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    Creating connections and providing support

    A special event is aiming to build a foundation of connections and support for faculty and staff at Queen’s University who self-identify as Black, Indigenous or a Person of Colour (BIPOC).

    Organized by a working group comprised of Queen’s faculty and staff, Claiming Our Spaces, Together is a social gathering that will help foster ties and provide support for each other in living well within the Queen’s and Kingston communities.

    Two of the organizers who helped bring the idea forward are professors Shobhana Xavier (School of Religion) and Kristin Moriah (Department of English Language and Literature).

    “Dr. Xavier and I initially envisioned this event as a way to bring diverse faculty and staff from across campus together, as was typical at the institutions at which we have worked in the past,” Dr. Moriah says. “Aside from being a great way to unwind at the end of the semester, this event has the potential to foster a greater sense of community among BIPOC faculty and staff here at Queen’s. There can never be too many spaces of welcoming and inclusion on this campus. Events like this can also underscore the university’s commitment to diversity while supporting the institution's academic mission.”

    Claiming Our Spaces, Together is taking place Thursday, April 11 4-7 pm in the atrium of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Set out as an end-of-term celebration, this social gathering is an informal meet and greet for those looking to connect with colleagues from across campus. Attendees will have the opportunity to socialize with other BIPOC colleagues, share knowledges and experiences, and help establish community moving forward.

    “Queen’s and Kingston can be challenging spaces to navigate as a person of colour. By hosting this event for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour, we hope to share in being in community together, and get to know who is on campus and in Kingston,” says Lavie Williams, Inclusion and Anti-Racism Advisor for the Human Rights and Equity Office. “It’s an opportunity to meet with friends and colleagues who share a deeper understanding of your own experiences and perspectives.”

    Doors open at 4 pm, with opening remarks and words of welcome commencing at 4:30 pm. Attendees will then have the opportunity to start or join conversations with a few experienced colleagues from different areas of the university. Closing remarks will be at 6 pm; however, attendees are encouraged to continue enjoying the good conversation, finger foods, and atmosphere for a further hour.

    Those looking to participate in related events, initiatives, and resources at Queen’s in support of racialized and Indigenous faculty and staff experiences on campus, can provide input through a dedicated webpage. All responses are anonymous and may be used to inform future planning.

    Accommodation or special dietary requirement request can be sent to equity@queensu.ca.