Laurier Brantford’s annual Social Justice Forum is where the campus community, the local community, and external activists come together.
The two-day Social Justice 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.
In September 2016, Silvia Ancan Painemilla, a Mapuche educator, advocate and activist, gave a talk entitled “Indigenous Sovereignty and Solidarity: Taking Action for Indigenous Sovereignty, Standing in Solidarity with Indigenous Communities.”
In September 2015, Vancouver-based activist, therapist and professor Vikki Reynolds's lecture was entitled “Social justice activism and community work: Tensions, points of connection and hopeful scepticism.”
At the inaugural Social Justice Forum in February 2015, scholar-activist Aziz Choudry of McGill University gave a talk called “Rethinking research for social change: What can we learn from activist research practice.”
Workshops are also part of the forum. Some have been for graduate students and faculty, while others have focused on student social justice organizations or professionals working with people experiencing poverty, violence and oppression. In 2016, two workshops on Indigenous sovereignty and solidarity were free and open to the public.
Laurier’s Society, Culture and Environment program, which will be renamed Social and Environmental Justice as of 2017/18, leads planning for the Social Justice Forum. The Faculty of Liberal Arts, the Social Justice and Community Engagement master’s program, and other Laurier departments provide support, as do national and community organizations. These have included: the Sexual Assault Centre of Brant; Brant Response Against Violence Everywhere (BRAVE), Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada; the Laurier Brantford Grants Program; and the Women’s Faculty Colleague (Brantford).
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