Researching Alternative Visions

As feminist activists and scholars, we understand the importance of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC). NAC was founded in 1971 as an umbrella group of feminists from across Canada to lobby various levels of government for reforms for women. And many prominent liberal and socialist feminists were highly influential in shaping its politics. But we know much less about the activism of Indigenous, racialized, immigrant, and low-income women

Rise Up Needs Your Help

Last year, Rise Up supporters made it possible to hire staff and add nearly 1000 new archival items that significantly expanded the diversity of Canadian feminist activism represented in our collection. We are reaching out to you once more with a special fundraising request to help Rise Up hire staff again this summer and to keep […]

Rise Up is Recruiting New Board Members

Rise Up Feminist Archive is recruiting up to eight (8) additional members to an expanded Board of Directors.

Our objectives are:

  • Strengthen the representation of diverse voices and communities in shaping the direction of Rise Up
  • Engage new members with the skills and experience needed to support our development and ensure future sustainability as an archive and website
  • Enhance representation across age groups and from different regions outside Central Canada.

Coming out and speaking up…

In the 1970s, lesbians in Canada were speaking up about issues important to them more than ever before, mobilizing for change. Newfound visibility, and opportunities to come together, come out, and develop community, led not only to new services and support, but also to political action.

Women Unite Relaunched!

Rise Up! is pleased to announce the relaunch of Women Unite, a new collection that includes over 25 video interviews with Toronto-based feminists about different experiences from the 1970s to the 1990s. These firsthand accounts feature a wide range of feminists—in individual or group interviews—recalling the debates, activism, mobilization, and struggles in which they were […]

Sharing feminist history

Angela Robertson, member of the Black Women's Collective, speaks at a protest against police violence. In response to the October 27, 1989, police shooting of 23-year-old Black woman Sophia Cook, the Black Women’s Collective organized the Women’s Coalition Against Racism and Police Violence. This coalition of 35 women’s and progressive organizations brought people together on December 16, 1989, to demand police accountability and an end to police brutality against Black people.

Sharing feminist history with new generations, students and researchers has always been an important goal for Rise Up! We are excited to announce the expansion of our Teaching Resources, including new lessons plans on Black Women’s Activism and the Feminist Movement, and Indigenous Women’s Activism. These lesson plans bring together historical materials on Black and […]

Sisters in the Struggle

The NFB documentary Sisters in the Struggle (1991- Dionne Brand, Ginny Stikeman) features a frank conversation among Black women active in politics as well as community, labour, and feminist organizing. The women share their personal experiences of racism and sexism, linking them to the fight to end systemic discrimination and violence. Two other NFB films […]

History Repeats: Undermining Child Care in Ontario

In June 1974, Margaret Birch—Ontario’s then-Provincial Secretary for Social Development—delivered a proposal to the legislature to slash the costs of childcare in the province. The so-called Birch Proposals included reductions in minimum staff-child ratios, the elimination of the required formal qualifications for most staff, the elimination of the requirement that day nurseries have kitchens on site, and altered licensing procedures pertaining to physical standards of care sites.

The Burning Times Revisited

Rise Up! A Digital Archive of Feminist Activism provides links to many feminist films and filmmakers that emerged from the National Film Board of Canada, and particularly from Studio D. One of these documentary films—Donna Read’s The Burning Times —is an example that is particularly relevant as Halloween approaches.

Notes From the Archive: On the Current Crisis…

In writing this update, there is a compulsion to write about the times we’re living through together. This would not be unusual for us, this newsletter often works to connect present moments to the past through materials posted in the Rise Up Archive. At the same time, there is something that feels too strange, too […]

New to the Rise Up! Archive

We’ve just posted a new article on the website that addresses the critical history of Studio D, Canada’s groundbreaking feminist film-production unit. Read: “The Impact of Studio D – how it changed the place of women in film in Canada.” In addition to the new feature article, we have added a number of new films to the website […]

Solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en

As blockades and other actions continue in support of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s opposition of the Costal Gaslink Pipeline, we are reminded of the long history of pipeline politics in Canada, and ongoing failures to address the opposition of Indigenous leaders to pipelines being built on their ancestral territory.

New to the Rise Up! Archive

We’ve uploaded a wide range of new buttons and posters that chronicle events and campaigns from the women’s movement. They include (among many others):  A button reading “Justice for Albert Johnson” from protests following Johnson’s murder by police (1979) A button promoting the Company of Sirens, a social action, feminist theatre company in Toronto (1986) A […]

The (Re)Dress Code

Illustration of a dress from Branching Out magazine

The passage of Bill 21 in the Assemblée nationale du Québec in June 2019 has meant a range of provisions that, in name, are aimed at making Quebec a more secular province, although in reality the new law targets religious minorities.

The Montreal Massacre

This button commemorates the murder of 14 women, just because they were women, at L'École Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989. Although many other buttons have been designed by various groups, this button is one of the most well-recognized and worn.

“The reason Marc Lepine walked into that classroom in Quebec and separated the men from the women, proceeding to call them⁣ “a bunch of feminists” and systematically slaughter the women can be found not in his individual “psychological state” but in our gender divided society that legitmates violence against women. The reasons are also found […]

Feminist Organizing in Federal Elections

Illustration of crowd of women with protest signs

The newsletters, communiqués, and other documents in the Rise Up archive include materials reflecting how feminists organized around federal elections between the 1970s and the early 1990s. During this time, there were seven federal elections and each time the writ was dropped, feminists worked hard to make sure that political parties and their candidates addressed […]

Pipeline Politics

The release of the final report of the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) on June 3, 2019 has drawn critical attention to wide range of historical and contemporary practices that threaten the lives and safety of Indigenous women and girls.