Roots&Wings art work

Belonging, Responsibility, Collaboration and Radical Imaginaries

In this blog post, Yasmine Djerbal, educational developer at the Centre for Teaching and Learning, narrates her experience working with Roots&Wings youth and shares her perspective on how community organization can offer a fresh vision of a different type of future

The pandemic has been challenging for everyone, and we know that children have been affected in unique ways. It might take us years to truly unravel and understand the impact isolation and online learning has had on their development, socialization, and more. In my work with Roots & Wings—a community organization that offers space for girls, trans, Two-Spirit, and gender non-conforming youth of colour between the ages of 8 and 14 to learn about social justice—we have seen in small and big ways how strong and tenacious the youth have been in the face of frequent changes, loss of time with friends and family, Continue Reading »

Image of hands working together building a foundation

Pandemic & Impact on EDII

Photo by Rodolfo Quirós from Pexels

In this piece, Tahmena Bokhari, EDI Director for the Smith School of Business, imagines a future where forever changed communities are filled with more compassion, empathy and humility

This winter break, as Omicron was taking hold over Kingston, Ontario, I reflected back to the early days prior to the pandemic being officially declared and all that has happened since then. Back in January of 2020, when we were first learning of this virus, I was in Toronto just beginning to learn about the impact of the virus on staff and working with leaders to formulate some messaging. A staff was planning a trip to China and worried she may be getting backlash from colleagues. As weeks went on, local GTA Chinese business owners were discussing the impact to their local customers and communities. As the pandemic was officially declared and as lockdowns were being implemented, Continue Reading »

Hold your head up…

In this piece, Jenna Kring, Four Directions Indigenous Student Centre’s Indigenous Programs and Events Associate, shares some inspiring words about being a safe space for others

Hold your head up

Lift the top of your mind

Put your eyes on the Earth

Lift your heart to your own home planet

What do you see?

Carry it on: Buffy Sainte Marie 

Shé:kon sewakwé:kon, Jenna Kring iónkia’ts. Kanien’kéha:ka niwakonhontisó:ten. I find myself getting lost in thinking of what the future will bring, even though the future is out of my control. Taking a moment to breathe and seeing ways I can improve on the now can help influence the future. I must start somewhere, how about today, with myself. As a Two-Spirit person, I strive to cultivate being a safe space for others. By using self-reflection to monitor my actions and continuing with independent education on issues that surround daily life. Continue Reading »

Image showing a tower of Jenga blocks

Together We Are 2021-2022

How do you envision the post-pandemic world?

How do you envision the future?

During a long and exhausting health emergency crisis, equity-deserving communities have been facing the exacerbated consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Society has been reckoning with the multiple and intersecting forms of oppression that impact QTBIPOC communities, both at the individual and the systemic level. And now, we are entering a time when a return to life as we knew it seems to be getting closer; however, technological changes and societal demands have put in evidence the need to rethink the future. During the school year 2021-2022, our blog contributors will reflect on the challenges, responsibilities, and practical strategies for building the post-pandemic world.

Check our blog month by month to find new and interesting reflections!

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Image of two Pride flags waiving

Celebrating Community with Pride: A (personal) reflection on the formation of a new Queer Employee Resource Group for 2SLGTBQ+ equity

Alex Pedersen (she/her) staff member and adjunct professor at Queen’s University, closes the school year 2020-2021 reflecting on the importance of creating spaces where 2SLGBTQ+ members can thrive and feel supported

June marks Pride Month in Canada. For many, this month brings a celebration of diversity amongst 2SLGTBQ+ communities and a recognition of struggles, setbacks, and victories towards equality. I look forward to this month not just to celebrate my Queer identity with others, but to reflect on the importance of space and place in community building (drawing on another identity as a geographer!).

For the purposes of this blog post, let’s define what I mean by community. If you were to look up community in the dictionary, you might find a traditional view that focuses on physical space, whereas today we understand that communities exist in both physical and virtual spaces. Continue Reading »

Campus during a sunny day

EDII and the Changing Academic Mission of Universities—a personal reflection

In our most recent blog post, Dr. Fahim Quadir, Dean and Vice-Provost of Graduate Studies and Professor of Global Development Studies, reflects on the crucial role universities have to play in building a more equitable future after COVID-19

A recent discussion at a meeting with my colleagues in the School of Graduate Studies somewhat unexpectedly provided the context for my deep reflection on the topic of EDII. Are the normative principles of EDII at odds with academic excellence? What is EDII all about? Is this primarily a matter of representation?

I find the current general interest in and support for equity, diversity, inclusivity and Indigenization to be enormously exciting. The debates are intense, engaging, and truly thought-provoking.  In most cases, they are no longer about paying lip service to cultivating the civic commons. Nor are they about promoting a political rhetoric without substance. Continue Reading »