You've heard the name, but what do you know about OPIRG aside from it being a group in Guelph that likes hugging trees and being total SJWs? Okay, so those things are technically true, and OPIRG is proud of it thank-you-very-much! But if you've ever wanted to go inside OPIRG and get the bigger picture about how and why they tick, then this podcast's for you.
OPIRG stands for the Ontario Public Interest Research Group, and Guelph's office is one of several branches of the OPIRG tree across the province. Guelph's wasn't the first, but it was one of the first. University of Guelph students were inspired by the example of Ralph Nader, the legendary activist that brought his consumer message to campus the year before, to create a formal (ish) progressive advocacy organization at the U of G.
This was back in the mid-70s, and hope about the future was in short supply. There was economic malaise, concern about the worsening environment, and a growing civil rights struggle particularly among queer communities. In some ways, it almost seems like the last four decades never happened, right? Well they have, progress has been made, and OPIRG has been a part of that positive change on the local level.
So this week on the show, we hear from Brad Evoy, who is the Organizational Co-ordinator of OPIRG. Evoy is relatively new to Guelph, but he has about 10 years of experience fighting the good fight for accessible, environmental and economic causes. Of course, OPIRG is a campus-based organization, and we've just begun another school year, so Evoy and I talk about what's on OPIRG's plate going into fall, and the ongoing challenges in fighting for social justice in the year 2017.
So for the benefit of you, the listener, let's put the P. and the I. and the R. back into OPIRG for this week's Guelph Politicast.
You can learn more about OPIRG, its programs and activities by going to their website here, and you can see the full slate of upcoming OPIRG events by visiting their Facebook page here.
The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.
The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.
Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.