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As another semester winds down, and the community goes through its summer migration, it’s important to reflect on the achievements and challenges of the past year.

For OPIRG, this has been a year of learning and continued engagement with the community and students to continue the fight towards greater equality and social justice. The organization strives to provide a safe, accessible, and welcoming space to discuss, take action, and increase education on issues of social justice, both in our community and the world as a whole.

Here are just a few ways that OPIRG has reduced apathy and increased action:

This year, OPIRG sought to provide the community with the skills to engage with the government on issues that matter to them, and to bring social justice into their everyday forms of decision making. This was done through the Light Your Spark workshop series, which included seminars on Consensus-Based Decision-making and City Hall 101.

The OPIRG Food Cupboard continues to be the fourth largest Food Bank in Peterborough, committed to the right to quality food for all people, and to the improvement of food security in the community. The Food Cupboard reduces barriers to food security by not requiring identification for access to the service.

This fundamental staple for community members has continued to grow over this year, and a Steering Committee has been formed to strategize best-practices and how to best provide justice and security in the future.

The OPIRG Free Market also strives to provide access to clothes and other goods at no cost, via donation to promote sustainability in the community.

OPIRG also continually supports youth engagement by giving students multiple avenues to pursue aspects of social justice that are important to them.

This year, OPIRG facilitated the creation of the Anti-Poverty Working Group, and the continuation of the Guerrilla Gardeners, Canadian Mining Awareness, and End Immigration Detention. With the support of OPIRG, these groups provided workshops on the impacts of mining on First Nation communities, fundraised for a Trapp Line to provide support to those affected by immigration detention, and participated in seedling workshops to plant public crops in the spring.

In conjunction with the Trent Work Study Program, OPIRG also provides meaningful employment to students in the form of work placements, and is committed to providing a fair, accessible, and safe work environment for all student employees.

This is just a small cross-section of the many ways OPIRG is committed to making Trent University and the Community of Peterborough a just and equitable place to live, work, and play.

We welcome all those who wish to join the movement for social justice to visit the office, send us an email, or come out to an event to learn more.

Together, we work towards a world free from injustice and oppression.