Category Archives: Osgoode Feminist Collective

Congratulations to Michelle Miles OHLS’18, this year’s IFLS Vanguard Award Receipient

For your Feminist Friday inspiration, here’s recent Osgoode graduate Michelle Miles, this year’s IFLS Vanguard Award recipient.

Awarded annually since 2014, the Vanguard Award recognizes:

“…a graduating student who has shown bravery and intelligence in bringing attention to issues of importance for feminism(s). The Award winner will have displayed leadership qualities including the ability and willingness to engage in critical &/or constructive difficult conversations.”

Nominated by a long list of folks – including students from every year of the JD, an alumna, a professor and two lawyers from two different clinical programs – Michelle Miles was a summer intern at the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, part of the Feminist Legal Advocacy program at Osgoode, took a leadership role with the Osgoode Feminist Collective, and served as the Vice President of the Osgoode Black Law Student’s Association.

She’ll  be articling at a family/criminal law firm in Toronto and continuing to be an advocate for women and vulnerable communities.Osgoode IFLS Congratulates MICHELLE MILES IFLS Vanguard Award Winner Osgoode JD 2018. (quote" "For students in need of feminist spaces, ways of thinking, and leadership, Michelle was a beacon in the storm of law school." Photo of Michelle, arms crossed & hair in brads, in a glen plaid suit (upper 3rd). Osgoode and IFLS logos.

Here’s what some of her nominators wrote about Michelle:

“…always quick to raise the voices of others, to initiate and guide much-need and rarely-had conversations, and to call in rather than call out.”

“….[the] recommendations to combat anti-Black racism at Osgoode are the result of Michelle’s diligent activism, organization and guidance.”

“…compassionate, dedicated, and an utter joy and relief to be around.”

“…Michelle vocally and eloquently defended equity seeking groups and their needs. It is one thing to do so when everyone in the room is nodding with you. It’s a completely different situation when you keep getting pushback from other students, who do not come to the table with the same life experiences as you, and from lawyers, who have a lot more authority and influence than you.”

“Michelle is THE feminist advocate many of us associate with our time at Osgoode.”

“I don’t think anyone is as committed or as patient or as tireless as Michelle Miles.”

“Our profession will only benefit from having a resilient Black woman like Michelle in the lead.”

“For all that she has done in her three years at Osgoode (and it is more than most people know and more than Michelle herself will acknowledge), she deserves the IFLS Vanguard Award.”


A further thank you from the IFLS to this amazing alum of Osgoode.  Pretty sure students don’t always appreciate how much their work can mean for their professors.  Putting this post together provided mid June inspiration through thinking about the hard conversations Michelle pushed for, and the ways her feminist peers appreciated that work.

[If you’re at another school and thinking ‘maybe we could have one of these awards’, here’s a page describing what it’s for – we spent some time thinking about this and some of the details might be of interest to you: ]

#LawNeedsFeminismBecause #LeDroitABesoinDuFéminismCar

The Feminist Collective of McGill Law created this campaign and invited law students across Canada to participate by finishing the sentence Law Needs Feminism Because…/ Le Droit A Besoin Du Féminism Car…. and becoming part of a photo project with other legal scholars (students and professors).

See McGill Law students (and Profs) in all their feminist glory here: 

Join the IFLS and the Osgoode Feminist Caucus Friday Feb 3, 2017, 10-1230 in the Faculty Lounge (2027)of Osgoode Hall Law School from 10-12:30.  Think about what you want to say, or let it come to you on the spot.  We will have coffee, chai (if Sonia gets up early enough), a photographer and good company*.  Critical feminist discussion is encouraged and welcome.  Please wear solid colours!

Need an appointment? Tell us when you plan to come and we’ll bump you to the front of the line when you arrive (email

[brought to you by the Osgoode Feminist Caucus & the Osgoode Institute for Feminist Legal Studies]

If you don’t have class, why don’t you come at 12 and stay for the IFLS Feminist Friday with Professor Jula Hughes: “Politics is Women’s Work: A gender lens on the duty to consult”   
3-Feb-2017 12:30 PM – 02:00 PM 2027 Osgoode Hall Law School
Lunch will be served at this talk, so please RSVP

Abstract:  In Atlantic Canada, Indigenous women participate in the political and organizational leadership of off-reserve and non-Status organizations like Native Councils and Friendship Centres to a much higher degree than Canadian women participate in political leadership at any level. In a series of interviews and through research projects in collaboration with Indigenous women leaders, I have asked how these women leaders came to their political work and explored their political practice. In this presentation I report on findings from this research. What emerges is an understanding of the role of women in Wabanaki society that is anchored in a traditional division of labour that emphasized community leadership as women’s work. Indigenous women leaders also understand their work as an important response to the historical experience of gender discrimination under the Indian Act. They note that governments perpetuate its gender discriminatory effects by failing to engage with and consult off-reserve and non-Status populations and advocate for a development of the constitutional duty to consult that promotes gender equality.
Dr. Jula Hughes researches in the areas of criminal law, Indigenous governance & Aboriginal law, and judicial ethics. She was the lead researcher on a multidisciplinary, community-driven research project on the duty to consult with urban Aboriginal organizations in Atlantic Canada conducted by the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network.  Her current work considers the duty to consult through a gender lens.  The research explores Indigenous women’s governance and living experiences in Eastern Canadian urban settings.

Screenshot at very shrunk size of McGill Feminist Collective's project page of photos.  screenshot

Upcoming Events: The OFC Edition

As usual, the Osgoode Feminist Collective is up to awesome things. Here are two events not to miss next week!

In honour of Diversity Week, BLSA and OFC Present “Ackee & Saltfish” and “Strolling”: Film Screening and Discussion
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 12:30 P.M. in the Moot Court

‘Ackee & Saltfish’ is a short film, directed and written by Cecile Emeke, starring Michelle Tiwo as Olivia, and Vanessa Babirye as Rachel.  The film is described as “connecting the scattered stories of the black diaspora”, and looks at gentrification in London through the conversations of two best friends.

‘Strolling’ is a short documentary film series also created by Cecile Emeke, where we take a stroll with people in various cities and countries around the world, having refreshingly raw and honest conversations about various issues at the forefront of their society. The film touches on everything from feminism, sexuality, gender, race and politics to philosophy, art, history, capitalism, war and poverty… and everything else you can think of.

Facebook event:


OUTLaws and OFC present, My Transformation: A Conversation with Rachel Lauren Clark (poster attached)
Thursday, February 25, 2016 at 1:00 P.M., location TBD

event poster for talk by Rachel Lauren ClarkJoin OUTLaws and Osgoode’s Feminist Collective for a conversation with the inspiring trans rights activist Rachel Lauren Clark. Rachel grew up in upstate New York, and was part of the marine corps for eight years. Leaving the military at the age of 25, Rachel eventually moved to Toronto in 2003, where she was working in information technology. In 2013, Rachel started living openly as a trans woman. She is now heavily involved in the LGBTQ community, serving on the board of Pride Toronto.

Facebook event:


The Witching Hour: A Feminist Soirée (Friday the 13th)

The Osgoode Feminist Collective is hosting a feminist social in Kensington market this Friday the 13th, and it’s going to be rad.  Details below.

event poster - details in post The Witching Hour, A Feminist Soirée

The next evening on Friday the 13th, your very own OFC is hosting their first social of the year in partnership with U of T Law’s feminist group, the Feminist Law Students’ Association and Feminist Action! at York. Starting at 8 pm, the event will be held at the cozy Kensington Lodge (21 Kensington Avenue – in Kensington Market just off of Dundas St W). The space is accessible and vegan-friendly food options will be served.

We encourage all attendees to bring a donation for the Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter. They have emphasized the need for the following items:

  •         Diapers for babies
  •          Milk for babies
  •          Pasta
  •          Rice
  •          Canned tomatoes

Please feel free to bring feminist allies and friends to the event. We look forward to seeing you there!

Facebook event here:

Thanks to Alex Frockiewicz from Feminist Action! for the poster (see attached).