What’s a pirg? What does our chapter do?
In the 1980s, Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) were founded on campuses across Turtle Island (what is colonially known as North America) with the goal of pursuing important social justice work to address community issues and to work towards real solutions. Today, PIRGs exist on campuses across Turtle Island, contributing to campus culture, politics, and community.
OPIRG Kingston has initiated and supported numerous projects, initiatives and groups since we began operating in 1992. Our major programming series is called “Alt-Frosh” – and “Alt-Frost” in the winter – where we host a number of events to mark the beginning of the fall and winter semesters. Alt-Frosh/Frost seeks to provide folks with an ‘alternative’ orientation week that is centred around social and environmental justice initiatives, topics, and conversations. We often collaborate with campus and community partners to ensure a wide range of events.
OPIRG Kingston has a working group system where groups supported (and sometimes started) by us get what they need to carry out their work, while remaining autonomous and separate.
Interested in becoming a working group? Click here!
A non-exhaustive list of past and present working groups includes the following:
- Reelout Queer Film Festival
- Queen’s Backing Action Against Climate Change (QBACC)
- Positive Space at Queen’s
- Loving Spoonful
- Roots and Wings Kingston
- queer muslim resistance podcast
Check out our current working groups below!
Current Working groups
Roots & Wings Kingston
Roots & Wings Kingston provides free programming to racialized girls, trans, Two-Spirit, and gender non-conforming youth aged 8-14 to participate in structured workshops that aim to educate, empower and engage them in social justice topics. Roots and Wings creates space for youth to explore their identities, teach and share skills, and engage with their communities.
Instagram and Facebook: @rootsandwingsktown
queer muslim resistance: a podcast from opirg kingston
Started in 2020, the queer muslim resistance podcast features guests – many of whom are queer Muslims – who are invested in working towards our collective liberation. Most episodes include a conversation with a guest, followed by a debriefing section with the co-hosts. Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or visit anchor.fm/queermuslimresistance for more listening options!
The Umbrella Academy is a group of transgender people at Queen’s University and within the kingston/Katarokwi community who have formed an advocacy association in the interests of transgender students, staff, faculty, and community members. They will provide anti-racist, anti-colonial, and anti-oppressive social and educational events to support transgender people currently living in kingston.
Gender Affirming Assistance Project (GAAP)
Gender Affirming Assistance Project (GAAP) is a community-based group in Katarokwi/Kingston that seeks to provide gender-affirming gear and social support for support to Two-Spirit, trans, non-binary and gender diverse community members.
Instagram and Facebook: @genderaffirmingassistance
Mutual Aid Gardens Network
The Mutual Aid Gardens Network based in and around Katarokwi/Kingston aims to improve access to fresh produce and create stronger community bonds in the context of ever-increasing capitalist individualism/nuclear family. The crops we care for are harvested and distributed by and for community – for free! We host biweekly Really, Really Free Veggie Markets throughout the season.
OPIRG Kingston’s research is student-led and student-driven. Our undergraduate research volunteers plan and conduct research on relevant topics by critically examining campus climate, culture, and activities.
We facilitate learning on a variety of social and environmental justice issues like anti-racism, anti-capitalism, queer and trans liberation, and decolonisation. We do this through hosting events, facilitating discussion groups, and producing informational materials.
Here at OPIRG Kingston, we use our research to inform our educational campaigns, events, and demonstrations. We are involved in local activist work.