The York Women’s Centre began as a student group in 1975. In 1996, it began to receive funding from the student levy as a campus-based service organization and moved to its current location five years later. The organization changed its name to The Centre for Women & Trans People at York in 2005 to reflect a commitment to trans-inclusion.
CWTP (also known as “The Centre”) has adopted an anti-oppression framework to critically examine and understand how power relations operate in our society. The decision to use this framework was made in recognition of how the interlocking systems of oppression operate to erect multiple identity-based barriers against some trans people and women, and in realization that any meaningful work both within the women’s movement and the larger movement for social change can only be completed if these multiple oppressions are addressed and challenged. the name change to include trans people as a priority group for the Centre was done to acknowledge that conventional ideas of gender identity and gender expression are firmly rooted in patriarchy and misogyny; that community members who challenge and/or oppose these social constructions in their day-to-day lives often experience systemic gender oppression, like non-trans women. Thus, it is our mandate to create a safer space, provide programming and services to assist women and trans people with breaking the social isolation we experience on- and off-campus and to organize for the eradication of systemic domination.