Laurier Brantford’s annual Social Justice Forum is where the campus community, the local community and external activists come together. This two-day forum features a free public lecture by an experienced activist and/or researcher from outside Laurier who is doing work in the broad area of social justice. As part of the forum, interactive workshops are held to compliment the key note speaker's area of expertise.
Planning is led by Laurier’s Social Justice and Community Engagement program who receive support from the Faculty of Liberal Arts as well as national and community organizations, including:
At the fifth annual Social Justice Forum, scholar-activist Assistant Professor rosalind hampton of the Department of Social Justice Education at the University of Toronto gave the keynote talk entitled, "Racialization and Resistance: Black People, Black Studies, and (Anti)Blackness in Canadian Academia." On the first day of the Forum, the Laurier community was welcome to attend the launch of the research report, "#BeingRaced: Amplifying the Voices of Racialized Students, Staff, and Faculty at Wilfrid Laurier University," which was followed by a workshop that looked at practical strategies for resistance and change on university campuses.
At the fourth annual Social Justice Forum, labour organizers from the Workers' Action Centre, Pam Frache and Navi Aujla, gave the keynote talk "Fight for Fifteen and Fairness." They discussed the condition of low-wage and precarious workers in Ontario, the struggle to improve workers' rights and wages, and the threats to those victories posed by the Doug Ford Conservative government. They also provided organizer training for students interested in getting involved in the province-wide campaign.
At the third annual Social Justice Forum in September 2016, Mapuche educator, advocate and activist Silvia Ancan Painemilla gave a talk titled, “Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity: Taking Action for Indigenous Sovereignty, Standing in Solidarity with Indigenous Communities.” Two interactive workshops were also held about Indigenous sovereignty and solidarity.
At the second annual Social Justice Forum in September 2015, Vancouver-based activist, therapist and professor Vikki Reynolds gave a talk titled, “Social justice activism and community work: Tensions, points of connection and hopeful scepticism.” In addition, Reynolds facilitated a full-day professional development workshop that addressed matters of concern for those who work with people experiencing poverty, violence and oppression.
At the inaugural Social Justice Forum in February 2015, scholar-activist Aziz Choudry of McGill University gave a talk titled, “Rethinking research for social change: What can we learn from activist research practice.” Choudry facilitated a graduate student and faculty workshop and met with student organizations that focus on social justice issues on campus.
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