Social Spaces Summit

what it is

A four day gathering about radical social spaces, S3 will bring people together that are doing work for radical social change.

who’s it for

Organizers of radical social centers, infoshops, libraries, student resource centers, co-ops, artist-run spaces, anyone who works in a physical space that aims for radical social and political justice.

The idea is to cross-pollinate, share resources, challenge our praxis, and gain skills.

Here is a partial list of those planning to organize and attend:

The Purple Thistle Centre – Vancouver
Rhizome Cafe – Vancouver
UBC Social Justice Centre – Vancouver
Spartacus Books – Vancouver
Camas Books & Infoshop – Victoria
The STAG Library – Vancouver
The Toast Collective – Vancouver
The Red Gate – Vancouver
Safe Amplification Site Society
Red & Black – Portland
A Curious Summer – San Francisco
CommunityWise Resource Centre/Old Y Centre – Calgary
Beehive Collective House – Vancouver
Roberts Street Social Centre – Halifax
Ministry of Casual Living – Victoria
… and more!


October 19 – 22, 2012


Vancouver, BC – Unceded and Occupied Coast Salish Territories


The fees are on a sliding scale from $20 to $200. Our goal is to make the summit financially accessible for everyone. Food will be provided and we will find billets for those who request them. Limited travel funding is available, contact us for details.


Contact us with any questions:

To register, please visit our registration page:

Registration is now closed. Thank you to everyone who registered.

If you have any questions please email us at

You can also RSVP and invite other folks on our Facebook event page

S3 has three main themes:

Anti-oppression   //   Collective organizing   //   Finding and Holding Spaces

As communities who run radical social spaces, we know about the vulnerabilities of the spaces we work to protect. Sometimes our spaces can fall apart because of structural and interpersonal violence playing out between collective members, sometimes we just don’t have the right tools for getting our shit organized, and often we are fighting against larger forces such as capitalism and colonialism that make it difficult both financially and politically to keep our spaces together.

The Social Spaces Summit is a forum where organizers of social spaces can come together to share skills, have some of the hard conversations, and make connections that will strengthen our movements, communities, and spaces.

Through these three themes of Anti-Oppression, Collective Organizing, and Finding and Holding Space, we want to address the successes and struggles that we all encounter as collectives and folks who are part of social spaces.

  • We recognize that any discussion of space in North America needs to begin with a serious engagement with the problem of colonialism. This summit will work toward creative solutions that end the injustices perpetrated by colonial states who have dispossessed indigenous people of their land, this land upon which our spaces reside.
  • Questions of accountability, and safety are essential in thinking through how to put processes in place to address structural and interpersonal violence, both within our collectives and in the movement more broadly.
  • We want to think through the relationship between our physical spaces and urban injustices such as gentrification. This means discussing complicity, as well as developing strategies for countering neoliberal development in our cities.
  • We want to share with each other ways to hold space that can be sustained in the long term, while avoiding some of the precarious forms of financial dependence that can often keep our spaces from thriving.

This is an opportunity for rethinking entirely how we inhabit social spaces. Whether we are taking money from the state to survive, whether we squat or share our spaces with radical openness, we all have a lot to feel great about! So let’s get together to challenge and learn from each other and celebrate what we have been up to, how we can get better, and imagine new ways of being in solidarity.


Call-out for proposals and workshops: Deadline extended to October 1st!

The Social Spaces Summit is accepting proposals for workshops, skill-shares, and discussions based around the central themes outlined above. Our hope is that people will come to share tangible skills around struggles that affect us all.

In your proposal please include:

presenter(s) names, what community/artist/activist space you organize with, a brief description of the workshop.


2 thoughts on “Social Spaces Summit

  1. What if you are trying to start one, but a physical space has not yet been secured?

  2. hey skwerl,

    this summit would be useful for people who are making serious plans for running a space. our vision is for people who are already running spaces to come together and share their struggles & strategies, but folks new to the process are welcome too.

    in solidarity

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