Critical conversations a key part of International Women’s Day at Brock

An international Women’s Day event hosted by Brock will celebrate Black and Indigenous women scholars, artists and activists while exploring their ideas for a better future.

One of several International Women’s Day events at the University, Imagining Black and Indigenous Futurities will take place virtually Wednesday, March 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will include short presentations, a roundtable discussion and a Q&A.

With online attendance open to everyone, event co-organizer and Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies Margot Francis said the virtual gathering “offers a chance to take stock of contemporary debates within feminist movements and to reaffirm the University’s commitment to addressing the under-representation of Black and Indigenous scholars in professorship.”

Co-organizer Lyn Trudeau said the event will create space for Black and Indigenous women, who have both been affected historically, interpreted, and confined by settler colonialism.

“Narratives that solidify and continue to perpetuate biases and negative stereotypes have been and are embedded in society by means that were not of our own making,” said the Lecturer of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. “I think, moving forward, it is imperative to hold space for these conversations that recreate and co-create our own narratives and stories as they pertain to our lived realities and our children’s futures.”

Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and event co-organizer Charlotte Henay said the gathering will welcome contributors from a variety of fields that extend beyond academia.

“It brings together thinkers and speakers whose work engages relationalities and co-conspiracies between Black and Indigenous Peoples, and who have thought deeply about how the construction of our identities, our struggles, and our futures are mutually imbricated.”

Presenters include:

  • Lillian Allen — Professor of Creative Writing, OCAD University
  • Waaseyaa’sin Christine Sy — Assistant Professor in Gender Studies, University of Victoria
  • Adele Thomas — Full-spectrum fertility doula
  • Etanda Arden — Emerging writer
  • Juliane Okot Bitek — Poet, scholar and Assistant Professor of Black Creative Writing, Queen’s University.
  • Kahsenniyo Williams Kick — Spoken word artist

Francis hopes participants from across the Brock community and beyond will login to take part.

“We want to move the work of Indigenous and Black scholars, artists and activists to the foreground and learn from the complex conversations between these communities while reflecting on how we might contribute to  alternative feminist futures,” she said.

The event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies, the Council for Research in the Social Sciences, the Social Justice Research Institute and the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Rights, Equity and Decolonization. It is open to all, however, participants must register on Eventbrite to receive login details.

Additional International Women’s Day-themed events at Brock include:

Robyn Bourgeois, Brock’s Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement, will share her journey from trauma to triumph in an online talk hosted by Brock’s Professional and Continuing Studies Monday, March 6.

An Innovation Social discussing the topic of “Innovation in Women’s Equity” on Tuesday, March 7 from 10 to 11 a.m. on level 300 of the Rankin Family Pavilion.

A Brown Bag Lunch Solutions Forum discussing gender equality will be hosted by Professor of Biological Sciences Liette Vasseur on Wednesday, March 8 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in MCH 313.

The student-run Brock Women in Business club is hosting its fifth-annual flagship event, The Rise, on Sunday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Goodman Atrium. The event includes workshops, a panel and networking, gathering women from all business areas to discuss their personal and professional career journeys centred around the theme of #EmbraceEquity.

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