OPIRG Stands for Ontario Public Interest Research Group. OPIRG-Windsor is a non-profit student-run organization involved in research, education and action on social and environmental issues in order to create a better world. We provide a collaborative non-hierarchical non-authoritative platform for students to come together, learn, share, brainstorm, and take action on issues relating to social and environmental justice on campus and off campus. The term “Public Interest Group” has been loosely defined to mean a group which tries to influence government policy. The addition of “Research” means that OPIRG values education and discussion as an integral part of activism.
OPIRG is an activist centre for research, education, training and action for social and environmental justice. Our office is a positive place where campus and community activists come together and connect to share skills and information, access resources and support, and deepen our political analysis.
We know that environmental degradation and social injustice are complex and interconnected issues that are the product of systems of domination and hierarchy. We expose and challenge the structures and institutions which perpetuate colonization, imperialism, capitalism, patriarchy, and other forms of inequity. We stand in solidarity with people around the world who are resisting social and economic oppression.
We recognize that there are many ways to initiate and support grassroots radical change, and that our strength as an organization lies in the diversity of our experiences, approaches and tactics. In order to be as effective and inclusive as we can in our activism we operate without hierarchy and uphold the core values of anti-oppression and consensus. We mobilize through a wide variety of methods such as research, creating awareness, lobbying, media, training, protest, and direct action. We are volunteer driven and rely on the creativity and dedication of our members.
Basis of Unity
Creating a space free of sexism, racism, classism, hetero-centrism, ableism and ageism
Working in a non-hierarchical, cooperative and non-authoritarian way emphasizing consensual decision-making process and alternative organization structure
Respecting diversity and fostering an inclusive environment
Helping people learn the necessary skills to effect change and nurturing a milieu where learning is encouraged
Bridging the gap that has developed between the academic world and the general community
Providing the resources and support to individuals and groups to work on social change
Linking the efforts of those groups with others pursuing similar goals on campus and in the community
Challenging the existing social, political, and economic order and offering alternatives
Working on a broad range of issues, as identified by members, emphasizing research of issues concurrently, and working on issues in a unique way
Encouraging citizens to participate in all their civic responsibilities