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EFECT – Experiments in Feminist Ethical Collaborations with Technologies


Experiments in Feminist Ethical Collaborations with Technologies


The inter-institutional EFECT network combines expertise from feminist academics, community educators and content partners to create feminist, anti-oppressive curriculum and collaborations; we aim to confront exclusions and open access of racialized youth to ICT/M spaces.

The EFECT project tackles the root causes of why racialized young people, particularly women and LGBTQS+ people, find ICT/M (Internet, Communication, Technology and Media) spaces to be uninviting and inhospitable, creating exclusion and lost opportunities. Our team tackled this problem with a feminist, anti-colonial framework and highly collaborative approach engaging feminist academics and community partners METRAC (Toronto), Atwater Library, and SARC (Montreal) and content partners FemTechNetFemBot Collective, and CFC Film Center & Media Lab and Pivotal Point. Engaging our diverse knowledges, we tackle cultural gender, race and ethnic biases that create barriers to entry and engagement in ICT/M educational and work environments.  These changes can also contribute to media and technology content – correcting common violent, misogynistic, and non-representative forms (that perpetuate cycles of exclusion, bias, and prejudice) and adding the rich voices and experiences of diverse racialized female and LGBTQS+ creators to media and tech content.

With community partners and content pooled our diverse knowledges and experiences, pedagogical strategies, and critical technology skills via rigorous co-creation and active engagement of community youth. The outcome is a free, and open access Critical Digital Media Literacy Workbook for use in diverse educational settings, offering subject matter including: internet and digital safety; digital storytelling skills; and how to recognize and respond to gender-based violence, among others Our Messy Spaces podcast series invites listeners behind the curtain, where EFECT team members discuss the struggles and opportunities of university-community collaboration.

Our Methods

EFECT is organized into team pods in Montreal (Que.); Toronto and Hamilton (ON); and Edmonton (AB) that function as a collaborative network. Using a feminist distributed networked model we linked pods to co-create discrete projects, while sharing skills and knowledge as needed across team projects.

Feminist and Anti-O ethics are central to EFECT’s work. Our collaboration, the workbook, the podcasts, and our forthcoming toolkits, reflect our feminist, anti-colonial and equity-based approach. Our definition of collaboration is purposefully expansive; we work self-reflexively in our own network, while creating methods that respectfully engage community partners –including young people, community organizers, artist, entrepreneurs and tech-industry innovators. We propose that such collaborative ethics can re-frame digital culture and media-making as tools to empower, educate, build bridges, and reform cultures of oppression.

EFECT’s work is experimental and process based, focusing on self and collaborative discovery to evolve this network together. We co-created projects in deep lateral collaborative with our community partners in our mission to support the growth and sustainability of diverse and inclusive communities within ICT/M spaces. Part of our method is to work as members of these communities and with community-based organizations most affected by social and digital violence to craft appropriate toolkits and resources for those wishing to enter or already working in ICT/M.

Check us out!

Please check out and share our free Digital Literacy Workbook and learn more about our other work at our website.


Screenshot from the Critical Thinking and Digital Media Literacy Workbook published by EFECT.
The Critical Thinking and Digital Media Literacy Workbook provides chapters that help a facilitator guide a collaborative workshop to unpack and decode media through a critical and constructive lens. Learn more about this workbook on the EFECT website.



EFECT is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

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