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    Expanded red dress display returns to campus

    The REDress Project includes more dresses, more display areas, and more viewing days to commemorate missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse people.

    Red dress installed in tree near Summerhill on Queen's campus.
    One of dozens of red dresses installed across Queen's campus hangs from a tree near Stauffer Library. (Photo by Shelby Lisk / Queen's University)

    On May 5, 2022, Queen’s marked the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Gender Diverse People (MMIWG2S+) with a display of red dresses from the lampposts lining campus’ University Avenue.

    This year, the university is building on this recognition, working with the creator of the REDress Project, artist Jaime Black, to expand this installation to spaces across both main and west campuses. Nearly 50 dresses will be exhibited in both outdoor and indoor spaces from April 10-15.

    “We heard such positive and moving feedback about last year’s display of red dresses that we wanted to raise visibility of this important project even more,” says Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill), Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation). “This means more dresses in more places, but it also underpins our decision to launch the installation earlier in the spring when even more people – students particularly – are still on campus to view it. This is such an important issue and a must-see experience for all of us as we redouble our dedication to the ongoing work of truth, reconciliation and ending violence against Indigenous women, children, and gender diverse people.”

    Red dress installed on Queen's campus.
    Working with the creator of the REDress Project, artist Jaime Black, Queen's has expanded the installation to spaces across both main and west campuses, with nearly 50 dresses exhibited in both outdoor and indoor spaces from April 10-15. (Photo by Shelby Lisk / Queen's University)

    Red dresses will once again line University Avenue with additional dresses set to be displayed through the green space around Summerhill, outside Stauffer Library, and Gordon, Ontario, Grant, Kingston, Carruthers, and Fleming Halls, as well as in windows at Queen’s west campus.

    A brief opening ceremony will take place on April 10 at 10 a.m. outside Richardson Hall, during which remarks will be shared by Queen’s Cultural Advisor Te ho wis kwûnt (Allen Doxtator) and Kandice Baptiste, Associate Director, Office of Indigenous Initiatives.

    “Among the university’s core values is our responsibility to continually strive for a more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist community,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “I encourage everyone at Queen’s to explore campus this week to witness this exhibit first-hand, and I look forward to doing so myself. This is an important moment for reflection and for each of us to deepen our understanding and re-affirm our commitment to the work ahead.”

    The week of the display will also include an artist talk with exhibit creator Jaime Black, who’s set to discuss and field questions about the REDress Project. The free virtual event will take place at noon on April 11 and be open to anyone who registers in advance.

    “The REDress Project is a call to action,” says Black. “It’s a call to gather in circles of care and connection, to witness both violence and resilience, and to draw on our collective power to seek justice.”

    On April 12, Jayme Blondin, an Indigenous councilor with local organization Sexual Assault Services Kingston will be on campus to give a talk on MMIWG2S+ and to review services they have available to both campus and Kingston community members, particularly those most relevant to students.

    Learn more about the REDress Project display on the Office of Indigenous Initiatives website

    Red dress installed in tree on Queen's campus.
    Artist Jaime Black will discuss and field questions about the REDress Project in a free virtual event that will take place at noon on April 11. (Photo by Shelby Lisk / Queen's University)