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Centre for Urban Schooling

William Waters Annual Symposium on Urban Education


The symposium involves a visit from a distinguished academic of international stature,
who galvanizes energy around identified themes linked to student engagement through:

• a large public lecture with invited education stakeholders from the provincial, district, local school and university communities

• professional development sessions aimed at pre-service, in-service and university teachers to challenge and inform current local practices

• a networking meeting and reception to create new opportunities and solidify existing collaborations

• informal meetings with students and teachers both at OISE and in local schools.

These symposiums are made possible through the very generous support of Phyllis and William Waters.


Past Featured Lecturers


  • March 2009 - Dr. Michelle Fine
                        Link to view video recording



William Waters Scholarship Winners

2014-2015 William Waters Scholarship Winners:

Ahmed Ahmed

Dargine Rajeswaran


2013-2014 William Waters Scholarship Winners:

Sharry-Ann Taylor (Ed Admin)

Roopa Cheema (HSSJE)

Tina Sidhu (Ed Admin)


2012-2013 William Waters Scholarship Winners:

Sarah Popoff - a teacher at Crescent Town Public School who specializes in drama and dance;

Danielle Blair - a teacher at Westview Centennial Secondary School whose work has a clear anti-poverty focus;

Natasha Burford - an elementary teacher at Smithfield Middle School and a community activist;

Amanda Parris - Co-founder and Managing Director of Lost Lyrics, a mobile and interactive learning incubator that creates bridges of knowledge between the streets and the classroom


2011-2012 William Waters Scholarship Winners: 

Julia Hainer-Violand - Oyster-Adams Bilingual Public School

Julia's commitment to urban education is rooted in the immigrant experience. Her mother, a first generation immigrant from Bolivia, set forth a standard for her of community activism through education. It is her passion that has led Julia to dedicate her life to providing engaging learning opportunities for second language learners and their families. For the last five years, Julia has taught at Oyster-Adams Bilingual, a dual language Spanish-English public school in Washington, DC… Step inside her room and you can see students debating secession, writing poetry about the Middle Passage, or organizing into a union to promote immigrant labour rights. People’s history becomes alive and acts as a foundation for language development to promote critical thinking and social action.

Melanie Willson - York Humber High School

Melanie's work at York Humber has been informed by eight years of involvement in grassroots anti-poverty organizing in Guelph and Toronto, which has lead to the understanding that schools do not function in isolation from a larger social and political context. In completing this Masters degree, Melanie hopes to take the time to focus on her own learning and growth in order to become a stronger ally to her students, their families, and communities.

Jozef Konyari - Robert F. Hall Catholic Secondary School

Jozef describes his teaching practice as student-centred, geared towards understanding the needs and interests of each individual student in relation to their immediate social circumstances. He would like to examine school spaces as sites for modern-day revolutions and nonviolent resistance to various forms of oppression.

Ambeika Sukhram - Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute

Ambeika is winner of the OSSTF District 12 Status of Women, Outstanding New Teacher award in 2008. The genesis of her interest in urban education is clearly related to her migration from Guyana to Toronto. For her Masters study, Ambeika has outlined a research project that would have her examining the deportation of Roma families from Europe and the ways in which their destination cities, like Toronto, might more effectively address their educational needs.


2010-2011 William Waters Scholarship Winners

Ambika Jain - Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute

Mary Ampomah - Lawrence Heights Middle School

Rhiannon Maton - Emery Collegiate Institute


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