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GSWS Annual Lecture

GSWS Annual Lecture event, “DEI: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE PERFORMATIVE” scheduled for Thursday, February 29, 2024 will be postponed due to the current CUPE 3903 strike.  We are planning to reschedule this event following the strike.

The Annual Lecture of the School of Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies provides thought provoking conversations on important topics. Meet renowned leaders in the field and network with fellow faculty, staff and students.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI): The Good, The Bad & The Performative

Image of a microphone with attendees in the background

The School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies invites you to join our Annual Lecture event featuring a roundtable on the possibilities and limitations of institutionalized Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives.

The roundtable will explore various fields such as higher education, broadcasting, news organizations and politics and the ways in which racialized and other marginalized people with progressive politics are initially welcomed in spaces of power, becoming symbols (or tokens) of progress in achieving “diversity and inclusion,” only to then be gaslighted, vilified or face reprisals for espousing their views.

Lecture will be moderated and hosted by Dr. Bianca Beauchemin and Dr. Nadia Hasan, Assistant Professors from the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University.

Sponsored by: Faculty of LA&PS, VPRI, Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York Centre for Asian Research, The Harriet Tubman Institute, Founders College, The Black Canadian Studies Certificate, Centre for Feminist Research, IRDL, YUFA Race Equity Caucus, and the Graduate Program in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies.

Featured Speakers

Ginella Massa

Ginella Massa is a Broadcast Journalist & Media Consultant

Desmond Cole

Desmond Cole is a journalist, activist and author based in Toronto. His work focuses on struggles against state violence, particularly local policing. Desmond was a columnist at the Toronto Star from late 2015 to early 2017, where he wrote about politics, class, policing, and anti-Black racism. He has produced works for live news radio, podcasts, magazines, newspapers, and a documentary film. Desmond’s 2020 best-selling book, The Skin We're In, A Year of Black Resistance and Power, received national acclaim and won the 2020 Toronto Book Award, which honours books of literary merit that are inspired by the city.

Dr. Nadiya Ali

Nadiya Ali is a Black Muslim Immigrant/Arrivant woman of East African descent who works and lives in the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and six nations peoples. Nadiya's story on Indigenous lands, like many, was propelled by imperial pull factors and colonial push forces - which deeply informs her scholarship on race, racialization, coloniality, and cultural production. Nadiya's work gives particular attention to Black Muslim populations, examining "life still" while fielded in the intersection of Anti-Blackness and Islamophobia.

Somar Abuaziza

Somar Abuaziza is President of the Palestine Solidarity Collective (PSC). "My name is Somar, I am a Palestinian born and raised, I am currently in my final year of political science, hoping to continue my academic journey of becoming a lawyer! I am the president of Palestine Solidarity Collective (PSC) on campus. I am a student activist and have planned rallies and events on campus and worked with organizations to plan rallies all around the GTA. I am very excited and honoured to take part in the DEI round table this February to discuss the good, the bad and the performative."

Past Lectures

Ways of Witnessing Black Motherhood: Spectacles of Suffering, Mortal Rebellions, and the Tyranny of Love with Jan-Therese Mendes, PhD

Dr. Mendes is a Black feminist media studies scholar whose research interrogates how affects are machinated against Black and Black Muslim bodies and desires within Northern welfare nations. 

In this presentation, Dr. Mendes speaks to the ways the Black maternal is publicly disciplined in the wake of her distress and held criminally accountable even from the unreachable place of death. 

And Still We Rise: Womxn Opposing Oppression & Proposing Change

Dr. Jill Andrew (MPP Toronto-St. Paul’s, Ontario NDP Critic for Culture and Women’s Issues) was the featured speaker for the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies’ Annual Lecture.

Womxn have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. While COVID-19 has been referred to as an ‘unprecedented’ pandemic, in this talk Jill Andrew (she/her) highlights the ongoing pandemics far preceding COVID-19 waging war on womxn that are exacerbated by this current moment.