyond. Each session in the series will be about centring BIPOC; however, all are welcome to attend to be an ally and as a learning opportunity.  

Pride Space

A place for all 2SLGBTQ+ students and allies to come together, and create a space of belonging within the university community.

Bi-weekly on Fridays from September 23 to December 2
5 to 6:30 p.m.
Shawenjigewining Hall, Room 038

Respecting Individuals, Supporting Equity (RISE) Program

The RISE program is a suite of workshops that aim to increase knowledge for students, related to equity, inclusion, consent and respect, while also building skills related to bystander interventions, advocacy, allyship and anti-oppression. The RISE program also provides you with the space to identify and reflect on aspects of your own social identity.

The program has been revamped and will run in three different streams of workshops: (1) RISE Equity Topics; (2) RISE Identity Reflection; and (3) RISE Intervention and Inclusion Skill Development. 

By attending the selection of workshops, you'll have the opportunity to achieve the following outcomes: 

  • Apply intervention, advocacy, and allyship skills to equity-related scenarios demonstrating how you can prevent and respond when you observe discrimination, harassment, or violence.
  • Describe the foundational terms of equity and inclusion as related to the session topics you elect to attend.
  • Explain how aspects of your identity connect to the power, privilege and oppression you face as an individual, and within your social groups.

Please note: All students must attend two mandatory workshops—RISE: Let's Talk Equity and RISE: First Peoples—before registering for any of the electives. You can choose to attend electives as per your interest or register to complete all the requirements to achieve the RISE Certificate. 

Fall 2022 schedule

All RISE workshops will be on Mondays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Complementing the Monday RISE session, we'll be hosting a corresponding Equity Talks Discussion Group on the following Wednesday, from 4 to 5 p.m. 

RISE Workshop (Monday) | Equity Talks Discussion Group (Wednesday)
  • September 12: First Peoples | September 14: Treaty Recognition

  • September 19: Let's Talk Equity | September 21: Intro to Equity

  • September 26: Sexual Violence Prevention | September 28: #WeGetConsent

  • October 3: Anti-Racism | October 5: Vilification and Demonization of Black Women and Girls

  • October 17: Sexual Orientation | October 19: Asexual and Aromantic Identities

  • October 24: Health Equity | October 26: Social Determinants of Health

  • October 31: Feminism | November 2: Misogyny and Feminism

  • November 7: Let's Talk Equity | November 9: Plurality and Multiplicity

  • November 14: First Peoples | November 16: Moose Hide Campaign

  • November 21: Trans Identities | November 23: Intersex Identities and Forced Surgeries

  • November 28: Anti-Ableism | November 30: Ontario Disability Support Program


Full list of fall and winter workshops

Below you will find a description of the different workshops that we offer under the three workshop streams: (1) RISE Equity Topics; (2) RISE Identity Reflection; and (3) RISE Intervention and Inclusion Skill Development. 

Please note: Only stream one—RISE Equity Topics—will be offered in the fall. 

Stream one: RISE Equity Topics

Let's Talk Equity

Mandatory prerequisite before attending any elective workshops

Participants will be introduced to bystander intervention skills that they can use to prevent and respond to discrimination and harassment. 

First Peoples (Indigenous Intro: Shifting the Narrative)

Mandatory prerequisite before attending any elective workshops

Participants will explore an introductory understanding of Indigenous peoples and learn to shift the narrative as a stepping stone towards reconciliation. The audience will engage in a debrief and discussion with a live Q & A with facilitators. 


Participants will identify stereotypes targeting people with disabilities, and discuss known cases of discrimination and harassment that have targeted people with disabilities.


Participants will identify stereotypes targeting racialized people, and discuss known cases of discrimination and harassment that have targeted racialized communities.


Participants will identify stereotypes targeting women and discuss the importance of feminism as a tool of action to challenge sexism.

Health Equity

Participants will learn about the various social determinants of health, and the impact that systems of oppression have on individual and group health. 

Sexual Orientation

Participants will identify stereotypes based on sexual orientation (e.g. lesbian, gay, bisexual, asexual, etc.) and discuss known cases of discrimination and harassment that have targeted these communities. 

Sexual Violence Prevention

Participants will identify ways that they can prevent, intervene and respond to sexual violence, and discuss topics such as rape culture, consent and the spectrum of sexual violence.  

Trans Identities

Participants will discuss the oppression of the transgender community, focusing on the role that gender stereotypes play in the creation and manifestation of misconceptions about gender.  

Stream two: RISE Identity Reflection

Interpersonal Identity Reflection - Me, Myself and I

Participants will reflect on their own identity; this includes your social location, and the concepts of power, privilege and oppression related to your identity, and intent versus impact—accepting and healing from guilt, shame and accountability as an individual.

Interpersonal Identity Reflection - From I to We

Participants will explore how they connect to the social, cultural and identity-based groups that link to their personal identity, and how those groups connect to larger systems and institutions in society. 

Stream three: RISE Intervention and Inclusion Skills Development 

Bystander Intervention Skills

Participants will learn prevention, intervention and conflict management skills; you'll participate in scenarios to demonstrate how you can use these skills when you observe discrimination, harassment or violence.

Allyship, Advocacy and Anti-Oppression

Participants will develop skills related to how to be an effective ally, and advocate related to each of the communities that we covered in our RISE Equity Topics workshops. You'll learn more about anti-oppression, and connecting to your own power and privilege that comes with your identity.

RISE Culminating Project

Education to Awareness, Awareness to Action

Participants will apply what they have learned related to respecting individuals and supporting equity; you'll reflect on your commitment to equity through a culminating project. 

RISE Certificate

As an additional benefit of your participation in the RISE workshops, we offer the opportunity to earn a RISE Certificate, confirming attendance and participation in the program 

In order to earn the certificate, you must attend/complete the following: 
  • RISE: Let's Talk Equity workshop
    • Mandatory

  • RISE: First Peoples workshops
    • Mandatory

  • 3 out of 7 stream one workshops: RISE Equity Topics

  • 1 out of 2 stream two workshops: RISE Identity Reflection

  • 1 out of 2 stream three workshops: RISE Inclusion Skill Development

  • RISE Culminating Project

Please note: You are responsible for ensuring that you record your attendance with the session facilitator for certificate requirement verification. To register for the certificate, you must complete the RISE Certificate validation form

By completing the requirements of the RISE Certificate, you'll be able to: 

  • Demonstrate the knowledge you retained, in relation to respecting individuals and supporting equity through a Culminating Project. 

  • Explain what a commitment to equity means to you, as related to your understanding of the foundational terms of equity and inclusion.  

 If you have any questions about the RISE Program, contact

RISE for Athletes

As part of Ontario Tech Athletics’ commitment to equity and inclusion, the RISE for Athletes program allows student-athletes that are part of a varsity team to receive training on one RISE topic per year.

To receive your Ridgeback RISE Certificate, you must attend a minimum of four sessions through the Ridgeback RISE Program over the course of your academic/athletic career.

If you miss a session, you can attend it through the Student Engagement and Equity RISE Program offerings.

Registration will be tracked through the Athletics Department.

Let's Talk Equity

Let's Talk Equity is a series focused on encouraging conversations about equity and inclusion, both online and offline. You can join the conversation by using the hashtag #LetsTalkEquity and following Ontario Tech Student Life on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can learn more about Let's Talk Equity and read stories from students on the Digital Community.

As part of this series, we have campus-wide equity events such as our Equity Awareness Week, International Women’s Day events, Pride Month events, Black History Month events and events put together by our Equity Advocates.

Check out the current schedule of events and register on the Student Life Portal. 


In response to student feedback provided to the Student Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Committee, Student Life has partnered with Durham College and the AIDS Committee of Durham to deliver some workshops to provide education and destigmatization around topics of sex and sexuality. Part of building a culture of consent and respect on campus is providing space for conversations like these.