d20 dice. Image created by Marwa Hussein

The Intersectional d-20

For December, Yara Hussein, Queen’s student currently completing her second year as a biochemistry major with a minor in global development, shares with us the unique perspective that the intersection of her identities has awarded her

d-20: a dice used in the game of Dungeons and Dragons and is unique due to its 20-sided nature rather than the traditional 6-sided dice. Used to depict the multiple social identities of people. Note: one can have more or less than 20 sides to their own d-20.

Intersectionality: a framework that conceptualizes a person, group of people, or social problems as affected by a number of discriminations and disadvantages. It takes into account an individual’s identities and experiences in order to understand the complexity of prejudices they face (Crenshaw, 1989).

The d-20 as The Person

Growing up in the west, I’ve had many unique experiences that have shaped my growth and my vision of the world. Continue Reading »

Think not forever of yourself

In this blog piece, Ann Deer, Indigenous Recruitment & Support Coordinator for the Smith Commerce program and the Faculty of Law, shares her story and invites us to think about the importance of building community

Think not forever of yourself, O Chiefs,

nor of your generation.

Think of continuing generations of our families,

think of our grandchildren

and of those yet unborn,

whose faces are coming from beneath the ground.

Words spoke by the Peacemaker founder of the Iroquois Confederacy, circa 1000 A.D.

Wisdomkeepers, 1990


When asked what my job is? I say my title has recruitment and support in it. Continue Reading »

"End Racism Now" Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

More than Just Words: From Anti-racism Statements to Action

In our October blog, Alana Butler, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s, walks us through the importance of moving from awareness to action in relation to our anti-racism commitments

The summer of 2020 not only brought us new social norms about dealing with a global pandemic, but worldwide protests against racist police brutality. The May 25 murder of George Floyd might have gone unmentioned were it not for multiple cell phone videos capturing his agonizing death in eight minutes and 46 seconds while under the knee of a White police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Tragically, this type of event was not new. Black men and women have been the victims of state sanctioned murder for centuries.  So have Indigenous and other racialized Americans over history. After the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, Black Lives Matter has emerged as a recent social movement whose goal was to draw attention to the issue of racialized police brutality.   Continue Reading »

Photo by Priscilla Gyamfi on unsplash.com

Together We Are: 6th year!

The school year is starting with many changes and uncertainties. But in times of crisis, solidarity becomes key.

During 2020, several events of international relevance have prompted equity-seeking communities to keep challenging the oppressive systems that have made them more vulnerable. In this 6th year, the Together We Are blog will explore how equity-seeking communities are supporting each other during times of crisis, and how equity-seeking groups can ensure that the ‘new normal’ is built on equity principles.

As we update this blog with excellent pieces from Queen’s students, staff and faculty members, don’t forget that YOU are part of this conversation as well. Together We Are is part of the Queen’s and broader Kingston community, therefore, you can share and comment on all of our Social Media platforms.

Continue Reading »

Compassion, Acquisition, Respect, Evaluation (CARE): Key to Academic Acculturation

In our final blog post, Liying Cheng, professor and Director of the Assessment and Evaluation Group (AEG) at the Faculty of Education, talks about how we can re-shape higher education systems in Canada with a more equitable approach

At Queen’s University, we are proud to state that “We are people who want to learn, discover, think, and do. We push the limits of what can be achieved and develop ideas that can make a difference in the world”. In order to achieve this goal, we need to challenge our thinking, learn something new (Learning), relearn what we have acquired (Re-learning), and have the capacity to challenge what we learned previously (Un-learning), which is this year’s theme for Together We Are! Most importantly, this learning, re-learning and un-learning within a higher education setting need to be conducted in a Safe Space where compassion, Continue Reading »

Speaking Up with Love (and maybe a glass of wine)

In this blog, Vanessa McCourt, Academic Advisor and Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, talks about the importance of having courageous conversations


I’ve never been one to speak up. I get red and flushed in the face, my underarms sweat, the right words don’t come, and I feel REALLY uncomfortable. So, for those reasons, when people have said something that I think is offensive – either directed to me or someone else – I usually keep quiet.

Fast forward 40 years (well, minus the two years before I could speak), I read a Facebook post that made me really upset. Then to my husband’s chagrin, I responded back with my own comments. Of course, this started a commenting frenzy of defending opinions.

The person who posted is my neighbor. The neighbor who is nice to my kids, Continue Reading »